Fourth-ranked national quarterback Cooper Bateman of Cottonwood High School was supposed to the gun-slinger to lead the Utah team in the 7 on 7 camp. Instead, it was Timpview High School’s Jake Lloyd that put on a championship-worthy display.
“No, [Bateman] was going to come and I was going to be our second quarterback,” Lloyd said. “He decided not to come. I found out why and it’s because he was at one of the Elite 11 camps down in Dallas.”
Bateman’s absence gave Lloyd a chance to shine on a bigger stage.
“The first day we had three games that night,” said Lloyd. “I threw two picks the first game, but then after that I kind of calmed down and just played football. We had a lot of talented receivers on the outside.
“We had Talon [Shumway], [Hayden] Weichers from Bingham and Tyler Fox from Layton, who committed to Utah State. We had John Fakahafua from East and the big tight end Dalton Schultz from Bingham and Handley Harrison from Alta.”
Last year the Utah team, led by Bingham high school head coach Dave Peck, was the runner-up. This year, the Utah team took the championship by beating out a bunch of other teams.
“There were 43 teams at the NLA 7 on 7 camp, but I’m not sure from how many states. I know it was the whole West coast but I don’t know how many states.”
On defense, Lloyd’s team featured linebacker Chasen Andersen and safety Chase Nelson of Logan, safety Stratton Brown and outside linebacker Albert Tai of Riverton, cornerback Malcolm Card-Turner of Highland, outside linebacker Colton Grossaint of Kerns, safety Kayika Fonua of Syracuse, outside linebacker Uaea Masina of Brighton, and corner Zach Swenson of East High School.
“Our defense played really, really well and actually shut out the first day and didn’t get scored on,” Lloyd said. “We ended up winning that first day by four touchdowns. We had some really good stops that allowed us to score and have some really good days.”
But what was it that Lloyd did that earned him the camp MVP honors?
“I thought I was able to read the defenses really well and what they ran,” Lloyd said. “I was able to make the right reads and was able to pick up on some of their play calls. I’m smarter than the average quarterback I guess.
“It was kind of overwhelming and kind of an honor. I wasn’t really expecting for that to happen and I don’t think a lot of people saw it coming, but it was a great honor to get that and we have some talent here in Utah. We do really well every year down there.”
One would think there would be a little surge of interest in Lloyd from the instate schools after he took the camp by surprise.
“Well, I get a bunch of letters from out-of-state schools like Ole Miss and stuff like that,” Lloyd said. “Utah State verbally offered me and I got full-ride scholarship to Yale. It’s kind of an honor because of the education they have down there. It’s kind of like my brother, who got a scholarship to Stanford.”
And what about BYU and Utah?
“BYU hasn’t really shown any interest in me,” said Lloyd. “I haven’t gotten any letters from them, but Utah has talked to me, but not BYU. Utah has talked to me and sent me around four or five invitations for their Junior Day this next weekend. I guess they want me to come up to that pretty badly. I’m going to head on up there for that.”
The reason that BYU hasn’t shown interest in Lloyd could be because the Cougar coaches have their sights set squarely on Cooper Bateman.
“Yeah, that could be, but I wish BYU would talk to me and it would be an honor,” said Lloyd, who will be a senior this year at Timpview. “They just haven’t yet or as much as I thought they would.”
And what plans does Lloyd have for this summer?
“So far just Elite 11s, and I’ll probably work with a quarterbacks coach,” Lloyd said. “I don’t know, I should attend some school camps and will probably go to BYU’s camp and the Ute Shoot this summer. We’ll see what happens.”