Steven Jones

Los Angeles Under Armour Camp: In-Depth Analysis of UCLA Offensive Recruits

Feb. 20 -- We go in-depth in our analysis of the UCLA prospects that participated in the Los Angeles Under Armour All-American Camp Sunday, an event loaded with UCLA receiver offerees...

It was a talented camp overall and, with Under Armour only allowing 200 or so campers, it made it far better scouting with more rep opportunities for all participants.

It was a bit skimpy on quarterbacks and perhaps OL and DL, but loaded at all of the other positions. 

It was particularly stocked with receiver talent, with there being upward of 15 receiver recruits at the event that UCLA has offered.  It reflects how deep the receiver class is in the west, and that's great timing, since UCLA needs to bring in at least three receivers in 2018 class. 


The one truly elite prospect, a clear-cut five-star, was Amon-Ra St. Brown, the receiver from Santa Ana Mater Dei, who is the No. 1 prospect at his position in the country. He combines an unusual amount of explosiveness, athleticism, great instincts and polished skills for a high school prospect. St. Brown is pretty close to the vest with his recruitment, but the word is that UCLA is on the outside looking in at this point.  It will be interesting to see if new UCLA offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch and new receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty can crack that inner circle of programs St. Brown is seriously considering and have a legitimate chance with him.  He is a difference-making type of prospect that UCLA needs to bring in at the receiver position.

There were then a number of other UCLA receiver targets that also fared very well Sunday. If we had to pick a guy who was probably No. 2 behind St. Brown on the day it would probably be Devon Cooley, the prospect from Buena Park.  Cooley wasn't super-elite in any one element but combined good height at about 6-1, quickness and ball skills to be one of the most consistent pass-catchers on the day.  We have an interview coming with Cooley, and the fact that UCLA was the first to offer him at UCLA's summer camp last season still has made the Bruins the favorite.

Probably right there in terms of consistency was Nikko Remigio from Mater Dei. Remigio, kind of like Cooley, did many things well on the day, and was aggressive in stepping up and getting reps. Like both St. Brown and Cooley, he's more quick than fast, but used a good burst, precise route-running and good hands to bring in many catches on the day.

There are many good receivers in the west for 2017 that are 6-1 to 6-2, with good quickness rather than speed, and are possession-type receivers.  There were probably three or four of those types at the camp itself that UCLA has offered.  If we had to pick a guy who probably stood out among those (and it's tough because they all were good) the most was Michael Wilson. Wilson showed perhaps the best quickness among those 6-2ish types and used that to consistently get open, and then some real physicality against his defenders.

A guy who stood out just because of his body was Devon Williams, the receiver prospect from Lancaster Antelope Valley.  When you haven't seen a prospect in person yet and they're listed at, say, 6-4, many times they end up really being 6-2ish.  Williams was a legit 6-4, and looked like a small forward physically. And then sometimes when you see a guy who is 6-4, long and lanky, they don't have great agility as a receiver, but Williams did. He's still raw in his route running, but there is some marked quickness for a guy his size, and he used those long arms to easily pluck balls out of the air above his defenders.  

Devon Williams

We'll say this: If UCLA got just two from among Williams, Wilson, Remigio and Cooley we'd be pretty satisfied with that.

Chase Williams, the UCLA offeree from Riverside,  and Wilson are play-a-likes and look-a-likes.  Wilson probably showed better quickness, but we still like Williams as the bigger, possession type of receiver.

Solomon Enis is more like Devon Williams than he is in the Wilson/Chase Wiliams mold -- big, long and lank --  and he used that length to his advantage on the ball.

Chase Cota just received a USC offer and visited the Trojan campus Saturday, and is getting heavily recruited by the in-state schools Oregon and Oregon State.  He had a good day at UA, using his size well against his defenders to get space, and then showing good hands.

Then there are the Remigio types, the 5-11 to 6-0 types, and Khalil Shakir, who recently received a UCLA offer, had a good day.  He's a bit slight, and there could be a question about how much weight his frame could carry, but he had that good short-area quickness.

Braden Lenzy might be the fastest of the 5-11 to 6-1 types, showing some good straight-ahead speed and physical toughness. He probably isn't as pure a pass-catcher as others at the camp, but he got it done.

A guy who has been a bit forgotten in the 2017 class is Jalen Nailor, probably because he's on a loaded Bishop Gorman team and in a deep 2017 west coast class of receivers.  Among the 6-0 types, he showed some of the best quickness and solid pass-catching skills.  UCLA hasn't offered Nailor and might not because the WR class in the west is so loaded. On the other hand, if it helps with UCLA's other big-time 2017 targets at Bishop Gorman, it might be something to consider.

Another 6-0ish UCLA offeree is Andre Hunt and he, too, had a good day, showing some very good quickness in his routes.

UCLA recentloffered USC commitment Manuel Allen, but we weren't that impressed with Allen.  He was about 6-1, pretty skinny, showed decent quickness, but was pretty raw in his route-running and skills.

Camren McDonald had a good day, getting open consistently and catching everything thrown at him. UCLA has offered, and we can see it, but McDonald is a real tweener between receiver and tight end. He's about 6-4 and probably 210ish, but doesn't look like he has the build to get to 240, and if he did he'd undoubtedly lose his mobility. But he doesn't have the explosiveness to really play receiver.  In other words, he's probably a bigger receiver type and, in that case, there are other of that type who might be higher on the priority list.

Tae Le is a player we know covets a UCLA offer, and comparisons have been made to former UCLA tight end Thomas Duarte, but those comparisons probably aren't accurate.  Le, while being about 6-3 and 214, doesn't have great explosiveness, taking him a while to get off line of scrimmage and into his route, but he caught the ball well when it was thrown to him.

Chris Kane is an interesting prospect. He's probably 6-4 and about 210, but with a good frame that could add more weight. In the one-on-ones, he was a vertical threat, getting past linebackers easily and going up for the football with good hops and timing.  He's someone to watch. 


Oceanside El Camino running back Chris Brown was quite impressive, combining ready-for-college size at 6-1-ish and 205 and some considerable quickness and elusiveness for that size. He had quick feet in the running back drills and then, in the passing one-on-ones, consistently used a couple of quick moves to get separation.  UCLA offered Brown at its summer camp last year, and the feeling is that UCLA has been his leader since. We've now heard, too, that new UCLA running backs coach DeShaun Foster is prioritizing Brown.

Kirby Bennett, the Texas import (to Bishop Gorman) didn't have a great day Sunday. He's carrying a bit too much weight, and in a camp environment where bulk for a running back doesn't really help you, it definitely hindered him in the agility drills and one-on-ones. He didn't show great quickness and struggled to get open running routes against the linebackers.  Contrary to what's been reported, we have heard that UCLA has yet to offer Bennett, so it will be a situation to watch.

We really like Malone Mataele, even though we're not sure what he is on the next level.  He's about 6-0, but probably weighs 175, and doesn't have frame that looks like it could hold upward of 200 pounds.  He plays like a running back, though, and looked good going through the drills and wast just too fast/quick for linebackers to stay with him catching balls out of the backfield in the one-on-ones.  UCLA and many in the Pac-12 have offered and we can see it, but where he plays in college is the question.  


One thing that stood out about the Under Armour Camp was the consistency of good throws throughout the day. It was a very solid group of quarterbacks from top to bottom, without many weak links, so there were consistently accurate balls for the drills throughout the camp.

The Utah verbal commitment, Jack Tuttle, looked good on the day, throwing a very tight ball and exhibiting some nice touch, particularly on longer throws.  He said he's completely committed to Utah, and we haven't heard anything about UCLA pursuing Tuttle, but it wouldn't hurt to kick the tires to see if there's interest

Brevin White has clearly gotten bigger, probably approaching 6-2 and a good 185. One knock on him and his older brother (ASU's Brady White) was size, but White looks physically now like a Power 5 quarterback.  His arm is average strength, but he showed good mechanics and accuracy all day Sunday.

Camm Cooper is a tall, lanky lefty from Utah who we heard was a bit rusty since he's been playing basketball, but he looked good Sunday. His ball isn't greatly powerful, but he showed some good accuracy for most of the day.  Cooper has some good athleticism, too, which you really can't see to its full extent in a camp environment, but he looked mobile in the drills, with good feet.  He has Pac-12 offers and they're justifiable, but we haven't heard that UCLA is close to offering.

Coming off a spectacular season, J.T. Daniels is among the few best quarterbacks in the country for the 2019 class. On Sunday, it was good to see that he looked a bit bigger physically, probably a solid 6-2 and 190 now. His throwing motion was good, but the thing that stands out with Daniels is his feel for the position, and that showed in the half-skelly drill that pitted two receivers and a running back against four defenders in a zone when he was able to find holes to pick apart.  Every elite program in the country has offered, so it will be interesting to see if UCLA, if it and Josh Rosen put together a good offensive showing in the 2018 season, can get seriously involved with Daniels.

While Daniels gets so much attention in the 2019 quarterback class, Bachmeier is deserving of quite a bit himself.  The 6-2, 200-pounder has a UCLA offer already and, even though we didn't see him in that many reps Sunday, he looked good, throwing a really nice ball. He made a few thread-the-needle type throws in the half-skelly and was quick to find the open man.  The way he handles himself and throws he looks very mature for his age. Between Daniels and Bachmeier, Bachmeier looks like the more natural thrower, with the ball coming out of his hand with power so effortlessly.

The way D.J. Uiagalelei looked Sunday, he appears to be the next big thing in SoCal quarterbacks.  He was impressive, with great size at a good 6-4 and 220, while making some of the best throws on the day. He still has a bit of a long stroke, which is understandable for a current freshman in high school, but it was fluid, and the ball had some zip behind it. What was most impressive was Uiagalelei making some pinpoint passes down the field so effortlessly, laying the ball in the hands of barely open streaking receivers. UCLA and USC have offered early, even though he was St. John Bosco's back-up quarterback last season.

Taulia Tagovailoa is the right-handed version of his older brother, Tua Tagovailoa, the 2017 prospect committed to Alabama. He might not be as athletic as Tua and probably not as far along at the samestage, but he has a strong arm and showed a naturally good feel and timing. He needs to work a bit on his body, but at about 6-0 right now and a sophomore he might grow a bit and stretch out. He's definitely someone to watch. 


Santa Ana Mater Dei's Tommy Brown was a bit better than we anticipated, moving well for a guy who's a good 6-7 and 300+.  He has clearly done some work on his body, which has greatly improved his mobility and athleticism.  In the one-on-ones he won most of his reps, and did so with relative ease, being able to move his feet in position well and then using that size to make himself difficult to get around.  He's big enough to contain physical guys, but also now fleet-footed enough to stay in front of speed rushers.  He was probably the best offensive line prospect at the camp Sunday. That's all good on one hand, of course, but on the other hand, if Alabama offers him he'll probably commit on the spot, with his father being an Albama alum. He visited Alabama last summer and we think when they see his improvement they'll probably offer.

Justin Dedich is the No. 1 center prospect in the nation, and he lived up to the hype Sunday, being tough, physical and quick.  He has continued to fill out, probably at about 290ish now, and he's put on the weight well, without it slowing him down.  We know Dedich really likes UCLA, and he'd be a cornerstone of what needs to be a big 2018 OL recruiting class.

Penei Sewell is the No. 1 offensive line prospect in the west, and he didn't disappoint. He didn't really move well in the drills or the 40, and he's stiff in his upper body, but he really shined in the one-on-ones, displaying good lateral mobility to stay in front of pass rushers. He's sneaky athletic in short spaces, though, and he's just tough and mean, with really good hands and a great initial punch. He plays it close to the vest, but we're hearing USC is the team to beat.

A recent UCLA offeree, Ramos had a good showing, being very stout while also able to keep his feet moving well through contact.  He struggled a little with his bend, and his pass defense is a work in progress, but he looks like a very good run blocker.

He's another stout guy that looks like a good run blocker, with good strength and aggressiveness. Chris Murray is good in the first few seconds on-on-one, being able to initially keep defenders in front of him, with good hand usage, but was susceptible to counter moves. It's almost as if he doesn't have a plan after the first couple of seconds and doesn't know how to adapt yet. But overall, we liked him and thought the UCLA offer was warranted.

Steven Jones might have been the revelation of the camp's OLs.  He's really matured since we last saw him, a bit taller, and he still needs to improve his body, but he now has an attitude and a nasty streak about him. He's been projected as a tackle since he's 6-5+. but he looks like a guard, being very good at engaging his man physically and getting leverage on him, with enough quickness to keep speed guys in front of him. He had a good punch with long arms.  He kind of reminded us a bit of Caleb Benenoch when he played guard.  UCLA has yet to offer but we anticipate one coming soon.

There isn't one thing that necessarily stands out about Blake McDonald but he does just about everything well. He's not the strongest but he doesn't get pushed around; he's not overly athletic but had decent feet, and we liked his relentlessness, commonly playing through the whistle. He was offered by UCLA after the camp.

At the camp, he played guard and some right tackle, and he could absolutely play OL in college, but UCLA has offered him as a defensive tackle and we think he might fit there better.  He doesn't have a great body, a bit pear-shaped, but he's mean and aggressive, and more athletic than he looks.

Dawson Jaramillo is not as physically gifted as others at the camp, with a bit of a sloping upper body, but he showed good athleticism and some surprising strength, with long arms that were able to extend and keep rushes away.  He has a wide base, too, so it was difficult for guys to get around him. UCLA has yet to offer but we wouldn't be surprised if it happened.

What we liked most about Junior Angilau was that he out to brutalize people on every rep.  He's just a mean guy, very physical and aggressive, and looked good keeping rushers contained on the edge. He also took some reps at defensive tackle. 

A couple of 2019 guys to watch were twins, Lucas Child and Nicolas Child, two offensive guards from Utah, who had good performances and could be worthy of a UCLA offer. They visited UCLA's campus during the weekend. Enokk Vimahi is another 219 prospect to be aware of. He's the younger brother of 2017 DE Aliki Vimahi, and he's someone we could see getting bigger, given his family genes, and growing into an elite OL prospect. 

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