EL CERRITO, CA – The Opening Regional caravan of 14 stops has moved on to its final stop this Sunday in Nashville, Tennessee, but last Saturday at stop No. 13 over 400 football players from every position gathered at El Cerrito High for The Opening Oakland Regional.
There were players from Northern, Central and Southern California, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, Utah, plus Canada, and even a quarterback from American Samoa.
Unless you count Bakersfield as part of Northern California the only NorCal player to be named camp MVP for his position and the youngest of the eight The Opening Oakland Regional MVP’s was current freshman running back Raleek Brown of Edison-Stockton.
At 5-8, 170-pounds Brown is not big but he’s quick and elusive, and can change direction on the drop of a hat. Last season, on a Vikings team that won the San Joaquin Athletic Association and finished 9-3 before bowing out to eventual CIF state 1-AA Bowl Game champion Folsom in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, Brown rushed for 1,688 yards and 18 TDs and had 31 pass receptions for 741 yards and nine additional touchdowns.
Brown turned some heads long before his performance in El Cerrito when he rushed for a season-high 233 yards and two TDs and had a 50-yard pass reception in the 64-28 loss to Folsom.
The highest athletic Football Rating at the camp was the 124.59 of WR Roman Wilson of St. Louis-Honolulu, Hawaii. The Football Rating gives points for the 40-yard dash, power ball, shuttle run, peak power generation and vertical leap.
The player that landed on the top of just about every analysts list of top performers from the Bay Area was Napa tight end Brock Bowers. The 6-3, 215-pound sophomore had the second highest Football Rating from the Bay Area and was seventh overall with a 118.59. His performance earned him offers from Cal, Tennessee and San Jose State.
The highest Bay Area Football Rating was the 120.66 of Monte Vista defensive back Jacob Oliphant and was the fifth highest rating overall.
Recent Oregon-committed Liberty-Brentwood quarterback Jay Butterfield was impressive but did not get an invite to the Elite 11, the ultimate goal of every high-school signal caller. He still can and hopefully will.
The MVP for quarterbacks who did get an Elite 11 invite was Washington-committed Ethan Garbers from Corona del Mar-Newport Beach.
Other camp MVPs were: wide receiver/tight end – Isaac Jernigan of Bakersfield, offensive line – Tautai Marks of Mater Dei-Santa Ana, defensive line – Brandon Buckner, a sophomore from Chandler, Arizona, linebacker – Bryan Certain of Bishop Gorman-Las Vegas, Nevada, defensive back – John Humphrey of Muir-Pasadena.
Besides Butterfield two local quarterbacks that did well and impressed scouts and analysts were Grant Harper of Campolindo and Carl Richardson of Salinas.
Harper, a 6-2, 200-pound lefthander that recently committed to UC Davis, heads into his final high school season after passing for 2,932 yards and 32 TDs with only six interceptions last year.
Richardson, a 6-4, 210-pound pro style QB, who has two Ivy League offers and interest from over a dozen other D1 programs including several Pac-12 schools, passed for 3,606 yards and 24 TDs and rushed for 598 yards and one more score last season.
Besides Oliphant and Bowers there were some other players that made a mark for themselves with their Football Rating score and camp performance, and put themselves on the radar screen, and one of those was Campolindo defensive end Mason Mastrov.
Not only was the 6-3.5, 213-pound Mastrov one of only two defensive or offensive lineman from the Bay Area to be called out for one last evaluation in the final group from which the two MVP’s from the lines were chosen, he had the highest Football Rating of any lineman at the camp. His 113.88 was the No. 12 mark for the camp overall, and it’s currently the No. 2 rating nationwide for a lineman.
Mastov’s 37.5 vertical jump is in the 99th percentile nationwide, his peak power generated 8,100 watts and that’s also in the 99th percentile, the power ball toss of 39.0 feet is in the 98th percentile, a 4.28 shuttle run for agility is in the 95th percentile, and his 40-yard dash got rounded up to 4.7 but that is in the 94th percentile.
Mastrov had some college interest, and Trent Herzog, the National Preps Western Region Scout and head coach of St. Vincent de Paul-Petaluma, really liked him, but prior to the camp the interest was mild and Herzog wanted “to see why there were not many offers.”
“He did well,” Herzog said afterward. “He’s long, has a lean frame and is a solid pass rusher.”
He already had offers from Air Force and Fordham, but by Monday sources tell us Mastrov already had a couple of other small school offers and had been contacted by other schools, and there were some big names from some major conferences among them.
“I’m very satisfied and proud of how I tested, and getting called out today. It’s a lot different than last year when I didn’t make it,” Mastrov said.
The other Bay Area lineman that was called out for some final reps was Marin Catholic defensive lineman Jamar Sekona. The 6-4, 310-pound Sekona, who has offers from 13 major D1 schools, including nine from the Pac-12, is high up on the list of Herzog, who had predicted prior to the camp action beginning that Sekona, who he called “the top interior lineman in Northern California," would do well. Sekona also had two jerseys literally torn off his back in the one-on-ones with the offensive lineman.
“I came out here hoping to do my best and get the most out of it,” Sekona said. “Guys tearing my jersey off is not going to stop me from what I’m trying to do. I’ll go shirtless if I have to. My goal today was to get better and learn from my mistakes.”
“I still haven’t decided on a school yet but I’ve taken a majority of my un-officials,” continued Sekona with respect to recruiting. “I have a criteria for what I’m looking for and now I’m going to start to narrow it down to where I’m going to take my official visits.”
A player that made the list of Herzog and noted analyst and 247.com National Recruiting Editor Brandon Huffman was Antioch defensive back Dejuan Butler. The 5-11, 180-pound Butler has major interest from Cal plus offers from 10 other schools including UCLA. According to Huffman, who stopped by the school to see Butler prior to the El Cerrito camp, “he’s looking lean, runs a 4.6 forty and is getting some interest from Notre Dame.”
Another lineman from the Redwood Empire that impressed some scouts and analysts in the one-on-ones but didn’t get called out was 6-5, 290-pound offensive guard Gavin Hals from Montgomery. He currently has some offers but recently Alabama, Cal and Boise State have shown some interest, and after his performance in El Cerrito where Hals showed he can move well for an offensive lineman, interest should pick up.”
“My goal today was to compete at a high level against four and five star competition, and I competed against one of them and beat him, so I showed I can hang with the higher guys,” Hals said. “I hope the coaches could see that.”
Besides players already mentioned from the Bay Area, other local players that stood out and made the lists we requested from Herzog and other top-notch recruiting analysts follow in alphabetical order and with position, school, height and weight, and graduating year:
Osaro Aihie – linebacker, San Leandro, 6-1, 220, 2020
Jalen Apalit-Williams – defensive back, Las Lomas, 6-2, 185, 2020
Moon Ashby – linebacker, Valley Christian-San Jose, 6-4, 185, 2020
Kavir Baines – defensive back, Valley Christian-San Jose, 5-9, 180, 2020
Andres Dewerk – offensive lineman, Los Gatos, 6-7, 295, 2020
Marcus Miller – offensive lineman, Castro Valley, 6-4, 270, 2020
Frank Poso – offensive lineman, Branham, 6-5, 320, 2020
JT Reed – defensive lineman, Valley Christian-San Jose, 6-3, 295, 2020
Nate Rutchena – wide receiver, Monte Vista, 6-3, 195, 2020
Jermaine Terry – tight end, Kennedy-Richmond, 6-4, 235, 2021
Edward Woods – defensive back, McClymonds, 6-0, 180, 2020
Payton Zdroik – defensive lineman, Liberty, 6-1, 265, 2020