Rivals Camp Series Los Angeles: The Gorney Awards
MONTEREY PARK, Calif. – The first stop of the Rivals Camp Series was Sunday at East Los Angeles College and plenty of top prospects were in attendance. Here's a recap of some of the top performers at the event in award-show fashion.
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RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info for 2022 series
THE BRICK WALL: Eugene Brooks
Eugene Brooks checked in at nearly 6-foot-4 and 368 pounds but he carries it well and let’s no one by him along the offensive line. The 2024 prospect from Las Vegas Desert Pines is massive first of all but also moves well for his size.
He’s aggressive, uses his hands well and swallows up defensive linemen. No one was getting around or through Brooks all day.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Grant Gray
Grant Gray had nearly 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in his junior season. He’s already a mid-level three-star. But the Norco, Calif., receiver put on a show during one-on-ones Sunday and made some elite-level catches against some elite-level cornerbacks to make an argument to move much higher in the 2023 class rankings.
Camp position coach T.J. Houshmandzadeh fell in love with Gray’s game and it was easy to see why. He made tons of catches and no one had any answers for him.
WHEN WERE YOU BORN: Douglas Utu
Douglas Utu is still just a freshman in high school and his birthday is Jan. 26, 2006, but it’s hard to believe because the 2025 offensive lineman from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman is already nearly 6-foot-6 and 273 pounds.
Utu was one of the best offensive tackles at the event regardless of class and he has all the potential in the world to be one of the best players at his position nationally in the coming years.
MR. CONSISTENT: Jordan Anderson
Jordan Anderson could have lined up at receiver or defensive back – he’s been great at both positions during recent events. On Sunday, the 2024 athlete from Long Beach (Calif.) Millikan was on offense and looked fantastic, arguably one of the top receivers at the entire camp.
Anderson teamed up a lot with five-star quarterback Nico Iamaleava and the two worked so well together as the 2024 prospect used his speed and precision route-running to get open whether it was on short routes or deep.
NEXT ONE UP: Keenyi Pepe
It is hard to believe Keenyi Pepe is a 2026 prospect – currently an eighth-grader – but it’s true. He was expected at Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco but Pepe will be attending Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy and he has superstar potential.
Pepe showed excellent footwork during the position drills and then more than held his own in the one-on-one drills and should only become more dominant as he fills out physically.
SMOOTH OPERATOR: Deandre Moore
Deandre Moore had a strong performance at the camp mainly because he ran really clean routes, shed some cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage and then glided into space and caught lots of passes.
The former Oklahoma commit who’s looking at USC, Louisville and others was working with five-star QB teammate Malachi Nelson and that definitely helped, but Moore caught everything thrown his way and looked very strong all day.
QUIET ASSASSIN: Julian Sayin
Julian Sayin does not say much, the 2024 quarterback just goes out there and delivers strikes on every throw. The Carlsbad, Calif., standout is so technically sound and so smooth in his delivery that a perfect spiral gets to his receiver every time.
I didn’t watch every single throw but when I saw Sayin drop back, he didn’t throw one misplaced ball all day. It’s why he’s such a high priority for Notre Dame and other schools.
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE: Zachariah Branch
There are some clips of Zachariah Branch running routes that make it look so unfair for defensive backs because the USC commit is so fast and so sudden in everything he does that no one would be able to keep up with him.
In space, Branch is one of the best receivers in the country, a tremendous playmaker that looks like he’s running downhill. If the Trojans use him properly, he’ll be a tremendous weapon.
MR. VERSATILITY: Elijah Rushing
One of the more intriguing prospects at the event was 2024 Elijah Rushing, who is ranked as an outside linebacker but played defensive end at camp. That’s what makes the Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe standout so impressive is that he’s a top-notch edge rusher who can also play in space and run and cover.
Rushing will need to fill out physically a little bit and reminded me of Cyrus Moss from last recruiting cycle but that length is special and can be used across the defense.
MR. PROJECTION: Elishah Jackett
Elishah Jackett is really one of the more interesting cases because he has the length and footwork to be a special offensive tackle but at nearly 6-foot-6 and 251 pounds there is still a lot of room for Jackett to fill out.
That could be really good news for the Orange (Calif.) La Modena standout because lots of early-round NFL Draft picks were long and lean in high school and then filled out and Jackett absolutely has the frame where that could happen.
Washington, USC, Texas A&M and others are watching closely.
ROCKET ARM: Nico Iamaleava
The ball pops off Nico Iamaleava’s hand and he has such a smooth and effortless delivery. The five-star quarterback definitely backed up his ranking on Sunday.
There are times when it looks like Iamaleava is a shortstop who backhands a ball in the hole and then flicks it over to first base. The Downey (Calif.) Warren standout can throw from different arm angles and off-platform so easily. It’s really impressive to see.
ACCURATE ARM: Malachi Nelson
Malachi Nelson did what he does at every event or every game – delivers precision passes all over the field and he looks great doing it. The five-star USC commit is so smooth, so fundamentally sound and so perfect with nearly every throw, and he’s another five-star that backed up his ranking.
If there is a better fit for what coach Lincoln Riley wants to do with USC’s offense, I’d love to see it.