UCLA Above & Beyond Camp Report

About 200 campers took to Spaulding Field Sunday to try to impress the UCLA coaches, and there were a few that definitely stood out, especially a couple of 2011 defensive tackle prospects, as well as some underclassmen...

With UCLA conducting three camps in June, there wasn't a particularly great showing of talent on Sunday at UCLA's Above and Beyond Camp.

There were probably 200 campers, but a handful that UCLA will probably recruit seriously.

The camp was an opportunity for some 2011 prospects to get in front of the UCLA coaches and earn a scholarship offer, and that's exactly what happened for a few recruits Sunday.

Easily the most notable was Brock Berglund, the 6-3, 190-pound quarterback prospect from Highlands Ranch (Col.) Valor Christian, who did indeed call the UCLA coaches after the camp and was offered a scholarship. Berglund had a decent day, while showing some inconsistency in his mechanics and throws. His arm might have been fatigued, having come from a 7-on-7 the day before in Utah. He has good feet and mobility, while also having a fairly narrow frame and shoulders.

Michael Bercovici, from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft, also had just an okay performance. Bercovici has generally been very good at most of the camps and combines this spring, and he showed some of the accuracy and arm strength that got him such good reviews in those other performances. His footwork was a little raw, especially in his throwing motion, and easily what's limiting his scholarship offers is his body, which isn't muscular and a bit soft.

Perhaps the guy who threw the ball the best is Joseph Gray, the prospect from Los Angeles Dorsey. Among the quarterbacks in the camp, Gray appeared to have the best throwing mechanics, with a strong arm, resulting in some pinpoint spirals. He throws the ball effortlessly, with some zip. The thing holding back Gray is that he's about 5-11 to 6-0 and looks like a cornerback.

Jerry Neuheisel, the quarterback from Los Angeles Loyola and, of course, Rick Neuheisel's son, participated. Neuheisel has very good mechanics on short throws, and very good accuracy, but then lacks the arm strength on anything beyond 20 yards. Without the strength, his mechanics on medium to longer throws break down, as does his accuracy. He looks to be about 6-1 to 6-2, with a smallish frame. While we might be getting ourselves in trouble here, we've seen Jerry a number of times over the last year and we are uncertain whether he's the caliber of a starting Pac-10 level quarterback. Perhaps if he continues to grow and get considerably stronger he'll have a chance. If he comes to UCLA with the aspirations of being a solid five-year guy and then puts in the work and competes, it will be interesting to see if he has some of the intangibles that took his father from being a walk-on to a record-setting UCLA quarterback.

There weren't many other offensive skill position prospects of note at the camp. Devin Lucien, from Encino Crespi, was probably the most well-known wide receiver prospect, and he had a generally good day. He caught mostly everything thrown at him, and he runs straight ahead well. He didn't appear to have a lot of shake in him, and couldn't get good separation, however. We were told he ran a 4.49 in the 40.

Nelson Spruce, the wide receiver from Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake, was solid all day, catching the ball well. He wasn't really explosive off the line, but was able to use his size (probably 6-2 and 190) to get some space on his routes. A source has told us that Spruce was offered a scholarship after the camp.

There were some very big boys among the offensive line prospects. As we reported, Ben Wysocki, the offensive lineman from Los Alamitos, told us after the camp that the UCLA coaches asked him to call him later, which is usually a sign that a scholarship offer is likely. Wysocki looked to be about 6-5 and 265-ish and physically looked good. He appeared a bit slow-footed in the drills, however.

Dontae Levingston, from Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne, is a prospect to be aware of. Looking about 6-4 and 280, he had some good mobility and decent feet.

Taylor Reich, from San Diego Westview, looked to be about 6-7 and 300, and if you had to design an offensive tackle prospect's body Reich's would be it. However, he looked slow laterally.

Brian Moran from Portola Valley was about 6-7 and 300, and same story – slow-footed in the drills.

We watched Brian Farley from San Diego Patrick Henry for most of the camp and pretty much came to the same conclusion – good, big body but slow-footed. Working with the OLs, he just didn't have the foot speed. But toward the end of the camp there was a drill which is one of the favorites of Offensive Coordinator Norm Chow, called the Big Man Challenge. There are three offensive players, one with the ball, and the other two have to block one defender (without double-teaming him) and keep him from touching their ball carrier for 20 seconds. The OL and DL were loving it, and getting pretty exhausted in the process. Farley excelled in this competition, but looked more like a defensive tackle than an offensive lineman, able to plow through blockers with his size and strength. At 6-7 he could be too tall to play defensive tackle, probably not being able to get low and get leverage, but he is definitely better pile-driving forward than he is moving laterally.

Among the tight ends, Earnest Pettway from Long Beach Poly passed the eye-ball test, looking to be about 6-4 and 240. He caught the ball reasonably well, but didn't look particularly explosive.

Perhaps the best performance given expectations came among the defensive linemen. Jeff Worthy, the 6-3, 270-pounder from La Habra (Calif.) Whittier Christian, had said previously UCLA was his dream school and that he was attending the camp to try to earn a scholarship. As we reported, he told us late Sunday that he called the UCLA coaches and they did indeed offer him a ride. Worthy is solidly built, more on the 6-3 side than 6-4, and he had pretty good straight-ahead explosion in the one-on-ones.

The guy who had the best performance among the DTs was Cody Temple from Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty. He said they had him at 6-3 and 280, and he looked it, with a well put-together body without any sloppiness. In the one-on-ones, no one could stay in front of him, not only looking pretty explosive off the line but showing good technique and hands in getting around his blocker. Temple said that Neuheisel asked him to call him later Sunday.

The two of them – Temple and Worthy – lined up together in the team drills, and were a pretty formidable duo.

At defensive end, Sam Tai from Henderson (Nev.) Liberty, had some moments. He looked to be about 6-3 and 230ish, and had some quickness. He, though, at times was physically overmatched when he didn't have the opportunity to run around his blocker.

We didn't see anyone working with the linebackers that really jumped out. Reggie Coates from Crespi looked more like a defensive end, even though he was working with the linebackers.

There was some potentially elite talent among the 2012 prospects.

Easily one of the best prospects at the camp was Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, a tight end/defensive end from Palm Desert. Fitzpatrick looked to be about 6-4 and 245, and he caught the ball well when he was working with the tight ends. But physically he's already pretty thick, and you could see him growing and developing out of being a tight end. He ran incredibly well for his size. In one drill that simulated a kick-off return, he literally ran down a pretty speedy returner as he raced down the sideline. He worked out with the defensive ends in the afternoon, and looked good, and then was on one of the teams in the championship of the Big Man Challenge. You could seen Fitzpatrick getting bigger physically, possibly ending up 260+ by the time he graduates from high school and being a defensive end, or possibly even growing into an offensive lineman in college. We've heard he was offered a scholarship after the camp.

In terms of big, young linemen, mammoth OT/DT Jordan Simmons from Los Angeles Dorsey, was easily a standout. He is huge, probably 6-5 and 310, at least. He was the dominant force in the Big Man Challenge, putting blocker after blocker on their butt. He could be a defensive tackle, with his abilty to bull rush, but it will be interesting to see how he develops with two more years of high school.

The 2012 receiver prospect Bryce Treggs from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, has some considerable shake coming off the line and was getting good separation from his defender.

Su'a Cravens, the 6-1, 200-pound safety prospect from Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta, who is one of the best prospects in Southern California in the 2013 class, received a scholarship offer after the camp.

We heard that after the camp, DeAnthony Thomas, the very talented athlete from Crenshaw, was on campus to talk with Neuheisel.

Looking on were 2010 commits Jordon James, Anthonyh Jefferson and Jordan Zumwalt. Current UCLA offensive lineman Stan Hasiak watched. Former UCLA and current NFL player Matt Ware spoke to the campers before they broke for lunch.


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