The Maple Mountain quarterback came away with the UteShoot MVP honors and is a prospect to watch..…
With over 100 schools in attendance, spread out all over the University of Utah campus, it was impossible to keep track of everyone. This list was compiled off of what I saw from watching over 40 games during a 9 hour span.
1) Sione Heimuli-Lund- Heading into today, I would have never guessed Heimuli-Lund would excel in 7v7 football. Known for being a hard hitting linebacker and power running back, Heimuli-Lund displayed his athleticism throughout the day. The class of 2017 standout caught everything thrown his way, and looked fluid after the catch, making people miss on a handful of occasions. On defense, he displayed the ability to turn his hips and run with tight ends and running backs. Heimuli-Lund will be one of the best players in Utah for the next few years.
2) Jaren Hall- Coming into today a relative unknown, Hall quickly became the talk of the UteShoot. Maple Mountain turned into the Cinderella story of the tournament, and Hall was fueling it. The 6'1 gunslinger displayed great mechanics, vision, and athleticism. Hall sliced and diced defenses with his quick decisions and strong arm. The scary thing is he is equally as good a runner as he is passer, so when the pads come on this year, Jaren Hall will be nearly impossible to stop.
3) Andre James- The UteShoot linemen challenge brought a lot of talent to Salt Lake City, but Andre James was noticeably better than the rest. James doesn't possess an ounce of bad weight, and moves around like somebody playing a skill position. Not only did James waltz through the individual linemen challenge, he led Herriman to a first place finish as well in the team competition. James was a leader throughout the competition, and his teammates fed off his energy. There are very few offensive linemen in the class of 2015 that are more athletic than James.
4) Simi Fehoko- Fehoko was one of the best at the Pylon 7v7 in Las Vegas, and he only got better over the spring. Fehoko is more confident in himself, and that is bad news for his opponents. He rarely left the field, excelling at both receiver and safety today. At 6'3 185, Fehoko glided down the field and out-jumped helpless defensive backs several times every game. As a sophomore Fehoko averaged 30 yards a reception and had 6 interceptions, I would take the over on both of those heading into his junior year.
5) Noah Togiai- Togiai is currently committed to Utah for basketball. He is a good basketball prospect, but football is where he could be making money. Togiai is a complete mismatch, possessing size and athleticism that no defense could hang with today. He makes playing football look easy using his basketball skills. He has the size of a tight end, but moves like a wide receiver on the football field. He single-handedly won a few games today for Hunter HS and had a big day.
6) Kody Wilstead- Wilstead started off a little bit slow today, but once he got hot, nobody could cool him down. Wilstead uncorked a few perfect passes during the semi-finals against Maple Mountain. His arm strength was impressive, sending the ball down field 40 yards with a quick flick of the wrist. Wilstead may have had the strongest arm at the entire tournament. When he gets in the zone, there is not much that can be done about it, and a lot of defenses learned that today.
7) Porter Gustin- In the 48 hours prior to the UteShoot, Gustin played in five basketball games, leading his team in points and rebounds in all of the games. Despite running on fumes, Gustin played every snap of the tournament, at both QB and MLB. It was clear that Salem Hills' opponents had a game plan on offense, "stay away from Gustin". He was never really challenged on defense. On offense, Gustin showed some ability at QB, but chemistry with his receivers was a work in progress. His athletic abilities were on display throughout the day, and he lead his team to a few of the biggest upsets of the tournament.
8) Kade Cloward- Every time I watched Cloward he was making plays. The Bingham safety had seven interceptions on the day and was one of the primary reasons Bingham won it all. Cloward is deceptively athletic and has a knack for making plays. His instincts and football IQ are off the charts. There are very few defensive backs in Utah that stack up with Cloward.
9) Lopini Katoa- Katoa was a Swiss Army Knife for American Fork throughout the UteShoot. Katoa lined up at running back, slot, safety, linebacker, and cornerback at various times today and looked good everywhere. Katoa displayed good quickness and great vision and had his way with most defenses. He was the offensive MVP at the Pylon 7v7 in Vegas, and looked the part again today.
10) Cody Barton- If Barton ever took a play off today, I didn't see it. He had a big day at receiver and safety today. Early on, he made a great read to jump a route and came up with an amazing interception. On offense, Barton exceeded expectations and caught every ball thrown his way. His size was a mismatch, and most DBs were completely helpless against the 6'3 215 lb beast. If Barton continues to get better he is going to draw a lot of attention this fall.