Review of Palo Alto Nike Camp

Some UCLA-committed players participated, and UCLA recruiting targets were among the best at the Palo Alto Nike Camp on Saturday, including Chris Forcier, Brian Price, Steve Sloan and D.J. Holt...

It was a packed house in Palo Alto on Saturday for the Nike Camp on the campus of Stanford, with hundreds of prep prospects, and numerous college coaches in attendance. Several of the players we saw at the Combine last week were there, as were a few new faces.

With so many players participating, estimated at about 600, all on one field, and so many families, coaches and fans, it was difficult to focus on all the players.

Four of UCLA's coaches were there: Head Coach Karl Dorrell, offensive coordinator Jim Svoboda, defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker and recruiting coordinator Dino Babers.

And three of UCLA's commits in the class of 2007 also attended: San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine quarterback Chris Forcier, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw defensive tackle Brian Price and Fresno (Calif.) Edison cornerback Courtney Viney, though Viney didn't participate, still nursing a calf injury he suffered prior to the Combine.

Price and Forcier were two of the camp's standouts, with Forcier the best quarterback in attendance. He continues to show that he is one of the top quarterbacks in the West, displaying a good arm and good touch on his throws. We didn't catch his testing numbers, but after his performance at the Combine last weekend, it's really inconsequential.

Price had an excellent day, teaming with Gardena (Calif.) Serra tackle/tight end Da'John Harris to mix it up with the offensive linemen.

"It was cool," said Price about the camp. "At the Scout Combine, I hadn't gotten ready for it, but I was more ready for this one since I knew what to expect."

Price clocked a 5.0 forty and did 25 reps on the bench, good numbers for a player his size. A week after being named to the all-combine team at the Combine, despite missing some drills when a cyst opened on his face, Price felt his performance was much better.

"I'd give my effort an A. I got banged up again, but I wanted to go in the one-on-ones. I went to the doctor this week to get it looked at. But I was ready on Saturday. I think I'm done with camps now. I'll just go to the UCLA camp this summer," Price said.

Harris was just as stout up the middle, working with the tackles after spending the Scout combine with the tight ends. "Did you see me in the one-on-ones?" Harris asked. "I dominated. I couldn't be blocked. A lot of guys they said were good lineman, I was beating."

Other defensive linemen who stood out were Long Beach (Calif.) Poly defensive end Kenny Rowe, the top defensive end in the state, and one of the top two in the West; Carson (Calif.) tackle Mackey Mailo, one of the most frequent camp/combine attendees this spring; Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame defensive end Aaron Thomas; Oakland (Calif.) Skyline's Michael Snead, the younger brother of UCLA end William Snead; Honolulu (Hawaii) Farrington defensive end Sam-Earl Fehoko and Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood tackle Simi Fili.

San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty linebacker Steve Sloan, who missed the Scout combine with a hip flexor injury, was there and looked generally good during the drills and one-on-ones, showing he's much healthier. Sloan was one of the targets for the UCLA staff to evaluate.

All three of the linebackers named to the Scout all-combine team were there, and continued to look solid. Norco (Calif.) Jordan Campbell is a physically well-put-together and looks the part. Fontana (Calif.) Kaiser's Chris Carter seems to be making an easy transition to a position he's not played before.

Encino (Calif.) Crespi's D.J. Holt, one of the players who has really upped his stock this spring, looked very good in the early part of the camp. He has recently added an offer from Oregon State, and when we talked with his family, they indicated that UCLA is still heavily involved, but Holt has yet to take the SAT, which he will do next month.

Gardena (Calif.) Serra's Apiata Tuihalamaka worked with the linebackers and looks to be about 210-215.

The secondary didn't have many big names outside of Los Angeles (Calif.) Jordan's Antwoine Baker, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle's Lonnie Wishom and Santa Fe Springs (Calif.) cornerback Romeo Pellum. In fact, Pellum is a lot like Holt in that he's had a great spring and is seeing his interest pick up with several more schools showing strong performance.

"I thought I did real well," said Pellum. "Receivers aren't getting by me when we go head-to-head. I keep going to camps while a lot of guys are scared to come to them."

Wishom also had a solid day in the drills and one-on-ones after he had a so-so testing portion. "I did a lot better in the drills this week. I did three reps with one group and no receiver made a catch. Then they moved me to another group and I didn't let any receiver get a catch there," Wishom said.

Viney was there to support several Edison teammates, while shaking off a calf injury he suffered at a Fresno-area combine three days before the Combine. It affected his testing at the Scout combine, but not his performance in the drills and one-on-ones, where he was the class of the defensive backs. Viney said he plans to attend the UCLA camp this summer.

Other defensive backs we saw were Pasadena (Calif.) Muir's Lance Mitchell and Eugene Palmer and Gardena (Calif.) Serra's Remington Wilson.

On the offensive side of the ball, Forcier was the top quarterback, but other quarterbacks who stood out were Merced (Calif.) quarterback Logan Todd and Hillsboro (Ore.) Cory Bean, who did well for the second straight week.

There wasn't much in terms of talent at running back at the camp, outside of Oakland (Calif.) McClymond's Willie Griffin. One player who did stand out that has been floating under the radar is Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln's Curtis Shaw (5-11, 195). Shaw had one of the best forty times on the day, and reportedly has offers from UNLV, San Diego State, Purdue, Nebraska and Washington State.

Other running backs who we liked were Martinez (Calif.) Alhambra's Brandon Rutley and Merced (Calif.) running back Garrett Turner.

The offensive linemen were headlined by Palisades (Calif.) Mitchell Schwartz, who picked up a pair of offers from Stanford and Michigan over the weekend; Merced teammates Kyle Davidson and Mike Chambers, Carson (Calif.) Sean Enesi, Norco (Calif.) Garth Gerhart, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian's Cory Yriarte and Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco's Devin Brown.

The receivers were led by San Diego (Calif.) Mira Mesa's Markques Simas and Merced's Carter Todd. Simas and Anthony Boyles have been battling for the top receiver spot in the state for the past couple of weeks and Simas' performance on Saturday could be enough to put him back at the top. Simas was the best receiver on the day, catching everything thrown to him. With the Combine and the Nike Camp, Todd has had two solid performance in a row, and we think that offers should start rolling in for him very soon.

Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair's Ronnie Goforth, who plays quarterback for Mayfair and projects to safety in college, worked with the receivers, as did Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison's Hunter White, another likely defensive player in college.

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