Gorney Awards: OT7 Phoenix
MESA, Ariz. - The OT7 Phoenix was absolutely loaded with elite talent and top 7-on-7 teams so there’s no better time than now to hand out some hardware. Here are the Gorney Awards.
Matthews does not say much and he’s relatively unassuming until the five-star takes the field and just catches everything thrown his way. The Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview standout can run past defenders, can outjump them when the ball hangs in the air and he gets open against press coverage with ease as well.
There’s a chance Matthews could play defense in college but the five-star is such a productive receiver it’s going to be tough to keep the ball out of his hands.
SMOOTH OPERATOR II
Taylor has emerged as a big-time prospect in the 2025 class after numerous events and someone who has five-star potential down the road. The Geneva, Ill., receiver showed off his skills from his smooth route-running ability to his hands and his ability to glide by defensive backs to make big catches. Taylor is now a national name not just in the Midwest.
Jordan is already a four-star prospect but there’s absolutely no way there are 66 better receivers in this class as the new Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon standout was so consistent and so productive over the weekend no defensive backs could slow him down.
Jordan gets open easily, he can catch tough passes and showed off great hands. Even if he’s not a physical freak, the four-star is someone who is super productive at all times.
MR. CONSISTENCY II
Originally from the Chicago area, Olugbode has moved to Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy and is emerging as one of the best receivers in the 2025 class. Still only 15-years old, there is tremendous upside potential for Olugbode, who already has elite size, elite hands and is an elite route runner. Especially on Saturday, the 2025 four-star got open, caught passes and moved his Trillion Boys offense down the field.
Carter arrived to Phoenix late because of a basketball game but his presence was immediately felt early Sunday as he caught numerous deep passes, took the top off the defense and continued to apply tons of pressure on defensive backs all day.
The four-star athlete from Chattanooga (Tenn.) Brainerd could also flip and play defensive back but with his playmaking ability and hands – plus with the intensity he plays with – he could be a special receiver as well.
MR. VERSATILITY II
There has been talk for a while that Trader might even be a better defensive back and while he was more than solid on offense this weekend, the Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna standout was even better on defense. His coverage skills are great, he tries to always rip the ball out and play through the whistle. On Sunday, he stepped it up and looked really impressive on both sides of the ball.
Hurley reclassified from the 2025 to the 2024 class and he remains committed to LSU as the Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy standout has a super-strong arm and great leadership skills. Hurley is confident in his abilities and he has the arm talent to back it up. Sometimes he could pull the throttle back just a little bit, which would help with his accuracy, but he has all the tools to be special down the road.
On last year’s South Florida Express team, Brandon Inniss and Carnell Tate led the way but Jeremiah Smith and Joshisa Trader were definitely standouts. Now it’s Smith and Trader who are top dogs but Watkins Jr. is not taking a backseat to anybody. The Colorado commit plays with extreme confidence and it’s because he sneaks behind defenders better than anybody to catch passes. He has speed to beat them deep and he’s clearly in the running as the No. 1 receiver in his class.
Currently a high three-star, Coleman is far better than that ranking and being the No. 86 receiver in the country at least after his showing this weekend. The Phenix City (Ala.) Central standout has size, length, athletic ability, awesome hands and playmaking ability so his ceiling is super high.
Williams is already a mid-three-star prospect so he’s known but the Wellington (Fla.) Palm Beach Central standout could be underrated based on his performance this weekend. The cornerback has size and length plus he showed off excellent instincts on Sunday morning with a big interception where he baited the QB to throw it and then jumped in front to take it away.
Smith can take over whenever he wants. The five-star receiver and No. 2 overall prospect in the 2024 class cannot be stopped when he wants to turn it up as he has elite size, elite playmaking ability and never drops a pass - ever. He can take the top off a defense as the five-star showed numerous times over the weekend or the Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna standout can chip his way down the field as defensive backs give him cushion. I don’t want to compare him to Julio Jones but they’re very similar at the same stage.
Carter had himself a big Sunday. The 2025 four-star from Chattanooga (Tenn.) Brainerd was playing safety and just stealing the ball out of the air time and time again. He had numerous interceptions during Sunday’s tournament and when Carter didn’t pick it off, he was tipping the ball away and causing complete headaches in the secondary.
STICK ‘EM II
Playing with Sound Mind Sound Body, which was a mixture of Midwest and West prospects, Ross was one of the most-consistent and productive receivers all weekend. He has quick-twitch speed to get open and great route-running ability. Ross is lethal across the middle or bursting down the sideline for a big play.
Crawford was excellent on Sunday not only because he shut down receivers but because he was tested numerous times and in different ways. He did an excellent job of staying with receivers and knocking passes down that would’ve been catches against a lesser player. The Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview showed great technique and patience. He didn’t panic when the ball was coming his way.
THE COVER-UP II
It’s a compliment for cornerbacks when balls aren’t thrown their way and quarterbacks refuse to test their side of the field. That was the case with Lockhart over the weekend. The high three-star cornerback from Chandler (Ariz.) Basha was great in press-man coverage. He didn’t get tricked by double moves, he stayed with receivers through their routes and didn’t give up much the entire time.