It wasn't his best performance, but after seeing Long Beach Poly (Calif.) defensive back Donovan Warren at the recent NIKE 7 on 7 passing championship, there is still little doubt in our eyes that he's the top cover corner prospect in the state.
By his own admission, Warren, the gifted 5-11, 170 pound athlete from Poly, has had better days that the NIKE passing event last Friday.
"Man, I don't know what was going on out there," Warren said. "Getting beat once is bad enough but I got beat a few times. I'm not going to make excuses but we just put it in a new defense and I was thinking a little too much out there instead of just reacting like I normally do. I'll be all right though, don't worry about me."
We've been watching Warren in action since his sophomore year when he was already starting and starring for the Jackrabbits so we're not about to let one sub-par performance weigh too heavily. The raw talent is definitely there and Warren has the perfect cornerback body. He has a long, lean frame with long arms and quick feet. He's tough and physical at the line and fast enough to run with just about anyone.
On a few of the plays we saw him burned, once he got caught peaking into the backfield a little early and another play, Oaks Christian receiver Sean Wiser, one of the state's best wide outs, just made an incredible leaping catch over his outstretched hands. When projecting him at the college level in a few years, we're confident that Warren's physical tools and makeup will allow him to excel early in his career.
As for where he'll be playing in college, everyone is playing catch-up to the hometown Trojans right now.
"USC has a pretty solid lead right now, there really isn't a close No. 2 on my list after them," Warren told us following the event. My other favorites are UCLA, Cal and Oregon and I want to visit Michigan too. I like Ron English a lot so I know I want to take a visit to Michigan.
"Right now, I'm not in any hurry to commit. I don't plan on waiting until signing day or doing a big press conference. I just want to take my trips and compare all the schools to each other. USC is my childhood favorite, it's close to home and they're on top right now so there is a lot to like about them. It's going to take a lot for someone to beat them out but that's what the trips are about. I'll get to see each school up close and personal and then I should be able to make a more informed decision."