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Oakland Nike Football Training Camp preview

The best of the West, and more.

HAYWARD, Calif. -- Not only will some of the best prospects in the Bay Area and Northern California be in attendance at the Oakland Nike Football Training Camp Sunday at Chabot College, but also some talented Hawaiians.

After two days of action in Oakland already following Friday's Elite 11 camp and Saturday's SPARQ Combine, there have already been plenty of impressive achievements.


Much of the work has already been done for several talented passers expected to make their way out for the third time this weekend. As a result of the Oakland Elite 11 on Friday, four quarterbacks earned invitations to the Elite 11 Finals and The Opening:

Only half of that group will participate in the camp on Sunday -- Travis Waller and Brian Lewerke.

Waller, an Anaheim product and one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, is thought to be high on the Oregon Ducks and should be one of the more refined passers in attendance, bucking stereotypes about running quarterbacks being unpolished. The Ducks also have some recent competition from the Crimson Tide, as head coach Nick Saban just extended an offer following some high-profile misses for the national recruiting powerhouse.

Committed to Michigan State out of Phoenix, Lewerke has similar size to Waller, but is still looking for his fourth star as a pocket passer and might remind some of another recent Arizona product with his accuracy -- current Arizona quarterback Connor Brewer.

However, the top quarterback expected at Chabot College on Sunday is Notre Dame dual-threat commit Blake Barnett, who actually earned the first selection to the Elite 11 Finals and The Opening way back in January after performing well at the year's first event.

All three can count on impressing Elite 11 coach Trent Dilfer merely with their attendance -- there are few things that Dilfer appreciates more from his Elite 11 finalists than showing a willingness to compete and work and get better, even if the stakes aren't high.

Running backs

The recruitment of current Texas commit Kirk Johnson finally took off this spring following his offer from the Longhorns. After an injury-slowed junior season, he'll be looking to show the athleticism that made him a standout at the US Army All-American Combine back in January.

More imposing is UCLA commit Bolu Olorunfunmi, who now weighs 215 and should be difficult to get by in pass protection drills.

Wide Receivers/tight ends

A Texan is making the trip out to California for the event after competing in the Dallas NFTC -- Jaelan Austin of South Grand Prairie, who is trying to follow his prospective future teammate Jarrett Stidham out to Oregon this summer. Stidham earned his invitation to the Elite 11 Finals and The Opening at the recent Dallas Elite 11 camp and is committed to Texas Tech, the consensus pick for Austin's eventual destination.

However, it's going to be hard for Austin to draw the attention away from the group of 2016 wide receivers who are already distinguishing themselves from the rest of their counterparts in the state. And the country.

The younger brother of Kirk Johnson, Collin Johnson is also committed to Texas and will surely be eager to take the opportunity to show off his pass-catching skills after spending much of his sophomore season blocking.

There's also another pair of unrelated teammates, Trevon Sidney and Tyler Vaughns, along with Dylan Crawford. Vaughns is probably headed for the offensive side of the ball in college, though Sidney could end up at cornerback. Crawford, meanwhile, is considered one of the top players in the state regardless of position.

Tyler Petite is a dual-threat tight end in high school and headlines a group of tight ends that includes several players who could end up at defensive end, including 2016 recruits Devin Asiasi of Concord (Calif.) De La Salle and Washington's Isaac Garcia.

Offensive linemen

One of the Hawaiians who may end up battling in the trenches with the talented defensive tackles from the island is Semisi Uluave, who somehow remains unrated by the services despite the fact that he's picked up numerous offers from top Pac-12 programs, including Oregon, USC, and UCLA. At 6'5 and 315 pounds, he has the strength to play inside if necessary, but the size to remain a tackle.

California product Dru Samia could have a chance to play tackle on Sunday and has the feet and body quickness to show out there -- there's an opportunity here to prove that the pass protection ability is there for him, which would significantly increase his value as a prospect.

Defensive linemen

The offer list for Uluave is impressive, but he'll take a bit of a back seat in star power to his fellow islanders in Texas Tech defensive tackle commit Breiden Fehoko, a disruptive force along the entire line in high school, and Stanford commit Rex Manu, whose motor makes him a playmaker.

In a format that favors defensive players, Fehoko and Manu could have big days.

The top California defensive tackle isn't too shabby either -- consensus four-star Kahlil McKenzie is a top-10 player nationally and one of the top players in the state regardless of position. At 310 pounds, he may choose to use his mass to his advantage with bull rushes to prove himself as an irresistible force.


In drills against the running backs and in 7-on-7 work, the two linebackers battling for overall supremacy in the state of California will be 2015's Cameron Smith, one of the country's top inside linebackers, and 2016's Caleb Kelly, one of the country's top outside linebackers. The format favors Kelly, who actually ranks among the top players in his class at this time.

Defensive backs

Hungry for an invite to The Opening is safety Marvell Tell, a top-100 player nationally and one of the best safeties in the country. Strong with his vertical and shuttle, Tell might be hoping to knock some time off of his 4.66 40 from a previous event. On the field, however, he doesn't need the testing speed because of his instincts, which should serve him well in 7-on-7 drills.

The 2016 prospects are out competing to compete for the most part, as invitations to prospects getting ready to enter their junior seasons have been rare. In that regard, 2016 top-50 prospect Shurod Thompson will try to position himself for a coveted 2015 invite to Portland with his work on Sunday.

There's also a 2015 prospect who is trying to make a wise positioning move of a different kind -- high school quarterback Stephen Johnson will work out at his future position of defensive back to get ready for college, a decision that could help his rankings and his offer list if he can stand out.