In many ways, the turnout at the camp mirrored the talent that is found in the Northwest. For example, the camp featured only one major college wide receiver prospect in Trent Sewell. A fact that shouldn't be surprising, considering the in-state 2012 wide receiver class is extremely shallow.
For most position groups this principle held true, the one exception was the defensive line. While the Northwest is barren on top end defensive line prospects, it showed there might be some depth, some talent, plus the years ahead look bright. DTs Zaheer Webb, Uso Olive and Cody Fullerton performed really well in the 1on1's. However, the name that everyone left the camp saying was Benning Potoae , a 2015 prospect from Lakes.
NEFC Camp Rankings:
1. Defensive Line
2. Offensive Line
3. Tight End
5. Running Back
6. Defensive Back
7. Wide Receiver
The performance of the offensive line was no shock. The West, and specifically the Northwest, is loaded with talent at that spot. Cory English, Sam Flor and Jordan Wernet headlined a group that performed well over the camp. The offense barely lost the 1on1 battle with the defensive lineman, an accomplishment for a drill that puts the offensive players at a disadvantage.
Caleb Smith, Eric Lemke and Kyle Self led a group of tight ends that showed great potential. Self is a sophomore, while Smith and Lemke will both likely sign with FBS level schools next February.
The quarterback and running back positions were weak in the 2012 prospects, but were propelled by the talent found in the 2013-2014 classes. Sefo Luifau, Isaiah Brandt-Sims and Devante Downs will all end up as major college prospects by the time they are seniors.
Two Washington State prospects buoyed an otherwise unimpressive group. Jayshawn Jordan and Ma'ne Manaea were the best cornerback and safety in attendance. Chevy Walker was another player in attendance that will get looks from the big schools.
Wide receiver and linebacker were simply weak groups at the camp. If you remove Trent Sewell from the mix, neither position boasted a player looking at landing major college offers. Some FCS level talent was present, but it is a down year in-state for both positions.
Absence of Elite Talent
Over the past two years it has become clear that the Nike Northwest Elite Football Camp is the best prospect camp held in the region. The camp is becoming exactly what it set out to be, the best opportunity for talented underclassmen to work out in front of 11 of the region's college coaching staffs.
While it is easy to define what the camp is, it equally as clear to see what the camp is not. The Nike NEFC is not a showcase of the region's top talent. There are a couple of reasons why.
The most obvious is that those players already have offers, and their camp schedules are focused on getting in front of those coaches. With Washington State being the only BCS conference staff in attendance, many players either have a WSU offer already or have already made their college choice. The region's top quarterback (Lindquist), running back (Russell), wide receiver (Rector), Lineman (Garnett), defensive lineman (Kaumatule), linebacker (Skotte) and defensive back (Dozier) were all absent.
The absence of these prospects only serves to enhance the camp. With the usual names gone, coaches and scouts alike are forced to examine prospects that may usually get overshadowed by some of the names above.
Class of 2013 and Beyond
While the camp has missed on getting some of the more elite prospects in the Northwest, it has succeeded in becoming a showcase for underclassmen looking to make a name for themselves. While neither Jeff Lindquist nor Walker Williams were in attendance, they jumped onto the recruiting scene with their performances as underclassmen at the camp last June. The 2012 camp may have had the largest group of young talent yet, showcasing prospects down to the junior high level. Here are some names to watch over the coming years :
2013- QB SefoLuifau (Bellarmine Prep), TE Kyle Self (Penninsula), S Dominic Splendorio (Skyline), QB Isaac Dotson (Newport), OL Mason Friedline (King's), OL Cody O'Connell (Wenatchee), OL Leo Pilivaka (Rainier Beach), DB Tere Calloway (Seattle Prep), LB Joey Montarano (Fruitland, Id.).
2014- RB Isaiah Brandt-Sims (Wenatchee), RB Devante Downs (Mountlake Terrace).
2015- DE BenningPotoae (Lakes), DE Cody Baker (Eastside Catholic).
A closer look at in-state recruiting
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