UCLA Prospects at Nike Camp

With a contingent of UCLA coaches looking on, some UCLA prospects had good showings at the Palo Alto Nike Camp Saturday, including Utah tight end Austin Holt, running back Darrel Scott, Arizona running back Covaughn Deboskie, UCLA-committed linebacker Uona Kaveinga and more...

With almost 400 prospects spread out over the field at Stanford, it was difficult to get a good look on all of the top players at this past weekend's Nike Camp. Coaches from all over the country were there, UCLA having defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker, offensive coordinator Jay Norvell, offensive line coach Bob Connelly and defensive backs coach Gary DeLoach all in Palo Alto.

Several of UCLA's targets had a strong day and others did well during the camp and, of course, there were some names we hadn't heard much of before the weekend.

Nick Crissman, UCLA's committed quarterback from Edison High in Huntington Beach, threw both on Friday at the Elite 11 Workout at Cal and on Saturday at the Nike Camp, and actually threw better on Friday. We'll have some clips of him throwing from the Elite 11.

Ryan Katz from Santa Monica and Matt Scott from Corona Centennial both threw well on both days and each continues to have a strong spring. Adam Barry from Moorpark looked decent on Friday but had a much stronger performance on Saturday. 2009 quarterback prospect, Tate Forcier, the younger brother of incoming UCLA freshman quarterback, Chris Forcier, really gunned it on Friday. In fact, his first 7-8 passes were dropped by receivers who had a difficult time catching his strong-armed throws.

Sean Renfree, from Notre Dame Prep in Scottsdale, Arizona, was named the QB MVP at Nike, though Matt Barkley, the 2009 prospect from Santa Ana Mater Dei looked very sharp all day throwing. It's easy to see why he's such a hotly pursued prospect despite being almost two years away from his NLI day.

Other quarterbacks that caught our eye were Beau Sweeney from Clovis West, Jerry Davis from Edison in Fresno and Devin Combs from Oakdale.

At running back, it was the Darrell Scott Show, with the #1 running back in the counttry looking outstanding. But two Arizona tailbacks, Covaughn Deboskie and Jamal Womble, also held their own. Scott physically looks like a man among boys out there. On Friday at the Elite 11 workout, he worked as one of the receivers (his St. Bonaventure quarterback Alex Mascarenas was working out), and though he didn't look very comfortable split out wide, he still looked the part. On Saturday, he was back in his element and had a great day all the way around to earn MVP honors at that position.

Deboskie and Womble are as talented a running back duo Arizona has had and both are different kinds of backs. But the one thing they share is the desire to compete as both have gone to camps and combines all over the country to show their skills. Both had strong showings in Palo Alto. Keola Antolin from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas also did a good job in the drills.

From the receivers, there wasn't nearly the talent there that you would have expected, but a few players caught our eye, including David Henderson, who won the MVP award for the position (out of Valley Christian in San Jose) and Robbie Boyer, Barkley's cousin and teammate at Mater Dei. Boyer reminds us of former Oaks Christian receiver and Stanford signee Sean Wiser in a smaller package. He runs crisp routes and catches the ball very well.

At tight end, Austin Holt again showed his willingness to compete, coming to yet another national camp and he didn't disappoint. Holt has excellent hands and catches everything thrown to him. Ryan Deehan from Poway (who we wrote about last week), came and performed nicely, as did 2009 prospect Levine Toilolo from Helix in La Mesa. Toilolo has great size (6-6) and though he's still a bit on the thin side, has the frame to add the weight. Another tight end we liked was Anthony Miller from Archbishop Mitty in San Jose (a teammate of Steve Sloan), who has offers from several schools. Miller is only about 6-3 and weighs 250 but can move and catch the ball while getting separation.

On the offensive line, Cal's committed lineman Tyler Rigsbee was one who stood out in the speed drills. Other linemen we saw have good showings were A.J. Wallerstein from Canyon, Derek Tuimauga from Bingham HS in Utah and Jacob Feagai from Piedmont Hills in San Jose. Allen Carroll from McClymonds, who UCLA has offered, had an okay day, but we talked to his coach and he said he would was battling an illness. Still, physically Carroll looks the part. Kevin Graf, the 2009 prospect from Agoura who had an all-combine showing at the Scout.com Combine, followed it up with a good day on Saturday.

The guy, though, who made his mark was Dominic Galas, an all-state underclass pick from Central Catholic in Modesto. While he doesn't have ideal size for an inside lineman (he was about 6-1), he played with a mean streak and would battle just about anyone. UCLA coaches were watching him during his 1-on-1s.

On the defensive line, several defensive linemen had good days, led by MVP Greg Grimes from Inderkum in Sacramento. Grimes moves well and is always going. We've seen him three times now this spring and each time he's battled all day. UCLA has been talking with him and he has interest in the Bruins. His father told us that UCLA likes him in the 3-technique.

Armond Armstead from Pleasant Grove in Sacramento looked very good and physically was pretty impressive. He's athletic (he also plays basketball) and crafty, and loved to compete on Saturday. Armstead has a handful of offers, though he's waiting for the Pac-10 schools to throw their hat in. With a performance like his on Saturday, that could happen sooner than later.

John Youboty from Klein, Texas, came out West and he performed very well, physically looking good and showing good quickness off the edge. Justin Chiasson, from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, is only a sophomore but, in just our second time seeing him (after the U.S. Army Combine), it's clear he's definitely going to be one to watch in the class of 2009.

At linebacker, Uona Kaveinga from Leuzinger, UCLA's committed prospect at the position, was, in our view, the best linebacker there and it wasn't close. He was a bit steamed when we talked to him afterwards about not winning the MVP, but he left his mark on the day and was the standout at the position. Kaveinga may not be the ideal size for a middle linebacker but he looks like he'll be a solid weakside linebacker. He's got good quickness and is athletic, and though he told us he'd rather be in pads so he could show his hitting ability, it's clear he knows how to play the position.

Kurt Mangum from Chandler (Ariz.) Basha continued his strong spring with another fine showing at Stanford and he said he thinks he could be on the brink of his first offer. While Mangum probably won't get many offers until he's played a few games at linebacker (since he played DL last season), he's not having a hard time at all making the transition. Brady Amack from De La Salle, who told us last month he likes UCLA a lot, did well when we saw him working out, as did Damion Whittington from Norco, Sean Westgate from Oak Park, Chad Davis from Palma in Salinas and Rob Andrews from Foothill in Pleasanton. The MVP at the position was Mychal Kendricks from Hoover in Fresno.

In the secondary, the Edison defensive backs did well, especially Brandon Leslie. Banged up a bit last month when he came to the Scout.com Combine, Leslie looked healthy on Saturday and had probably his best showing at a camp we've seen him at this spring. Robert Golden didn't do any of the speed or positional drills, trying to rest an ankle. We talked to him in the morning and he was actually going to sit out the whole day, but his competitive juices got flowing and he ended up working in the 1-on-1s and it was much the same as we've seen from him, having another excellent day. (Writers note: we had heard that UCLA hadn't offered Golden, who is committed to Arizona, because his transcripts hadn't been submitted to UCLA yet, but Golden and his coach Tony Perry told us that they brought the transcripts to give to the Bruin coaching staff on Saturday).

Josh Jordan from Bishop Gorman was named the MVP for the DBs and he had a nice day, as did Marc Anthony from Chandler. Other defensive backs we saw were Kevin Frank from Elk Grove, Isaiah Frey from Jesuit in Carmichael, Quinn Evans from Basha, Brenan Ghassemieh from Canyon in Anaheim Hills and Corbin Brown from Spring Valley.


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