LAS VEGAS, Nev. – One of the biggest stars of the day at the NLA 7on7 West Regional was Jalen Brown out of Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe. Unfortunately, he had one of the day’s shortest outings as well.
Jalen Brown made a spectacular touchdown grab during the play on which he was injured.
On a spectacular touchdown grab in his first game of the day, Brown injured a shoulder and ended up sitting out the rest of his team’s pool play. But one bum shoulder isn’t going to slow what has begun to amount to a hotly contested national recruitment for the four-star wide receiver.
Already this spring, Brown has attended junior days at Arizona and Arizona State. In a week, he’ll be at USC and UCLA for unofficial visits. But those are just the west coast trips. In the spring and summer, Brown also hopes to make stops in both the Midwest and the Southeast.
“I have nothing planned yet but I’m trying to get to the Midwest and the South for the summer,” Brown said on Saturday. “Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Ohio State are the schools from the Midwest and from the south Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Alabama, schools like that.”
Of those schools, only Alabama has yet to offer the 6-2, 170-pounder but he is not discouraged.
“Alabama has been playing a little quiet lately but I know how they are. They’re a big school looking for the perfect fit for their team.”
The interest in Vanderbilt and Northwestern fit the high-academic profile that Brown is looking for.
“Vanderbilt has a good education and both Vanderbilt and Ole Miss throw the ball. When I talk to the receivers coaches, they know the position well.”
While the competition continues to build in Brown’s recruitment, don’t expect him to make any decisions soon. He plans to make his decision on national signing day, if not after it and he has a few factors he is keeping in mind.
Tyler Whiley may have been the day's most productive player.
“The thing for me is where I’m going to live,” he said. “The type of education I’m going to get and the people I’m surrounded by because there’s a point in my life where I’m not going to be playing football and I need to take a different path so I need to be ready for that.”
Schultz has options
There may not be another tight end in the country that is as heavily recruited as Dalton Schultz out of the class of 2014 at this point in the process. The Utah native is adding offers by the day and he lists four schools that stand out as having the most mutual interest among his offers: Notre Dame, Stanford, Washington and Utah.
“Notre Dame is a pretty cool school,” he said. “They’re tight end rich in tradition and they compare well to places like Stanford and Utah and it’s tight end U.
“Stanford is just like Notre Dame, they compare really well. Academics are great.
“Utah, I love the coaches there. They were the first ones to have interest in me.
“Washington’s the same way. I love the coaches at Washington too and I’ve heard their new facilities are real nice so we’ll have to go see.”
Schultz hopes to get in several visits this offseason but at the least, he’ll get in some next fall. Official visits are likely to play a major factor in his decision which he doesn’t expect to come until national signing day. Academics are also going to weigh heavily.
Cameron Denson currently expects to play offense at Arizona.
“That’s engrained into my mind by my mom,” he said. “Academics and how good the football team is. You’ve got to have a good football team and then how comfortable you are with the coaches.”
Schultz lived up to his profile on Saturday looking the part of an elite tight end prospect with major mismatch ability and deceptive athleticism.
Fontana (Calif.) Summit wide receiver Erik Brown only has offers from Houston and Nevada currently. That will soon change. Brown was arguably the top wide receiver at the entire event on Saturday and he showed the complete package with size, ball-skills, body control and outstanding feet.
In addition to his two offers, Brown is hearing from UCLA, Boise State, Washington BUY and Cal. Tentatively he plans to take in junior days or visits in the coming weeks and months to USC, Boise State and BYU (where former Summit running back Jamaal Williams starred as a freshman in 2012).
As word begins to trickle out about Brown’s weekend in Vegas, expect that trickle to create a flood of recruiting activity.
Utes lead early for Masina
Osa Masina is beginning to emerge as one of the top 2015 prospects in the country with offers from Utah, BYU, Wisconsin and Michigan already. The 6-4, 190-pound athlete out of Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton was excited to get offers at the early age of 15, particularly a recent offer from Michigan.
Dalton Schultz would like an offer from Alabama but has four other schools in the lead.
“I had a big reaction to that one,” he said. “It was out of the blue. I hadn’t heard anything from them so when they told me, I was really excited. We’ve already planned out a visit. Michigan has my attention because of The Big House. It’s a big school.”
In addition to the Michigan visit, Masina plans to take in Wisconsin, Washington and Oregon for sure this spring. However, the hometown Utah program is in early lead and has a top recruiter in place in 2013 signee Uaea Masina, Osa’s older brother.
“Definitely the favorite is Utah,” he said. “Growing up in state watching Utah, going to Utah football games and Uaea my older brother is up there so he makes it hard.”
One game into a long day of action at the NLA 7on7 and already one of the top players in attendance was emerging. Tyler Whiley out of Paradise Valley (Ariz.) Chaparral may have been the best overall performer on day one, doing his damage on offense and defense throughout the morning session.
It’s no surprise that already Whiley’s recruitment is off and running. Currently the two-way threat holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Washington and Oklahoma. He’s also hearing from Cal, Oregon, Iowa State and Colorado. He’s being recruited primarily as an athlete.
To date, Whiley has attended junior days at Arizona and Arizona State and both of them impressed him, particularly the trajectory of the Arizona program under Rich Rodriguez.
“I like how that program is on the rise,” Whiley said. “Hopefully Cal offers soon. They have a junior day coming up.”
Erik Brown's recruitment is about to take off.
Another offer that Whiley would like to see would be one from Miami. Though he’s getting primarily Pac-12 interest currently, Whiley has lived in both New York and Georgia for much of his life so could see himself playing anywhere in the country. The Miami intrigue comes from the program’s history.
“I really like Miami,” he said. “I like the tradition. I like them a lot.”
Arizona out of the gates
Arizona has been a popular program among prospects this weekend and Rich Rodriguez seems intent on capitalizing on what is looking like a fantastic year in-state in 2014. With an early commitment out of two-way standout Cameron Denson, the Wildcats couldn’t have asked for a much better start.
“I’m still sticking strong with my verbal commitment I did with UofA,” Denson said on Saturday. “I’m still sticking with that. I just felt like it was the right time to do it. I felt like I wanted to get a jump start on the 2014 class.”
The common sentiment among prospects interested in Arizona has been the concept of building from the ground up and being a part of something new. That was definitely one of the main selling points for Denson on Arizona.
“I want to go somewhere where the legacy isn’t already made like an Alabama or something like that,” he said. “I want to be a part of something new where you’re a part of the original legacy.”
Denson is still getting heavily recruited by schools like Oregon State and Arizona State. While he’s considering taking more visits at some point, he remains firm at this time with his Arizona pledge.
Odds and ends
** Four-star Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra quarterback Jalen Greene has yet to receive his first scholarship offer but his recruitment has been very active nonetheless. Three schools have been showing more interest than others with Arizona, Arizona State and Boise State leading the way in the early stages.
** Look for West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade all-purpose athlete Donovan Lee to really explode onto the scene as a senior. Though he doesn’t yet have any offers, Lee took in USC’s junior day recently and hopes to get to Oregon and Colorado soon for visits.
“That’s a school I like with their offense basically,” Lee said of the Ducks. “I feel like they fit me well since I can be in the backfield and spread out wide for passes.”
Lee could play wide receiver, running back, cornerback or return specialist on the next level.
** Big 6-6, 230-pound Paradise Valley (Ariz.) Chaparral tight end Trevor Wood was a tough matchup on end zone jump balls throughout the first day. He currently holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, Boise State and Utah. He has taken in Arizona and Arizona State junior days and hopes to visit Oregon as well.
** Class of 2015 WR/CB Stanley Norman out of Culver City (Calif.) High School recently picked up his first offer from San Jose State. The speedy two-way standout is also hearing from UCLA, Washington and Arizona State.
** San Jose State is also the first offer for 2014 cornerback Andre Chachere out of Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West. Chachere was one of the top defenders on the day on Saturday for Tony Perry’s DB Guru squad and we predict that San Jose State is going to be the first of many offers for the 6-0, 170-pounder.
** Quarterbacks are crucial in 7on7 settings and West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade seems to be in good hands with Brad Kaaya. The returning starter was sharp on Saturday showing good size, arm-strength and anticipation. He lists Miami, Ohio State, Stanford, Oregon State and Utah as all showing strong interest.
** Remember the name Tyrone Smith out of Fresno (Calif.) Edison. Though Michiah Quick came into the event over the weekend as the big-name Fresno wide receiver, there were times when his DB Gurus teammate Smith was the tougher matchup. 6-4 length and quickness made Smith dangerous all day and we expect his recruitment to quickly accelerate.
** Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco wide receiver Shay Fields is beginning to emerge as one of the best playmakers in California. He has picked up his first offer from Nevada and he is considering upcoming trips to Cal, Fresno State and Arizona State.
** Calvin Tipton out of Morgan Hill (Calif.) Sobrato was a prospect that showed well on Saturday as the primary playmaker for quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels. He has picked up an offer from Arizona, coming before his junior season and is hoping to add more in the coming months.
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