High school teams from throughout the state converged on Salt Lake City to participate in the annual Ute Shoot seven-on-seven passing camp Saturday. Nearly one hundred teams covering over forty schools from Utah and Idaho took advantage of the opportunity to compete, and put in valuable work in preparation for the upcoming season.
Olympus defeated Alta in the varsity title game, ending an entertaining day of football that saw established prospects perform well and some potential sleepers emerge.
As with most passing camps, the Ute Shoot put the quarterbacks on full display, and they did not disappoint. Four-star quarterback and BYU commit Tanner Mangum and his Eagle Mustangs had a good showing before losing to Borah. Mangum showed he can make all the throws, though he did have a tendency to get impatient and force the football at times, resulting in costly interceptions.
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Cottonwood quarterback Cooper Bateman had an outstanding day as well. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior could be the top in-state prospect of the 2013 class, and nearly led the Colts to the final game despite injuries to several players. Bateman was every bit Mangum's equal Saturday, and might throw a better ball. Bateman had to deal with the loss of one of his top targets, as junior receiver Inoke Lotulelei injured his shoulder shortly after the afternoon games started. Lotulelei had been playing well before the injury, and is another prospect to watch for the 2013 class.
Utah commitment Austin Lee had a very good day for Alta, leading them to the title game. Lee is a good athlete with a terrific feel for the game. Lee made plays throughout the day, including some terrific catches on offense. Lee's best game came in the semi-final against Cottonwood. Lee made several key catches on offense, broke up a couple of passes on defense, and read Bateman perfectly on the last play, cutting across the field to make the game-clinching interception.
Rivals250 DE Troy Hinds participated in the camp as well, playing tight end and linebacker for Davis. Hinds can legitimately play several positions, and though is likely best suited to play defensive end in college, he showed the ability to drop in coverage and is threat with the ball in his hands as well. Hinds made several plays for Davis on offense and was difficult for any team to cover.
Moana Ofahengaue showed his size and athleticism playing receiver and linebacker for West Lake, though his future is likely on the defensive line as well. Ofahengaue has a great burst, long arms, and a frame that can easily support enough weight to be an every-down defensive end.
Some lesser-known prospects had good performances at the Ute Shoot, and will be worth watching once the high school football season rolls around. Granger tight end/safety Taylor Pili is among the more interesting of those. Pili is an outstanding athlete who is extremely raw on the football field. Pili made several great catches and has the raw materials of a solid pass catching tight end. Borah quarterback Braden Corpus had a solid showing, especially against Eagle and Mangum. Highland athlete Anthony Smithson played several different positions including quarterback, and made plays whenever he was on the field. Hunter receiver Jaggar Wall is a huge target at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, and he showed nice athleticism and playmaking ability.