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July 18, 2010
Simmons leads strong group at B2G camp
Jordan Simmons was the toughest offensive lineman at the B2G Elite Camp Sunday at Cal Lutheran.THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Coaches raved about his performance and almost every prospect who was asked said
That's high praise for Simmons, a 2012 recruit from Los Angeles Dorsey, because the talent level was high across the board with Todd Barr and Charles Burks as two of the top defensive ends working out. Simmons wasn't pushing around nobodies - he was going against some of the top players in the state and excelling.
Checking in at 6 feet 5 and 342 pounds, Simmons ran the 40-yard dash in 5.2 seconds - and one B2G coach said it could have been faster if the rising junior didn't look back in the final 10 yards.
With early offers from Southern Cal, Washington, UCLA, San Diego State and New Mexico, it's clear Simmons will not only be one of the top prospects in California next recruiting cycle but could vie for a top spot nationally.
Simmons led the offensive line group which also featured Norco, Calif., recruit Brent Walker, who has UCLA high on his list, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran's John Lopez and Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan's Siosifa Tufunga, who's hearing only from Washington at this point.
Lopez, who has an early offer from UCLA, is a 6-foot-5, 328-pounder in the 2013 class who was in the same league as Simmons, one coach said, and the B2G staff loved Tufunga, a fierce and tough 6-foot-3, 300-pound recruit.
On the defensive line, Barr and Burks were the standouts - no surprise since they are two of the top players in southern California - along with Encino (Calif.) Crespi's Reggie Coates and Palmdale, Calif., recruit Steve Dillon, who said Cal and UCLA are his favorites.
Barr, a four-star from Lakewood, Calif., is expected to visit Florida and Miami in early August and he's excited about seeing what the Gators and Hurricanes have to offer. Burks could play linebacker but would prefer to be a defensive end in college. Stanford is his biggest offer.
Quarterback was another strong position with Arizona State commit Michael Bercovici leading the way. The Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft recruit has an exceptionally strong arm, throws a tight spiral and is incredibly accurate. Bercovici has been good at many spots this off-season and he backed it up again at the B2G Camp.
Other quarterbacks who stood out included Los Angeles Dorsey's Joseph Gray, who has a Hampton offer but could pick up more soon, and Los Angeles Cathedral's Hayden Rettig, a 2013 recruit who's getting stronger and better all the time. His brother, Chase, is a freshman quarterback at Boston College. Jordan Lasley is a rising freshman quarterback at Carson, Calif., who could be a big-time player in a few years.
The quarterbacks might have looked so good because there were a lot of talented wide receivers led by 2012 recruit Gabriel Marks, from Venice, Calif., who was the position MVP at the Los Angeles NIKE Camp.
The 6-foot, 175-pound prospect is super competitive and catches everything thrown his way even if he's undersized.
Leading the way with Marks was Santa Monica, Calif., recruit Brandon Taylor, who's hearing from Iowa State and San Diego State but could easily see his recruitment blow up soon. More than anyone at camp, Taylor made big plays and probably had the most receiving yards during the 7-on-7 session.
Venice's Larry Clark, Inglewood, Calif., prospect Patrick Onwuasor and South Gate (Calif.) South East's Robert Lewis were three other receivers that stood out.
A lot of good receivers went against a lot of talented defensive backs. Bakersfield, Calif., prospect Mercy Maston, who has UCLA as his leader, had a nice interception during 7-on-7. He's been good at multiple events this spring and summer. Clovis, Calif., recruit Jerry Haymon was physically imposing and passed the eyeball test.
Thierry Nguema, Aaron Almond, Brian Clay Jr., and Devian Shelton were four other defensive backs who stood out. Nguema has a Villanova offer but with continued exposure could receive lots more attention. Shelton is a 2012 prospect from Inglewood who continues to develop as a player.
Coaches said Corona (Calif.) Santiago's Ejiro Ederaine, who has Vanderbilt and Fresno State as his two favorites along with Washington and Arizona, and Fontana (Calif.) Kaiser's Dennis Taylor Jr., who could be close to a San Jose State offer, were the top two linebackers.
Others who made a good impression on the B2G staff were Sacramento (Calif.) Natomas' Jakori Ford, Glendale (Calif.) Herbert Hoover's Tevin Ivy, Crespi's Terry Williams, Van Nuys (Calif.) Montclair Prep's Miles Rankin, Anaheim Hills (Calif.) Canyon's Drew Wolitarsky (2013 recruit) and 2012 tight end Cody Tuttle out of Westlake, Calif.
Nembot out with broken hand: Stephan Nembot, a B2G regular, was sidelined with a broken hand he suffered at the USC Rising Stars Camp but the 6-foot-7, 250-pound defensive end is on the mend and should be back soon.
Nembot said he broke his hand when he hit it on a player's helmet during drills at the USC Camp and stayed in for a while longer because he didn't want the Trojans' coaching staff to think he was soft.