With session 3 of the RDAF Showcase being just Quarterbacks, that allowed session 4 to focus solely on Wide Receivers and Defensive Backs. While some QB’s would stay around to throw routes and one-on-ones, WR’s and DB’s would be the only one put through SAQ and Drills during this two hour block.
Below is a list of athletes that stood out to me. This list is not a list of all athletes in attendance.
This is part 4 in a series covering the Rough Diamonds Athletic Foundation NW College Showcase. If you would like to read the first three parts, simply click the corresponding link below.
The receiver group was one of the best I have seen in my years of covering the RDAF event. There were some top guys, some under the radar guys, and oddly a few kids I had not heard of before the event.
For my money, the two most impressive performers on the day were Samori Toure (’16 Westview, OR) and Tyson Penn (’16 Bellevue). Both athletes just stand out in everything they do. Toure was great in the movement drills, precise in the positional work and did a great job in the one-on-one. Penn is a physical specimen, and recently committed to Oregon State. His combination of size and athleticism are something you just stand back and watch in awe. This camp caps off a tremendous offseason for both athletes.
Teammates Tony Archie (’16) and AJ Johnson (’16) of Lincoln High School in Tacoma also continued their rising offseason with a great day at the RDAF. Both athletes have a high ceiling and are still very raw. Archie has good speed, great hands and a nice understanding of the position. Johnson brings more size to his spot, and does a great job using his size to create separation.
Under the radar is a term thrown around a lot, and two athletes making their case were Rashid Madison (’16 Tigard, OR) and Tyrus Tuiasosopo (’16 Issaquah). This was the first time I had seen Madison, and was really impressed with what I saw. He was one of the better performers in the movement drills, showed a willingness to learn and really stood out during the one-on-one portion. Tuiasosopo missed last season with an injury, and has done nothing but great things this offseason. He has great length, nice hands and has a very high ceiling.
Speaking of under the radar, Donovan Sellgren (’16 Arlington) and Clinton Allen Jr. (’16 Blanchet) both had very nice days. Sellgren does a good job getting himself open and did very well in the movement drills. Allen Jr. showed he is back to full strength after missing most of last season to injury. He did very well in the one-on-one and positional drills.
Two of the top inside receivers, Kyle Olson-Urbon (’16 Gig Harbor) and Ki’Jan Weisinger (’16 Auburn Mountainview) had nice days. I’ve seen a lot of both athletes this offseason, and they get better every time they show up. Olson-Urbon has been on our radar for a few years now. He possesses good speed, nice hands and is a polished route runner. Weisinger has great speed and athleticism, to go with good hands. Both athletes do a good job creating space and finding the right spot to make themselves available for the QB.
Length is the name of the game for Jacob Garcia (’16 Bellevue) and Trevon Shelton (’16 Bothell). Garcia has had a great offseason, as he continues to impress each time I see him. With long arms, good hands and a great attitude, Garcia looks to have a very high ceiling. Jacob is one of those kids that is deserving of a chance, and will not stop until someone gives him one. Shelton continues to grow on me. I still think he projects best as a DB, but he has good hands and nice release offensively.
Emmanuel Wells (’16 Rainier Beach) is another name I will be watching this coming season. He is small, maybe 5’7″, but he can absolutely fly and has great hands. If he was at a school known for football, we would all know who he is. On that subject, I think Jeffrey Hepner (’16 Cedarcrest) is right along those same lines. While he doesn’t have the world class type athleticism Wells has, he is definitely gifted. Hepner has good hands, route running and a tremendous work ethic.
Two 2017 class athletes I liked were Hunter Eckstrom (Lake Stevens) and Dean Sise (Juanita). Eckstrom has had a nice offseason and continued it at the RDAF camp. He is a prototypical inside receiver, and does a great job at getting himself open. Eckstrom possesses nice speed, good hands and a great work ethic. Sise is still growing, and becoming a better football player. He shows good speed, hands and a great willingness to learn.
Also more of an inside type receiver are Branden Ingles (’16 Rogers) and Noaki Harmer (’16 Interlake). Ingles has really exploded since taking over a starting roll for his team early last season, and carried it into a good offseason. He does a good job getting open, with nice hands and will be a nice asset for someone down the line. Harmer is a lot of fun to watch. He quietly goes about his business, but is a big time player.
The 2018 class looks to be in good hands, as Cole Chandler (Bellarmine Prep), Dylan Sewell (Bothell) and Robert Mason (Graham-Kapowsin) all looked very good. Chandler is a name most will recognize, and he too looks like he will be a good player. Nice hands, speed and size makes me think he has the makings of being a top WR for his class. Sewell is a hard worker and good all-around athlete. He has good speed, hands and a great attitude. Mason comes to work, and does a great job every time I see him. He is still growing, but shows good hands and a great understanding of the position.
Small school standouts Cade Smith (’16 Brewster) and Harrison Orkney (’16 LaConner) were both very impressive. It isn’t often you get athletes from the smaller schools to come play with the bigger schools athletes, and both athletes showed they are capable of playing at a higher level. Smith was good in the one-on-ones and one of the best looking WR’s in the movement drills. Orkney has good size, nice hands and all-around athleticism. I will be keeping an eye on both this coming season.
Montre Brown (’16 Wilson) was an unknown to just about everyone in attendance, but by the days end had turned his name into a coveted one. Brown hasn’t played football for a few years, electing to focus on basketball, but showed little to no signs of rust. He showed well in every aspect of the session, and came away with a few INT’s in the one-on-one portion.
Benaiah Ellington (’16 Bellevue) and Isaiah Williams (’16 Kentwood) both continued their great offseason with top performances at the RDAF camp. Ellington is one of the fastest players in the state, and does a great job locking down his side. He was very good in the movement and positional drills, and may not have allowed a catch on the day. Williams continues to grow on me. He has a great attitude and just comes to work hard. He has good speed and a nice understanding of the position, and was good in all three phases of the day.
I thought Anthony Adams (’17 Newberg, OR) and Mushawn Knowles (’16 Lincoln) both stood out all day. Adams also took reps at WR, but to me, he does his best work at DB. He has fluid his and tremendous all-around athleticism, making for a tough matchup for receivers. Knowles plays physical like a linebacker, but has the athleticism to be a DB. He has good speed and does a great job in press coverage.
Darien Williams (’16 Lincoln) and Jason Rucker (’17 Westview, OR) are both athletes I look at more as a Safety. Both have coverage abilities, but do their best work roaming centerfield. Each athlete showed extremely well in the movement and positional drills, and finished the day with never say die mentalities in the one-on-ones.
In that same mold are Donte’ Hamilton (’16 Kamiak) and Gavin Crow (’16 Kamiakin). Hamilton has great size and athleticism, and could end up playing OLB, but does a great job as a safety. His man-to-man skills have vastly improved, and he is still very raw with a high ceiling. Crow has had a great offseason, and continued it by having a nice day at RDAF. Crow might have the ability to be a corner, but probably projects higher at Safety. He does a good job in one-on-ones and like Hamilton, is still raw.
Liked what I saw from Alex Stickel (’16 Sunset, OR) and Gabriel Gallman (’16 Kent-Meridian). Stickel excels in man to man coverage and does a great job flipping his hips to stay with the receiver. He has a good understand of the position and did a good job in one-on-ones. Gallman ended his day early with a injury, but up until that point I thought he looked very good. While he is a bit undersized, not many athletes fight as hard as he does on the field.
Darreon Moore (’17 Kamiakin) and Keonte McMurrin (’17 West Salem, OR) are both undersized, but flat out studs. They actually look a lot alike and play a very similar game. Moore has been on the scene a lot the last two year, and does a great job in press coverage. McMurrin is similar in terms of press coverage and does a great job turning and running with the receiver.
Also from the 2017 class I like KJ Ridders (Federal Way). He showed good speed and showed well in the movement drills. He looked solid in the positional drills, but really stood out in the one-on-ones.
Last but certainly not least were Taylor Heck (’16 Kamiak) and Zack Brown (’16 Cleveland). Heck is definitely undersize, but the true definition of the term gamer. He comes to compete and did a great job in one-on-ones. Brown has had a strong offseason and continued it with a nice performance at the RDAF camp. He has good speed and excels in the one-on-one portion, where he was one of the best the camp had to offer.