By Joe Davidson
The recent Nike Football Training Camp at Stanford included three area athletes who looked the part and performed the part as national recruits.
Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick of Whitney, deemed the No. 7 tight end prospect in the country, has good hands, runs well, likes to block and has size at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds. He has scholarship offers from Cal, UCLA, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State and others. With quarterback Jake Rodrigues at the helm, Whitney expects to have a championship team this fall under coach Mike Gimenez.
Marcus Rios of Cosumnes Oaks is a superb cornerback prospect with great feet and the ability to change directions or close the gap in an instant. He has eight offers - throughout the Pac-10 - and is a verbal commit to Boise State, where senior teammate Robert Ash is headed to play defensive line. Rios will be the focal point for Cosumnes Oaks under coach Scooter Gomes, whose team just missed on making the playoffs last season but expect to make strides this coming season.
Shaq Thompson of Grant is a 5-star prospect and clearly one of the most impressive athletes to come out of the region - ever. At nearly 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, Thompson can glide, slide and explode upfield as a runner, a receiver or on returns. He's also an outstanding defensive prospect. He gave Cal a verbal commitment, the school where his brother Syd excelled, but it's too early to know if Shaq will become a Golden Bear. For now, he's one golden prospect for Grant coach Mike Alberghini, who surely expects another Sac-Joaquin Section title run.
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