In its debut out on the West Coast, the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl received some rave reviews on Jan. 21, both locally and national, thus was a success as Pacific defeated Atlantic, 37-14, at Oakland Raiders’ Coliseum in a televised game in ESPN3.
Boise State commit Chase Cord did well the Pacific, with Nebraska commit Kade Warner, Colorado commit Curtis Chiaverini, Washington State commit Abraham Lucas, San Diego State commit Dominic Gudino and Northern Colorado commit Jackson Block.
On the other side of the ball for the Atlantic, Air Force commit Beau English, Miami commit Evidence Njoku and Northern Colorado commit Kevin Williams did particularly in the spotlight. Same thing, in fact, can be said for their counterpart Jonah Williams.
Once everyone recently arrived, the country’s best had an opportunity to work with the brand’s staff of NFL veterans, now turned coaches for the All-American Bowl, including the Pacific’s Mark McMillian, who played for the Eagles and Chiefs, among others.
His assistants included many one-time professional peers, memorable names including J.J. McCleskey (Cardinals and Saints), Byron Evans (Eagles), George Martinez (Raiders), Rodney Beasley (NFL veteran trainer) and Keith Franklin (Blue-Grey Football Staff).
Arlen Harris (Rams and Lions) was head coach of the Atlantic, with assistants Ken Stills (Packers and Vikings), Latif Grim (Lions), Jerry Jensen (Panthers), Lyndon Price (Falcons), Reggie Young (NFL veteran trainer) and Al McCauley (Blue-Grey Football Staff).
The addition of Kohl’s Kicking this year to the All-American Bowl was another benefit to the overall product of the game. To that end, Jamie Kohl, Anthony Giugliano and Casey Casper will be an integral part of the future and the selection process for specialists.
Those searching for a replay of all the action, look no further. ESPN3 has the stream archived (follow the link) and the game can be viewed at any point. Also, courtesy of 3rd Lens Media, a few of many photos are available (follow the link) and can be found via the web.
Jaylen Tregle, QB, 6-1, 210, Salesian (CA): A Southern Oregon commit, he got the job done with, not only his athleticism, but an accurate and strong arm.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “On the move, with eyes up the field the whole time, Tregle was dangerous and made some big plays for us,” McMillian said.
Kaleb Hardin, RB, 6-1, 195, Skyline (AZ): A bruiser who can pick up the tough yardage in between the tackles, he naturally found the end zone in the game.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “It was a no-brainer decision for the coaches, feed Hardin the ball when the pressure is on, then watch the results,” McMillian said.
Daylan Thetford, RB, 5-10, 178, Amador (CA): Once perceived, right or wrong, as a relative unknown commodity, his days of flying under the radar are over.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Thetford is a steal, someone needs to scoop him. The program to land him will be a lucky one, I can tell you that much,” McMillian said.
DeWayne Dixon, WR, 6-3, 200, Salesian (CA): A Mountain West Conference target, and it could be a two-horse race between Fresno State and San Jose State.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “A big guy, Dixon can go up and get the ball in the red zone. He has tools to work with, nothing wrong with that,” McCleskey said.
Damario Portillos, WR, 6-2, 200, Pine Creek (CO): Big Sky Conference teams have been in contact with him and the lines of communication remain open.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Portillos can do it all, and with his versatility, he should have a chance to make a difference at the next level,” McCleskey said.
Canaan Chandler, WR, 5-9, 190, Grace Brethren (CA): From a relatively small school just outside of Los Angeles, he wasn’t afraid of the big stage. He shined.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “I liked him, Chandler had some shake and made things happen. He opened up eyes, you better believe that,” McCleseky said.
Michael Gombert, TE, 6-4, 235, Cactus Shadows (AZ): Once word spread about his effort in this setting, schools from the Pac-12 Conference reached out to him.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Gombert works hard, more than any young man I know, that’s what separates him, I think, from all the other guys,” McMillian said.
Matt McClurg, OL, 6-5, 298, Heritage (CO): A protégé of NFL veteran Matt McChesney, he has received some of the best training the Rocky Mountains could offer.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Big and strong, with good footwork, McClurg understands what’s expected of him, that can’t be underestimated,” Martinez said.
Nick Omitt, OL, 6-4, 275, Desert Ridge (AZ): Teams from the Mountain West Conference have talked with him in the past, and accordingly, continue to do so.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “A technician, with the measurables, he has a bright future. Keep an eye on him, that’s my recommendation,” Martinez said.
Elijah Reed, OL, 6-5, 290, Vista Peak (CO): More than just a big body, he can move well, too. Potential-wise, his game is tailor-made for Saturdays.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Good kid, great football player, I see success in college for Reed. It’s a matter of him finding the right fit,” Martinez said.
Walker Holgreen, OL, 6-3, 265, Woods Cross (UT): Seemingly tough as they come, he rarely, if ever, did he back down from a challenge in the game.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Don’t cross him, or get him mad, Holgreen might appear easy-going, but he has a switch that turns on,” Martinez said.
Rourke Freeburg, DB, 6-2, 205, Desert Mountain (AZ): A force to be reckon with across the middle or along the sidelines, he’ll come up and deliver a big hit.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “I’ve trained Freeburg for three years, he’s ready for college. You could see it, he almost was the game’s Defensive MVP,” McMillian said.
Bryson Toles, DB, 6-3, 185, Damonte Ranch (NV): Long and lean presently, with a body built to out on some added weight, there’s no denying his upside.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Toles has the frame that colleges are looking for nowadays. It was fun to work with him, even it was for a few days,” McMillian said.
Jermaurri Bailey, DB, 6-1, 190, Vanden (CA): With a nose for the ball, his film from the game figures to land on the desks of several college coaches.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Bailey was a playmaker out there, no question about it. He is smart, with good speed and has a high ceiling,” McMillian said.
Cross Poyer, LB, 6-0, 210, St. John Bosco (CA): No one around, not only on the West Coast, but also the country, has faced more difficult tests than him.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Poyer plays at a national powerhouse prep program, so the speed of the game in college won’t be a problem,” McMillian said.
Braden Valentine, LB, 6-1, 225, Williams Field (AZ): A Pac-12 Conference target, nearby Arizona and Arizona State appear to be in an in-state battle for him.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “You won’t find many better players at his position that Valentine. I say that because I know, I’ve watched him play,” McMillian said.
Ladimor Hervey, LB, 6-1, 223, Hamilton (AZ): A taskmaster, coaches rarely, if ever, have to worry about him and his assignments. He takes care of business.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Watched him since his days as a freshman, and I’ll tell you what, Hervey can play this game at the next level,” McMillian said.
Dominic Barandica, LB, 6-0, 225, Gregori (CA): Remember his name, along with Scott Bonham from Desert (CA) and Robert Garlock from Damonte Ranch (NV).
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Barandica was a great young man, a very good representation of what Blue-Grey Football is all about,” Martinez said.
Marcus Bustos, DL, 6-3, 230, Heritage (CA): Coming off the edge with an explosive first step, more often than not, he made life difficult on the opponent.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Bustos flashed and made big play, after big play. In fact, his fumble recovery gave us plenty of momentum,” Martinez said.
Anthony Nicastro, DL, 6-3, 230, Marcos De Niza (AZ): He made an impact with P.J. Braun from North Valley (NV) and Carson Ramos from Yuba City (CA).
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Motivation was not a worry for Nicastro, he was ready to go from the opening whistle until the finals seconds,” Martinez said.
Brent Cimaglia, K, 6-0, 195, Page (TN): A Tennessee commit, he crushed the ball at practice and in the game, highlighted by a brand All-American Bowl record 51-yarder.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Cimaglia is consistent and dependable, and the ball jumps off his foot, that’s what the college coaches really want to see,” Kohl said.
Ryan Stonehouse, P, 5-11, 170, Mater Dei (CA): A Colorado State commit, he was able to flip the field and the opponent often times started in an undesirable spot.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Higuera still has a ton of potential and the ability to compete with anyone in the country, with an average snap time of .66 seconds,’ Casper said.
Sam Huckabee, QB, 6-3, 205, Summit Christian Academy (MO): A Big 12 Conference target, staying somewhat close to home for school could be an option.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Huckabee picked up the offense about as fast as anyone on the team. We trusted to get the job done. He did that,” Harris said.
George Reis, QB, 6-0, 175, Urbandale (IA): With feelers from schools located in the Big 10 Conference, he could soon be on his way to finding a home.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “It was a gutty effort from him. Honestly, there is no fear in Reis, the situation does not matter, he was ready to battle,” Harris said.
Romello Adkins, RB, 6-1, 200, Champlin Park (MN): When it appeared to matter most, the coaching staff did not hesitate to put the ball in his hands.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “A tough runner, with deceptive speed, Adkins was a workhorse for us and got stronger as the game went on longer,” Grim said.
Eli Akin, WR, 6-2, 190, New Caney (TX): Perhaps no one increased his stock in the eyes of the powers that be, specifically college coaches, more than him.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “That young man right there, Akin went out and made a name for himself, he took advantage of the opportunity,” Beasley said.
Trey Morris, WR, 6-3, 190, Cushing (OK): Big, strong and fast, he has been tabbed as the prototypical pass-catcher. Rightfully so, given all of his upside.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “There’s a lot to like about him, and I’ve worked with guys at the highest level, Morris reminds me of some of them,” Beasley said.
Jaalon Frazier, WR, 6-3, 197, Liberty Country (GA): One of those jack-of-all-trades types, he did a little bit of everything, and most of it extremely well.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Frazier can go, so our plan was to get the ball in his hands as much as possible during the game. The strategy worked,” Harris said.
Gavin Blomberg, OL, 6-5, 301, Providence Academy (MN): He has the skill set required by most college coaches and will certainly be an asset to a program.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “On the ground, we typically ran in his direction. In the air, he protected well too. Blomberg is a complete player,” Harris said.
Tayler Murphy, OL, 6-5, 330, Nacogdoches (TX): He looked the part and played the part. A headache for the opponent, his presence was felt throughout.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Man, we had some big boys up front, guys who moved the pile around and Murphy was one of my favorite,” McCauley said.
Zachary Hauschild, OL, 6-6, 305, Clearwater (FL): He teamed well with Harry Gressette from Stratford (SC) and Connor Burnett from Wellington (KS).
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Hauschild, we’re talking about player who should have a bunch of offers, and he will in time, you just watch,” McCauley said.
Paris Ballard, DB, 5-10, 175, Graham (VA): A leader, it was obvious as to why teammates gravitated to him in the game. His spirit was truly undeniable.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Tough and determined, Ballard brought it at every practice and in the game. He was one of the sparkplugs on defense,” Young said.
Kionte Taggart, DB, 6-1, 190, Hillcrest (AL): Physical and fast, never one to shy away from contact, he got things going following the first hit of the game.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Poised and a quiet leader, his play spoke volumes about him. Bottom line was, Taggart showed up and showed out,” Young said.
Mason Laurence, DB, 5-10, 175, San Antonio Christian (TX): After seeing him in action, it comes as no surprise to learn he has Big 12 Conference interest.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Laurence was one of the smartest players on the field, my go-to-guy, and he ended up with an interception, as most know,” Young said.
Adrian Ortiz, DB, 6-1, 220, Edinburg North (TX): Put together, and with improved speed currently being worked on, we’re talking about a legit prospect.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Ortiz played with serious desire and dedication. There was no quit in him and you have to like that about a recruit,” Young said.
Ethan Brotherton, DB, 5-8, 185, Sunray ( TX): Athletically gifted as anyone, he nearly saw some time at receiver. Still, he contributed in the secondary.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Anything you ask of Brotherton, he’s going to do, it’s that easy. Also, a dual-threat, he’s a dream for college coaches,” Young said.
Demetreus Jalepes, LB, 5-9, 185, Spring Mills (WV): A jack-of-all-trades, equally skillful on the offensive side, he was a threat to score with ball is in his hands.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Capable of playing in the secondary, Jalepes took one for the team, moved to the second level and excelled at that spot,” Young said.
Steven Crowder, LB, 6-2, 225, Gardendale (AL): On the radar of just about every team in the MAC, it does not seem as if he’ll have any recruiting problems.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Crowder is load. Once he gets going in the right direction, expect a collision and probably a loose ball to fall on,” Stills said.
Turner Ellis, LB, 6-1, 210 Urbandale (IA): More than a few scouts have reached out to him in the past couple months and a college destination is in the cards.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Smart, similar to another coach out on the field, Ellis made our job calling plays a little bit easier with his knowledge,” Stills said.
Myles Cecil, DL, 6-3, 250, La Salle (CA): The transition fitting in to a new environment went well, even with a bunch of eyes on him during the process.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “There was a reason why he was Defensive MVP, there was no one on the other side of the ball who could stop Cecil,” McCauley said.
Caden Robinson, DL, 6-3, 272, Summit Christian Academy (MO): A space-eater, he drew double-teams and that opened up lanes for his teammates.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “You have to like a player that is not worried about stats and is willing to do what it take to win. That was Robinson,” Stills said.
Ryan Reeves, DL, 6-3, 245, Bishop Dunne Catholic (TX): An imposing presence, the art of intimidation did work in his favor on more than one, or two, occasions.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “He had a motor that did not stop. He knew one speed, and one speed only, that being fast. I liked that about him,” Stills said.
Riley Patterson, K, 5-11, 172, Edwardsville (IL): A Memphis commit, he showed strength and versatility throughout, even in tough weather conditions.
NFL Veteran Evaluation: “Thing about Patterson, he still has room to develop athletically in the years to come, with the mindset needed to succeed,” Kohl said.
Ryan Gersonde, P, 6-4, 185, Marquette University (WI): An Iowa commit, he launched some massive punts and also showed very good touch and location.