Breaking down 2016 West 100

Breaking down 2016 West 100

The class of 2016 may not have the top end talent or as much depth as the 2015 class out West but it's still very strong led by three early five star prospects.

There are 17 total West Coast players in the initial Scout 100 and as we always preface with early rankings, expect a lot of turnover between now and when theses players are seniors.

Right now, these rankings are based off how these players looked as sophomores on the field as well as how they looked at various camps and 7v7 tournaments over the spring/summer. A ton of players will make a big jump between their sophomore and junior season and an even bigger jump between junior and senior year.

We say that to say don't be surprised if a player outside the Scout 300 jumps in to the top 50 two years from now and players currently in the Scout 100 who don't develop as much as others, fall down the list a bit.

With all that being said, here's our look at the players who make up our initial Scout 100 led by five-star prospects Malik Henry, Caleb Kelly and Breland Brandt.

Henry (No. 10), out of Westlake (Calif.) first caught our eye at the Edison Passing Tournament last summer. He looked raw but had an athletic body, a very live arm and could put the ball in to some very tight windows.

He had a solid sophomore season and then made a big jump this past spring/summer. He was arguably the top quarterback at the 100 team Pylon 7v7 in Las Vegas and then had a great showing at the SoCal NIKE Camp.

Henry's arm strength is really impressive and he can make every throw on the field. For a young quarterback, he also shows very good poise and calmness in the pocket and can throw with touch when he needs to as well.

He can get a little emotional at times and we saw that in Vegas but you have to love his competitiveness and passion for the game. He's already a top level athlete and adds the ability to scramble not just for first down yards but long plays down the field. The best thing with Henry is he's still learning the position and has a ton of growth left in him.

Kelly (No. 12), out of Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West, is our early pick as the top defensive player in the region. At 6-3, 215 pounds, he's an athletic freak who runs around like a safety but has the frame to get up to 240 pounds or so with ease down the road.

His position at the H.S level is an inside ‘backer so he can roam from sideline to sideline and make plays but at the next level, we think he's an ideal blitzing OLB in a 3-4 type scheme. He can run, hit, is very aggressive, a solid tackler and looks like a natural pass rusher as well.

He shows very good leadership skills as well, works hard off the field and has a strong desire to want to be a great player. You don't see too many young linebackers with the ability to rush the passer, play in space and drop back and look comfortable in coverage but Kelly excels in all three aspects and will only get better.

The most intriguing kid in this group is Brandt (No. 13), who plays at tiny Los Angeles (Calif.) Windward Prep. Brandt was better known as a basketball prospect just a year ago but has turned his attention to a full time football guy now and his game is taking off.

He's a 6-4, 210 pound outside linebacker who will likely grow in to a defensive end. He still has a baby face and doesn't look like he's even close to maturing yet and it's not a stretch to think he'll end up in the 6-5 to 6-6 range before he's done.

He's hyper athletic and can run like a deer. He's a standout tight end and could easily play on both sides of the ball in college but we like him on defense. He has a motor and plays with a relentless energy on the field. He's still raw in some areas and because of his competition level, there will definitely be an adjustment period for him in college but no one has more upside right now.

The next two highest rated players are teammates at La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat. Athlete Trevon Sidney (No. 21) is rated with the corners but is a very talented receiver and Tyler Vaughns (No .27) is rated with the receivers and is a very gifted defensive back as well.

Gardena (Calif.) Serra always has plenty of star power and Brandon Burton (No. 32) is the top guy in the 2016 class. He's also a two-way threat at receiver and safety and landed his first scholarship offer from Florida State when he was just a freshman.

La Canada (Calif.) St. Francis receiver Dylan Crawford (No. 38) had a big spring and established himself as one of the elite athletes in the region. He has very good speed and can get behind a defense but has the polish and hands to be a solid go to guy on 3rd down as well.

San Jose (Calif.) Valley Christian wide out Collin Johnson (No. 45) is that big 6-4 receiver colleges covet these days. He plays in a run dominated offense but has shown at various events including the NorCal NIKE Camp that he has big time ability. The athlete has already committed to Texas.

Chandler (Ariz.) defensive lineman Garrett Rand (No. 50) is a monster in the middle of the line and our early choice as the top lineman out West, on either side of the ball. He dominated at the SoCal NIKE Camp bullying players a year older than him. At a rock solid 6-foot-2, 270 pounds, Rand is tough to move but it's his quickness off the ball that sets him apart.

The top inside ‘backer out West is Rialto (Calif.) Carter's Lokeni Toailoa (No. 56). Toailoa is a banger and loves to hit. He's physical, mean, tough and plays with an edge. He's your classic enforcer you put in the middle of your defense and he'll make plays all over the field.

Chandler (Ariz.) running back Chase Lucas (No. 61) is one of the most versatile players out West with the ability to play multiple spots. He's a breakaway threat at running back but catches the ball well enough to play in the slot and has the athleticism to be a very good corner as well.

Hailing from the same high school, expect to hear a lot of Carson Palmer comparisons for Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita quarterback K.J. Costello (No. 68). Costello has the prototype size of an NFL quarterback at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds with a big, downfield arm. He throws a tight ball, is accurate and has improved his mobility over the summer.

Another quarterback we like a lot is Lake Stevens' (Wash.) Jacob Eason (No. 74). Eason is another big 6-4 quarterback with the arm strength to make every throw. He has a big arm, an effortless release and his recruitment sky rocketed this past spring with new offers rolling in almost every day.

Pittsburg (Calif.) defensive back Shurod Thompson (No. 78) is a great looking safety prospect who shined at the NorCal NIKE Camp. He has size, range and toughness and shows up very well on film. He loves to hit and can come downhill and light up an opposing running back or receiver.

Another player who jumped out to us at the NorCal NIKE Camp was Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West receiver Darian Owens (No. 84). He's a well built 6-0, 180 pounds with a burst and showed natural pass catching ability. He's lightning quick getting in and out of his breaks, shows the athleticism to jump over opposing defensive backs and has a very nice upside to him.

Concord (Calif.) De La Salle athlete Devin Asiasi (No. 91) is our top tight end in this class. He's a two-way player for the Spartans and will likely get plenty of looks as a defensive end as well. He's a rarity at the tight end position these days in that he's more than just a big receiver, he can block and engage in the physical side of the game. He catches the ball well, can get down the field and should be a nice red zone weapon at the next level.

Downey (Calif.) athlete Darrian Franklin (No. 96) made as many plays at receiver as he did as a linebacker last season but we like his upside on defense. He's a physical kid with very good quickness and is an explosive hitter. He shows very good closing speed and the ability to finish a play.

We'll breakdown the rest of the West Coast players in the Scout 300 in a later article.

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