The West region was well represented on the West squad during the week in San Antonio (and even on the East, with Lake Stevens (Wash.) quarterback Jacob Eason placed on that squad despite the geography not making sense).
Of the top 20 players in the West region, 14 were in San Antonio, including eight of the top 10. So we got a good, final look at the top prospects from the region.
Here are just some of the players from the West who stood out to us during the week.
-Long Beach (Calif.) Poly athlete Jack Jones has been a five-star on Scout since the spring and did nothing during the week to make us think we were too early on that. He shined everywhere during the spring and summer, had a good senior season, and then back on the big stage to close out his career, was the best defensive back all week for the West. Jones, who will visit Alabama, maintains his top five of the Tide, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC hasn't changed.
-Torrance (Calif.) North linebacker Mique Juarez is the top outside linebacker nationally by Scout but he played a lot of inside linebacker during the week. He was great in coverage but also in getting in to the backfield. He can really play in any defensive scheme and has a lot of position versatility. During the week, Juarez revealed a top two of Mississippi and UCLA but he'll visit Alabama in two weeks and the Tide aren't out of it yet.
-Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West linebacker Caleb Kelly has been the only five-star from the first 2016 rankings in the spring of 2014 to stay as a five-star in the West, and the High School Butkus Award Winner for the nation's top linebacker will go wire-to-wire. He's as steady a linebacker as you'll find nationally and will be a tackling machine in college but able to both cover and stop the run. He was solid all week and showed the athleticism he first caught our eye with while looking bigger and more physical than he ever has. Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Oregon are the top three for Kelly.
-Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian receiver Michael Pittman was the best receiver through the first day and a half of practice before an injury sidelined him for the week and knocked him out for the game. The USC commit, who started classes today, had a monster senior year and showed through the first two sessions why the Trojans are so excited to pair him with Juju Smith. He's always been physical but has made huge leaps in catching the ball and running routes and he's got good speed while showing great body control to catch anything thrown his way. It was a shame the injury knocked him out of the game.
-Concord (Calif.) De La Salle tight end Devin Asiasi is the West's No. 1 tight end and cemented that during the week. While he played in a run-heavy offense for the Spartans, during Army Bowl week he was utilized as a receiver instead of having to focus on just blocking. He had a touchdown in the Army Bowl and just missed another one. His size and playing experience suggest that he'll be just fine as a blocker at the college level but it is watching him catch and run, especially at around 265-270, that makes you think he can be an impact tight end in college. Alabama, USC, UCLA and Washington are the top contenders for Asiasi.
-Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola cornerback David Long is the West's top-rated cornerback and showed during the week exactly why. Because three of the receivers were 7v7 teammates of his, he knew a lot of their tendencies and did a good job of staying with the receivers. He hast great ball skills and closing speed and did a good job of breaking up a number of passes. Then he had a pick in the Army Bowl. Long has a top two of Michigan and Washington.
-Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton receiver Simi Fehoko was arguably the most consistent receiver for the West during the week, so it was fitting that he caught the first touchdown pass during the Army Bowl. He has terrific hands, is a polished route-runner and has good speed. He's tough to jam at the line of scrimmage and was routinely getting separation from the defenders. The Stanford commit said he wants to come in and play right away, but we've heard that he still may serve his LDS mission immediately out of high school.
-Santa Margarita (Calif.) receiver Dylan Crawford committed to Michigan during the Army Bowl. It was a loaded roster of receivers for the West and a lot of passes were having to be spread out, so Crawford didn't really shine but was solid all week. He's a pretty polished route runner and physical enough to get off the jams. He did have a couple of drops in the first session but finally got into a rhythm over the course of the next couple of days.
-Corona (Calif.) Centennial receiver Javon McKinley also committed during the Army Bowl, choosing Notre Dame and had a touchdown during the game. The Irish will love what they're getting in McKinley, who was one of the most productive receivers in Southern California history and a big reason why the Huskies won consecutive Southern Section Pac-5 titles. McKinley doesn't have elite speed, but he's fast enough, is physical, will go get the ball and gets great yards after initial contact.
-La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat receiver Tyler Vaughns has been a longtime commit to USC and has been a five-star for over a year on Scout and capped off his week with a big game, with three catches and a touchdown reception. He's a very good route runner, with excellent body control and hands and did a nice job on his touchdown catch of high-pointing the ball.
-Mililani (Hawaii) running back Vavae Malepeai was perhaps the prospect with the least amount of buzz coming in despite being a Scout 300 member and the Hawaii State Player of the Year. Malepeai finished the game with 66 yards on just eight carries. He was decisive, quick in the open field and may have had the two best spin moves of the afternoon. He'll add another unique skill set to the backfield at Oregon, who have had a nice arsenal of backs the past few years.
-Los Angeles (Calif.) Windward defensive end Breland Brandt was one of the players we were the most interested in seeing at the Army Bowl, since it was a big jump up in competition for him from playing at Windward. And the UCLA pledge has more than held his own. He ran with the twos much of the week at defensive end, but also got plenty of reps with the ones and has shown the explosion and athleticism he's been known for. He looks thicker, too, adding needed weight, since he stopped playing basketball. He did a good job of getting off his blocks and getting into the backfield.
-Santa Margarita (Calif.) quarterback K.J. Costello was the No. 2 quarterback all week for the West, but in the game, he carried the West offense in the second-half of the rout. He overcame an early interception and had two touchdown passes, including one to Vaughns, his longtime 7v7 teammate. The Stanford commit stood tall in the pocket and seemed comfortable getting the ball to intermediate routes on routine.
-Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro athlete Byron Murphy is one of the most versatile players in the West, able to play a number of positions. Even in the secondary, where he's likely to end up, Murphy can play either cornerback or safety. He looks at his best, though, playing corner and had an interception in the Army Bowl and was of the top five defensive performers, capping a good week for the four-star. He'll decide next Monday after he visits USC this weekend and the Trojans join hometown Arizona State, Texas A&M and Washington on his short list.
-Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei linebacker Curtis Robinson was steady all week too and then in the game, made a big play early on, recovering a fumble near the goalline for the West, one of a number of Stanford commits who made big plays during the game. We've always loved Robinson's position versatilty and athleticism but he also has one of the highest football IQ's you'll find from anyone in this class, rarely being out of position and able to spy plays out.
-Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd linebacker Camilo Eifler was overshadowed a bit by the big three outside linebackers, but he flashed at various points during the week. What we noticed more from Eifler than anything, though, was at every opportunity, he was recruiting for Washington. Very few interviews went on during the week with other recruits where Eifler didn't pop in to drop a Husky reference. And Husky fans should be eager to get the athletic Eifler on campus.
-Chandler (Ariz.) athlete Chase Lucas was probably the biggest surprise of the week from the West. It was never a talent issue for Lucas, he's been a four-star since early in his junior year. It was more a matter of how he looked physically since he missed much of his senior year with an injury. He came back down the stretch for Chandler but by San Antonio, he showed no lingering effects at all of any injury and was one of the most consistent defensive backs during the week, especially on Day Two, where he probably had the best day of any DB. The Arizona State commit can play a number of positions, but the Sun Devils like him for defense and he looked comfortable in the secondary.