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June 9, 2012
DANA POINT, Calif. -- The Nike Air Strike Tournament was held at Dana Hills on Saturday and it was loaded with quality high school teams. Among the best prospects was four-star Max Redfield, who was outstanding at wide receiver and defensive back.
WR/DB Max Redfield, Mission Viejo (Calif.) Redfield will almost definitely play safety in college and he was outstanding at that position throughout the tournament. But he's such a freaky athlete that the four-star also shined at wide receiver. Redfield is not only athletically gifted, but he's highly skilled and knows how to make plays. He has great physical tools and plays with lots of intelligence to the point where his coaching staff trusts him on both sides of the field.
RB Terrell Newby, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade Newby has not been seen at many camps or 7-on-7 events this offseason, so we were surprised to see just how dominant he was in Saturday's action. Once he catches the ball out of the backfield, the three-star is gone and even fast players have a tough time tracking him down. The Chaminade running back is one prospect who has a good chance to significantly move up the rankings the next time around. He's that talented.
WR Steven Mitchell, Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany Mitchell has been impressive time and again at camps and 7-on-7 tournaments, and this was just another chance to show he's one of the most talented receivers in the West. He's fast, a great route runner, has a keen sense how to get open and sneak behind cornerbacks and then he attacks the ball once it's in the air. Mitchell is smooth and has outstanding hands. Multiple coaches talked about how Mitchell torched their defenses.
QB Troy Williams, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne Fresh off his commitment to Washington, Williams came out and proved why he's one of the top-rated, dual-threat quarterbacks in the 2013 class. There is rarely a time Williams does not throw a perfect spiral and put it right where it's supposed to be. People were raving about Williams earlier in the day. When we saw him the four-star was a little erratic, but he's been so good so many times there's no question he's an outstanding prospect and a big-time get for the Huskies.
QB Johnny Stanton, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita Catholic Stanton struggled early in the morning, but really bounced back throughout the day, although sitting in the pocket is not his biggest strength. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound prospect looks great physically and really could have a breakout senior season. Stanton is muscular, smart, leads his offense and knows how to win. He'll be attending a bunch of camps next week and more offers could be on the way.
QB Alek Torgersen, Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison Torgersen has a serious arm. The Edison prospect was a backup last year to Chase Favreau, but he has lots of talent and can throw the ball as deep as anyone in this tournament. Only Ivy League schools are showing interest currently, but after an outstanding performance at this event and the recent Oakland Elite 11, Torgersen should start getting more attention. He scans the field well, fires it downfield with impressive precision and has a great feel in the pocket.
QB Conner Manning, Lake Forest (Calif.) El Toro Manning threw for 4,219 yards with 41 touchdowns and eight interceptions in his junior season, so there's no question he can put up big numbers. This was the first time we've seen him in person and Manning definitely has talent. He has a quick release, good arm strength and is super competitive. During one close contest, Manning was seen vociferously urging his teammates to keep getting after it. It's surprising that no offers have come in yet.
WR Desean Holmes, Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany Holmes could be special in a few years. The 2015 prospect needs to get in the weight room -- he's too skinny to be an elite receiver at this juncture -- but since he's so young, it's expected his body will mature and he'll get more muscle. As for on the field, Holmes has a sneaky way about him where he consistently gets open and cornerbacks have a tough time sticking him. With so many offensive weapons at Bishop Alemany, it's even more impressive that Holmes is shining at his young age.
WR Thomas Duarte, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei Duarte did not have a dominant performance throughout the day, but the 6-foot-3, 225-pound wide receiver is such a tough matchup that he can get open whenever he wants. The Mater Dei prospect does not have exceptional speed -- that's why we think he might have to move to tight end in college -- but he catches a lot of passes, has a great frame and has some of the best coaches in California.
WR Elijah Dunston, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade Chaminade is loaded with skilled, speedy players on offense and Dunston is one of them. He's long, lean but strong and doesn't get pushed around by cornerbacks. Once he gets the ball in his hands in the open field, it's tough to track him down. He had an outstanding catch against Mission Viejo that went to the 1-yard line that would have been difficult for even the best receivers to make. Dunston has offers from Colorado and Wyoming and if he keeps playing so well many others could come in.