Here's a Look at a Few of the Players who Impressed us at the Passing Down 7v7 Tournament last Sunday

Mar. 23 -- Here’s a few notes and observations we picked up from the Passing Down 7v7 tournament in Fontana, California over the weekend...

We always preface every camp or 7v7 recap by saying this isn’t an all-inclusive list of who played well since it was impossible to see every player in the event. This is just a look at some of the players who stood out for us that we were able to see.

With close to 1,000 players in attendance, there was no way we could watch everyone, so if you’re not listed here, save the tweets, it doesn’t mean you’re being ‘slept on.’ With that disclaimer out of the way, here’s a look at a few guys who jumped out for us.

THE OFFENSE:

http://www.scout.com/player/193378-tyjon-lindsey?s=73

*WR Tyjon Lindsey, Corona (Calif.) Centennial- Lindsey took home MVP honors and it was well deserved. He’s simply the most explosive receiver out West and it’s tough to imagine there being many more dynamic anywhere in the country. Not only can he run after the catch and get deep, he’s a polished route runner who can embarrass an opposing corner and has tremendous hands as well. He’ll get knocked for his size but he’s so quick, he’s difficult to jam at the line and if you try and play him too physical and don’t get enough of him at the line, he’s gone. Lindsey will visit the Ohio State Buckeyes later this week and is also looking at the Oregon Ducks, Texas A&M Aggies and USC Trojans, to name a few.

*RB Stephen Carr, Fontana (Calif) Summit- We’re going to sound like a broken record but it’s simply amazing how well Carr plays in a 7v7 environment when his game really is built for the pads. He’s a strong, physical kid who was made for contact but every game you see him in, Carr is showing not only soft hands out of the backfield, but the ability to make multiple defenders miss in the open field. He has has improved his wiggle and top end speed and when you combine that with his size and power, it’s easy to see why he earned a 5-star rating in the recent Scout 100. Carr is a soft commit to the USC but will take some visits in the fall.

*ATH Jaelan Phillips, Redlands East Valley (Calif.)- We’re not sure where to list Phillips but if there was one player who drew more praise from opposing teams than any other, it was this versatile athlete. He played linebacker and tight end and showed off a freakish combination of size and athleticism. You just don’t see many athletes 6-5, 230 pounds, who can run like he can and not just straight line speed, Phillips has tremendous balance and lateral mobility as well. When you envision him playing in 2-3 years at 6-5, 260 pounds with his hand in the ground, there may not be more than 3-4 players out West with more upside than he has. The Stanford Cardinal and UCLA Bruins lead the way at this time. 

*QB Tristan Gebbia, Calabasas (Calif.)- Gebbia led his Pro-Way squad to the tournament championship and looked very good all day. This was the best we’ve seen him throw live and we always like him, so that’s saying something. He showed a live, accurate arm, was putting the ball in to some tight windows but more importantly showed a great feel for throwing the ball on time, early and anticipating. He was hitting his receivers in stride, was quick with his decisions and decisive throughout the day. He’ll need to add some weight in college but throws with a lot of heat when he needs to and showed poise and leadership as well. The Mississippi Rebels, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Washington HuskiesWashington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers and Utah Utes top his list. 

*WR Keyshawn Johnson, Calabasas (Calif.)- We liked Johnson a lot in Las Vegas and he shined once again on Sunday. With some receivers, you hear the term ‘soft hands,’ to describe how they catch the ball. With Johnson, he has strong, powerful hands and catches the ball as well as anyone in the region. He also has a huge catch radius and can go up and get it as well as catch a ball at his ankles or thrown behind him. He’s extremely confident and there is no wasted motion when he catches the ball, he’s able to grab it and get up the field without ever slowing down or juggling the ball. He told us he’s working hard on his speed and leaning out and we have noticed an improved burst all winter. Johnson is extremely polished and is a better athlete than given credit for as well. He’ll announce this Wednesday from among the Alabama Crimson TideClemson TigersNebraska CornhuskersOhio State Buckeyes and USC Trojans.

*WR Ian Zamudio, Riverside (Calif.) Notre Dame- Zamudio was one of the surprise performers of the weekend and helped his Ground Zero squad make it all the way to the Championship game. He’s a sure handed slot receiver with a nice burst and had some great runs after the catch. He’s very quick getting in and out of his breaks, runs great routes and is the kind of sure handed, dependable every receiver every quarterback loves to have on his team. 

*ATH Jaylon Redd, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.)- Redd is easily among the most intriguing players out West. He may only be 5-8-5-9 on a good day, but his size is never a factor on the field and no matter the competition, he’s always one of the best players on the field. Corner is where we have always liked him but he made a big impact this weekend playing wide receiver. He looked in great shape and his added quickness and burst was very noticeable. He was dangerous every time he touched the ball and few players compete like he does. 

*WR Grant Calcaterra, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita- Calcaterra had a great game when we saw him and definitely lived up to the hype he has been receiving. He has great size at 6-4, 210 pounds, is a physical receiver and runs extremely well. He has tremendous hands and can catch anything thrown in his direction and does a great job using his body to shield smaller defensive backs away from the football. He starts his Midwest tour later this week but will kick it off with a trip to Oklahoma and the Sooners are definitely high on the list. 

*WR C.J. Parks, ’18, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei- Parks does two things very well, he knows how to get open and he can catch the football. He’s an ideal slot receiver who’s very quick off the line, explosive in and out of his breaks and can catch the ball no matter where it’s thrown. With two more years to develop, he has a chance to be among the top receivers in the state when he’s a senior. 

*WR Joseph Lewis, Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins- Lewis is a man among boys at the H.S level and is just too big, strong and fast for anyone to cover. His upside is off the charts, especially when you consider he’s a year young for his grade and will be a 17 year old freshman in college. You really can’t find a weakness in his game, he has improved as a route runner, catches the ball very well and even took some reps at safety in the game we saw and looked very good there a well. Lewis has a big list of schools,10-12 right now and doesn’t appear to have a leader or even top 2-3 at this time. 

*WR Jalen Hall, ’18, Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins- Everything we said about Lewis can apply to Hall as well, he’s just too big, strong and fast for any H.S corner to handle and the scary thing is he’s only a sophomore. Hall is even bigger than Lewis, nearly as fast and very competitive. He has a huge wing span and may not be done growing yet. He impresses every time out and is just an absolute load to deal with. 

*QB Chase Garbers, Newport Beach (Calif.) Corona Del Mar- Garbers had a really good performance in the game we watched, using the middle of the field well and hitting receivers in stride with good touch down field. He showed good footwork and plenty of velocity. You can tell he’s playing with a lot of confidence and continues to improve each time we see him. He has a solid 6-3 frame, is a smart, heady quarterback and knows where to go with the football. His stock should continue to rise as more schools see him over the spring. 

*TE  Tae Le, '18, Newport Beach (Calif.) Corona Del Mar- Le is a player who really jumped out for us when we saw him in Las Vegas and he had looked good again Sunday. He's all of 6-4, 215 pounds, runs very well, has great body control and strong hands. We hear he's also a good basketball player and you can see he's a high level athlete, very fluid and coordinated and the game looks easy for him. He'll draw a lot of Thomas Duarte comparisons in terms of size and playing style and Le definitely projects as a BCS prospect down the road. 

*QB Kaymen Cureton, Los Angeles (Calif.)- Cureton had a strong day and is developing nicely as a next level quarterback. He has always had a live arm and spins the football well but he looks much more comfortable with reads and recognition, throwing the ball early and on time and showing nice touch on the deeper throws as well. He can get the ball down the field but doesn't have to wind up or over throw it because his arm is so strong and it helps with his accuracy. He's a current commit to the San Jose State Spartans but schools like the Boston College EaglesHawaii Warriors and LSU Tigers are all coming hard.

*RB T.J. Pledger, '18, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade- Explosive running back looked great in space and in the open field. He has a burst to him and can make a defender miss in the open field. He has a compact frame that is built to hold up against contact and looks all of 190 pounds. He catches the ball well out of the backfield and is a complete running back who will never need to leave the field. He's already a national recruit and a great looking prospect. 

*ATH Nick Pickett, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian- Pickett can play safety and receiver but had a big impact catching the ball on Sunday. He was the prime target for Cureton and had no problems finding the end zone. He's a big target at 6-1 or 6-2 but can run, showed good hands and body control. He has the talent to play on either side of the ball in college and should see his recruitment really rise this spring. The Utah Utes have offered so far. 

*QB J.T. Daniels, ’19, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei- The strong armed freshman was throwing lasers on Sunday. He was playing with his Mater Dei squad and the chemistry he had with several of his teammates was obvious. Daniels can make every throw right now but what really impresses is he has a great feel for where to throw the ball and taking advantage of certain matchups. He thinks the game at an advanced level and always shows tremendous poise in the pocket, no situation ever looks too big for him.

*WR Horace McCoy, ’19, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei- Big bodied receiver was an extremely tough to matchup with. He has a college body right now, strong hands and uses his size well to create separation. He runs well, can make plays down the field and shows a very nice upside to him. It’s hard to believe e’sonly a freshman and has three more years of H.S ball to play. Look for McCoy to be a national recruit in a few years. The Arizona State Sun Devils and Oregon Ducks have already offered. 

*Brevin White, '18, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade- We like both B2G signal callers, White and Jack Tuttle but White was the guy playing when we watched them. We've see him a ton over the last year and he's definitely a high major prospect. He's a smart kid, very tough and poised. He's accurate and has the arm to make all the throws. He needs to add weight but has time to do so and we love how hard he works on his game off the field as well.

*QB Jayden Daniels, ’19, San Bernardino (Calif.) Cajon- We only got a small glimpse of Daniels, but we liked what we saw. There are several QBs in the 2019 class out West that show a lot of promise and Daniels has a chance to be in that group. He put up big numbers this past season and boasts a live arm and the ability to get the ball down the field. He's a dual-threat QB who moves around very well and just needs to continue to add some size and tighten up his release a bit for his game to rise to another level.

*QB Ryan Hilinski, '19, Orange Lutheran (Calif.)- Hilinski is another freshman signal caller with all the tools to be a special player down the road. He has good size, strong body and a big arm. He has a tight release, shows poise in the pocket and can throw with heat or with touch. His game should really take off this coming season when he adds more game experience to his resume. 

*WR Brian Hightower, '18, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy- Hightower came alive late in the day and had some huge catches in Pro-Way's championship win. He's a big receiver who can run, has good body control and soft hands. He adjusts well to the ball in the air and has superior hand-eye coordination. He's an extremely fluid athlete and his smooth running style can be deceptive as it's tough to gauge how fast he's really moving. He's a big time, national recruit and already holds offers from schools all over the country including Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Tennessee and UCLA. 

THE DEFENSE:

http://www.scout.com/player/183790-darnay-holmes?s=73

*DB Darnay Holmes, Calabasas (Calif.)- Holmes made plays on both sides of the ball but we’re going to include him here since we think corner is his best long term position. Everything we said about Lindsey applies to Holmes, he’s simply on another level from other players in terms of his athleticism and explosiveness. One thing we’ve always liked about Holmes is his toughness and competitive nature. A lot of times you see top level athletes cadillac it on the field or take not just plays but whole games off. We’ve never seen Holmes go anything but all out, he’s a fierce competitor with a strong will to win and become a great player and he’s obviously well on his way. The Nebraska CornhuskersStanford Cardinal and UCLA Bruins currently top his list.

*DB Thomas Graham, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.)- Graham had a strong tournament and came up with some huge plays and clutch interceptions. His performance was even more impressive when you consider he just got off an airplane from visiting Notre Dame that same day. Graham runs very well and has strong cover skills. He's very good laterally, can change direction and has nice short area quickness. He's a tough kid who loves the challenge of playing against top receivers and is a fierce competitor. He's pushing 6-0 and might not be done growing and has the frame to add as much size as he'll need to play at a high level in college. He'll take some visits but his commitment to the USC Trojans does look very strong. 

*LB Rahyme Johnson, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian- We’ve really liked what we’ve seen of Johnson this winter and he gets a little better every time we watch him. He’s a very physical player who uses his long arms to jam opposing tight ends and wide receivers and looks comfortable turning and running with them as well. He has made a nice jump in the last year in terms of his ability to play in space and looks more fluid and more comfortable each time out. He has a nice edge to him and is one of those players you just don’t feel comfortable going against. Johnson is a UCLA  commit but could take visits and Nebraska is on him hard. 

*LB Addison Gumbs, Hayward (Calif.) Stellar Prep- Holmes was tremendous in coverage, dominating his reps and overpowering whatever receiver lined up in front of him. Gumbs moved remarkably well and showed great closing speed. Gumbs performance was all the more impressive when you consider he’s one of the elite pass rushers out West and his game is much more suited to the pads. His ability to play in space is a big reason he’s rated the top OLB in the West. 

*DB Bookie Radley-Hiles, ’18, Calabasas (Calif.)- Bradley is one of the more physical corners on the circuit and plays with a nice edge to him. He does a nice job playing the ball in the air, is highly competitive and plays with a ton of confidence. He can close well and shows a nice burst getting out of his breaks. He wants that challenge of going against an opponents top receiver and we’ve seen that multiple times this winter. You have to have a little bit of a chip on your shoulder to play corner and Radley definitely has that. His recruitment has blown up and he’s holding offers from schools like the Florida Gators, Nebraska, Penn State Nittany Lions, Tennessee Volunteers and UCLA. 

*DB Marques Evans, Newbury Park (Calif.)- Evans really impressed us and made plays all day long. He played a lot of nickel and matched up very well with opposing slot receivers. Evans has long arms, is fluid in his movement and shows good ball skills. He has the size a lot of colleges like in a modern day corner, pushing 6-1, but still runs well and shows good short area quickness. Hawaii and the Nevada Wolf Pack have both offered and we could see that list grow rapidly over the spring. 

*DB Tayari Venable, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.)- Venable was solid in Vegas and looked good again Sunday. We've always liked his size but he's becoming more athletic and fluid in coverage. He can press at the line of scrimmage but also looks more comfortable turning and running with a receiver down the field. He did a nice job shutting down his side of the field most of the day and continues to make big strides as an athlete. He's a current Washington State commit but will take visits. 

*LB Ezekiel Noa, La Mesa (Calif.) Helix- We love the way Noa moves around the field, very fluid and instinctive. He was playing outside ‘backer all day and shows the ability to cover, play in space and run down plays from behind. In pads, he’s a natural inside ‘backer, tough and physical and the 7v7 circuit actually shows what a talented all around football player he is. The Colorado BuffaloesWashington State Cougars and Wisconsin Badgers have offered Noa. 

*LB Jack Genova, ’18, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei- Genova just looks like a Mater Dei LB, meaning tough, physical, instinctive and well coached. He’s an aggressive kid who played inside ‘backer Sunday but in pads, plays more as a will. He moves very well, is athletic, can drop in to coverage and is comfortable in space. He’s even better with the pads on and should have a breakout junior season. 

*Elijah Gates, Buena Park (Calif.)- Gates has clearly established himself as one of the top five corners out West and was the best player for a Rize Up squad that surprisingly went down early in the tournament. He’s a pure cover corner with improved athleticism, excellent technique, very good ball skills and a nice combination of toughness, physicality and skill. He’s good enough to play for any college out West and Oregon and UCLA are looking good early right now. 

*Max Williams, ’19, Gardena (Calif.) Serra- Williams may only be 5-8, 160 pounds right now, but he can definitely cover. Pound for pound, you won’t find many players who can lock their man up like Williams and he plays a lot bigger than his size. He’s an aggressive kid who will battle you and has great feet, instincts and toughness. He’ll fun to watch over the next three years of H.S and offers are already coming in from some big time schools including the Florida State Seminoles and LSU Tigers.

*Marcus Johnson, '18, Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins- Johnson is a good looking cover corner with a lot of ability. He has a solid frame, moves well, is a fluid athlete and shows good ball skills. He can run with a receiver without having to clutch and grab (a rarity on the 7v7 circuit), plays the ball well in the air and can be physical when he needs to be. Johnson has two more years to grow and develop and should be a national recruit as a senior . Arizona, Cal and Colorado are just a few schools who have offered. 

*Deommodore LenoirLos Angeles (Calif.) Salesian- This is the second event in a row we've seen Lenoir as a safety and we kind of like him there. He's rated among the top corners out West but he looks very natural playing safety. He's a smart, instinctive player that is always around the ball, he covers a lot of ground and is a play maker. He has good speed, is strong when the ball is in the air and has the required toughness and physicality to play safety. We're not at all saying he's not a corner but he's definitely showing the versatility to play anywhere in the secondary. 

*Aashari Crosswell'18, Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins- Crosswell is a good looking safety prospect with a lot of upside. Physically, he has a lot of next level tools and could play just about anywhere in the secondary. He has corner speed and quickness but has the ability at safety to be around the ball a lot more and can cover a ton of ground. He has very good ball skills and is one of those players who just always seems to be around the action. He has grown in the last year and looks bigger and more physical now as well. He has blown past the double digit offer mark and should have his choice of just about any school in the country next year. 

*B.J. Ubani, West Covina (Calif.)- Ubani is another long, lean corner with the length a lot of colleges are looking for. He's pushing 6-0 with long arms and good speed. He's a tough kid who competes hard and is among the more physical corners in the state. He excels in press coverage where he can bully an opposing receiver but can run down the field as well. We think his recruitment could rise fast when the spring evaluation period starts up. 

Scout Regional Analyst Blair Angulo contributed to this report 


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