Utah boys represent well at Elite 11

Hayden Weichers

There were eight wide receiver representatives from the state of Utah that participated in the prestigious three-day Elite 11 quarterback camp held in Long Beach, California. These eight were a part of the RT25 camp, and represented well while catching passes from some very talented quarterbacks.

The eight selected from the state of Utah were as follows: Dyson Rivers of Timpanogos, BYU commit Hayden Weichers of Bingham, Harrison Handley (offers from BYU, Utah and Utah State) of Alta, Jaxson Beck of Timpanogos, Kalan Kantwell of Bingham, Marcus Kemp of Layton, Skyler Munson of Lone Peak and Joey Anderson of Spanish Fork. All eight represented the state of Utah very well according to Harrison Handley and Hayden Wiechers.

"There were around 50 or 60 receivers out there the first day, but there were more guys the second day that just showed up. But we all did really good out there," said Handley. "Hayden Weichers did really well out there and so did the others that came out there from Utah. Skyler Munson did way good out there too. He was catching a lot of passes and it was good to see him get down there and perform. We all represented Utah football really, really well like we always do."

"I had a good experience down there," said Weichers. "When we went down there we thought we would be the only receivers there, but there were a lot of junior college defensive backs and wide receivers there. We were split up and half of us did one-on-ones and the other half did routes on air for the QBs."

While Weichers was selected to run routes on station, Handley was selected to perform in the one-on-one section of the camp.

"I just went out there on the first day and was selected to go against the DBs in one-on-ones," Handley said. "I was doing way good and had a blast catching balls from Division I college quarterbacks. It was exciting."

Handley was recognized for his performance.

"I got the best receiver of the camp for the first day," said Handley. "I didn't really get any awards, but I did get that.

"In the one-on-ones I was just trying to go against every DB and get as many reps as I could," he continued. "I just tried to get as many reps as I could and tried to beat the DBs. I went out and caught as many balls as I could and got the best wide receiver on the first day."

"When they divided the groups, Harrison was the only one that was selected from Utah to do the one-on-ones," said Weichers. "He just tore it up and made all the California kids look silly."

Meanwhile, Weichers didn't get to go up against any defensive backs that first day.

"I didn't get a chance to do any one-on-ones, so unfortunately I didn't get a chance to show off or show what I could do," said Weichers. "I spent the day with Cooper Bateman down there and spoke to him the whole time and caught passes from him."

Every year the Elite 11 features the top quarterback prospects in the nation.

"The quarterbacks that were participating were all just so awesome," said Weichers. "All of them were always perfectly accurate and all the balls came in hard. It was a good experience and a good way to get you ready for college ball."

On the second day of the camp, the receivers weren't able to get many reps because there were more players in attendance.

"There were a lot of JC college players there and it was seven-on-seven drills instead of one-on-one drills," said Handley. "It was hard to get reps the second day, but when we did ,the Utah boys performed really well. Whenever we got a look we always caught the ball."

Handley said the added training they received from the RT25 camp aided their performance again the junior college players.

"That camp is awesome," said Handley. "Any receiver that wants to go somewhere, definitely go to the RT25. They'll put your name out there and get you invited to a lot of camps."

Meanwhile, Handley didn't participate during the third day of the camp.

"I didn't go the third day because I think I might have torn something in my ankle," said Handley. "I think I tore a tendon in my ankle, so I didn't go the third day. I should be okay though and just wanted to be ready for conditioning [which started on July 23], so I just wanted to be ready for that. It's not a big deal and just a little sprain or something."

Weichers, however, did perform all three days of the Elite 11 camp.

"Some kids messed up on their routes later on the second day, so they took all the high school kids off and just had the junior college players run routes," Weichers said. "On the last day, I went and got in quite a lot and that's when I was able to show what I could do. I mean, those junior college cornerbacks aren't very good. I guess that's why they're playing in junior college."

Weichers enjoyed going up against the others at the camp.

"Overall it was a good experience and it gave us a good chance to see what the competition was like out there," said Weichers. "There were some high school kids there from Long Beach Poly and Martin Luther High School. It was good to see some of the other kids from some top schools there to see where you're at.

"It was mostly just JUCO kids with maybe five or six high school kids on defense, other than that it was mostly just the RT25 kids that were the high school kids representing there. They had junior college receivers and all but about five or six of the 100 or so kids were junior college cornerbacks.

"The wide receivers that were there were all from RT25. I think we all did really good though despite [that]. I wasn't able to do the one-on-one station, but I did shine during the seven-on-sevens. I got off the jams and beat the junior college DBs that went up against me and got great separation. I was able to shine then and show what I could do."

Apparently, Weichers frustrated many of the cornerbacks there, who took out their frustration on him in a rather unsportsmanlike manner.

"Yeah, I went up against El Camino J.C.'s starting defense. They weren't really good," he said. "I mean, they were just really cheap. I got my shirt torn, two swollen lips, a cut mouth and both of my contacts knocked out."

That frustration came about apparently because Weichers' high school-level speed and quickness beat that of the junior college competition.

"Yeah, they didn't know how to play defense," Weichers said. "They would come up and try and jam you at the line of scrimmage, being junior college cornerbacks, and I would get off the jam on a streak and the kid pulled me down by my shirt and almost ripped my shirt off.

"Then I ran a hitch route and blew past the kid as he tried to jam me. Then I came back around on the hitch and he just came right at me with a forearm to my face. That's when I got my lips swollen and got my contacts knocked out."

Pleasant Grove wide receiver Skyler Munson, whom Coach Cahoon is taking a long look, also got banged up during the event.

"Skyler did really good out there," Weichers said. "He ended up hurting his back out and tried to come back but couldn't do much."

The other Utah receivers fared well despite the rough play.

"Kalan Cantwell did pretty good out there too. On the second day it was only me, Skyler and Kalan that go into the rotation," Weichers said. "We were all pretty bugged with the situation, because we were from high school and the other receivers were from junior college. They just treated us like crap even though I have Division I scholarships, Harrison Handley has Division I scholarships. Kalan Cantwell should have one, as well as Skyler Munson. We were all better than those JUCO kids and they treated them like royalty and us like dirt. I was kind of disappointed by that."

Despite all that, the Utah boys said the experience was worth the trip. And in the end, guys like Handley and Weichers had the last laugh.

"It was a good experience overall," said Weichers. "As far as facing all those JUCO defensive backs, I guess I have the final laugh despite how they played. They're all trying to get Division I scholarships as J.C. players, where some of us at the high school level already have them. They're trying to get where we are. I guess the joke's on them."

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