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June 3, 2012

SoCal Showcase Top Performers: Offense

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. - The Southern Cal Rivals.com Showcase Powered by FBU Select was held at Oaks Christian on Saturday and a bunch of top prospects were in attendance. Rivals.com West analyst Adam Gorney breaks down the top offensive performers right here:

Southern Cal Rivals.com Showcase Powered by FBU Select Top Performers: Offense
WR Darren Andrews, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat
There is a sleeper in Southern California. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound three-star prospect has not seen his recruitment take off yet, but any college coach looking for a big-time playmaker and speedy receiver will find one in Andrews. There were no cornerbacks who could keep up with Andrews during one-on-ones, and what made him especially stand out was that he had an extra gear once the ball was in the air. He had a way of separating at the last second and making it look easy to catch the ball.

TE Kyle Penniston, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran
An e-mail late in the week asking for an invitation to the camp helped us find one of the top 2015 tight ends in Southern California. Penniston, who said Florida State offered on Friday, ran great routes, has good size and showed off great hands during one-on-ones. Penniston said his role model is former Orange Lutheran teammate Christo Kourtzidis, who signed with the Seminoles, and the rising sophomore could follow in his footsteps because he's highly skilled.

QB Brandon Cox, Pasadena (Calif.) High
The lefty quarterback just landed offers from Maryland and Iowa State and he had a solid day earning the quarterback MVP. Cox throws a nice deep ball with seemingly little effort, plus he moves his feet well and can deliver the ball on time. Cox impressed us at the U.S. Army National Combine over the holidays, and he had another strong performance at this event. He makes good decisions, put up great stats last season and big things are expected in his senior year.

OL Thomas Oser, North Hollywood (Calif.) Harvard Westlake
Oser was unsure whether he could attend the event early in the week because he planned to take the SAT, but that never materialized. It was a worthwhile decision, too, because Oser was solid on the offensive line, using his hands well, extending his arms to get control of defensive linemen, moving his feet pretty well and playing with a lot of aggressiveness. The Harvard Westlake recruit has three offers so far and could definitely pick up a few more as his recruitment continues.

WR Jordan Villamin, Etiwanda (Calif.) High
Villamin, who is looking more and more comfortable each time we see him, earned MVP honors at wide receiver as he had a good day catching a lot of passes. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound prospect is not blowing away anyone with his speed, but he's an immediate matchup problem because of his size; and he's a huge target for quarterbacks. Throw the ball in Villamin's direction, and he's usually going to come down with it because he's a big prospect who can go and get the pass up high.

RB D.J. Riggins, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
Riggins was a little tired because he participated in a 7-on-7 tournament for most of the morning and early afternoon. But he was still impressive, especially during one-on-one drills. The 2014 standout from Oaks Christian did a nice job setting up linebackers and then getting wide open to catch passes. Once the ball was in the air, Riggins did a nice job running under it or making plays that not many could make. He doesn't have any offers yet, but a strong junior season could change that.

QB Jihad Vercher, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian
Vercher continues to show up at 7-on-7 events and camps and continues to impress, but the 5-foot-11 Salesian standout still has not seen his recruitment take off. We think if he was two or three inches taller there would be no question he'd land some Divison I offers. Vercher has a strong arm, spins it well and can really fire it all over the field, but from a recruiting perspective he is still not getting a lot of recognition. For a program who wants a quarterback to throw first and then make plays with his feet, Vercher could be a major sleeper.

OL Cristian Garcia, Santa Fe Springs (Calif.) St. Paul
Garcia is under-the-radar but has impressed us twice this off-season. The St. Paul standout was solid at the Asante Trenchman Academy at his high school a couple months ago, and then he was even better at this event. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound prospect has good technique and is light on his feet for a player his size. He is not afraid of contact at all and is surprisingly powerful. Garcia will play offensive guard in college and has great size to make an impact.

OL Sean Dowling, Fallbrook (Calif.) High
The UCLA commit has a lot of things going for him: Dowling wants to be the best, he has an outstanding frame with little to no fat, and he's especially strong and tough. But he's still a work in progress and needs to keep working on his footwork to be successful at the elite level. Maybe the best thing about Dowling, who will camp at USC next weekend, is that he has tremendous work ethic and gets quite upset when he loses a rep. Even after banging up his shoulder, Dowling wanted right back in the drills, and that kind of mentality could only mean good things in the future.

QB Brandon Dawkins, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
Dawkins threw a lot of passes during a 7-on-7 tournament early in the day, but his arm wasn't a noodle later in the day, either. The 2014 prospect was still sharp and fired the ball all over the field. The Oaks Christian quarterback struggles with his accuracy at times and needs to learn to put more touch on some of his passes, but he has great size, great coaching and lots of upside. Notre Dame recently offered, and that's even more motivation for Dawkins to keep working hard as his junior season approaches.

Others who impressed
QB Ricky Town, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure; WR Makelty Davis, Gardena (Calif.) Serra; QB Ricardo Johnson III, St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall; ATH Tuli Wily-Matagi, Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral; WR Da'mari Scott, Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral; QB Jalen Greene, Gardena (Calif.) Serra; QB Tyler Hilinski, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame; QB Johannes Verhaegh, Andover (Mass.) Phillips Academy; RB Jamal Morrow, Romoland (Calif.) Heritage; OL Nick Whitton, Villa Park (Calif.); OL Reno Rosene, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian; RB Travion Boykins, La Verne (Calif.) Damien; QB Nate Romine, Upland (Calif.); QB Gage Pucci, La Verne (Calif.) Damien; WR Arlandis Hinton, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco; QB Brady White, Newhall (Calif.) Hart; WR Shay Fields, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco; WR Gregory Webb, Gardena (Calif.) Serra; RB Darryl Miller, Redlands (Calif.).


Adam Gorney is the West Coast Recruiting Analyst for Rivals.com. He can be reached at adamgorney@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter @adamgorney.



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