REDONDO BEACH San Juan Hills quarterback Patrick O'Brien, pictured, arrived Sunday at the Nike Football Opening Regional without a scholarship offer but also not much of a recruiting profile.
“I'm pretty unknown,” he said.
Santa Margarita wide receiver Dylan Crawford arrived with a large stash of scholarship offers, including several from the Pac-12 Conference along with Michigan, Tennessee and Miami among others.
So when Crawford, a transfer from St. Francis, was the first wide receiver to jump out for the start of one-on-one drills, it wasn’t a big surprise. He's the kid with offers from USC, UCLA and Stanford.
But despite the difference in their recruiting standing, O’Brien and Crawford finished with the same lofty status. Both were selected camp MVPs at their respective positions for their performances Sunday at Redondo Union High.
“I was trying to show what I could,” a seemingly-surprised O’Brien said afterward. “I was just throwing the ball the best I could."
O’Brien, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound junior, showed a consistently strong and accurate arm, especially on his deep passes.
“I threw the deep ball really well today,” said O'Brien, who has attracted some interest from Ivy League schools along with Duke, Northwestern and Boise State.
O’Brien also connected well with Servite wide receiver Osiris St. Brown, a sophomore who more than kept up with the older receivers. The two are teammates at B2G.
“He was making me look good,” O’Brien said of St. Brown.
But with his MVP performance, O'Brien's days as a somewhat under-the-radar recruit could be over. "Hopefully, it changes now," he said.
Crawford (6-1,175) certainly looked good. The junior was explosive off the line of scrimmage and ran sharp routes with plenty of speed and confidence. But he wasn’t satisfied afterward. “(There’s) definitely room for improvement,” he said.
Santa Margarita quarterback KJ Costello joined O'Brien as one of the selections for the camp-ending 7-on-7 pressure-cooker drill. Mater Dei offensive tackle Frank Martin was picked for to the “Final Five” one-on-one linemen competition that also closed the day-long event.
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