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March 17, 2012

What we learned: Los Angeles events

MORE: West whispers | Around the West

LOS ANGELES - Rainstorms, stiff winds and chilly weather did not stop the Asante Football Academy nor the Fourth Quarter Sports Elite 7-on-7 tournament on Saturday, and Rivals.com West analyst Adam Gorney was at both events.

Here are five things Gorney learned at the Asante camp held at Santa Fe Springs (Calif.) St. Paul and the 7-on-7 tournament at Los Angeles Salesian High School.

1. Lopez keeps getting better

John Lopez was soaking wet and his white Asante Football Academy T-shirt was ripped after multiple one-on-one repetitions but the four-star offensive lineman from Orange (Calif.) Lutheran was still smiling. It was probably because he was putting together a dominant performance.

Lopez, who also worked out at the Asante camp last spring with Erik Magnuson, Dejon Allen and others, has trimmed some fat, added muscle and is starting to look like a college-ready offensive lineman. He probably projects as an offensive guard and he could be one of the best in the West.

At 6 feet 5 and 328 pounds, Lopez is comfortable in his frame, moves his feet much better than last spring and it's clear he is much stronger. Another year or two of seasoning and Lopez, named the Asante camp MVP, could become a special college prospect.

Colorado, Florida State, UCLA and Washington have offered Lopez, rated No. 126 in the early 2013 rankings by Rivals.com, and he said Arkansas is starting to show more serious interest.

2. Emerald could be a gem

By no means is Emerald Faletuipapai a finished product, but he's so big and has so much potential at offensive guard that the Gardena (Calif.) Serra recruit could be landing some offers soon.

The 6-foot-6, 339-pound prospect bench pressed 185 pounds a camp-high 24 times and then showed off his strength on the field. His feet are still a little slow and sometimes his balance is not great but he's learning the game and has a lot to work with.

Faletuipapai looks to be in better shape than during his junior season at Gardena Serra, a traditional powerhouse in Southern California, and he's unquestionably strong. If he can get better fundamentally and be a little lighter on his feet, Faletuipapai can start getting more attention.

Washington State is the most involved at this point but he's hearing from some other Pac-12 schools as well.

3. Cloy is name to remember

Darrell Cloy will probably be recruited as a wide receiver or possibly a tight end but there he was competing at defensive end at the Asante camp and doing a pretty impressive job. Cloy is incredibly athletic, physical and competitive and since he's a 2014 prospect and plays with B2G in 7-on-7 tournaments he will definitely get noticed for years to come.

Cloy, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound prospect, continually received compliments during the weight training session of camp and showed off outstanding flexibility. He was handled a few times during the one-on-one session because he was just outsized and doesn't have enough power yet, but he was playing out of position so he gets a pass.

Asante said Cloy, who transferred from Los Angeles Garfield to Santa Fe Springs St. Paul where Asante coaches, said his star 2014 prospect is expected to play wide receiver and defensive end in his junior season.

Another St. Paul prospect who had an impressive day was 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive guard Christian Garcia. Even though he was playing offensive tackle during the one-on-one competition, Garcia did a nice job with his footwork and his strength to keep defensive linemen away from the bag. Some Pac-12 teams have started to show interest.

4. Hawkins has new top three

B2G did not bring their top team to the Fourth Quarter Sports event but four-star cornerback Chris Hawkins was there watching his brother and supporting the other B2G squad. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., standout talked with Washington coaches in recent days and now the Huskies are in his top three.

Hawkins was close to committing to Stanford in the last couple weeks until USC offered at the last minute and so he decided to postpone any decision. Notre Dame was in his top three, but after talking with Washington the Huskies have supplanted the Irish on top.

Rated No. 159 in the 2013 class by Rivals.com, Hawkins said he plans to visit Washington for its upcoming junior day. A commitment is expected before his senior season starts.

5. Ware could be 2014 standout

Marquis Ware, while playing wide receiver, shook off the cornerback at the line of scrimmage and then made a nice diving touchdown catch at the Fourth Quarter 7-on-7 tournament. It was one of the nicer catches on the day and Ware showed why he has three early offers even though he's a 2014 prospect.

Ware, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound athlete from Los Angeles Salesian, has offers from Boise State, Oregon State and Washington State and he's hearing from UCLA and others. No favorite has emerged yet because it's still so early for Ware but if USC or the Bruins offered it might be tough to pull him away from home.

Adam Gorney can be reached at adamgorney@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter @adamgorney.

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