UCLA's committed quarterback, junior Osaar Rasshan, partcipated, going up against a collection of probably the best quarterbacks in the west for 2005. Rasshan didn't have a good day and really struggling.
He's at least 6-3, probably 6-4, and has a good body – one that is still fairly thin, but looks like he could put on some weight, and has in the last year. He's probably 190 pounds right now, but his frame looks like it could hold a good 220.
In the drills, he showed good athleticism, with good feet and agility, for his size. We didn't get his 40 or shuttle time, but while he didn't look particularly fast he did run smoothly.
In the passing drills, Rasshan then showed how raw he is. His throwing motion is very long and mechanical. It takes him a very long time to get a throw away. The balls he threw were not good, wobbling and inaccurate. Perhaps it was a matter of not being comfortable with the actual type of ball and being able to grasp it, but Rasshan had a pretty poor day of throwing, with inaccurate and wobbly throws both short and long.
Rasshan tentatively has plans to participate in the Adidas Camp on UCLA's campus May 8th, and the Nike Camp at Stanford May 22nd, as well as in the UCLA camps in June. So, we'll get an opportunity to see him again this spring.
Among the other quarterbacks, easily the two best were Mark Sanchez and Brandis Dew. Sanchez, from Mission Viejo, is a solid all-around quarterback. Physically he's about 6-2 and about 200 pounds, with a good frame and strong upper body. He was very technically sound in his throws, with good footwork and mobility. His arm isn't necessarily a rocket, but it's decent, and he throws very accurately. Dew, from Hemet (Calif.) High, was perhaps the bigger surprise of the day. At 6-5 and 248, Dew has a little bit of a paunch around his middle, and looked a bit slow-footed in the early agility drills. But in the passing drills, he showed off a gun for an arm, with a beautiful throwing motion and very good accuracy, especially throwing down the field. He also has 23 reps on the bench, which is really exceptional for a quarterback. Many college scouts and coaches had thought before Saturday that Dew's future could be as a tight end, or even, eventually, an offensive lineman, but he proved that he very much is a quarterback. He needs to get in better shape and lose his middle, but he's a very good-looking dropback passer. A recruiting update with Dew is upcoming.
Other quarterbacks participating were Karsten Sween of Ridgecrest (Calif.) Burroughs, Jason Forcier of San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine, Drew Branch of Exeter (Calif.) and Sean Canfield of Carlsbad (Calif.) High. Sween, a lefty, looked just okay, a bit smallish at probably 6-1, but with a well-built body. He threw the ball just moderately well. Branch had an arm among the best at the camp. At 6-1 to 6-2 and 185ish, if he were just a bit bigger, he'd be getting attention from all the elite programs.
Among the running backs, Marlon Lucky of North Hollywood (Calif.) High was an elite prospect. He told us later he measured at 5-11 ½ and weighed 202. He ran a 4.44 in the 40, which was the fourth best for the day, did 24 reps on the bench, and recorded a great 36-inch vertical leap. In the running back drills, he showed great quickness and nice explosion. He was named the MVP of the camp, earning the top SPARQ rating (a composite of testing scores) of the camp.
A running back who made a cross-country trek for the camp was Mike Brown, 5-8, 170, Newark (New Jersey) St. Peter's Prep. His airline miles were worth it, with Brown recording the fastest 40 time of the day, a 4.31, and the best vertical, jumping an astounding 42 inches.
There weren't any clear-cut elite receivers at the camp. Nick Armesto, from San Pedro, was about 6-2 and 185, and was said to have ran one of the best 40s of the day, in the 4.4 range. Michael Tinoco, from Las Flores (Calif.0 Tesoro, looked solid in the drills. Deon Tolliver of Long Beach (Calif.) Cabrillo looked long and had good hands.
The tight end group also lacked clear standout talents. Charles Brown from Pomona (Calif.) Diamond Ranch, who stood out because of his 6-6 and 249-pound, great-looking physique, worked out with the tight ends, but it appeared like his future is at another position such as defensive end, or even eventually an offensive tackle. It can't be emphasized enough how impressive Brown is physically, with a sculpted, muscled body. He said he ran a 5.0 40, which might not lend itself to playing defensive end. If his body could put on bulk, which might be an issue since he's so muscled as it is, he'd be a very good-looking offensive tackle, with good feet for his size and very long arms. He was also wearing Bruin shorts during the workout, which he said didn't have any particular significance. A recruiting update with Brown is coming up.
Justin Adair Covina (Calif.) Gladstone, was about 6-4 and 220, and worked with the wide receivers. He had a great body and showed some sticky hands catching the ball. With a body that looks like it could easily add 20 to 30 pounds, he would project as a nice tight end prospect.
Among the lineman, Aleksey Lanis from Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw probably was the most impressive. He measured at 6-5 and weighed in at 313, which perhaps was a bit heavy. He did move really well in the drills, and was very physical and aggressive in the one-on-ones. Richard Pacheco from of Moreno Valley (Calif.) Canyon Springs proved he's someone to watch. Pacheco, who has been to UCLA's spring practice, was 6-2 and 260, and had the best bench press of the day with 35 reps. He looked quick in the one-on-one drills with good feet and burst, appearing like he could translate into either a good interior offensive lineman or a defensive tackle. His high school teammate, Rodney Picou, looked to be about 6-4 and 300+, and needs to lose a bit of weight. He had good feet and agility, though. Richard Tuitu'u of Gilbert (Ariz.) Highland, was among the best, looking huge at 6-5 and about 300, and strong and quick for his size in the drills. Maetele Pau'u of Manhattan Beach (Calif.) Mira Costa participated but didn't particularly stand out.
There probably weren't any truly elite linebackers Saturday. Vic So'oto of Carlsbad (Calif.) High, was impressive looking, at about 6-2, 215 and well put together. Jerry Milling, who was about 5-11 and 210, could have been the best technician among the linebackers. Another undersized backer, Chris Roy from Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne, who looked to be about 6-0 and 200, had a strong showing in the drills. 6-1, 225-pound Chad Sorrell from Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty, was among the strongest in the camp, tying for the most reps on the bench at 35. Prince Hall of Moreno Valley (Calif.) High overall looked good. At about 6-0 and 240, he's pretty thick, but he carried it well, running in the 4.7 range in the 40.
Among the defensive backs, Kevin Thomas of Oxnard (Calif.) Rio Mesa followed up his impressive performance at the MSL camp with one at Nike Saturday, probably being the best DB in the camp. He was 6-0 ½ and 170 pounds, and had among the best 40 times and shuttle times of the day, a 4.49 40, and a 4.03 shuttle. In the one-on-one drills, he looked quick and had good closing speed. A recruiting update is on the way.
Titus Jackson, Jr., a teammate of Charles Brown's at Pomona (Calif.) Diamond Ranch, was impressive. He was well-built at 6-0 and 190ish, and ran in the mid 4.4s in the 40 and had among the best shuttle times, a 3.99. 5-10, 160-pound Joe Sarpong of Ontario (Calif.) Colony, had a great day in the testing. It was said he tied for the fastest time in the 40 at 4.31 and recorded a 3.97 in the shuttle.
For complete results from the Nike Camp, go to Studentsports.com.