Quarterbacks Darius Banks from Culver City, Ryan Katz from Santa Monica, and Kevin Prince from Encino Crespi were three prospects that had really good days. The passing tournament was played on a 60-yard field but that did not hinder these three from showing the strength of their arms.
Katz, who is verbally committed to Oregon State, showed why he would be a perfect fit for the Beavers. He made very speedy decisions and has a quick release, and the quality and the strength of his arm was impressive. Unfortunately, he did have a tough time with the defense of Poway High. The defensive backs did jump his routes, making numerous break-ups and causing a couple of picks. That game was his only poor showing.
Banks demonstrated why Culver City High will have an explosive offense this fall. His team has many weapons and he had them on display, throwing to whomever was open. What was most impressive was his ability to throw deep in-routes, deep out-routes, and corner routes with ease. His favorite target was UCLA commit Antwon Moutra and they will be a scary duo this fall.
Prince illustrated why he has offers from BYU, Washington and Boise State. He is a very strong-looking kid that stands tall in the pocket. He seems to be very confident in his arm, even throwing into traffic a few times, forcing his receivers to make some great catches. It seems that his body and his arm are ready for D-1 football. (Check out the today's recruiting update on Prince).
One of Prince's receivers was UCLA commit E. J. Woods, who is projected as a safety on the college level. Woods made two catches at receiver that surprised some fans; One catch was a curl route that Prince threw in the middle of three defenders and Woods had no problem making a play for a first down. Another catch was in the back of the end zone while falling back and just getting one foot in for a touchdown. On the defense side of the ball, Woods wasn't challenged. He had a solid day showing his quick feet and good football instincts.
The two most impressive players of the day were Poway tight end Ryan Deehan and UCLA commit Moutra. Deehan was so effective one opposing coach yelled at his team to get them to stop Deehan. Deehan, who is well put-together, had a physical advantage over anyone who tried on Saturday. For a big man, his route running was precise. He also displayed an ability to draw contact from the defender and separate, making himself an easy target for his quarterback. He ran a seam route up the middle, out-running a Redondo Union linebacker for a touchdown. Compared to the other athletes, he stood out physically. He seemed as if he would be ready to start fall camp in college this year.
Bruin fans would have been happy to see how impressive Moutra was on Saturday. First of all, he looks the part, at 6-1, at least, and 190 pounds. He had no trouble getting open for his quarterback, Banks. It got to the point where he was being grabbed so much that his jersey was torn. What separated him from other receivers is how strong he compared to other skill players. He had no problem getting off the ball in press coverage and was beating defensive backs deep most of the afternoon. When the safety would help over the top, he was still making plays and catches over two defenders. Moutra made one catch that made the crowd gasp. He was at the two-yard line about 15 yards away from Banks. Banks saw a receiver open in the back of the end zone and threw a rocket to the open man. With two defenders on him, Moutra leaped and, with his long arms, stole a touchdown from his teammate.
The 7-on-7 tournament continued Sunday, with the two top teams advancing to a national tournament next weekend at the Home Depot Center.