Session one of the Rough Diamonds College Showcase started off with a bang… Literally. A lightning delay brought things to a halt just a few rounds into the session, but didn’t hang around long.
Like previous years, the RDAF Showcase is the only opportunity for specialists (Kickers, Punters and Long Snappers) in the Northwest to get much needed exposure. While they share a session with the OL/DL, this was one of the better specialist sessions we have seen.
Below is a breakdown of session 1 athletes. This is a list of athletes that stood out to me, and not a list of every athlete.
From my vantage point, the OL got the better of the DL on the day, but it wasn’t by a wide margin. There were a lot of big time names and lineman in attendance and the one-on-one was as spirited as I have seen.
I really liked what I saw from Erik Lukner (’16 Sedro-Woolley). He plays Tackle for his team, but projects inside at Center/Guard, and did very well in the one-on-one portion. Sedro-Woolley is a run heavy offense, and Lukner is one of the run blocking lineman around, but his ability in pass protection really wow’d everyone in attendance. He showed good hands, feet, a great punch and got downright nasty at times.
Korbin Sorensen (’16 Kamiakin) and Cody Kanouse (’17 Peninsula) both continued their fine offseason by having outstanding days. Sorensen recently picked up his first offer, University of Idaho, and is in line for a few more. He showed good hands and feet, and clearly has his best days ahead of him. This event was the best I have seen Kanouse all offseason. Things are really starting to click and it is only a matter of time before he has an offer. He used his length to keep defenders away and didn’t lose many reps.
Two kids out of Oregon I saw for the first time were Jaxson Kirkland (’17 Jesuit) and Tobe Okafor (’16 Central Catholic). Kirkland is a BIG boy (6’6″ 295) and moves surprisingly well. He has a good punch, nice feet and still a lot of room to grow his game. Okafor already has multiple offers, and I am sure many more to come. He is still really raw, but already very good at what he does. Okafor has long arms and a bit of a nasty streak.
Teammates Conner Crist (’16 Tigard) and Derek McMurray (’16 Tigard) both had really nice days. Crist has a few offers, and looks like he will be picking up more. His punch is so strong and on point, and he does extremely well in the run game. This was the first time I have seen McMurray in about a year, and his pass pro is vastly improved. He moves well for being 6-foot-7 and 340 pounds, and had a nice day in one-on-one.
Fresh off his commitment to Washington State University, Josh Watson (’16 Cascade) had another nice day in a growing offseason. Watson did his best work inside at guard, and didn’t lose many reps.
Last but certainly not least on the OL are Nick Blair (’16 Everett) and Scott McIvor-Garman (’16 Sehome). Blair is having a great offseason and continued it with a nice day at the RDAF Showcase. He gets better every time I see him, and this camp was no different. Blair is a big cat (6’7″ 340) and showed good mobility with a strong punch. McIvor-Garman is under the radar, and has a great frame (6’5″ 260). Sehome has produced some really mean and nasty lineman the last few years, and he showed plenty of that, along with nice feet and hand placement.
To me there were two top performers on the day, Ali Gaye (’17 Edmonds-Woodway) and Omar Dyles (’16 Bellevue). Gaye has tremendous upside and already gets to the QB at ease. He still has a ton of work to do, but uses his hands well, has a nice get-off and great frame (6’5″ 225). Dyles hasn’t been stopped all offseason. He has a great bull rush, but showed a technical side to his game I had yet to really see.
Also coming hot off the edge were Blake Ingram (’16 Skyview) and Tre Neal (’16 Hermiston). This was the first time I had seen either athlete, and came away very impressed. Ingram is undersized, but plays so fast he makes up for it. He has a great get off and nice hands, allowing him to get under and around bigger opponents. Neal plays inside for his team, and did some as well on Sunday, but really did his best work outside where he showed good speed and a mean streak.
Benicio Madrigal-Ries (’16 Arlington) and Tiano Tialavea (’16 O’Dea) had two of the best days from the interior. Madrigal-Ries is a lot like Dyles in that if he was taller, he would have offers from all over. Benicio did was Benicio does, using his hands and speed to get to the QB, with very few OL able to stop him. Tialavea has seen a steady rise this offseason, and Sunday was no different. He is so strong and physical in the middle, it is tough for anyone on the OL to match his intensity.
Jeremy Johnson (’16 Sehome) and Amir Matheny (’17 Olympia). I am a big fan of Jeremy, and think someone is going to get a steal when all is said and done. He is so strong and physical, but also has good athleticism, and is completely under the radar. Matheny is known as a powerful run stuffing type, but did a great job in the one-on-one portion showing more finesse moves.
Alex Yockey (’17 Newport) and Charlie Baumann (’18 Newport) look to give the Knights a solid foundation for the future. There is something about Yockey I really like. He is physical, has a good get off and uses his hands and strength nicely. When young athletes like Baumann come to camps like these there can be a bit of an intimidating feeling, but I got none of that from Baumann. He got beat on a few reps, but jumped right back in there against some big time competition.
Before I go any further, I will admit that specialists are not my specialty, if that makes sense. Former UW Kicker Ryan Perkins of SoundKicking.com was on hand to run the specialists session and did a tremendous job throughout the day.
The top performance of the day goes to Vernon Parker (’16 Yelm). He hit a tough 50 yard FG during the pressure situation, and boomed one massive kickoff after another during that portion. There is no doubt in my mind that Parker could be a big time D1 kicker.
I like what I saw from Jackson Clemensen (’16 Juanita). He was deep on the kickoffs and hit a few really nice kicks from distance. Tanner Ohlsen (’16 Monroe) looked to be the top punter in attendance. He has a big leg with nice hang time.
At Long Snapper I liked what I saw from James Workman (’16 Liberty) and Jared Enrico (’16 La Mirada, CA). Both are good athletes and look like they could snap at a high level. Speaking of a high level, Thomas Fletcher (’17 Skyview) is one of the nation’s top ranked snappers, and he went to work on Sunday. He was crisp with his snaps and looked like a nice athlete.
Matthew Longnecker (’16 North Thurston) and Kyle Sentkowski (’17 Blaine) both had nice days. Each showed well in kickoff duties with high deep kicks, and also looked good in field goal attempts.