Ten takeaways from adidas 7v7 national championships
LAS VEGAS – A few prominent 2018 quarterbacks were exceptional at the adidas 7v7 National Championship, which wrapped up Sunday. Here are 10 takeaways from an action-packed weekend that featured some of the nation’s top recruits.
1. IMG has another winner at QB
Bradenton (Fla.) IMG had five-star quarterback Kellen Mond last season, but now he’s off to Texas A&M. The Florida powerhouse should be sitting pretty with four-star Artur Sitkowski after his performance at the adidas tournament.
Sitkowski, a Miami commit, had one of the strongest arms here. He delivered excellent passes all weekend, was fluid and comfortable in his drops and was absolutely the team leader.
Rated as the fifth-best pro-style quarterback in the class, Sitkowski made a claim for an even higher ranking. He could be a special quarterback down the road for the Hurricanes.
2. Kansas commit is an elite WR
Catching numerous passes from Sitkowski was four-star receiver Devonta Jason, who had the nicest reception of the tournament that I saw with an incredible one-handed catch in the end zone.
The Kansas commit, who’s still being pursued by LSU, Mississippi State and many others has excellent size, strong hands and obviously has the ability to make difficult catches.
Four other receivers are rated ahead of him. Three of those were at this tournament and there’s no doubt on this weekend Jason was the best of the bunch.
3. Johnson backed up rating
Five-star Tyreke Johnson is rated as the top safety in the class and this weekend he played cornerback as well and looked just as talented at that position. The Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity International prospect is a phenomenal talent.
Johnson is long, athletic and an intelligent playmaker. He can bait quarterbacks into believing receivers are open, then uses his closing speed to come up and make plays.
When his team needed an interception on Sunday, Johnson delivered. On Saturday, he picked off a pass on a crossing route. LSU, Florida, Georgia and UCLA are pursuing him, and one team is going to get a special player.
4. USC QB commit Corral is legit
Matt Corral is rated as a five-star quarterback and second at his position nationally behind Clemson commit Trevor Lawrence and he showed why this weekend.
Dealing with a transfer from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian to Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, it would have been understandable if there was some rust, but Corral was sharp and smooth – like always – throughout the weekend.
The USC commit, who plans to visit Alabama and Georgia soon, zipped the ball all over the place, but he can also put touch on it when needed and he plays with charisma and confidence.
Sitkowski was also excellent, but Corral was right there as well.
5. Watkins is D.J. Matthews 2.0
They appear to be incredibly similar players.
Matthews might have a little more sizzle and maybe an inch on Watkins, but the Ocala (Fla.) Vanguard four-star receiver is a highlight-waiting-to-happen every time he touches the ball. He’s a playmaker with tremendous speed and he’s a big-time winner.
Matthews and Watkins in the same offense would have been nearly impossible to stop. ACC fans should be thankful the four-star flipped to the Longhorns. The Texas faithful should be super excited about Watkins coming to town.
6. TAYLOR-STUART DESERVING OF A BUMP AT CB?
The top of the cornerback rankings is loaded with phenomenal talent. It’s a strong year at that position, and four-star Isaac Taylor-Stuart proved again this weekend against excellent receivers he could be deserving of moving even higher.
Where is the question, since five-stars Patrick Surtain and Anthony Cook and four-star Asante Samuel are ahead of him, but the discussion needs to be had because Taylor-Stuart is absolutely phenomenal.
Long, athletic, physical, able to run with any receiver and aggressive once the ball is in the air without committing a penalty, Taylor-Stuart was rarely beaten during the tournament.
Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon, USC and many others are involved. He is a coveted cornerback in this class.
7. WOODBEY SHOWS LOCKDOWN SKILLS
Ohio State commit Jaiden Woodbey had an excellent weekend and proved not only why he’s a Rivals100 prospect, but one of the best defensive backs in the class.
Tested against a five-star receiver, Woodbey completely shut him down except for one crossing route. He also had an interception in that game.
The Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco recruit can easily move to safety and he’s been exceptional there, but on Sunday he made a statement at cornerback and an even bigger statement that he’s a big-time competitive kid who wants to be the best player on the field.
8. CALIFORNIA'S BEST WR IS UP FOR DEBATE
Hall is bigger, longer and an outside threat who can stretch the field. He also has excellent hands. But there are questions about his production because Hall tends to fade at times and not impact the game.
St. Brown is a constant threat all over the field, makes tough catches look easy and has the speed and suddenness to run by anybody. But at 6 feet tall, there are limits against bigger, longer corners.
9. QB MILTON IS ONE TO WATCH
Joe Milton could end up being one of the more debated quarterbacks in this class because he’s a physical specimen with an elite arm but he’s still raw and needs some polishing.
The Orlando (Fla.) Olympia four-star quarterback can zip the ball almost like no other quarterback seen at this tournament, but he also struggled timing up with his receivers and putting touch on some throws that needed it.
Still at 6-foot-5, Milton is a tremendously athletic recruit who could be special down the line and he showed off some impressive abilities throughout the weekend.
10. LAMB CAN COVER
Top programs are smart to be offer four-star linebacker Jack Lamb because the Temecula (Calif.) Greak Oak prospect showed once again that he’s excellent in space and that he can cover really well.
Lamb, who recently landed Arizona State, Washington, Oregon, UCLA and Utah offers, can come down to make the play but he can also turn and run with receivers and he has the length and skill to tip passes or pick them off.
Stanford was one of his dream schools and it would be smart to offer the four-star because he’s a big-time player who showed out once again this weekend.