SANTA MONICA, Calif. – The 2014 Elite 11 camps kicked off on Sunday afternoon at Santa Monica College as some of the best passers from not only Southern California but several other regions were in attendance.
The two highest-rated quarterbacks in the class of 2015 hail from the area. Ricky Town of Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure is ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect in the country in the 247 rankings and the No. 5 prospect according to the 247Composite.
Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco’s Josh Rosen is ranked No. 5 in the 247Sports ranks but comes in one spot ahead of Town in the 247Composite at No. 4.
With both players on the camp roster going in, it seemed like it was shaping up to be a good battle between the friendly rivals. However, Rosen was not able to participate and instead just came out to watch his fellow passers. He plans to attend a future event.
Despite the fact that a five-star in Rosen was not in action, plenty of talent was still on display. 247Sports breaks down the top performers on the day. All are members of the class of 2015 unless noted.
1. Ricky Town, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure – The five-star Alabama commitment certainly lived up to his billing as he was the most impressive player throughout the day. Though not a dual-threat quarterback by any means, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound passer showed very good agility in the drills early in the day. However, it was during the passing drills that he truly shined. Town has very good touch on the ball that allowed him to be accurate on short, intermediate and deep throws but he most impressive part of his game is how quick he releases the ball. He was able to look downfield, make a read and get the ball out of his hand quicker than any other player in attendance. It’s easy to see why the Crimson Tide went after him so early.
2. Malik Henry, Thousand Oaks (Calif.) Westlake (2016) – The 6-foot-2, 180-pound sophomotre has impressive film but, in it, he makes a lot of plays with his legs. The Elite 11 events are not ones made for dual-threat passers to shine but Henry was able to do so anyway. He was as accurate as any passer at the event, hitting his receivers in stride. After several passes, there was audible praise and amazement from a few of the coaches. He does not have an offers just yet because he is so young still but he should be a very well-known name a year from now.
3. Jack Lowary, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei – The 6-foot-3, 220-pound passer was probably the surprise of the event as he did not have much, if any, hype coming in. He is a thick kid that is able to get a lot of power behind the ball. His footwork was solid and he did a good job of stepping into his throws. He forced the ball a few times but all his other throws were on point. He was the best at leading the crossing receivers in stride. Playing at a powerhouse program like Mater Dei, Lowary will get noticed for sure. It shouldn’t be long before the first offer comes in.
4. Kody Wilstead, Saint George (Utah) Pine View – The most impressive out-of-state prospect on Sunday, the 6-foot-6, 210-pound passer is a big presence in the pocket. He should have no trouble seeing over the offensive linemen at the next level. Wilstead also has a high release point without suffering any on the quickness of his delivery. He has a trio of offers already from Louisville, San Diego State and Southern Utah but will see that total increase this spring.
5. Blake Barnett, Corona (Calif.) Santiago – The 6-foot-3.5, 195-pound four-star passer is ranked as the No. 135 overall prospect in the 247Composite and the Notre Dame pledge was named the MVP of the event by the Elite 11 staff. He was strong in the drills but was off on his accuracy a bit. However, he made up for in the two-minute drill at the end. He showed very good poise and a strong arm. Notre Dame has a history of going into California for quarterbacks and Barnett is the next in line.
6. Sheriron Jones, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde – The 6-foot-3, 180-pound passer is another dual-threat prospect that not a lot expected to impress as much as he did. With offers from Arizona and Arizona State under his belt, the nation’s No. 104 overall prospect showed that he is more than just a runner who can throw if need be. He was great rolling out of the pocket but also showed a nice ability to see down the field and find the open receiver.
Others who impressed: Jaylon Henderson, Humble (Texas) Kingwood Park; Brian Lewerke, Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle; Tyler Hilinski, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Upland; Richard Wagner, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita (2017); Brady White, Newhall (Calif.) Hart