Palo Alto Nike Camp

Here's a quick overview of Saturday's Palo Alto Nike Camp, with a few players improving their stock. A bigger, better story is coming Monday...

This will be just a quick report on Saturday's Palo Alto Nike Camp. You'll get a big, more in-depth report on Monday.

Perhaps the biggest story of the day was how many campers there were – over 500, and how few really elite guys attended. The no-shows were significant. Sedrick Ellis, Chris Barrett, Sam Baker, Matt Malele, Steve Smith and Whitney Lewis all were supposed to be there but didn't attend.

Mark Bradford, the wide receiver from Los Angeles Fremont, was probably the MVP of the camp and drastically improved his stock with a very good performance. He measured at 6-0 ½ and 185. He ran back-to-back 4.41s while jumping 34 inches in the vertical. In the one-on-one drills, he looked very quick, with excellent cuts that left defenders on their heels.

Among the quarterbacks, Dennis Dixon from San Leandro probably had the best overall day, but there really wasn't a quarterback that was clearly elite above the rest. Dixon measured at 6-3, and weighed 170 pounds. While his footwork looked really raw, he showed his cannon arm, and his quick released, accuracy and consistency in his throws.

Kyle Wright showed, having already attended the Southern California Nike Camp, just to compete, which is very admirable. While he again clearly looks like the most polished quarterback in the high school ranks on the west coast, he didn't have a great day throwing the ball. It looked like he was forcing it a bit, and he missed his targets. Wright, though, is such a solid kid; knowing he was just having an off-day, he sucked it up and kept trying to get himself on track, and he had a sense of humor about it. At one point, after he threw a nice ball, he ran by me and said, "So, how you'd like that ONE good ball I threw, huh?"

Johnny DuRocher, the quarterback from Washington, made the trip to Palo Alto, but only looked fair. He definitely passes the eye-ball test, and his throwing motion was decent, but his ball floated or waffled quite a bit.

Among the running backs, Lynell Hamilton from Stockton Edison looked like the elite player, even though he was hampered by a hamstring pull. He measured at 6-0 and looked very good-sized physically. One of the kids who overwhelminglyh passed the eye-ball test was Emeka Nnoli, the FB/LB from Natomas High School. He was a well put-together 6-1 and 225.

It wasn't generally a great turnout for linemen. Actually, though, many Long Beach Poly kids made the trip, and Junior Lemau'u was probably the best defensive linemen and Hercules Satele might have been the best offensive lineman of the day. Kevin Brown tested really well but didn't participate in the drills. Brian Soi, a lineman from Provo (Utah) Timpview was impressive. There were also some sleepers that fared pretty well that we'll discuss on Monday.

One of the big stories of the day was how Freddie Parrish, the DB from Poly would fare. He generally had a good day, but not spectacular. He tested fairly well, running a 4.56 40 and the best 20-yard shuttle of the day of 4.01. In the back-pedaling drills, he looked very solid. In the one-on-ones with the wide receivers, though, he didn't show a burst to the ball. But with so many kids in camp, he really didn't get enough reps to evaluate him well enough.

Ryan and Brandon Ting of Union City James Logan looked like a couple of athletes to consider. Ryan ran the best 40 time of the day (4.38) and Brandon tied for the third best (4.40).

There were six UCLA coaches in attendance: Defensive Coordinator Phil Snow; Tight End Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Gary Bernardi; Offensive Coordinator and Running Backs Coach, Kelly Skipper; Wide Receiver Coach Ron Caragher, Offensive Line Coach Marc Weber, and Defensive Backs Coach Todd Littlejohn.

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