While no one player really stood out, a handful of prospects had strong days, including a junior-to-be who's play clearly caught the eye of the coaches.
First and foremost was Fontana (Calif.) Summit receiver Devon Blackmon, who came in on the heels of an MVP performance at the Oregon Camp this past weekend. The class of 2011 prospect got some personal attention from Norm Chow, Rick Neuheisel and Reggie Moore during the day.
Blackmon is about 5-11 to 6-0, with a very good body, and showed some exceptional athleticism working out as a receiver. Reportedly, he was pretty tired, having just come from the Oregon Camp. Neuheisel even went up to Blackmon toward the end of the afternoon session Monday and told him he didn't have to keep working out, but Blackmon insisted. His fatigue affected him some, but you could see the explosiveness when he came off the ball.
Blackmon said he had a good conversation with the UCLA coaches following practice. We spoke to him and we'll have the story for you later today.
Another Inland Empire prospect to receive a lot of personal attention from Moore was Austin Hill, a three-star receiver from Corona (Calif.) Roosevelt. Hill is a big, rangy receiver, at least 6-2, maybe 6-3, who was a sprinter on Roosevelt's nationally ranked relay team. Hill worked with Moore on several drills and said the workout went real well.
His teammate, Joshua Mitchell, has a handful of offers, but is hoping UCLA joins that mix. Mitchell, a 2010 cornerback prospect, is on the lighter side, weighing about 160 pounds, and about 5-10, with a smallish frame, but showed very good feet and good backpedal quickness when he worked with UCLA defensive backs coach Carnell Lake in the morning session.
Another 2011 prospect who impressed us was Dallas (Texas) St. Mark's receiver Ty Montgomery, one of the top underclassmen in the Lone Star State. Montgomery looked about 6-0 and 185, well-built, and played both receiver and safety during 7-on-7. Montgomery stopped in Westwood on his way to Stanford and will also camp at Notre Dame.
Along the defensive line, it was yet another 2011 prospect who caught our eye, Taniela Tupou from Archbishop Murphy in Everett (Wash.). At about 6-2 and 260ish, Tupou was quick off the line and plays with a low pad level and did a good job when matching up against interior linemen.
On the offensive line, there were a handful of guys of note, led by Derek Stickney, who looks to be about 6-6 and 300, from Placentia (Calif.) El Dorado. When doing pass pro drills, Stickney was at his best, not losing any 1-on-1s and constantly keeping his man from any significant pass rush.
Encino (Calif.) Crespi offensive lineman Mike Mitchell also had a good day, especially in the morning session, doing a good job engaging his blockers and driving them back.
One of the more impressive linemen was Josh Garnett, a sophomore-to-be from Puyallup (Wash.), who reportedly has a verbal offer from the Bruins. Garnett, at about 6-3 and 260, is still is a bit raw, but you can see why schools are already interested in him because of his size and athleticism.
The quarterbacks, overall, didn't have great showings, but there were a few who got some extra attention from the UCLA coaches, mainly Hawaii native Andrew Manley, and Redlands (Calif.) East Valley's Tyler Shreve, who came and threw in the afternoon session, and probably had the best arm of anyone in the camp. Norm Chow worked with Manley and Shreve along with Jerry Neuheisel (you might recognize the name), the junior from Angeles (Calif.) Loyola.
Manley looks like a linebacker physically, at about 6-2 to 6-3 and 220ish. In fact, you'd like to see him take a shot at linebacker, since he had good feet. His arm strength was average, having to expend a lot of energy to get just a moderate amount of velocity on the ball.
Shreve looks more like a prototypical college quarterback, at about 6-3 and 200. He easily threw the prettiest ball of anyone in attendance, but was very inconsistent in his accuracy. He missed some pretty easy throws. Shreve also looked a bit slow-footed in roll-out drills.
It's funny – if you would be able to put Shreve and Manley together you might have an elite quarterback – with Manley's feet and Shreve's arm strength.
As we've reported before, UCLA doesn't feel pressed to bring in a quarterback with the 2010 class.
Among the receivers, North Carolina native Tehvyn Brantley, one of the busiest campers, if not the busiest, had a good afternoon session. He along with Brando Tessar from West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade saw some extra attention from Moore. Tessar played safety during the 7-on-7s but moved to receiver during the latter parts. Deche Milburn from Texas (formerly of Arizona), also worked with that group. Sean Haynes from Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany also got some extra attention from Moore.
Brantley is smallish, but has a good burst and good athleticism. Tessar, at about 5-11, is a bit undersized, but ran very strong routes and showed good hands.
The linebackers might have been the best group in the camp Monday, and linebacker coach and defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough spent extra time working with them.
San Bernardino (Calif.) Arroyo Valley linebacker Ofa Fifita worked during the 7-on-7 drills and looked good in his drops. Elk Grove (Calif.) Franklin linebacker Cody Galea probably passed the eye-ball test better than anyone on the field, being all of 6-3 and 225, and, for that size moved well and showed good range. He could very well end up a hybrid, sometimes playing with his hand down on the next level. Eric Kendricks, from Fresno (Calif.) Hoover had a good morning and looked good in coverage, though right now physically he looks more like a safety than a linebacker. Phil Ruhl from Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln and Luke Zelon from Santa Monica (Calif.), also got work with Bullough, as did Will Smith from Riverside (Calif.) Notre Dame. Ruhl is a bit intriguing; he's very built out physically already, with seemingly not much else he could add in terms of muscle to his frame. He's about 6-0 and 225 and all muscle. You would have thought he was fairly stiff but he looked very agile in the cone drills. Smith is a guy UCLA was intrigued with at the one-day camp because of his height (about 6-2) and athleticism. He probably weighs about 190 and looks more like a safety, but he has a wide frame.
Brent Williams, from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft, is an undersized defensive end, so he worked exclusively as a linebacker, and had an interception in the 7-on-7s. He also worked with Bullough in some drills. Damon Ogburn, a 2010 prospect from Arroyo Valley, also got some time working with Lake, as did 2012 prospect Rashawn Hooker, an impressive looking kid for barely finishing his freshman year.
As we reported on the BRO message board, the biggest development Sunday was that elite defensive end Ronald Powell participated, and was a dominant performer. Several other quality defensive linemen were also there just Sunday, namely Kirifi Taula from Anaheim (Calif.) Servite and Hroniss Grasu from Encino (Calif.) Crespi. We're hearing that Taula was impressive, being 6-4 and 280ish but with room to even put on more good weight. We heard that Taula could be in line for a UCLA offer because of his performance Sunday.
Tuesday, more top prospects are expected, including receiver Davon Dunn from San Diego (Calif.) Lincoln, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian defensive tackle Cassius Marsh, linebacker Alani Fua and Fair Oaks (Calif.) Del Campo defensive end Eddie Plantaric. We saw Plantaric after the afternoon scrimmage, and physically he's very impressive, looking to be about 6-5 and 255.
Keep watching the message board Tuesday to get immediate updates from the camp.
Today was the first day of summer school for the freshmen. A few of them came out to the IM field for the camp.
I talked with Stan Hasiak for a while. He's a very nice kid.
He and Xavier Sua-Filo standing next to each other take up quite a bit of room.
A number of the freshmen were moving in a big pack by the Acosta Center.
Dalton Hilliard was at the camp, talking with the Hawaiian high school quarterback, Andrew Manley, that he obviously knew. Hilliard went up and semi-tackled Norm Chow from behind.
Also, Datone Jones looks huge. Almost unrecognizable.
I don't think Morrell Presley will ever be able to transfer from UCLA; He now has a huge UCLA Bruins tattoo running down one shoulder.
The freshmen will start working out in the afternoons, and then the team will have 7-on-7s in the early evening, starting this week.