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April 13, 2012
The IMG Madden 7-on-7 West Regional this weekend is one of the biggest and most competitive tournaments taking place this spring on the West Coast. Rivals.com West Region analyst Adam Gorney will be there Saturday and Sunday to take in the action.
Here are five story lines he will be watching at Redondo Beach (Calif.) Redondo Union as some of the top teams and players in the West compete.
Can the loaded 1925 team win it all?
The 1925 All-Stars are absolutely loaded with talent at every position - especially wide receiver - and made it to the final at a recent tournament in Las Vegas before being upset by Team Utah. Will this be the weekend 1925 turns the corner and wins a major tournament?
Four-star quarterback Troy Williams leads a potent offense that also features standout receivers Steven Mitchell, Francis Owusu, John Ross, X'avier Shepherd and others. There are so many playmakers on this team and they can score at any time.
On defense, 1925 is loaded with lockdown defensive backs, such as 2014 standout Malik Cyphers along with Tyler Foreman and Brandon Arnold. Gardena (Calif.) Serra linebacker Dwight Williams, who has a Colorado offer, is another 2014 prospect who looked good in Las Vegas.
B2G looks for redemption
A few weeks ago in Las Vegas, the B2G team which is also loaded with talent - especially on defense - was ousted before the championship round and it was a little surprising since it had won the tournament in back-to-back years.
This weekend could be redemption for B2G, which features four-star cornerbacks Chris Hawkins and Priest Willis and four-star safety Tahaan Goodman. Defensive backs Daquawn Brown, Jermaine Ervin and 2015 stud Iman Marshall are also expected to play in the IMG tournament.
On offense, quarterback Kelly Hilinski leads the way with running back Zachary Green, wide receivers A.J. Richardson, Drew Wolitarsky, Mauriece Lee, 2015 standout Trent Irwin and others. Tight end Marcus Baugh just committed to Ohio State this week.
We're still waiting for the B2G-1925 clash this spring and this could be the weekend for it.
Will Cravens look good again?
Five-star Su'a Cravens admits he's much more comfortable in game settings but he looked the part in Las Vegas and he's back with his Frat Boyz team to compete in another 7-on-7 tournament.
Cravens plays with uncanny smoothness at safety, linebacker, wide receiver and running back in games and he showed off those skills - especially on offense - a few weeks ago.
He is a playmaker on offense and knows how to play the ball on defense. Rarely does he ever get beaten or make the wrong move and it will be interesting to see him in person again to see if he can continue that consistency.
Look out for Those Guys
A lot of talk has centered around the California teams but don't count out Those Guys, a relatively strong team from Arizona that has enough firepower to surprise in this tournament.
Two-way players Jake Roh, Jalen Ortiz and 2014 standout Jalen Brown are also expected to be in attendance and they have enough skill to keep things interesting. It will be especially interesting to watch Brown, who could be one of the top two or three players in the state of Arizona next recruiting cycle. Ortiz and Roh already have multiple offers apiece.
Numerous players to see again
One of the nice things about 7-on-7 tournaments is not necessarily seeing entire teams play but certain prospects on teams that might be overpowered by loaded squads.
This is always the case and a few names written down to keep an eye on this weekend are Victor Bolden and Alec Dana from B2G Scorch, 2015 quarterback Tyler Hilinski from B2G Malice, Jamardre Cobb and Jermaine Kelly from 4th Quarter Sports, linebacker Uaea Masina from Team 808 who looked outstanding in Las Vegas, Jermel Walker and Thomas Tucker from I.E. Elite and quarterback Andrew Elffers off the Frat Boyz.