With one team pulling out of the tournament last minute, the 12-team Passing Down Elite 7-on-7 Challenge is down to 11 teams. But the talent level hasn’t dropped.
Team Bakersfield Burr went 5-0 at the Passing Down NorCal regional in San Ramon on Feb. 12 before losing the championship game to Team Central Cal Boys. The Burr followed that up with a 4-0 record in pool play at the Badger/New Level Athletics 7v7 in Las Vegas. They are heading to Newport with one goal in mind – to win it all.
Quarterback Tyler Ferguson leads the Burr, which is loaded with the top talent from the Bakersfield (Calif.) area. All-state running back Deon Martin, who was state sophomore of the year in 2010, is solid pass catcher out of the backfield. Wide receiver/safety B.J. Nard will be one of Ferguson’s top targets while cornerback Shannon Edwards, who played with Team B2G in Las Vegas, will lockup with the opposing team’s top receiver.
From a shear talent perspective, Team Alliance Sports will be hard to top. Their wide receiver corps alone makes them a tournament favorite. Bryce Treggs, Justin Johnson, and Malik Gilmore headline the group for quarterback Ryan Medina. Defensively, linebacker C.J. Dozier is one of the best in the state.
But when talking about top receivers, it’s not a conversation unless you include Darreus Rogers, who leads Team Pride N Skills. But the top pass-catching duo might be Team SGV All-Stars’ quarterback Myles Carr and wide receiver Taylor Lagace. Carr and Lagace were part of Team 4th Quarter Sports in Las Vegas, which will also compete in Newport. Quarterback Jihad Vercher and wide receiver Robert McCovery look t pick up the slack for 4th Quarter Sports.
Team P4NL AZ All-Stars is coming from the Valley of the Sun to compete on Saturday. Many of the same players that led Team Arizona to the semifinals in Las Vegas are on P4NL AZ All-Stars making them a strong contender on Saturday. Joining them in Newport will be P4NL Flight School out of San Diego.
A surprise team in Las Vegas last month was Big Picture Athletics. Team BP made it to the quarterfinals and they’ll add three-star safety Seth Jacobs, who played with B2G in Vegas, to the roster for Saturday. Jacobs and cornerback Kendrick Mathis arguably are the top DB duo we will see in Newport.
Also competing Saturday is quarterback Andrew Elffers’ Team Success, Team Factory Football Group out of Fresno, and Team 559 Crew from Tulare.
The first Passing Down Elite Linemen Challenge is also happening in Newport. The event will feature unique, exigent drills to determine a lineman’s ability, quickness, and strength. Teams of three linemen will compete in 1-on-1s, bench press reps, 10-yard sled push relay, tug-a-war, and heavy medley 10-yard replay (consisting of tire flip, loaded wheelbarrow, and backpedal sled).
Early favorite to walk away with top honors is Team Kornfed led by massive 6-foot-8 prospect Kwayde Miller.
A few walk up spots remain for linemen challenge, email firstname.lastname@example.org for latest walk up availability.
Retired six-year NFL veteran Cameron Worrell and business partner Elbert Lee created Passing Down, LLC in 2007. Since, Passing Down has held the premiere football camp in Central California every July. For more information on Passing Down Elite 7-on-7 and Linemen Challenge, please visit www.passingdown.com