Several of the West's best will be in Las Vegas this weekend for the fifth annual New Level Athletics Elite 7-on-7.
The tournament begins on Saturday, and continues on Sunday, and there will be plenty of talent on the field at UNLV, just as it has been the last four years, when some of the elite prospects across the country converged on Vegas.
Prospects from Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington will be amongst the talent on hand as well as the Goon Squad, with players from all over the country as well as a team from Canada this year.
The unique format features select teams. Some of those squads include two-time defending regional champions Team B2G (Los Angeles-based B2G Elite Football Program), the 2011 National Champions Team 1925 All-Stars (Los Angeles-based team), Team Gridiron Football Academy (Inland Empire-based GFA) and Team Pro-Sports USA (San Jose-based Pro-Sports USA), to go with other in-state teams from Washington and Utah and regional teams from places like Central California, the Inland Empire, Sacramento and San Diego.
It will be a 7-on-7 format, with teams playing in a championship and consolation bracket.
Here is the a look at a few of the familiar California teams who've participated the past few years, and found great success, in Vegas.
B2G is back to defend their title from 2010 and 2011, the lone two-time winner of the Las Vegas event, and they have three teams in the field, B2G 5-Stars, B2G Malice and B2G Scorch.
The headliners for Team B2G's 5-Stars includes a trio of Scout 100 members, all in the secondary, five-star safety Priest Willis out of Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza and Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) teammates Tahaan Goodman, a four-star safety and Chris Hawkins, a four-star cornerback. Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey cornerback Daquawn Brown, rounds out the vaunted secondary
One of the premier tight ends in the nation, Riverside (Calif.) J.W. North's Marcus Baugh is an offensive weapon for Team B2G that is in the Scout 300. Other B2G prospects to watch are quarterback Kelly Hilinski from Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame, receiver Drew Wolitarsky from Canyon Country (Calif.) and Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne receiver A.J. Richardson. Both Hilinski and Wolitarsky made the all-underclass team a year ago in Vegas. Freshman receiver Trent Irwin from Newhall (Calif.) Hart played in the tournament as an 8th grader last year and was selected to the all-Underclass team last year.
Players to watch from B2G Scorch include Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey receiver Delvon Hardaway and safety Jayme Otomewo, San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills cornerback Devin Holiday and Redlands (Calif.) East Valley safety Tre Wilcoxen.
Team 1925 won the NLA Elite 7on7 National Championships last July in Dallas, and while the majority of their squad signed with D-I programs, they bring back the most important part of a 7on7 team, their quarterback. Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne four-star passer Troy Williams led 1925 in Dallas and then won City Section Player of the Year honors after leading Narbonne to the City Section title, so he's on a hot streak of winning major titles. He's the only familiar face offensively, with sophomore cornerback Malik Cyphers from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian.
With Bryce Treggs and Jordan Payton gone this year, 1925 will turn to a slew of four-star receivers to take their place. The headliner there is Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany's Steven Mitchell, a top 100 prospect by Scout.com and a four-star. A similar receiver to Treggs, he'll play opposite a similar receiver to Payton, and a teammate of his at Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, Francis Owusu, another four-star receiver. The third four-star receiver is John Ross from Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan. Another receiver who's gotten Pac-12 offers is Xavier Shepard from Lakewood (Calif.). Defensively, Encino (Calif.) Crespi safety Tyler Foreman is one of the standouts as is teammate and fellow safety Brandon Arnold, and sophomore Dwight Williams, a linebacker from Gardena (Calif.) Serra is another to watch.
DB Guru from Fresno will rival B2G for one of the best secondary's in the event, with a pair of Scout 300 defensive backs, Fresno (Calif.) Central safety Hatari Byrd and cornerback L.J. Moore. Offensively, sophomore Michiah Grimes, also from Fresno (Calif.) Central, will be the featured receiver for Fresno (Calif.) Edison quarterback Khari McGee.
Gridiron Football Academy finished in the semifinals two years ago and in the quarterfinals a year ago and they will again have a strong team in Vegas, led by Scout 100 receiver Sebastian LaRue from Santa Monica (Calif.), who jumped on the scene here a year ago. He'll be joined at receiver by La Mesa (Calif.) Helix's Kendal Keys and sophomore receiver Jeremy McNichols from Lakewood (Calif.). Quarterback Alek Torgeson from Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison and Redlands (Calif.) Citrus Valley quarterback Dalton Douglas will split the quarterback duties. Defensively, three-star safety Marcus Stamps from Los Angeles (Calif.) Jefferson, who won Co-MVP honors at the GFA Passing Tournament earlier this month, will anchor the secondary.
The Cathedral team has been strong historically, especially two-years ago when they won their "Pool of Death" before falling short in the playoffs. Their quarterback that year was a freshman Hayden Rettig, who will be back to quarterback this year as a Scout 300 member and a junior. His go-to receiver is D'Amari Scott, who is his teammate at Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral.
Team Pro-Sports comes down from the Silicon Valley and they have one of the top sophomore quarterbacks in the West, San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep's K.J. Carta-Samuels as well as two-way prospect Kenneth Olugbode.
Here is a look at some of the newer teams expected at UNLV this weekend.
One of the traveling teams who will hit every NLA Elite 7on7 is the Goon Squad. Coached by co-founders Baron Flenory and Kashann Simmons, the team with several standouts from Texas and the Southeast, will look to win their first tournament title.
Mansfield (Texas) Timberview sophomore defensive backs Edward Paris and Brandon Sim.mons, who both have a handful of offers, will lead the Goon Squad defense along with Georgia native Brendan Langley. Quarterback Shane McCarley from Texas will run the Goon Squad offense.
The top prospect in the entire event is Su'a Cravens, the five-star safety from Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta. Cravens is the top defensive prospect in the West, with offers from coast-to-coast and he'll lead the Frat Boyz, coached by former Butkus Award winner Chris Claiborne. Offensively, the Frat Boyz have Pasadena (Calif.) Maranatha quarterback Andrew Elffers and Perris (Calif.) Citrus Hill receiver K.J. Young.
Arizona Elite is one of the newer teams but they feature one of the premier corners in the country, Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton's Cole Luke as well as a stellar running back in Jalen Ortiz from Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial.
Team ASAP from the Bakersfield/Stockton/Sacramento area boasts a solid quarterback prospect in Zack Greenlee from Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln as well as one of the top running backs in the West, Bakersfield (Calif.) Stockdale's Deon Martin, a Scout 300 prospect who committed to Cal earlier this week. Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove has a couple of prospects on the squad, receiver Isaiah Saunders and sophomore Brandon Lewis in the secondary.
The hometown team from Las Vegas has a championship quarterback of their own, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman's Anu Solomon, who led the Gaels to a Top 10 ranking by FOXSportsNext and the Nevada State Championship in 2011. He'll be joined by BYU commit Trajan Pili from Las Vegas (Nev.) Centennial and receiver Ryan Smith from Las Vegas (Nev.) High. Also on Las Vegas 7 is 2014 star Nathan Starks and receiver Jamir Tillman, both from Bishop Gorman
4th Quarter Sports emerged last year as the winners of the BMOC Under-the-Lights tournament behind MVP quarterback Jihad Vercher from Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian. He'll be joined by a few of his Salesian teammates from the 2014 class, athletes Jamadre Cobb and Marquis Ware, who already have a few offers in. Tustin linebacker Marshaun Daniel and running back Terence Martinez also join the team as well as Long Beach (Calif.) Poly safety David Price and running back Marcus Lewis.
A year ago, Alliance 1 won the AIGA 7on7 tournament and they're back in Vegas with freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, an all-underclass pick a year ago, who's now set to take over at Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco and he'll be joined by his Braves teammate Davonte Young, a three-star running back as well as sophomore defensive back Jaleel Wadood.
Prodigy won the 4th Quarter Tournament a week ago and they'll be in Vegas this weekend with a couple of prospects to watch, including Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta outside linebacker Tyler Cook and Heritage (Calif.) running back Jamal Morrow.
Pride 'N Skillz is headed by sophomore quarterback Eban Jackson from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, who will run the Jackrabbits offense this fall. Jackson first caught our attention two years ago as an 8th grader at the Eastbay Junior All-American Game in San Antonio. A couple of prospects from Cerritos (Calif) Gahr are also on the roster in receiver Patrick Enweally and running back Alex Kline.
BBT from San Bernardino has Upland (Calif.) quarterback Nate Romine, who led the Highlanders to the CIF-SS Inland Division semifinals in 2011 running their offense while Air Show Elite has Inglewood (Calif.) defensive end Chauntez Jackson, who will play linebacker and tight end. Game Steps has Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey quarterback Reggie Bell leading their offense.
Big Picture Athletics from the Central Coast of California, features some standouts from Santa Maria (Calif.) St. Joseph in receiver Zak Karsh and tight end Ryan Mediano.
LV Prospects has running back Donnell Pumphrey from hometown Las Vegas, with a couple of BCS offers and Tucson Showtime features 2014 stud receiver Cameron Denson.
The Factory Football Group has some underclassmen to watch like Brandon Finona from Monterey (Calif.) and Fresno (Calif.) Edison prospects A.J. Greeley and Tyrone Smith.
The Washington team is bringing down a pair of talented passers. Yakima (Wash.) Eisenhower quarterback Kolney Cassel already holds an offer from SMU and is the more highly recruited of the two. Seattle (Wash.) King's signal caller Billy Green has been under the radar but has great touch on his throws and the accuracy to excel in a 7on7.
Wentachee (Wash.) 2014 running back Isaiah Brandt-Sims is a track phenom. The sophomore is the only underclassmen on the Washington roster and has the speed to make defenses pay. Brandt-Sims is a capable pass catcher out of the backfield and should have an big weekend for team Washington.
Washington has a history of sending talented pass-catchers to Vegas. Past team members include Kasen Williams, Jermaine Kearse, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Trent Sewell, Michael Rector and Gino Simone. This year's squad also boasts talent on the outside.
Federal Way (Wash.) receiver Mike Tate can always find open space and separate from his defender. At 6'4" Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes wide out Sammie Long presets a matchup problem for opponents. Long already holds an offer from Washington and is thought to be a big Husky lean. Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline receiver Nic Sblendorio showed the best hands through the practices and will catch anything thrown his way. Bothell (Wash.) prospect Aaron Wilks is like Long in that he towers over defenders. Wilks is also a great prospect on the other side of the ball, playing defensive end for the Cougars. Gig Harbor (Wash.) Peninsula tight end Kyle Self is the dual threat that you look for from the position. He possesses the ability to both catch passes and block from the tight end position.
The sole linebacker on Team Washington is Tukwila (Wash.) Foster prospect Micah Breland. Breland has the speed and coverage ability to perform well at a 7on7, where many linebackers can look lost. Breland is not just a standout on the football field, but also excels in the classroom.
The defensive backfield is as deep as it has ever been for the Washington team. The cornerback position headed by Graham (Wash.) Graham-Kapowsin athlete Kahlil Dawson. Dawson can also play wide receiver and holds an early offer from Wyoming. Federal Way (Wash.) twin brothers Ezekial McNeal and Jeremiah McNeal provide great speed to the secondary. Ezekial will also see time at safety for the team. Bothell (Wash.) corner Reshon Watson is easily the most physical player on the roster and will be one to watch. Federal Way (Wash.) prospect D'Londo Tucker might be the best pure cover corner on the team.
Seattle (Wash.) Prep safety Tere Calloway is most highly recruited prospect on the team. Calloway already holds offers from Colorado, Portland State, Purdue and SMU. Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep athlete Calvin Chandler can play receiver in addition to his responsibilities on the defensive side of the ball. Snoqualmie (Wash.) Mount Si safety Hunter Malberg is someone that could break out over the weekend. Malberg has a big football IQ and will make most of the defensive calls for the team.
Team Utah 1
Team Utah has been one of the most consistent performers in the history of the NLA Athletics Vegas Regional, finishing 3rd last season and 2nd the previous two years. A pair of South Jordan (Utah) Bingham prospects highlight the offensive talent. Wide receiver Hayden Weichers is a very quick prospect getting college attention. Tight end Dalton Schultz is only a sophomore but already holds a Utah offer.
Sandy (Utah) Alta wide receiver Harrison Handley is a massive prospect standing 6'6" 200lbs and could grow into a tight end at the next level. Highland (Utah) Lone Peak wide receiver Talon Shumway is an excellent athlete that can play all over the field. Shumway stood out last season in Vegas as just a sophomore and already offers from both BYU and Utah.
RB David Adams
WR John Fakahafua
WR Harrison Handley
QB Jake Lloyd
WR Dax Raymond
TE Dalton Schultz
WR Talon Shumway
WR Hayden Weichers
LB Chasen Andersen
S Stratton Brown
DB Malcolm Card-Turner
OLB Colton Grossaint
OLB Uaea Masina
S Kavika Fonua
S Chase Nelson
DB Zach Swenson
OLB Albert Tai
Team Utah 2
Sandy (Utah) wide receiver Ammon Barker has all of the physical tools to be a special player. Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood tight end Siale Fakailoatonga committed to Utah recently, but word is the recruiting process is far from over for the highly sought after prospect.
South Jordan (Utah) Bingham linebacker Drake Miller is a prospect that coach Peck has spoken very highly of. Utah is a big talent state in the Northwest and should be more than capable of bringing two talented rosters to the NLA Vegas Regional.
WR Beau Artest
WR Ammon Barker
RB Marquis Beans
WR Jesse Brady
WR Kalan Cantwell
TE Siale Fakailoatonga
RB Eddie Hall
QB Kody Wilstead
S Austin Gibbs
S Riley Guatave
S Brekin Gunter
LB Drake Miller
C Sione MoliI
LB Patrick Palau
C Jewka Patatefa
S Adam Thompson
This is likely to be the best Oregon team ever to take the field in the NLA Vegas regional. The team is headlined by athletes in the defensive backfield. Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic safety Dallin Leavitt has already committed to BYU.
Two younger brothers will try and replicate the success of their elder siblings. Portland (Ore.) Grant ATH Nate Halverson is the younger brother of 2012 Portland State signee OLB Daniel Halverson. Vancouver (Wash.) Skyview ATH Reiley Henderson is younger of 2011 Hawaii signee Ellis Henderson.
Wilsonville (Ore.) S Johnny Ragin was one of the top performers at the U.S. Army Underclass Combine in January. Eugene (Ore.) Sheldon ATH Connor Straham is one of the best offensive performers in the state. Portland (Ore.) Jesuit running back A.J. Glass toped 2,000 yards rushing last year.
QB Justin Adams
QB Wyatt Houston
RB Jake Hoffman
WR AJ Glass
WR Connor Strahm
WR James Banks
WR Nate Halverson
TE Forrest Russell
LB Reiley Henderson
DB Deshawn Stephens
DB Dallen Leavitt
DB Erick Douglas III
DB Griffin McLain
DB Jimbo Davis
S Tanner Shipley
S Johnny Ragin
Team Hawaii consists of prospects with ties to the Hawaiian Islands, though most now reside on the mainland. The team is always one of the younger groups at the tournament. Las Vegas (Nev. ) Bishop Gorman quarterback Danny Hong came out as an 8th grader last year showed well. He is back this year to lead the team further than their quarterfinal finish last year.
Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood brothers Sione and T.J. Fehoko are special talents. T.J. played defensive end on varsity as just a freshman. He already has a verbal offer from Utah.
QB Danny Hong
WR Riley Hoff
DB Joren Cambell
WR Terrence Chambers
TE Isaiah Nacua
DB Armand Perry
WR Keenan Smith
S/WR Nate Starks
LB KU Tapusoa
RB/LB Niko Kapeli
WR Cliff Betson
LB T.J. Fehoko
S Sione Fehoko
LB Deion King