Scout.com West analysts discuss their picks for the top emerger from the 2015 class this spring..…
The prospects on the field were impressive, but it could have been the recruits hanging out on the sidelines that were the most impressive. Dru Samia, Steve Miller, Osa Masina, Mufi Hunt, Branden Bowen, and Dane Cruikshank were all prospects on unofficial visits, holding Utah offers. In addition, 2016 Arizona QB, Tyler Bloom was in attendance as well.
On the field, Britain Covey, James Empey, Jaren Hall, Langi Tuifua and Kahi Neves were the five guys currently holding Utah offers. Cody Barton had a tremendous day, and walked away with a Utah scholarship, that he instantly committed to. Drew Jensen also had a nice day and came away with a Utah offer. The other guys there on the Utes' radar were Keynan Jackson, Cole Casper, Zayne Anderson, Riley Burt, Gaige Kartchner, To'a Maumau, Alassane Niang, Lopini Katoa, Nate Heaps, Julian Blackmon, Kalisi Moli, Chad Hekking, Darius McFarland, Carter Nielson, Donald Wilkinson, and Samuelu Poutasi.
Hausia Sekona: The best word to describe the East defensive end today would be unblockable. He was a force to be reckoned with during one on one's using a nice blend of speed and strength to make the other guys look silly. It is worth noting that he forgot his chinstrap and decided to play anyways. Sekona is one of the toughest kids in the state and he is the quickest defensive linemen I have seen this spring.
James Empey: Every single time I have seen Empey this spring he has been flawless on the field, today was no exception. His fundamentals are light-years ahead of the other guys. Empey is patient, agile, and tough. It gets old saying this once a week, but he is a technician on the field and will excel at the next level.
Darius McFarland: McFarland has size, skill, and deceptive speed. He spent the morning playing defensive line and moved to tight end in the afternoon. He was a tough cover for safeties and linebackers during one on one's. He hauled in several poorly thrown balls, including an acrobatic grab that may have been the best play of the day.
Chad Hekking: The NorCal athlete displayed exactly what the coaches wanted to see from him, versatility. Hekking is a good high school quarterback, but at the next level he is likely to play tight end or outside linebacker. At the camp today, he showed a nice upside at tight end. At 6-4 210 pounds, he moved well and caught everything thrown his way.
Cody Barton: Barton ran a decent 40 yard dash, but really shined everywhere else today. In position drills, he showed good hips, range, and speed. In one on one's I saw a single pass completed on Barton, compared to close to a dozen incompletions. Barton has next to no game tape, so it speaks volumes to his conditioning and work ethic that the Utah coaches would offer him.
Kalisi Moli: The Herriman linemen is a force to be reckoned with in the trenches. He fires off the ball like his hair is on fire, and plays with intensity that nobody was able to match. Offensive linemen were embarrassed by Moli on a regular basis.
Jaren Hall: If James Empey is the technician on the offensive line, Hall claims that title for quarterbacks. He makes everything look simple and easy on the field. His mechanics are solid, his awareness is good, his accuracy is great, and he is a fierce competitor. Today wasn't much different than the UteShoot, coaches were crowding around to watch the Maple Mountain QB sling the rock.
Lopini Katoa: Katoa continued to do what he has all spring... produce. Coach Erickson was praising the American Fork athlete throughout the day. During the NFL combine position drills, Katoa looked crisp and a step faster than everyone else. His performance today may give the Utes something to think about.
Carter Nielson: Nielson is the definition of a road grader. His lateral quickness may hold him back, but when it comes to straight ahead blocking... he is a mauler. He probably put a half dozen defensive linemen on their backsides. Nielson is mean and strong as an ox.
The MVP Of The Day
Britain Covey: While there were a few strong candidates, Covey was consistently sharp today. His quick and precise routes made defensive backs look like somebody trying to guard Allen Iverson in the late 90's. Whether he wanted to go inside, outside, down the seam, or to the corner, there was nobody able to stop him. By the end of the day, a few cornerbacks were frustrated with Covey's abuse and they began to "tackle" him before he could even release. He began to adjust to the physical (and illegal) coverage and would make a move at the line and continue to scorch defenders down field.