Again, the three elite players at the camp were probably quarterback Tommy Grady, Huntington Beach Edison; cornerback Clifton Smith, Fresno Edison, and Kyle Caldwell, defensive end, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro. It's too bad that Kevin Brown, the DL from Long Beach Poly, and Quintin Daniels, the wide receiver from Loyola didn't participate. For Brown, though, it wasn't really necessary that he work out. He had committed to coming to the camp, but then had to babysit some of his younger relatives. He told UCLA that he might not be able to come since he had to babysit, but he opted to bring the kids to UCLA for the day, to babysit them there. So, that's primarily the reason he didn't work out. But, again, he didn't really have to; he doesn't have much he has to prove to the UCLA coaches about his talent. On the other hand, it would have been nice to see Daniels since he hasn't participated in any camps this spring or summer. With the amount of talent and competition at wide receiver in this class, it might have behooved Daniels, too, to show the UCLA coaches his skills.
Grady is so consistent, and throws such a strong, accurate ball that his stock will continue to move up. I've seen him now three times this spring, and while other highly-touted quarterbacks had an off-day here or there in the last couple of months, he hasn't. The consistency of his throws is probably the most notable. Secondly, is his accuracy. He has a very nice release, and knows how to put touch on the ball. The knock on him has been how skinny he is, but he has already put on some weight in the last couple of months. There have been questions about his mobility, but it's more or less really an optical illusion because of his 6-6 height. He moves fine, and if he were 6-3, and covering the same amount of ground he does at 6-6, I don't think anyone would question his mobility. He's not, by any means, a scrambler; he's a pocket quarterback, but there shouldn't be a question about how well he moves. Plus, in discounting his 6-6 height, we're also not providing the advantages of it. Grady can easily see over his offensive line, and sees the field so much better because of his size. Plus, his ball tends to float less than other quarterbacks because many times he's throwing on a downward angle. Grady should be among the top 10 quarterbacks in the country, and reportedly he's slated for the Elite 11 camp in July. There is some worry about his academics, though, according to good sources. We spoke with Grady – about his academics and his recruitment – and we'll have that report up soon.
I think it's now pretty safe to say that Smith is the best cover corner on the west coast. He doesn't run eye-popping 40s, but he's very quick, and he has that natural talent to be able to stay with receivers. He's small, yes, at maybe 5-9, but his lack of height doesn't seem to impact his ability to cover. In attending football camps, combines and passing leagues over the last five years, I haven't seen a better pure cover corner than Clifton Smith. Clifton Smith Recruitng Update
Kyle Caldwell, physically, passes the eyeball test with flying colors. About 6-3, and in the range of 260, he's very solid and well-built, but not stiff in drills and very flexible. His quickness and foot speed, along with his strong instincts, made him stick out at defensive end at the one-day camp Saturday. There are some very good defensive ends on the west coast this year, but from what I've seen, there aren't many that have Caldwell's quickness.
Next up, we'll go through the camp position by position…