Kana'i Mauga (Blair Angulo)

Oakland Nike Regional - Defensive Standouts

Here's the defensive players that we saw who stood out during Oakland's Nike Regional, the final Nike regional event of the year, at De Anza High School in El Sobrante, California...


Mauga, pictured above, brought a ton of energy to the one-on-one drills. He showed great leadership and he learned quickly when he was pulled aside by the coaches. 

2018 Reno (Nv.) LB Brandon Kaho looked outstanding in the drills I saw. He's big, strong and instinctive. I can see why so many schools are after him even though he remains steadfastly committed to BYU. Kaho also had the best SPARQ rating (124.42) on the day and he earned an invite to The Opening Finals in Oregon that will be held the first weekend of July.

2018 Central Catholic (Portland, Or.) LB Eli'jah Winston is a specimen. He runs really well for a guys his size and he uses his hands well. The coaches on the field loved his aggressiveness and felt he had one of the best performances among the linebacker group.

Of course, when you get an early offer from a school like USC, you're definitely a stud, but still, 2019 Golden Valley (Santa Clarita, Ca.) LB De'Gabriel Floyd really looks the part of one of the top players in the West among current sophomores. The kid just gets after it and he brings and attitude to everything he does. The junior-to-be earned linebacker MVP honors for his efforts.



There might not have been a better performance at the camp, at least that I saw, than what Bandes showed on Sunday. He did everything. He used his hands, used his quick first step and his sheer athleticism to get by guys from different positions. He's already a legit 6'3, 275 and he appears like he could wind up as a devastating three-tech in the 2019 class.

2018 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nv.) DL Adam Plant, an Arizona commit, is long and aggressive. I really liked his get off and how he used his hands. 

2018 Valley Christian (San Jose, Ca.) ATH R.J. Stone is listed as a tight end by Scout, but he did all of his work with the defensive ends and linebackers. He sure looks like a defensive guy once he gets to college. The son of former NFL lineman Ron Stone got a lot of coaching from Willie McGinest during the one-on-one session and he took to the coaching pretty well. 

Was really impressed with what I saw from 2018 Mountain View (Tucson, Az.) DT Kai Golden. He really got after it inside and used his hands and quickness to get the advantage on the offensive linemen across from him.

On the hoof, 2018 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Ca.) DL Nick Alftin looks the part. He's long-levered and he's got a good first step.

2018 Grant Union (Sacramento, Ca.) DT Niti Liu is a good one-gap player. One-on-ones aren't going to be his strength, but he rarely got moved off the line.

2018 Kapolei (Hi.) DE Kukea Emmsley earned MVP honors with his strong performance against every offensive linemen he faced. He's light, so he needs to put on some weight, but he knows how to get to the quarterback and he was really tough to handle all day.



I was really impressed with what I saw from Williams as a defensive back. He's long and he possesses great ball-skills. Most schools started out recruiting him as a wideout, but they've switched and most see him as a big-time safety prospect at the next level. Williams was named the defensive backs MVP and he earned an invite to The Opening Finals.

2018 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Ca.) S Stephan Blaylock, a UCLA commit, really impressed me with his quickness in and out of his breaks. He looks like he could easily drop down and be a nickel corner or drop into the deep third and play center field. Like Williams, Blaylock earned an invite to The Opening Finals with his outstanding workout.

This was the second time I'd seen 2018 Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Ca.) S Jevon Holland live and I continue to be impressed by the Oregon commit. He's long and he's got a nose for the ball. His game is being physical and he sure did that on Sunday. He too earned an invite to The Opening Finals.

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