MISSION VIEJO, Calif. - - Some of the west coast’s best prospects, along with arguably the top prospect in the country, Malachi Nelson, competed in Under Armour's third regional camp of the year. On a breezy Sunday morning in Southern California, the tour hit the halfway point after stops in Miami and Atlanta.
As expected, some great battles were fought in the trenches, along with several highly-touted skill players proving to their peers that their hype is well deserved. SI All-American was there and we took note of the head-turners from across the position groups. Here are the top performers from around the camp through our eyes.
2023 OL BJ Tolo
The Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei center, BJ Tolo continues to impress us, as he was also one of the camp’s MVPs, as named by the UA staff. Tolo plays calm, cool, collected, and extremely violent. Coming off a Junior season for which he earned All-American honors (MaxPreps), he has started every single game he’s played in since he was a freshman. That’s saying a lot when you’re at a school like Mater Dei, where some division one prospects are stuck on the sideline because of the surplus of talent on the roster. Tolo is as solid as a rock and he punished interior rushers in every rep in the one-on-ones.
2023 TE Jamari Johnson
It's easy to see why Johnson is so coveted, with super fluid movement and a legit 6'5", 250-pound frame. He stood out because of his size-speed combination, but also his route running. He was able to create separation in one-on-ones by baiting corners and cutting into his route without being bothered by jams or alignment. Johnson has offers from all over the country, with his most recent coming from Ann Arbor, Michigan. The other tight end that turned heads was 2023 Mater Dei product Spencer Shannon. He was simply too big and strong for defenders to handle. His route running looked great, too, and had some great finishes in contested catches. Shannon holds offers from Cal, Kansas, Duke, and that list, as well as Jamari Johnson’s list, will grow.
2023 WR Makai Lemon
Despite a lingering injury, Lemon was named one of the camp’s MVP’s alongside 2023 quarterback Malachi Nelson. The Los Alamitos products and USC commits both enjoyed excellent days on the turf. Lemon has fantastic start-stop speed, and got loose more than a few times in the one-on-one period. Nelson hit his marks on the underneath routes and also threw beautiful deep balls into the wind throughout the entire camp. Seemed like every deep throw by Nelson landed right on the receiver’s basket. The Trojan pledges look poised for a huge senior season, and are really focused on recruiting more So-Cal peers to USC.
2023 DL Kelze Howard
Circling back to the trenches, there were a handful of fantastic matchups to watch in the one-on-one period. Howard, of Las Vegas (Nev.) Spring Valley High, was in his bag and winning rep after rep against some very good offensive lineman. At 6'4", 260 pounds, Howard looks to bump down between the tackles and looks like a solid project for whoever lands him. Howard was fresh off a visit to USC the day prior to the camp. He plays with great leverage and his hand fighting is compact and calculated.
2024 OL Eugene Brooks IV
Brooks was probably our favorite lineman of the day. Another Nevada product, from Desert Pines High School, the rising-senior moves a lot quicker than his frame suggests. There was nobody at the camp capable of beating him with power, and so the coaches moved him out to tackle, and he handled that well, too. Brooks took home MVP honors for his performance at the camp and will have a bevy of powerhouse programs to choose from when he decides to commit, including Oregon, Georgia, Florida State, and Texas A&M.
2023 IOL Jason Steele
The Murrieta Valley native was a stalwart brick wall, stifling some of the best prospects in So-Cal. He had great hand placement and his punches kept his opponents from disrupting the center of the pocket. Despite his relatively smaller size (in the 275-pound range), Steele had no trouble handling the largest defensive tackles in the one-on-one period.
2023LBs Nahamiah Sagiao, Leviticus Su’a
The Los Alamitos and Mater Dei products, respectfully, were the best 'backers on the field. Both looked more than capable of locking down any big skill in the one-on-one route running period, and they even covered running backs with ease. Su’a is loaded with twitchy traits and has the build of a box linebacker too. He is a really solid prospect with a frame capable of banging around in the box with speed to adapt to defending spread offenses.
Here are the Camp’s standouts as selected by the hosts themselves.
Under Armour Next All-America Game Invitees (Position, Player, HS, State):
Class of 2023
- WR Makai Lemon (Los Alamitos, Calif.)
Class of 2024
- QB Julian Sayin (Carlsbad, Calif.)
- DB Marcelles Williams (St. John Bosco, Calif.)
- DB Khristian Dunbar-Hawkins (Bishop Alemany, Calif.)
Class of 2025
- DB Arron White (Orange, Calif.)
Ezra Funa (Mater Dei, Calif.)
Marquise Jones Jr. (San Joaquin, Calif.)
Jaeden Moore (Central Valley Christian, Calif.)
Ryan Blum (Basha, Ariz.)
Eugene Brooks IV (Desert Pines, Nev.)
Siaosi (Rhino) Tapaatoutai (Bishop Alemany, Calif.)
BJ Tolo (Mater Dei, Calif.)
Running Back MVP:
Nygel Osbourne (Los Alamitos, Calif.)
Leviticus Su’a (Mater Dei, Calif.)
Quarterback Accuracy Winner:
Jamar Malone II (Higley, Ariz.)
Malachi Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.)
Israel Carter (Centennial, Calif.)
Wide Receiver MVP:
Jamari Johnson (Inglewood, Calif.)
Defensive Back MVP:
Justus Woods (Carlsbad, Calif.)