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June 22, 2011

What we learned: Seattle Nike

MORE SEATTLE NIKE: Info | Top players | Notes

SEATTLE - The Seattle NIKE Camp took place Sunday at the University of Washington and Rivals.com West analyst Adam Gorney was on hand to watch all the action. Here are five things we learned from the camp.

1. Garnett is the best OT in the Northwest

Coming into the Seattle NIKE Training Camp there was at least still some debate whether Joshua Garnett or Zach Banner was the best offensive tackle in the Northwest and while Banner did an outstanding job, Garnett is clearly the better technician.

The Puyallup (Wash.) four-star has outstanding flexibility and athleticism plus he plays with a serious mean streak, which helps him dominate defensive linemen even more.

Garnett's footwork is more advanced than Banner and although he needs to work on his hands, the 6-foot-5, 275-pound prospect is a quick learner, a smart player and willing to take instruction. He has all the tools to be a special prospect in college and beyond.

Banner does, too, but he needs some refinement in his game. For someone so massive, the Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes played on his heels a little too much. He looked outstanding at times, but Garnett was consistently better.

2. Neal is a two-way standout

Davonte Neal was phenomenal at the Seattle NIKE after a few good but not great performances at other camps this off-season. He was aggressive, hard-nosed and competitive playing wide receiver, his best position, and he caught everything thrown his way.

We still think the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral prospect is best at wide receiver instead of cornerback but Neal was also really good on defense. He is physical at the line and has great vision when the ball is in the air. He was a little overaggressive at times but that's good to see from Neal, who could be moving up the rankings.

3. Browne has elite potential at quarterback

We were thoroughly impressed with Max Browne's smoothness and advanced skill set at the Stanford Elite 11 regional, and he only built on that showing at the Seattle NIKE Camp.

Browne is tall and lean, smooth in his delivery, doesn't telegraph passes, spins it really well, shows good form and has all the other tools of an elite quarterback.

The Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline product has to be considered as one of the best at his position in the 2013 class and we hope to see him at the Elite 11 at Pepperdine later this summer. Browne threw for 4,182 yards and 50 touchdowns as a sophomore.

4. UW's quarterback situation will be interesting

Washington has firm commitments from four-star Cyler Miles out of Denver (Colo.) Mullen and three-star Jeff Lindquist from Mercer Island (Wash.) in its 2012 class. Both worked out at the NIKE camp this past weekend.

Miles is a better pocket passer and seems to have a stronger arm than Lindquist, who is better at throwing on the run and running the ball for positive yards.

This is setting up for an interesting quarterback battle in the Pac-12 for years to come. Neither prospect seems overly concerned about how things will settle in terms of starter and backup, and neither seems wary of competition.

Sometimes, signing two quarterbacks works well. Sometimes, someone gets left on the sideline or even transfers. Both Miles and Lindquist have lots of talent so Washington is in good shape at quarterback moving forward but it will be intriguing to watch how it plays out.

5. Russell gives small hints on recruitment

KeiVarae Russell doesn't like naming favorites but the Everett (Wash.) Mariner did say something enlightening after last weekend's camp when he said official visits to Notre Dame and Washington will almost definitely happen.

Russell, the eighth-best running back in the 2012 class by Rivals.com, said he wants to visit Notre Dame when it hosts USC on Oct. 22. The Washington visit will be his last before he makes his decision.

More than a dozen other schools have offered Russell, who rushed for 1,232 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.



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