This past weekend on the campus of UCLA, adidas held a passing league tournament with an impressive cast of talent. The event headlined three outstanding quarterbacks who have D-I talent. A couple of pretty special tight ends, of course there wide receivers too and defensive backs.
The biggest surprise of the tournament to everybody but themselves was tournament champion, Poway, Calif., high school.
Poway coach Damian Gonzalez brought up a well coached and highly disciplined team that didn't beat themselves.
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They went undefeated the whole tournament and earned the right to participate in the National Tournament to be held on July 18th and July 19th at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
If there was any doubt about the ability of Poway four-star tight end Ryan Deehan (6-4, 230, 4.8).
Whenever Poway needed a play during the two-day tournament, more than likely it was Deehan who would get the call. Not only does Deehan run nice routes and possesses soft hands, he also has strong hands as several times defenders tried to strip the big tight end of the ball only to fail.
Deehan showcased the talent that earned him offers from the likes of Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Maryland, Oregon, San Diego State, Texas A&M, Boise State and UCLA.
Another player to keep an eye on from Poway is safety/wide receiver Jared Relyea (6-3, 205, 4.6). He's a guy with a good senior season should wind up with some offers.
Oregon State bound quarterback Ryan Katz (6-2, 194, 4.7) from Santa Monica, Calif., displayed why he is one of the fastest rising signal callers on the west coast.
Katz made a clutch throw on the last play of the game to prevail over Culver City, Calif., a school that has at least four D-I guys.
Over the two day period Katz showed off his strong arm, but also he would put the ball where only his receiver could get catch the ball. Plays like that indicate a smart quarterback.
Far from the finished product, Oregon State head coach Mike Riley picks up a player with a lot of upside.
After seeing Culver City, Calif., twice on the passing league circuit it is a very good bet that high school football fans all around the southland will be hearing a lot about three-star quarterback Darius Banks (6-2, 185, 4.65) and his four-star wide receiver, Antwon Moutra (6-3, 183, 4.45).
The UCLA bound Moutra made one catch that can only be described as sensational.
Banks let it lose with a lot of velocity but the pass was high and behind Moutra, his intended target. Moutra made the adjustment in mid air displaying outstanding body control to make the grab for a score.
The tandem of Banks and Moutra also hooked up on several long routes for scores.
Culver City could have several athletes go D-I besides Banks and Moutra. Keep an eye on running back/wide receiver/ defensive back Lowell Rose (6-0, 175, 4.48). This young man has stood out twice now and it wouldn't be surprising to seem garner multiple offers this fall.
While most recruitneks are well aware of Encino (Calif.) Crespi standouts four-star UCLA bound safety E.J. Woods (6-2, 192, 4.49 and four-star Notre Dame bound tight end Joseph Fauria (6-7, 250, 4.75), but their quarterback, Kevin Prince (6-2, 185, 4.7), appears to about to blow up.
Prince was injured earlier in the year so he couldn't participate in the NIKE Camp held in Los Angeles and because of a mix up missed out on competing in the Nike Camp held in Palo Alto, Calif., and the Elite 11 camp the same weekend.
Though Crespi had only been practicing since the Thursday before the tournament they made it all the way to the championship game before bowing to Poway.
Keep a good eye on Prince. It was hard to believe he has only been throwing with his teammates for a couple of days. This guy has legitimate talent.
Notre Dame Fans, you're going to like Fauria. He makes a huge target and has a great pair of hands. Crespi used him to make plays when they needed them. Like Deehan, Fauria has soft but strong hands.
Woods was an intimidating factor from his safety position and fits the profile of the long tradition of outstanding hard hitting safeties that pack a punch.
Woods also showed good coverage skills, plus he was used as a receiver and he was pretty good. However he did drop one right in the breadbasket that would have been a touchdown during Saturday's action.
Keep an eye on safety Mark Watley (6-1, 165, 4.5) he picked off a couple of passes and one of them was huge against a surprising Lancaster, Calif., team.
While fighting back a furious comeback by Lancaster, Watley jumped a routed and picked off a pass in the end zone then took the ball all the way back for a touchdown.
That play ended up being huge for Crespi as they held serve and earned the shot at Poway for the tournament championship.
Crespi also has a couple of underclassmen to jot down right now.
Junior to be wide receiver Kevin Cummings had an outstanding tournament and hooked up with Prince on several deep balls. He had a clutch filled tourney.
The other underclass player who is somebody to remember is wide receiver Blake Stanton (6-0, 175, 4.5). He's only going to be a sophomore and he is so athletic that he is already getting letters from UCLA for his skills as a basketball player.
There is one more player who is about to hit the recruitnek charts and that is Taveon Burke (5-11, 175, 4.4) from Lancaster, Calif. Burke and his Lancaster teammates were another surprise and until Crespi beat them on the second day they had gone undefeated, including a win against Crespi the day before.