Passing Down Rocklin Preview

Jake Rodrigues

The third regional in the Passing Down Elite 7-on-7 Challenge is in Rocklin, CA on Saturday. The 10-team tournament along with the Elite Linemen Challenge features some of the top prospects in Northern California…

The Passing Down Elite 7-on-7 Challenge hits Rocklin Saturday for the second NorCal regional and third regional overall. The Elite Linemen Challenge will have its second regional after having its initial run last month in Newport.

Team Central Cal Boys won the Passing Down Elite 7-on-7 NorCal Regional in San Ramon on Feb. 12, and Team Bakersfield Burr won the regional in Newport on April 16. Both teams automatically qualified for a berth in the Best in the West Tournament in Fresno on July 8 and 9. Also qualifying for berths were California Strength and Team Pitt Playmakers in San Ramon and Team SVG All-Stars, Team Big Picture Athletics, Team 4th Quarter Sports, and Team Pride N Skills in Newport.

The top four teams from Saturday's regional will advance to Fresno.

Team Sac Attack finished in the bottom half of the tournament in San Ramon. But elite quarterback prospect Jake Rodrigues is looking to win it all this Saturday. Combining with wide receiver Dylan Collie, there might not be a more lethal duo in Rocklin. They'll face competition from Team Pro Sport, who won the Passing Down Elite 7-on-7 Challenge last year. Pro Sport finished near last place in San Ramon with a young team. But Coach A.J. Rangel has divided his squad into an "A" and "B" teams with they younger players on "B." The A team is led by quarterback Andrew Barna and wide receiver/defensive backs Chris Santini and Cleveland Wallace, who recently committed to Oregon State.

Other teams competing include Team Valley Ballers with talented sophomores Zack Greenlee and Isaiah Saunders. Greenlee and Saunders were part of Team Diverse Sports that competed in San Ramon in February. Team California Strength is sending a second team to compete after the Zach Kline led team qualified in San Ramon. Three-star wide receiver Dalen Jones headlines Team NorCal Football Club, who also competed in San Ramon. Team TU Squad, Team Bells, Team Solano Seven, and Team NorCal Boys round out the field.

But the biggest name on Saturday won't be playing 7-on-7. Stanford-bound Aziz Shittu and teammates Matt Cochran and Andrew Mark will compete in the Elite Linemen Challenge as Team Thunder. The four-star Shittu is one of the top defensive linemen in the nation and has been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American game.

The Elite Linemen Challenge 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).

The top qualifying teams in each of the regional competitions will be invited to compete in the Passing Down "Best of the West" Elite Linemen Challenge on July 8 and 9 in Fresno, CA as well.

For more information on Passing Down Elite 7-on-7 and Linemen Challenge, please visit www.passingdown.com


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