Dawgman.com Unofficial Camp MVP's

SEATTLE - After two days, the ballots are in. Who stood out at Washington's Rising Stars Camp? Well, there weren't any official MVP's given out, so we decided to throw our two cents into the ring and talk about the guys that impressed us this past weekend.

(Note: Remember these picks are UNOFFICIAL, and are the opinion of those from Dawgman.com and Scout, not from the UW coaching staff).

Committed players Sione Potoae, Darius Waters and Ben Riva were there, but did not participate. Waters was a little banged up, as was DE Lee Adams, Jr. from Corona (Calif.) Centennial, who has offers from UNLV and UTEP. He was hoping to earn a Washington offer, but couldn't compete due to a sore hamstring.

Andrew Manley
QB MVP's: Garrett Grayson - Heritage; Andrew Manley - Leilehua; Jordan Perry - Central Catholic; and Trey Wheeler - Liberty (2011)

Grayson is the athletic package; he can run and throw equally well. Manley is more like the prototypical west coast QB in terms of size and pocket presence, but struggled early in camp. Watching him yesterday with UW QB Coach Doug Nussmeier, the connection was made and Manley started to really dial in on his throws. Perry is player that has really emerged of late, and we expect him to continue to improve throughout the summer. Wheeler was only around for Friday's session, but spun it consistently well. He's definitely the guy in the Seattle area to watch for this fall; his recruitment should be very interesting to watch.

Other QB's of note:
Justin Lane - Lakewood (2011)
Jason Thompson - Kennedy (2012)

Deontae Cooper
Running Back MVP's: Jared Bell - Colony; Deontae Cooper - Citrus Hill; and Larry Dixon - Olympic

Bell, from Colony High in California, has a reported offer from Colorado, and interest from Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and UNLV. Cooper was the touted kid coming in, and he didn't disappoint. He just looks the part of a back that can run between the tackles or take it the distance outside. Dixon, the top in-state running back, came in on a mission to impress the coaches, and he definitely impressed us with this high motor and love for the game. In the beginning he was working hard, but not finishing things; by the end of camp he was not only going 100 percent through every play, he was leading everyone around and a visual presence everywhere he went.

Other RB's of note:
Anthony Kereluk - Desert Vista
Willis Wilson - Lakes

Kasen Williams
Wide Receiver MVP: Kasen Williams Skyline (2011)

This one was close on Friday, with Lemar Durant, Daniel English, Cameron McKernan, Jamaal Kearse and Jalen Saunders all showing they were capable of being the best in attendance. Williams showed up on Saturday, and it quickly became game over as the sophomore turned heads on nearly every catch he made. And on a couple of passes that looked way beyond his reach, the Skyline star even had some of the staff shaking their heads at his ability to come up with the impossible grab. After he got home from camp Saturday night, Williams told Scout.com that he's got two trips planned for July. He'll be attending Friday Night Lights at the University of Florida near the end of July, and will hit Georgia right before that on an unofficial visit.

Other WR's of note:
WR Jake Bainton - Liberty (2011)
WR/DB Jarrel Brown - St. John Bosco
WR/DB Lemar Durant - Centennial
WR Daniel English - New Westminster
WR Jamaal Jones - Graham-Kapowsin (2011)
WR Jamaal Kearse - Lakes
WR Austin Marshall - Bonney Lake (2011)
WR Cameron McKernan - Kentridge (2011)
WR Kelly Mitchell - Oakland
WR Jalen Saunders - Pleasant Grove
WR Mitch Saylor - Union
WR Booker Wells - Grant
WR/TE Christian Wesley Central Kitsap

Austin Reifeis
Tight End MVP: Austin Reifeis - Eastlake

Reifeis, who holds an offer from Hawai'i, among others, is just the best in the area when it comes to having the complete package as a receiver and blocker. An offer from UW was probably never going to happen because they already picked up a TE in Michael Hartvigson, but Reifeis certainly stated his case for consideration.

Other TE's of note:
Zach Chapman - Mountain View (Vancouver)
Joseph Farmer - Mount Si (2011)
Christian Paulino - Trinity (KY)





James Atoe
Offensive Lineman MVP's: James Atoe - The Dalles-Wahtonka; Jase Butorac Skyline; Jake Welch - Mark Morris; and Justin Hansen - Longmont (2011)

Atoe is a huge presence at a legitimate 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds. He comes from a small school in the gorge, but carries with him big game. He would have been the outright MVP if his play had been consistent, but it wasn't. That being said, there's no question he was the best-looking 'big' lineman that actually did something during camp. For the interior linemen, Butorac and Welch did the best job during the one-on-ones and were by far the steadiest pair of the bunch. A special shout out to Hansen, the best underclass OL. He doesn't have that size you're looking for yet, but looks like he could develop into a very nice tackle if his physicality continues to ramp up.

Other OL of note:
Ben Gottschalk - Sherman Oaks Notre Dame
Ian Joseph - Placerville El Dorado
Marcus Henry - Bellevue (2011)
Stuart Jennings - Kennedy
Michael Mitchell - Crespi (CA)
Connor Rains - Ponderosa (CA)
Michael Stead - Skyline
Deshea Taylor - Aberdeen (2011)
Ben Westrum - Black Hills


Happy Iona
Defensive Tackle MVP's: Happy Iona - Bethel; Julius Tevaga - Archbishop Murphy (2011); and Taniela Tupou Archbishop Murphy (2011)

These three were an absolute joy to watch on Saturday. Tevaga and Tupou had been there Friday as well, but when Happy showed up, everybody got into the act. I don't know if their play was just that good, or the OL they went up against just weren't up to par, but it wasn't surprising to learn that both Iona and Tupou were offered scholarships after the camp was over. Whether using their natural strength or pushing through an explosive first step, all three excelled. Don't be surprised to hear Tevaga's name on the tongue of D1 defensive line coaches soon, and the thought of seeing him and Tupou wreak havoc on the Cascade Conference has to have Wildcats' Head Coach Dave Ward grinning from ear to ear.

Other DL's of note:
Xavier Cooper - Wilson
Matthew Devereux - Marist (2011)
Lawrence Fenumiai - Juneau Douglas

Hroniss Grasu
Defensive End MVP's: Hroniss Grasu - Crespi; Andrew Hudson - Redlands East Valley; Joe Lopez - Central Catholic; and Brennan Scarlett - Central Catholic (2011)

I have to admit, this quartet of DE's was just as fun to watch as their counterparts on the interior. Watching a defensive line of Hudson and Scarlett at the ends with Tani Tupou and Happy Iona at the tackles was a sight to behold. Hudson, from the same school as current Huskies Ronnie Fouch, Chris Polk and Marquis Persley, came in with a scholarship offer already in hand, and didn't disappoint during Saturday morning's drills. He's not the biggest kid in the world, but he holds his weight really well and has a frame that can add more. Quick off the snap, there wasn't a tackle in camp that could handle him.

Grasu came to Washington's camp Saturday with offers from Nevada, UNLV and Wyoming in tow, but was looking for bigger game, and bagged an offer from the Huskies Saturday night. At 6-foot-3 and 245, he showed a surprisingly quick first step, and didn't have much of a challenge either from the tackles he went up against. The same goes for Scarlett, who is a bigger version of a former Central Catholic athlete, Demetrius Guice. Only a sophomore, Scarlett has the potential to be a national-level recruit if he can keep his quickness and athleticism, because there's no doubt he'll grow.

And last, but certainly not least, is Joe Lopez. Having watched Joe at camps with and without pads for two years now, I'm still amazed at how much he gets accomplished despite being outmatched physically on every snap. He's 6-foot-1 and 230, but he gets by every lineman he lines up against simply by having better feet and a motor than never quits.

Other DE's of note:
Evan Day - Skyline
Thomas Hickel - De La Salle
Galen Rock - Renton
Trevor Stuart - Bishop Gorman

Cooper Pelluer
Linebacker MVP's: John Goldwire - Lakes; Jonn Kanongata'a - Bellevue; Cooper Pelluer - Skyline; and Devin Topps - Kentridge

When watching the 7-7's, it became very clear who the UW coaches liked at LB from the outset - Goldwire, Kanongata'a and Pelluer. Goldwire continues to gut out a bum leg after hurting it a couple weeks ago, but he insisted on making sure the UW coaches knew he was ready to play. Playing through injury is something you can't teach, and it's a big reason why I've become an ever bigger fan of Goldwire. I expect his stock to really soar this fall. Kanongata'a came to UW's camp on the heels of an MVP performance at Colorado's camp, and just continued to truck through the workouts like they were no sweat. If he was a few inches taller, the whole country would be calling.

In my mind, Pelluer and Devin Topps are going to be two of the more intriguing seniors to watch this fall, simply because Pelluer hasn't had a ton of playing time yet and Topps continues to show himself as an athlete extraordinaire, but can he put together some breakout games? There's no doubt he has the ability; he turned heads as early as the 2008 Competitive Edge combine.

Other LB's of note:
Anthony DeMatteo Skyline
Keelan Malone - Santa Monica
Taylor Martinek - Jesuit
Jordan Patterson - Lakes
Sadat Sulley - Spanaway Lake

Derron Smith
Defensive Back MVP's: Deone Bucannon - Vanden; Charles Garrett - Dorsey; and Derron Smith - Banning

This was the other group that really showed off its talent, especially from those that made the trek from California to the Emerald City. Bucannon came to Washington's camp with offers from Cal Poly, Nevada, San Diego State and Washington State, and the rangy athlete showed he could perform on either side of the ball. I personally liked him a lot as a ball-hawking safety, but he's equally impressive as a long-armed receiver. Garrett showed up with one offer - from Washington State - but strong interest from Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Oregon and New Mexico, among others. He is more of a straight-up, lock-down corner at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, and he did that all camp long.

But to me, the most impressive island corner was Smith, who has offers from Nebraska, New Mexico State, San Diego State and UNLV. It was easy to see why a team like the Cornhuskers like Smith; he's got wiry strength. During one rep in press coverage, Smith got into the kitchen of the receiver, just stoned him at the line of scrimmage and actually moved the receiver back off the line and down to the ground. It may have been one of the most impressive plays of the camp. But it was just one of a handful of plays he made, including a circus pick during Friday's 7-7's. If he didn't make an impression on the UW coaches, I'd be pretty surprised.

Other DB's of note:
Kenneth Acker - Grant
Marques Avery - Pasco
Jesse Clark - Desert Vista
Nick Moyer - Bellevue
Daniel Murray - Torrey Pines
Kendrick Van Ackeren - Bellevue (2011)
Evan Zeger - Bishop Gorman (2011)


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