Las Vegas, Nevada. – The Las Vegas Battle Invitational was an action-packed, action-packed event from start to finish. With over 40+ teams aiming to walk away with the championship. Game Changers Blue was the team that emerged victorious. Below, 247sports showcases some of the top performers from the event. Note: All leads belong to the class of 2023 unless otherwise noted.
WR Zacharias Branch – Recording as the Top247 #20 overall player and #3 wide receiver, he made everyone notice his talent from start to finish of the event. He led Gamechangers Changers Blue to the championship undefeated throughout the weekend. Branch is an electric, explosive and nervous point guard with soft hands. Lined up in the slot, he was unstoppable no matter what the defense tried to do to stop him, including playing press coverage, doubling teams with an overhand safety or playing support coverage he had opened. Running precise routes and changing gears out of the line of scrimmage where he kept the dbs off balance was consistent. Once he entered the open court, his speed, athleticism and soft hands took over as he stringed together game after game, including plenty of acrobatic holds. He added another cachet to his resume a dominating threat with that ball in his hands.
Next five offenses
QC Jaden Rashada – This Top247 No. 35 player and No. 5 quarterback elevated his game by bringing his team timely shots time and time again throughout the tournament. He has great arm talent that goes hand in hand with touch and very good decision-making. There wasn’t a throw he didn’t, he did a good job of also changing the speed of his throws when needed to add touch when he needed to hit hole shots blanket. He consistently showed his knack for processing and keeping track of his progress when the initial reading was removed. He is gaining more and more attention on the recruiting front, with some of the top programs becoming more aggressive in their approach with him.
WR Johntay Cook– Cook is a proven talent who has turned heads making plays whether in the slot or lined up outside on the perimeter. Playing with excellent body control, he always found a way to open up. His quickness in and out of his breaks is at elite level as he made it difficult for those covering him on the run and route where he had to lose weight, cut and explode to make a game. People like Texas A&M, Alabama, Texas, Ohio State, Louisville, and Oklahoma, among others, are fighting for it.
AND Jackson Bower – This sure-handed tight end was the clutch for his team making many 50/50 plays. He leaned over and that improved his athleticism. He was able to use his body and leverage in his routes to create a spear where you saw his catch radius come into play. He made a huge play in the back of the end zone in double coverage to seal his team’s victory and qualify for the semi-finals. Bowers has some of the best tight end hands in the class.
WR Robby Washington – He picked up where he started the event making plays in every way possible. He showed soft hands and speed to keep the guys running again and again. It has a very good shine and has good speed. Washington played with a knack for making the game tough in traffic again and again. The recruitment battle to get it will intensify as the cycle progresses.
QC Demond Williams – Williams made everyone a quarterback to watch in 2024. He played with poise, skill and arm talent. He led his team to the semifinals with an upset on the Tucson Turf making key throws, including a late touchdown that sealed the victory. As he gains strength and matures physically, he will get even better. Many programs across the country are beginning to take notice.
Next Five Defenses
CC Cole Martin – One of the best defensive backs on the West Coast was on his game this weekend. Playing with speed, physicality and great football intelligence, you can tell he is a manager’s son. His understanding of formations and route distribution allowed him to let his athletic ability take over and play faster than he already is. He’s the prototype nickel who can also play outside once he arrives in Oregon.
S Peyton Bowen – This Notre Dame commit will fit in nicely once it arrives. He did a good job shutting down routes and playing with great leverage preventing big plays against him. We could see on occasion with pads that his physique would have caused a collision which would have prevented a reception.
DB- Jasiah Wagoner – This intriguing prospect had a great weekend which saw him play at a high level and help lead his team Heir Academy to the Championship in the backend. Playing both a corner and a nickel, he was always around the ball to play. He’s covered all the best receivers his team has played and more than held his own. He’s a guy who could line up anywhere on the backend at the next level.
CC Desmond Ricks – This stoppage of 2024 on one side of the field for his team. He was excellent in media coverage where his length and strength were a problem for receivers off the jam. As he continues to hone his craft in terms of area coverage, the sky may be his limit.
CC Miles Lockhart – Lockhart built on what he started on Saturday and picked up on Sunday by being a consistent player at the corner of his D-1 team. He had plenty of pass breakups over the weekend as well as a few picks. He looks the part and has also played it with his constant ball peddling. This outlook for 2024 should be subject to a major evaluation period in the spring.
around the fields
Stacy Gage looks like what you want a running back to look like. This 2024 has a broad, well-defined upper body with a lean lower half. It’s easy to see why its offerings are national-caliber. Playing for the Defcon team with others 2024 Zaquan Patterson and Chris Ewald they had a great run to the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Arriving Sunday morning to play a few games with Team Immortal, Gulliver Prep (Florida) wide receiver Jalen Brown immediately made his presence felt with a 2 touchdown performance in his first game fresh off the plane. Killian (Florida) LB Stanquan Clark who showed his athletic ability by playing safety throughout the weekend and Killian (Fla.) LB Bobby Washington are some of the other talented Immortal players who have done well.
Los Alamitos (Ca.) DeAndre Moore pulling double duty this weekend playing both wide receiver and safety for the OG Ducks made a lot of plays on defense on defense, including a few interceptions.
The tight end position was well represented here at Battle with players like Ohio State Commit Independence (Tn.) Ty LockwoodNorte Dame Commit De La Salle (Ca.) Cooper FlanaganOregon State Commit Kentridge (Wa.) Dorian Thomas and North Medfrod (Or.) 2024 A. J. Pugliano These guys have various attributes, traits, and skills that allowed them to make plays during the event.
Playing for 24K Boone (Florida) Aidan Mizell was the goto receiver for them, he did a good job stretching the field and making plays. As he adds weight and strength we keep increasing as he is one to watch. 2025 Quarterback Trinity Christian Academy (Florida) Colin Hurley who was that top caller for 24K is someone to watch as he already has multiple 5 power offerings.
Cornerback Centennial (Ca.) Aaron Williams playing for a Proway is a guy who has all the tools, with his size, speed and length. For a player his size, he was very fluid and able to turn his hips around and transition to break on the ball.
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Ca.) LB jerry mixon playing for the I4 team is built with a stacked muscular frame without any loss of speed or movement. He’s moved to full-time linebacker, he’s one to watch.
wide receiver Pittsburgh (Ca.) rachid williams playing with KT Prep had a good tournament with a lot of pac-12s already on him, he’s gaining momentum in the spring.
Bishop Gorman (Lv.) Security Kodi Decambra Playing for Game Changers Blue Tournament Champions only has one gear and that’s it. He was by far the most physical player here playing with a constant drive