There were about 35 high school players that participated in UCLA’s Lineman’s Camp Sunday, and a higher percentage of legitimate prospects compared to the skills camp.
UCLA’s committed offensive lineman, Jake Dean, 6-4, 270, Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete, participated, and looked very good generally. He has a body that isn’t really wide in his shoulders, but not narrow either, looking like he easily could top out in the 300-pound range when he’s been in a college program for a year or two. Dean had good explosion in the 10-yard dash and quickness in the 20-yard shuttle. In the one-on-ones, he struggled at times keeping his feet under him, but showed good use of his hands and body positioning. UCLA definitely looks like they got a good one in Dean.
Andy Keane, 6-3, 260, Palm Springs (Calif.) High, probably had the best showing in the one-on-one drills for the day. Physically, he’s a bit narrow, with sloping shoulders, looking like he could hold up to 285ish. He worked out with both the offensive line and defensive line during the day, and showed good quickness in the testing and drills. He really shone in the one-on-ones, though, on both sides of the ball, particularly on the defensive side. There wasn’t an offensive lineman who could contain him, with Keane being just too quick, agile and having advanced pass-rushing skills to control. UCLA coaches were seen talking for a long time after the camp with Keane. A recruiting update is on its way.
Sean Sheller, 6-5, 265, Walnut (Calif.) High. Sheller had been a regular at UCLA’s winter practice, and on Saturday, during the skills camp, hung out with committed Chase Moline and UCLA defensive lineman Kevin Brown a bit. Sheller definitely looked like he was fitting in well at UCLA, and it was obvious he liked the school quite a bit. So it was exciting to see on Sunday at the lineman’s camp that Sheller is actually good. He’s grown more than an inch in the last year, measuring 6-4 ½ at the camp. Physically he’s thick but there isn’t any fat on him. He looks like a type of kid that is still growing and could top out at 6-5+, and as he continue to bulk up, at 300+ pounds. For his size, he moved very well, with good feet in the testing. In the one-on-ones he looked a bit raw, still not knowing how to use his hands or keep his balance, but he has the tools – good agility with good size, and a very good body to build on. A recruiting update is coming soon.
Darius Savage, 6-4, 337, San Diego (Calif.) Morse. Savage is a big ol’ boy. In fact, he’s lost about 20 pounds. He still says he wants to get down to about 310, which will do him good. In the testing and drills, he at times was a bit slow. Physically he’s a bit top heavy, too, with a great deal of his weight above his waist. But toward the end of the day it started to become evident why UCLA intends to offer him a scholarship. In a drill where a designated defensive lineman tries to throw other, oncoming guys out of his way, it was almost comical as the other DLs try to throw Savage. It was like throwing concrete. Then, in the one-on-ones, Savage was just so huge, and had very good balance for his size, that he was a real load to handle, on both sides of the ball. He seemed better on offense, being able to use his balance and size to contain opponents easily. It will be very interesting to see Savage as he continues to improve physically, losing weight and adding more strength, which will improve his agility. Recruiting Update
Sonny Tevaga, 6-5, 355, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez. Tevaga, the younger but bigger brother of current UCLA offensive lineman Shannon Tevaga, sat out last season when he transferred from La Mirada to Dominguez. And in that time, Tevaga gained quite a bit of weight, upwards of 80 pounds. On Sunday, he looked just too overweight to be able to move well, struggling to get out of his stance and move his feet laterally. The body and the agility you can see underneath all that girth, though, are promising. Hopefully if Tevaga comes back to UCLA’s four-day camp in late June he’ll be without a few pounds.
Ryan Griffith, 6-6, 240, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos. An intriguing prospect, Griffith is a lean 6-6, having grown a couple of inches in the last year, with a great frame. He worked with the offensive linemen first Sunday, then tried his hand at defense, with the UCLA coaches obviously wanting to see if he could translate into a defensive end. But by the end of the one-on-ones it was obvious he was better suited as an offensive tackle. Griffith had very good quickness and agility for his size, and quick feet. In the one-on-ones he showed great lateral movement and balance, as well as a very good technical use of his long arms to keep rushers at bay. Griffith is one to watch; if he continues to add weight, and ends up 260 to 270 by the end of his senior year, he has some great potential.
Toby Turpin, 6-4, 235, Los Alamitos (Calif.) High. Probably the best defensive end prospect in the bunch, with good size, technique and explosion off the ball. He’s a bit angular physically, which makes him play upright a bit too much, but you could see 20-30 pounds being added on his frame easily. You could see he was a definite favorite of UCLA defensive line coach Thurmond Moore.
Pedro Xochipa, 6-3, 320, Los Angeles (Calif.) Roosevelt. A road grater type with a mean streak, Xochipa showed very good strength, which he used to manhandle his opponents. In the one-on-ones he lacked good technique, which forced him off balance at times. But at other times, his strength and toughness helped him bury guys.
John Konye, 6-4, 265, Redondo Beach (Calif.) Redondo Union. Not a bad-looking prospect, with decent size and agility. Konye was a bit narrow in his shoulders, but still looked like he could put on some considerable weight. He was just okay in the drills, but looked better in the one-on-ones when he used his smarts and balance to thwart pass rushers.
Justin Andrews, 6-1, 220, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos. A tough, aggressive player, Andrews showed good agility and quickness for a defensive lineman, even though he obviously is too small. Be interesting to see him as a linebacker.
Joe Santiago, 6-6, 250, San Dimas (Calif.) High. Probably the tallest prospect on the field Sunday, Santiago could be taller than 6-6 even. He worked out as a defensive end, and in the drills didn’t stand out particularly until the one-on-ones when he used his length to his advantage. He was a bit slow-footed in the drills, but his size was intriguing.
Alex Gamez, 6-0, 230, Downey (Calif.) Warren. Probably one of the best athletes Sunday, Gamez, though, is too small to project as a defensive lineman on the next level. He’s very well-built, with a put-together torso, and long arms that hang down to his knees that help him with leverage in pass rushing. He might have a future as a linebacker.
More recruiting updates and a photo gallery are on the way.