QB Brian Burrell, Bakersfield (Calif.)
With a 6-foot-4 frame, Burrell has a lot of size and seems to be prototype Pat Hill quarterback. He has a quick release and good velocity on his passes. His passing skills seem to be very good despite playing in a run-based offense.
In 1on1 drills, Burrell displayed good timing with unfamiliar receivers. He showed a good arm connecting on deep passes and surprised with good pump fakes to catch defenders peeking into the backfield. The most troubling thing about Burrell is his poor footwork. He gets good depth on his drops but takes long slow steps and could be a major problem at the next level. His footwork needs to be tighter and quicker and still achieve the same depth.
Another part of his game that is concerning is his hitch. He throws in a rhythm that uses a big hitch. He has done it consistently and he’s been able to get away with it but he won’t at the next level against D1 pass rush.
QB Ikaika Woolsey, Richmond (Calif.) Salesian
Woolsey is about 6’ to 6-foot-1. He seems to be an athletic quarterback, but he was not given a chance to display that at this camp. He throws a great spiral, which was the best at the camp. He is entering his third year as the starter at Salesian and has put up some impressive numbers.
He had great footwork and a quick fluid motion. From a coaching standpoint, he has only minor things to work on. His basic passing skills are raw; he showed flashes of greatness and then would follow that with elementary type throws. His short passing game – which is 70% of a quarterback’s game – needs improvement. But mechanically, he is very sound.
Woolsey’s footwork was the best at the camp. He throws over the top and does not take too much time to get rid of the ball. The most impressive thing was his strength in the pocket not taking a hitch to throw the short passes which helps on timing. The biggest concern about Woolsey is that he may be a run first quarterback. Fresno State does not need a run first option unless Hill plans to change the offense. That is tough mindset to break a quarterback out of when they have done that all their lives. Final thought about Woolsey is that he is a coach’s worst nightmare – he has huge potential.
RB Robert Johnson, Fresno (Calif.) Central
Johnson looks as if he is ready to be Fresno State’s running back right now, wow!
He has a deadly combination of size and speed. He runs with that forward lean that is natural not coached. He made some impressive catches out of the backfield, and he is a good route runner. What separated Johnson from the rest of the field is that he has another gear that others at the camp did not have. He has the ability to hit the hole, find the crease, and explode. At that point, no one will catch him.
Johnson was by far the most impressive back at the camp. But a big concern for him is blocking. He did not do badly in blocking drills but he wasn’t impressive. It can be easily corrected with coaching, but it needs some work. At Central, he’s a ball carrier and does not get the chance to block much. But he’s definitely a playmaker that Fresno State covets.
RB Xavier Stephens, Tulare (Calif.)
Stephens passes the eyeball test. This kid will only be a junior but was a standout at the camp.
He does not have breakaway speed like Johnson but he is fast. He runs a little upright, which can get him hurt rather quickly at the D1 level. The most impressive thing was his blocking. Despite his youth, his blocking skills were among the best at the camp. He is not afraid of contact and seems to welcome it. He has a ferocious mentality when running with the football. Stephens is a player to watch out for in 2012 class.
WR Dalen Jones, Woodland (Calif.)
“WOW,” in the words of Fresno State wide receiver coach Williams.
Standing at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, Jones is a proto type D1 receiver. He was by far the best route runner at the camp. He had good speed and the best of all is he is a solid ball catcher.
He seems to have the ability to go up and fight for the ball in mid-air. Of course, he had drops, but he is willing to do whatever it takes to go up and make plays. He went against one of the top corners at the camp Tevin Ivy from Fresno (Calif.) Hoover, and made Ivy work for everything and most times Jones came down with the ball. Jones might have been the most eye-opening receiver at the camp. And, by the way, he will only be a junior next year. Jones has ability to like former Texas star receiver B.J. Johnson and former Oklahoma wideout Juaquin Iglesias.
WR Kyle Calvo, Orange (Calif.) EL Modena
Calvo showed good speed and decent routes. He is about 6’, 170 pounds and has a lot of room to grow in his frame. His routes are not crisp like Jones but he does get in and out of breaks quick. Like most receivers, he seems to be in love with running deep routes and runs them well. It is the shorter routes that really show his immaturity.
He has potential to be a good possession type receiver or even a deep threat. His biggest problem was his hands; he struggled all camp trying to catch the ball. He made some great catches but dropped some easy ones. There was no consistency with Calvo, but he is a prospect that needs to be watched.
DB Nate Harris, Chino Hills (Calif.)
Harris is built like a linebacker, runs like a corner, and has ball skills like Ed Reed.
Harris is the younger brother of current Fresno State running back Michael Harris, and he is a can’t miss prospect. He plays corner at Chino Hills but projects better as a safety at the D1 level. He is 5-foot-11 and can run in the high 4.5 forty. His cover skills were great he just does not have the best make-up speed, which is what a corner needs to be successful.
With his size, he is very imposing and weighs about 190. He looks like “the assassin” Loren Bell but is faster than Bell. In 1on1 drills, Harris was the second best cover man at the camp. He showed good ability to break on the ball. His on area of concern is once the receiver passes him on the route he does not have the ability to catch him and make a play on the ball although he will make the tackle.
CB Tevin Ivy, Fresno (Calif.) Hoover
Ivy is the typical underdog corner.
Undersized at about 5’9, 165, he doesn’t strike fear in the hearts of any receiver, but has a ton of speed.
He can run with any receiver on the field and has great cover skills. Even when Ivy was beaten during the camp, he found a way to correct himself with his speed and either swat the ball down or make the interception. His most impressive play was when he was beaten on a corner post route. He used a speed-turn to catch up, elevate, and intercept the ball while leaping two feet in the air. Ivy can really get the job done. He is a guy that quarterbacks will dare to throw on and regret it every time. He is fearless corner that knows how to cover.
Kyle Thornton is a Fresno area on-air talent and former standout quarterback at Ft. Worth (Tex.) Fossil Ridge High School. He is a guest contributor for BarkBoard.com.
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