EUGENE, Ore. - The final stop of the NIKE Training Camp tour for 2007 is Saturday at the University of Oregon, and there are a few quality players to watch.
The most high-profile player slated to participate is Ethan Johnson of Portland Lincoln. Johnson, who is 6-foot-4 and 266 pounds, is the top ranked player in the Pacific Northwest. The four-star prospect is the No. 48 player overall and the No. 3 strongside defensive end in the nation.
With offers from teams like Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State and USC, Johnson is a wanted man. He attended the Los Angeles NIKE Camp earlier this spring, but was not able to work out because of an injury. He is apparently ready for this weekend's camp, and it should be a good opportunity to prove he is among the nation's best.
Another big name scheduled to be there is Everette Thompson, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive end from Burien (Wash.) Kennedy. Thompson is ranked as a member of the Rivals250. He was at an earlier NIKE Camp at Palo Alto, Calif., and he was solid at the event.
Seattle Rainier Beach offensive guard Alameda Ta'amu is also ranked in the Rivals250 and is expected to participate in Saturday's camp. The 6-foot-4, 340-pounder has offers from Oregon State, Washington, Hawaii, New Mexico State and others. He was named both Lineman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year for the Metro Sound League as a junior in 2006.
Battling for the top prospect at the offensive line position will be Hemet, Calif., offensive guard Hamani Stevens. The 6-foot-4, 290-pounder is making the trip up from Los Angeles and is easily one of the region's best line prospects. Ranked as one of the top 250 players in the nation and a four-star prospect, Stevens has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State and UCLA.
Stevens has earned all-league honors on both sides of the ball since his sophomore year. He was named all-state (underclass) last year as a defensive lineman. Some schools have talked to him about playing defense in college, but he does project on the offensive side.
Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes safety Jermaine Kearse has been widely talked about as one of the top players in Washington. He'll get a chance to show why on Saturday. He has offers already from Washington and Washington State, but a strong showing in Eugene definitely could help his stock.
One player that has really moved up the charts in the spring evaluation period is Portland Lincoln receiver Jordan Polk. The 5-foot-8, 150-pounder isn't the biggest player around, but he is explosive with the ball in his hands. Polk had some good moments earlier this spring at the Los Angeles Camp. With a Pac-10 offer from Arizona, Polk could see his stock increase even more after Saturday.
Two Hawaiians with offers are expected to make the trip to the Mainland for Saturday's camp.
Wailuku Baldwin teammates Sean Tesoro, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound offensive guard, and Chase Nakamura, a 6-foot-2, 155-pound receiver, should have good camps. Each has recently picked up an offer from UNLV.
A few others players to keep an eye on Saturday include Bellevue, Wash., offensive lineman David DeCastro; Tigard, Ore., running back Scott Grady; Portland Central Catholic quarterback Nick Green; Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton offensive lineman Patrick Jamison and Utah offensive lineman Lewis Walker.
Jeremy Crabtree is the National Recruiting Editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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