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West Spotlight: Defenders who would've benefited from camps

Dyson McCutcheon
Dyson McCutcheon (By Vince Quinones/Courtesy of McCutcheon family)

As is the case every year at this time, prospects across the country were counting on spring and summer camp opportunities to raise their recruiting stock. But many of those camps have all been wiped out by the coronavirus shutdown. Here are five defensive prospects from the West who would have benefited from the spring and summer camp circuit.

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Elarms-Orr has been on the radar for a bump in the rankings for a long time after having about 120 tackles and 12 sacks in his junior season, but because he hasn’t been to any camps or 7-on-7 tournaments, his rankings cannot change. It’s a shame, because the Northern California prospect has great speed off the edge, he shoots gaps incredibly well, he lives in the backfield and he has athleticism and power. Cal is considered to be the big favorite, but he now has 16 offers and a lot more interest.

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Queen Creek, Ariz., is becoming a hotbed of football talent as Jackson’s teammates Hunter Barth (Cal) and Trey Reynolds (Utah) are also committed to Pac-12 schools. Jackson is a 6-foot-5, 200-pound prospect who was supposed to attend the Rivals Camp Series event in Los Angeles, but he couldn’t make it and that would have been a great opportunity to see him in person. Long and lean, Jackson hits people like he was just released from a rocket launcher and he’s not afraid to be physical. With more development, Jackson could grow into a linebacker, but he moves well on the back end and could stay at safety as well. Arizona State figures to be the favorite, and he has more than a dozen offers.

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Leigber is just someone we have not seen in person yet or there would be a very good chance he could see his ranking skyrocket. That should be possible during his senior season, but this off-season would have been a perfect chance. The three-star safety doesn’t play top competition in high school, but he’s smart, he makes plays, he baits quarterbacks into bad throws and he has surprisingly good speed to catch up to people who broke free. Stanford has to be a front-runner. Boston College, Cal, Northwestern, UCLA and others are involved.

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McCutcheon was another prospect who was in a perfect position to have a big off-season and see his ranking take off, but he wasn’t at the early camps or 7-on-7 events, so his ranking couldn’t be adjusted. The La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat standout is a big contributor on offense, defense and special teams and is best playing cornerback. But I did want to see him against some of the region’s best receivers and see just how big he is in person. Washington, Cal, Notre Dame, USC and others are involved.

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It was probably going to be unlikely to see Schuster this off-season unless he traveled from Tumwater, Wash., to Southern California for any number of camps, but he’s a defensive tackle that could definitely emerge later in the recruiting process. The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder had 60 tackles and 9.5 sacks in his junior season, he hits like a truck and he does a great job getting off the blocks. Going against some elite interior offensive linemen, though, would have been nice to see.

Stanford looks like a strong possibility now that the Cardinal have offered, along with the Washington schools and others.