Talent at UCLA Adidas Elite Camp

The UCLA Adidas Elite Camp by Recruits Unlimited on the UCLA campus Saturday had a fair amount of talent. There were some known prospects that cemented their reputation, and then a few previously unknown types that got discovered...

The UCLA Adidas Elite Camp by Recruiting Unlimited took place Saturday on UCLA's Spaulding Field, and it was a story of some known names proving their rep, and a few relatively unknowns getting discovered.

College coaches were allowed to attend, and UCLA had a good-sized contingent consisting of Eric Bieniemy, Jon Embree, Dino Babers, Brian Schneider, Jim Svoboda and Thurmond Moore.

Perhaps the biggest news was that elite wide receiver Terrence Austin from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly was on hand, looking very comfortable on UCLA's campus, but didn't participate, not wanting to risk injury with some important track events coming up. We'll have a recruiting update with Austin by Monday.

Allen Bradford, the elite linebacker from Colton (Calif.) High, was also in attendance but didn't participate, just there to watch some Colton teammates.

It's generally always good when you have two of the best players in the west coast on campus.

Not only do they get to see the school on a beautiful, sun-soaked day, but they also can mix with some of the current players. A few Bruins made appearances at the camp, like Kevin Brown and Brigham Harwell. Harwell, in fact, was seen talking to a circle of high school players, looking quite a bit larger than he did just back in February for winter practice.

Continuing with the Bruin theme, the general consensus among on-looking scouts was that Jake Dean, UCLA's committed offensive lineman from Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete, was probably the best lineman of the day. Dean, who still is nursing the sore nose that he broke at UCLA's Linemen's Camp earlier in the month, showed great feet and quickness, shutting down his DL opponents in the one-on-one drills.

Sean Sheller, UCLA's other committed lineman from Walnut (Calif.) High, looked more raw than Dean on this day, lacking some of Dean's experience and technique. He still, physically, looked good, a lean 6-5 and 265, with a body that looks young and will easily continue to put on good weight.

Dean and Sheller were pretty chummy all day, going through the drills together.

Jovon Hayes, the 6-3, 320-pounder from Los Angeles Dorsey, needs to trim up a bit, but showed very good quickness for his size, and good strength.

A couple of junior line prospects heretofore almost completely unknown made themselves known Saturday. Defensive tackle Emanuel Lotoa, who was 6-1 and 315, from Pomona (Calif.) Ganesha, physically was pretty imposing, and he had very good agility in the drills and looked strong in the one-on-ones.

David Carter is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive end from Fontana (Calif.) Kaiser and a very good looking physical specimen. He was raw in the drills, but has a great body, one that is still fairly lean but muscular at 235 pounds, with a wide frame that could put on considerably more bulk.

Two offensive linemen who looked good at UCLA's Linemen's Camp also fared well here Saturday, John Konye from Redondo Beach (Calif.) Redondo Union and Ryan Griffith from Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos.

Bobby Epps, a defensive end from Los Angeles Dorsey, looks like a nice athlete, but a bit small for a d-end, at about 6-0 and 215.

There were a couple of underclassmen to remember. Mitchell Schwartz is a sophomore o-lineman from Pacific Palisades (Calif.) Palisades. He didn't work out in the one-on-ones in the latter half of the afternoon, but physically looks the part, after looking good at the Nike Camp two weeks ago. He's the younger brother of Geoff Schwartz, who was a freshman at Oregon this season. The Schwartz family, if you might remember, are Bruins. While Geoff was about 6-6, it looks like little brother is getting up there himself, at about 6-5 and 250.

Probably the jaw-dropper of the day was a young man named Lavon McCoy from Los Angeles Washington. McCoy was about 6-4 and weighed in at 330 pounds, and that doesn't come close to describing his hugeness. He wasn't a sloppy 330, but a big, wide solid 330. The back of his torso looked like it could block out the sun. And for a guy that size, he moved fairly well in the drills.

It was particularly impressive since McCoy was listed as a high school freshman.

L.A. Washington TE Monte Taylor.
One of the biggest unknowns to really impress was Monte Taylor, a 6-4, 215-pound junior tight end from Los Angeles Washington. Taylor, who looked more like 6-5, had one of the best vertical jumps of the day. It was so good, the guy doing the testing had to stop and readjust the apparatus higher since Taylor touched the very top of it. He not only had good hops, but very long arms, and looked exceptional in the one-on-one drills, with great feet, quickness and good pass-catching skills. He told us he ran a 4.6 40, which, if true, is very impressive on notoriously slow Spaulding Field.

Overall, there wasn't great skill talent. Ricky Thenarse from Los Angeles Jordan is about 6-1 and 180ish, and looks pretty thin. He ran just decently and his foot speed looked average for a running back. It's probably why he worked out with the receivers in the one-on-ones and looked just okay, with just an average burst and being very raw catching the ball.

Richard Sherman from Compton Dominguez has a chance. He's such a good athlete at about 6-1 and 175, and does well in the testing because of that athleticism. He just is in the beginning stages of learning how to play receiver, and is a bit of a long-strider, but the potential is there.

Among the running backs, Lonyae Miller, the 5-11 and 200-pounder from Fontana Kaiser, looked like the standout again, like he has in other spring events. He physically looks the part and runs straight-ahead very well, but Saturday made us possibly question his lateral quickness.

It's not a good year on the west coast for quarterbacks, and there wasn't a great turnout at camp Saturday. Probably the best was Jeff Jansen, the 6-4 passer from Diamond Bar. Jensen looks good in a camp setting, with a good body, large frame, and a good, accurate arm. On film, though, his feet are pretty slow, and that will probably be what holds him back from getting recruited at a very high level.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the day was that Garrett Green, the 6-2, 190-pound quarterback from Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame went through some of the testing, but then left and didn't participate in the afternoon's drills. Just eyeballing Green, he is a physical stud, and he jumped really well in the vertical and ran well in the 40 (even though he left before we could get his time). Even if Green doesn't make it as a quarterback on the next level, the word among scouts is that he'll be taken as possibly a safety, and with his speed and athleticism you'd have to expect him to project well at the position. But we'd still like to see him compete as quarterback at a camp this spring.

The Forcier family was out in force Saturday. Of course, we remember that Jason Forcier from San Diego St. Augustine went to Michigan a year ago, but now his younger brothers are the prospects. Sophomore Chris Forcier has a chance, being about 6-2 and athletic. His throwing motion is a bit short, but he already looks pretty polished. The youngest brother is 8th-grader Robert, who is probably about 5-10 right now but has the more natural throwing motion.

Alfred Rowe, the safety prospect from Long Beach Poly, generally looked good in all the testing and position drills, even though we lost track of him in the one-on-ones. He has good size and jumped well in the vertical.

The player who ran the fastest 40 was defensive back Doug Higgins, from La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat, running in the 4.4 range. Higgins showed that speed for much of the day in the drills, but some scouts question whether he's a just a speed guy and not a football player.

Jamar Brown, a strong safety from Bellflower St. John Bosco, might be a player to watch, looking good in the testing and the afternoon's drills, showing a very good combination of strength and quickness.

Jonathan Davies, a 5-11ish cornerback prospect from Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos, was one of the best in the one-on-one drills. He's very strong and uses that strength in coverage.

Whitney Irving, about 6-0 and 180, from Rialto Eisenhower, was a player we hadn't heard of before that also looked good in the one-on-one drills. He plays linebacker at Ike, but projects as a safety.

We didn't get to see him much, but a good source we trust told us that James Smith, a defensive back from Colton, was one of the best defensive backs of the day.

There weren't too many well-known linebackers at the camp, probably the most known being Dwight Roberson from Ventura St. Bonaventure. Roberson looks good physically, at about 6-2 and 210, but looks a bit stiff in some of the drills.

Some noteable no-shows among those expected to attend: Crespi defensive tackle Sione Fua, St. Augustine receiver Menelik Holt, Upland tight end John Reese, Dorsey defensive end Keith Browner, and Fairfield linebacker Jamarr Robinson.

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