Every year I like to make at least one day to the annual Men in the Trenches camp held at Dobson High School in Mesa. As a former offensive tackle, I am literally in "hog heaven", getting to watch offensive and defensive linemen work technique for hours before then battling it out in some great one on one sessions.
I made it out for Thursday's camp and of the thirty or so players in attendance there were four that stood out in the upperclassmen portion that had some college potential. Don't get me wrong, there were some other kids out there battling but these four had the size required to play college football.
1. Jason McAuley - 6-5 230 Peoria HS - McAuley was an all-region TE at Willow Canyon last year but a family move has him at Peoria now. He says that he could see time at both TE or OT. He reminds me a lot of another former Panther, Rory Ross, who is now at Oregon State. McAuley is a big kid with a big frame. Very long. I could see him easily adding 50 pounds and turning into an OT. But at the same time he is athletic enough to be a very good TE. Needs to add some strength and play lower but physically he has a lot of tools. Plus I like the fact that he told me he carries a 3.3 GPA.
2. Bo Kitson (JR) - 6-1 265 St. Mary's - Kitson will be a three-year varsity starter for the Knights. He currently plays right tackle for Coach Zubey but will have to move inside to play at the next level. Big, thick kid that is physical. Needs to play with lower pad level. could be a 6-2 290 pound kid by the time he graduates.
3. Robert Palacios - 6-2 300 Coolidge HS - He could be one of the better OLs in 3A. Kid is very big and is a finisher. Needs to get in the weightroom and change his body a little bit and shed a few pounds but he does have some ability. Plays low, plays hard and that is half the battle.
4. Colt Marley - 6-4 205 Coolidge - Plays DE and TE for Coolidge and has the long frame that college coaches look for. Is still raw but could be a player to keep your eye on.
The top underclassmen at the event was Vista Grande's Tyler Henry. Vista Grande is a new school in Casa Grande and Henry will just be a sophomore. The coaches at the camp loved his motor.
Check out exclusive footage of some of the 1 on 1's from Thursday's camp: