Oakland All-Nike Camp team
Rising LB recruit Kevin Palma named Top Performer
SAN PABLO, Calif. -- Contra Costa College hosted the Oakland Nike Football Training Camp on Sunday afternoon. The event was dominated by Golden State prospects, as more than 220 players attended the Nike Camp and seven athletes earned an opportunity to participate in The Opening following their camp efforts. More than 60 prospects entered the camp holding offers and there were several stellar performances, but only 24 can be named to Oakland All-Nike Camp team.
Note: Selections are based upon feedback from NFTC position coaches as well as past and projected on-field performance. Athletes are in the Class of 2013 unless otherwise noted.
Oakland NFTC Related Links
• Oakland NFTC recap
• Sherman: DBs play with style
• Oakland NFTC All-Camp team
• McKinney: NFTC recruiting notebook
• Paskwietz: Five who shined
• OL vs. DL one-on-ones, Part I
• OL vs. DL one-on-ones, Part II
• RB vs. LB one-on-ones
• WR vs. DB one-on-ones, Part I
• WR vs. DB one-on-ones, Part II
• The Opening invites
• Photo gallery
• Behind-the-scenes gallery
• Headshots gallery
LB Kevin Palma, 6-2, 240, Mission Oak (Tulare, Calif.)
Palma, still somewhat of an unknown despite huge showings earlier at the Long Beach Nike Combine and L.A. NFTC, dominated a strong linebacker group from start to finish Sunday en route to LB MVP honors. A confident, poised and intense competitor, Palma stood out in all facets. Currently has offers from Oregon State, San Diego State and Nevada. Was invited to The Opening post-event.
QB Manny Wilkins ('14), 6-1.5, 172, San Marin (Novato, Calif.)
Wilkins stood out in a very deep and talented rising senior group of quarterbacks both Friday at the Elite 11 and Sunday at the NFTC. The Texas transplant started five games under center last fall after moving but certainly looked like a future star, flashing a strong and accurate arm as well as terrific athletic ability.
QB: Max Browne, 6-5, 214, Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.)
Breakdown: The USC commit capped off a strong weekend on Sunday with another solid outing, adding an invite to The Opening to the Elite 11 finals bid he received Friday. Not a flashy player with a howitzer of an arm, Browne impresses with his consistency, accuracy and poise.
QB: Jared Goff, 6-4, 175, Marin Catholic (Kentfield, Calif.)
Breakdown: Goff got stronger as the weekend went on, parlaying a top-seven finish on Friday at the Elite 11 into QB MVP honors on Sunday. Stronger than he appears on film, the Cal commit should have great upside as he continues to fill out his frame.
RB: Andrew Ballin, 5-11, 173, Hoover (Fresno, Calif.)
Breakdown: Ballin was the underdog story of the weekend, earning an NFTC invite on Saturday at the Oakland Nike Combine after posting a 110.97 SPARQ Rating and then impressing enough to take home RB MVP honors Sunday. Was the quickest back through drills all day long.
RB: Justin Davis, 6-1, 199, Lincoln (Stockton, Calif.)
Breakdown: Davis, fresh off his commitment to USC on Thursday, displayed the physical ability on Sunday that have led many to call him the top back in California in the Class of 2013. He showed competitiveness taking a ton of reps and stood out in pass-blocking drills, earning a spot at The Opening in July.
RB: Olito Thompson, 5-10.5, 208, Concord (Calif.)
Breakdown: Thompson has been flying under the radar a bit in recruiting despite his Northern California single-season record 3,488 yards rushing last fall, with Arizona being his only offer to this point. That should change after a virtuoso outing Sunday in which he narrowly missed out on MVP honors.
WR: Darren Carrington, 6-2.5, 184, Horizon Christian (San Diego, Calif.)
Breakdown: Carrington could be on the verge of busting out in recruiting, with his five offers figuring to increase in the near future after earning WR MVP honors Sunday. A big body with good speed and versatility, Carrington considers Oregon his dream school.
WR: Christian Kirk ('15), 5-9, 167, Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Breakdown: Just a sophomore this fall, Kirk finished as the WR MVP runner-up, flashing explosive quickness and getting open all camp long. Caught 34 passes for 589 yards and nine touchdowns last fall and already holds UCLA and ASU offers.
OL: Cameron Hunt, 6-4, 263, Centennial (Corona, Calif.)
Breakdown: Hunt had an eye-opening outing Sunday, dominating the defensive linemen he faced en route to OL MVP honors and an invite to The Opening. Arizona State, Boise State and Colorado are amongst Hunt's nine offers to this point.
OL: Spencer Nathe, 6-1, 276, Centennial (Peoria, Ariz.)
Breakdown: In a camp loaded with quality interior O-linemen, Nathe might have been the best center prospect. Has an advanced ability to step and shotgun snap and utilized it to control all guards he faced. Was a second team all-state pick in 2011.
OL: A.J. Samataua, 6-2.5, 328, Del Campo (Fair Oaks, Calif.)
Breakdown: A strong and stout interior prospect who had a very solid day at guard. Samataua has great hands and gave little ground versus the bigger D-tackles. A second-team all-Sacramento Bee pick as a junior.
OL: Nick Whitton, 6-1.5, 245, Villa Park (Calif.)
Breakdown: Whitton may lack ideal size but makes up for it with his great feet, overall athletic ability and aggressive nature. Plays with great balance and leverage. Was a third team all-county selection by The Orange County Register last fall.
DL: Elijah Qualls, 6-0.5, 285, Casa Grande (Petaluma, Calif.)
Breakdown: A phenomenal athlete who ran for 1,150 yards and scored 15 touchdowns last fall in addition to starting at linebacker, Qualls put his power and speed on display Sunday. Can improve with technique but has great promise.
DL: Misi Taifane, 6-2.5, 310, Grant (Sacramento, Calif.)
Breakdown: A two-way starter last fall at Grant, Taifane focused on the defensive side of the ball Sunday with spectacular results, taking home MVP honors. Hopes to be latest Pacer lineman to land a D-I scholarship, following in the footsteps of Vei Moala (Cal) and Christian Tupo (USC).
LB: Michael Hutchings, 6-1, 213, De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
Breakdown: Hutchings, back for his second NFTC of the year, had a stronger showing this time around, leading the LB group with his hustle and competitive fire. The No. 57-ranked prospect in the ESPN 150 did a great job popping his hips and changing direction.
LB: David Moffitt, 6-2, 205, De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
Breakdown: Moffitt showed great ball skills and knee-bend for such a long-limbed 'backer on Sunday and was probably the MVP runner-up behind Palma. Totaled 56 tackles and three interceptions last fall and holds offers from Arizona, Colorado and WSU.
LB: Tanner Vallejo, 6-1, 219, Nevada Union (Grass Valley, Calif.)
Breakdown: Vallejo is a very well put together young man with the ability to burst and finish on a play. The 'backer got his hands on a few balls Sunday and had a solid performance in all areas.
LB: Philip Wright, 6-0.5, 219, Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Breakdown: Wright is certainly a sleeper that emerged after a strong weekend that included a 103.98 SPARQ Rating on Saturday and his superb performance and attitude on Sunday in drills and competition.
DB: Hatari Byrd, 6-1, 192, Fresno Central (Fresno, Calif.)
Breakdown: Byrd was physically a man amongst boys in the defensive backs group on Sunday, and once he borrowed some cleats he flashed excellent range as well. Was invited to The Opening following the event.
DB: Devin Holiday, 5-9.5, 148, Mission Hills (San Marcos, Calif.)
Breakdown: Holiday was back for his second NFTC Sunday and continues to impress this offseason, possessing some of the better feet on the West Coast. Hawaii, Arizona and Houston have offered.
DB: Johnny Johnson, 5-9.5, 180, Fresno Central (Fresno, Calif.)
Breakdown: Johnson is still recovering from a shoulder injury so he stayed out of most of the contact drills, but in individual drills he flashed terrific feet and hips. An explosive athlete who when healthy is one of the top corners in the West.
DB: Kevin King, 6-2, 168, Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)
Breakdown: King, a long, lanky cornerback, emerged from a strong group of DBs to win MVP honors. Displayed play-making ability in half-skelly and one-on-ones and is a great leaper. West Virginia has offered.
DB: L.J. Moore, 5-11.5, 164, Fresno Central (Fresno, Calif.)
Breakdown: Moore has a great frame for a corner at nearly 6-foot with long arms, and should only add to his already physical game at the line of scrimmage as he continues to add upper body strength. Confident and dynamic athletically.