The coaches put them through four hours of combine drills, individual and team workouts, and the always popular 1-1 and 7-7 sessions to finish with a bang.
Their first Northwest camp was Friday at Aloha High School in Beaverton, Ore. Under sweltering skies, campers trained hard on the field of the defending 6A champs as long as daylight allowed. Here are the camp MVP's:
QB - Kieran McDonagh, Vancouver Skyview
RB - J.J. Fisher, La Salle
WR/TE - Cody Danielson, Newberg
OL - Brayden Kearsley, Aloha (2013)
DL - Peter Tafea, Beaverton
LB - Evan Colarito, Beaverton (2013)
DB - Lamarcus Smith-Pharr, David Douglas
The Combine King was sophomore Jordan Morgan from Beaverton Southridge, who was consistently strong in all phases of the five-test combine (40, 20-yard shuttle, vertical jump, broad jump, power ball throw), highlighted by his 4.16 shuttle time.
McDonagh, who also plays linebacker for Skyview, has already been offered by offered by Portland State as a quarterback "I'm in charge of everything out there on the field," the 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior said after the camp. "I feel like the game slows down for me a lot more back there."
Though Pac-12 programs like Washington and Washington State invited him to their summer camps as a linebacker, McDonagh wants to give quarterback his full attention. He added that he would be open to any position, but loves what the WAC schools do at QB, for instance. "I think the WAC is the best for me if I want to play quarterback," he said - noting how schools like San Jose State, San Diego State and Hawaii have already started to show interest. If SDSU or UH called with an offer, it would be hard for McDonagh to refuse, citing their offenses, and the fact they are located in warmer climates.
Another player with a scholarship offer that stood out was Kearsley, who had some great battles with players like Peter Tafea and Dylan Bratlie, a 6-4.5, 276-pound OL/DL from Skyview. Even though he is only going into his junior year at Aloha, Kearsley is already verbally committed to play football for BYU in college.
The 2013 Oregon recruiting class is already shaping up nicely, with West Linn OL Evan Voeller joining Kearsley at the top of most colleges' early wish lists. At 6-foot-4.5 and 278 pounds, Voeller is moving to left tackle this fall for the Lions. Voeller, who already has a verbal offer from Washington, is the consummate student athlete, sporting a 3.27 GPA to go with his 325-pound bench. The Huskies aren't the only ones to notice Voeller's brains and brawn, as the Oregon Ducks have told him they plan on offering him after the end of the 2011 football season.
The Ducks are a very intriguing recruiting option for Voeller, as his older brother Dallen currently plays tight end for UO, and Evan talked openly about the idea of playing alongside his brother again, calling it a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity. Oregon State, USC, and Stanford have also expressed early interest in Voeller, but could his recruitment already come down to two? Only time will tell.
On Sunday, the coaches took their camp north to Auburn Mountainview High School, and while the view east toward the Cascades was distracting, the 130 or so prospects didn't let it get to them. Just like Friday, Nevels and McDuffie didn't let one precious of sunlight slip, as they worked the campers through a full combine experience, individual position periods, and then a camp finale that consisted of the best players on the day dueling in 1-1 situations - whether it was receivers on defensive backs, or offensive linemen fending off their defensive counterparts.
The camp had some real star power too, attracting players like consensus five-star offensive lineman Joshua Garnett, top OL prospect Walker Williams from Tacoma Baptist, and recent Washington commit Jason Thompson from Kennedy High in Burien. All three watched events unfold from the sidelines, rooting on friends and teammates while taking a break from their own busy summer schedules. On the field, the competition was fierce. Here is a list of the position MVP's:
QB - Kolney Cassel - Yakima Eisenhower (2013)
RB - Isaac Anderson - Prosser
TE/WR - Josh Kraght - Lynden (2013)
OL - Josh Stolz - Vancouver Mountain View
DL - Uso Olive - Federal Way
LB - Caleb Saulo - Kentlake
DB - Jeremiah McNeal - Federal Way (2013)
Perhaps the tightest battle of the bunch was for the youth Combine King award, as 2014 stud Isaiah Brandt-Sims and his 4.35 40 was out-dueled by 2015 phenom Chico McClatcher, scheduled to enter Federal Way High School this fall. Sims, who won the 4A 100 and 200 meter titles in the spring as a true frosh, didn't go down without a fight, but McClatcher was not to be denied. McClatcher ran a 4.41 40, 4.22 shuttle, and jumped 33 inches in the vertical jump. He simply had a stunning day.
The same can also be said of another Eagle - Olive, the 6-foot-1, 290-pound defensive tackle who also calls Federal Way his home. He hasn't stopped smiling ever since his phone conversation with Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson a little over a week ago. Olive will go to ASU on 8/23 with his brother, where he expects a formal offer from the Sun Devils to come through. "They want me to come down there and check me out in person," he said. "I'm excited. I'm feeling very confident about it."
Before that trip, Olive will unofficially visit a Pac-12 school a little closer to home, heading out this Friday to Oregon State. "They are very interested now," he said of the Beavers. "I went there the first time and they looked at me like I was a nobody. But I'm going this Friday and they said they are close. I'm hoping for an offer from them. It's been a ride. It's been a blessing lately."
Right now, Olive appears ready to reciprocate the love he's receiving from Pac-12 programs, also noting that Colorado, Washington and Washington State are in the mix. "I'm a Northwest guy," he said, matter-of-factly. "If Arizona State is my only offer, I'll commit to them. But if Oregon State steps up, they are ahead of Arizona State, because I'm a Northwest guy."
Besides Olive, arguably no other senior had as good a camp as Kentlate athlete Caleb Saulo. With scholarship offers from Army, Air Force, and Portland State, the 6-foot-2, 218-pound QB/LB already has options; Army and Air Force have offered as a QB, and it sounds like he has Utah intrigued as a signal-caller. But Saulo is letting teams know that his future is on defense. "I always wanted to be a quarterback, but once you start hitting people so many times, you just want to keep hitting 'em," he said. "And that's where linebacker comes in."
Like Olive, Saulo is definitely feeling the same kind of attention from Pac-12 schools. "Me and the (Oregon State) Beavers, we've been real tight," he said. "Same with U-Dub, Wazzu, Utah, and BYU. San Jose State just called and they are about to make it official next weekend."
Saulo is supposed to unofficially visit Utah and BYU in August, and he's already unofficially visited Oregon, Oregon State, UW, WSU, Idaho, and Boise State. "If Arizona State comes through, I might be going out there too," he said, noting the bond he already shares with Olive. His father is high on BYU, even though Saulo is not LDS. "He wants me to go there," added Saulo. "They are strict on you, they watch everything you do. I'm Christian, so it still has the same effect on me. I believe in God."