King of the I.E. Tournament Targets

RUBIDOUX, Calif. -- Last year, USC in-coming freshman Ykili Ross won the King of the I.E. Tournament going away. This year's best performer was more debatable, but Salesian sophomore cornerback Deommodore Lenoir has all the makings of a future star.

Deommodore Lenoir | Los Angeles (Calif.) | Cornerback | 2017
Salesian sophomore cornerback Deommodre Lenior had the King of the I.E. passing tournament on lock down Sunday. The 4th Quarter Sports defensive back was almost flawless in coverage rerouting wide outs. Lenoir already has scholarship offers from the likes of Tennessee, Cal, Miami, Boston College and others, so his talents are already being recognized by college coaches. At 6-foot, Lenoir is smooth is his transitions and yet very physical in press coverage. There were instances Sunday when Lenoir drove one wide receiver into another, basically covering two routes at the same time. Riverside Poly four-star cornerback Ykili Ross was the King of the I.E. passing tournament last year, and Lenoir is definitely in the conversation for tournament MVP this year.

Darrian Franklin | Downey (Calif.) | Linebacker | 2016
Downey linebacker Darrian Franklin had a subtly strong performance Saturday for 4th Quarter Sports in the King of the I.E. tournament. Franklin had several deflected passes and defended the middle of the field as a MIKE linebacker well. He was late on some reads into the flat, but seeing that Franklin is really an outside linebacker by trade, it may take a couple of tournaments before he gets comfortable playing in the middle of the field. Physically, Franklin looks about the same height and weight as he was last year, which is something to note.

SCOOP: USC is recruiting Franklin as a SAM linebacker. The Trojans signed Serra linebacker John Houston at that spot last season. Houston and Franklin share some similar traits in how they play in space, although Franklin has yet to have the same level of production at the high school level. Franklin wants to graduate midyear, so his recruitment will likely be concluded by the start of his senior season. USC will be the team to beat for his commitment.

C.J. Pollard | Gardena (Calif.) | Safety | 2016
Serra safety C.J. Pollard continued to show some flashes of playmaking ability Sunday for the Frat Boys Gold team during the King of the I.E. tournament in Rubidoux. Pollard had some long, sweeping pass deflections on the deep post routes — showing field vision and an impressive ability to turn and go. Pollard played a lot of cover one and cover three Sunday, so he rarely ended up one-on-one in man coverage. How he has developed from that stand point won’t be known until the NIKE Camp in March.

SCOOP: Pollard is obviously a USC legacy type recruit, with his father having played at USC and his mother an alum as well. Although Pollard is downplaying his comfort level with USC at this point in the process, everyone knows the Trojans will be the team to beat for his commitment.

Nathan Tilford | Upland Calif.) | Running Back | 2017
Upland running back Nathan Tilford is only a sophomore, but he has already been on the recruiting scene for two off seasons. Tilford measures in at 6-foot-2, 210-pounds and remains one of the more physically impressive players on the circuit. It’s difficult to gauge his improvements as a tailback in shirts and shorts, but he did move more confidently in his routes at the King of the I.E. tournament Sunday. Team Revolution for the Frat Boys seven-on-seven outfit uses Tilford primarily as a wide receiver, so many of his catches Sunday came split wide rather than out of the offensive backfield.

Devon Modster | Santa Margarita (Calif.) | Quarterback | 2016
Modster spins the ball well for a quarterback who classifies himself as a “read option” guy. Sunday at the King of the I.E. passing tournament, Modster got off to a terrific start making competitions all over the field. His ball placement was excellent and most of his passes were very catchable regardless of his passing trajectory. While Modster isn’t a very big quarterback, he’s not exactly small either. Approximately 6-foot-1, his over the top release of the football will help offset his passes getting batted down in the pocket. However, because most of his passes have an arch, the velocity he gets on the ball is limited. He struggled at times Sunday attempting to fit the ball in against tight man coverage on dig routes.

SCOOP: USC is no where to be seen in Modster’s recruitment, which may change some with junior quarterback Shea Patterson opting for Ole Miss this week. Modster grew up watching USC and likes what Steve Sarkisian has done with the offense. Cal, ASU, Arizona and a few other school have already come forth with scholarship offers, while UCLA continues to circle his recruitment.

Frankie Tostado | Camarillo (Calif.) | Wide Receiver | 2016
While the Frat Boys All Gold squad had plenty of big name prospects, Devon Modster’s No. 1 target early and often in the King of the I.E. tournament was Camarillo (Calif.) wide out Frankie Tostado. On two separate occasions Tostado simply ran by man coverage to score on deep passes down the sideline. But Tostado was also deadly on two point conversions across the middle of the endzone where toughness and crazy often meet as bodies collide. Athletically, Tostado proved he can run, but now he has to prove that he can make big plays in every game in every tournament when teams know his name.

Curtis Robinson | Santa Ana (Calif.) | Linebacker | 2016
Mater Dei linebacker Curtis Robinson ended up playing mostly safety when lining up on defense for team Revolution Monday. Robinson is rangy with long arms at 6-foot-3, and he use to play safety for the Monarchs as a sophomore. However, many of Robinson’s highlight plays came as a wide receiver for team Revolution. He made a couple of jump ball catches in the end zone for touchdowns and has surprisingly good ball skills for a linebacker prospect.

SCOOP: On the recruiting front, Robinson has been taken back by his recent scholarship offers, including the one USC gave him at the Trojans Elite Junior Invite. His contact with USC up to that point had been limited. Robinson mother is a professor at UCLA, although the Bruins have yet to offer him a scholarship. Stanford is other school which could be a major player for Robinson with a scholarship offer.

Nick Pickett | Los Angles (Calif.) | Wide Receiver | 2017
The King of the I.E. tournament was full of young 2017 and 2018 players who get talked up by their coaches or their trainers. Salesian sophomore wide out Nick Pickett made some clutch catches for 4th Quarter Sports, and not only got the nod from his own coaches, but his opponents as well. Safety C.J. Pollard signed out Pickett as one of the best receivers he faced in the tournament. Pickett is a lanky 6-foot-1, and while he got knocked around like a pinball against Frat Boyz All Gold squad, he made catch after catch in traffic.

Melquise Stovall | Lancaster (Calif.) | Running Back | 2016
Paraclete running back Melquise Stovall had a rough day early in in the King of the I.E. tournament in Riverside Sunday. Stovall showed an explosive vertical leap while attempting to make a one-handed catch in the end zone. Athletically, it was an impressive play, although the end result was an incomplete pass. That was Stovall’s day in a nutshell. Stovall is a small, muscular, compact running back who is reminiscent physically of Fresno State running back Kurt Scoby. Top Stories