CaliFlorida Prospects

The CaliFlorida All-Star game is tonight at Moorpark College. Here's a look at how the players that are committed to UCLA on the team have looked this week in practice, and those that UCLA is still recruiting...

The California All-Star team for the Cali-Florida game tonight have practiced all week at Westlake Village Oaks Christian High.

Nine players that are committed to UCLA are on the team and are participating, and probably 4-6 uncommitted players UCLA is recruiting.

Committed players:

Brigham Harwell, DE
Bryan Payton, DB
Ryan Graves, WR
Brian Abraham, OL
Kenneth Lombard, DL
Rodney Van, DB
Will Price, LB
Shannon Tevaga, OL
Aaron Perez, K/P

Uncommitted Recruits:

Rudy Carpenter, QB
Marcus Everett, WR
Terrance Kelly, LB/S
Jon Ioane, OL

The biggest standout of the committed UCLA players has been defensive end Brigham Harwell from Los Altos. In the first two practices this week, he was the consensus best defensive player, and many observers thought the best player on the California team. He then injured his Achilles tendon in the week's third practice and has been hobbled since. Before the injury he showed his explosiveness off the ball and was practically unblockable.

Defensive back Rodney Van from Long Beach Poly has probably been the second most-impressive Bruin commit, and among the few best defensive backs. Not only has he shown great speed and closing quickness, he's used his thin frame to deliver some big hits. Bryan Payton has also had a good week at the other cornerback position, being very physical.

Perhaps the committed Bruin who then got the most praise after those three has been defensive tackle Kenneth Lombard. Lombard, at 6-1 and 270, doesn't physically look like he matches up, especially standing next to the likes of 6-6 Thomas Herring or 6-5 Brandon Nicolas, but he has gotten praise all week from the CaliFlorida coaches. While he's lacked strength, he's shown good technique, the ability to stay low and get off the ball. With some very good talent at defensive tackle on this team, it appears that Lombard will start for California in the game Friday night.

On offense, the two quarterbacks that have stood out have been Nate Longshore and Rudy Carpenter. Cal commit Longshore definitely looks the part with his size and arm strength. Carpenter appears small and slight comparatively, at 6-2 and 180ish, but has a very good grasp of the offense (it's the offense of his high school, Westlake), but also decent arm strength, very good accuracy, and good foot quickness in avoiding a rush and making a play.

At wide receiver, Ryan Graves hasn't distinguished himself, and hasn't gotten many reps in practice, with Lavelle Hawkins, Michael Bumpus and Derrick Jones getting most of the time. Marcus Everett has looked solid, with good pass catching abilities and a strong body.

On the offensive line, the best for the week has been ASU commit, Fountain Valley's Leo Talavou, according to the Califlorida coaches and observers. Brian Abraham, UCLA's committed player, has looked good, definitely looking physically like he can play the part. UCLA is still recruiting Jon Ioane from Tustin, and he has gotten some praise this week.

USC commit Jimmy Miller, from Westlake, has been the best tight end. The other committed USC tight end, Dale Thompson, has dropped some considerable weight, now weighing 215 pounds.

At running back, Marshawn Lynch from Oakland Tech will start and has been the standout. Interestingly, USC's committed fullback Sekeli Faaeteete was surprisingly small. He was billed as being 6-1 and 215, but at practice looks to be about 5-11 to 6-0 and 190ish.

At defensive end, Harwell, who looks to be about 6-0 and 250ish, was the standout before his injury. But probably among the top 2-3 best players on the team has been Fremont's Thomas Herring, who looks like an NFL player right now. If you ask the players who are the best players on the team, the name they mentioned the most after Harwell was injured was Herring. Phillip Mbakogu has also been a standout, looking like he belongs on the elite level with both Harwell and Herring.

At defensive tackle, Lombard, Nicolas and Venice's Erick Lobos have been the standouts. Lobos, many thought, was the best defensive tackle at practice this week. UCLA's committed player Shannon Tevaga, who is more naturally an offensive guard, has been playing at defensive tackle and having a so-so week in practice.

At linebacker, Terrance Kelly has looked very good, with great quickness and hitting ability. He'll also play safety for the California team on Friday. Will Price, UCLA's committed player, has had a good week, showing some good agility for his size, at about 6-1 and 250. Many thought at practice that he'd be a good candidate to play defensive line in college if he continued to get bigger.

Other DBs that have looked good beside Van and Payton have been Dorsey's Jerome Boyd and Concord De La Salle's Willie Glasper.

UCLA commit Aaron Perez has looked like a college-level punter and kicker.


Bruin Report Online Top Stories