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Sautter: College prospects shine at Bellevue West-Lewis Central 7-on-7 scrimmage
NEBHSRECRUITING

Sautter: College prospects shine at Bellevue West-Lewis Central 7-on-7 scrimmage

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7-on-7

Kaden Helms comes down with a grab during the 7-on-7 scrimmage between Bellevue West and Council Bluffs Lewis Central. Helms was one of several Division I football recruits on the field.

It may not have been a live football game, but it was close.

Council Bluffs Lewis Central traveled across the river Wednesday to face Bellevue West in 7-on-7 action.

Here are World-Herald Prep Recruiting Specialist Mike Sautter's observations from the day.

* * *

1. Bellevue West graduated two record breakers — receiver Zavier Betts and running back Jay Ducker — but the cupboard is far from bare. It starts with senior Keagan Johnson. The 6-foot-1, 192-pound Iowa commit separated from defenders well and showed how elusive he can be with the ball in his hands. Twice in the open field he eluded more than one defender after the catch. Look for Johnson to maybe even line up in the backfield this season.

Thomas Fidone

Lewis Central TE Thomas Fidone.

2. Even watching Lewis Central senior Thomas Fidone warm up you can see just how special of a talent he is. The soft hands, athleticism, cutting in and out of breaks easily — it all makes sense. Watching him in live action, without his regular quarterback throwing passes, was even better. One of his catches was good for any highlight reel: a corner route where he found a seam and made the catch on a ball that was underthrown across his body for a long gain.

3. The biggest thing that stood out from the morning was just how good Bellevue West junior Kaden Helms is. At 6-6, 218, Helms caught three touchdowns, showed his ability to run past defenders on go routes, clean route running when lined up in the slot and a large catch radius. Iowa State is the only offer for Helms at the moment, but that will likely change pretty quickly.

4. Bellevue West senior safeties Jack McDonnell and CJ Lilienkamp had good days in coverage. McDonnell, a 2019 first-team All-Nebraska selection and strong safety, has a knack for finding the ball. If tackling were allowed in 7-on-7, he would’ve racked up double-digit stops. Lilienkamp made a nice play on a tipped ball over the middle for the only interception of the day, which would have resulted in a pick-six.

5. Obviously people are eager to watch some sports in person. For a Wednesday morning in July, there were roughly 30 people in the stands watching the action, a pretty high number for a game that doesn’t mean much. During warmups, Lewis Central coach Justin Kammrad was throwing passes to his receivers. The former UNO running back had some zip on the ball and looks as though he could still play today.


Photos: Top prospects on display during 7-on-7 featuring Bellevue West and Lewis Central

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