Ryan McMahon, a safety who walked on at USC following his football career at Damien and played his final two years of college football at Sacramento State, was signed by the Green Bay Packers on Thursday.
McMahon had multiple scholarship offers when he graduated Damien, but I remember the conviction in his voice five years ago when he explained to me his belief that he could play at a higher level. Apparently that attitude has carried him a long way.
He must have made an impression at the Packers’ rookie orientation camp in May, where he earned an invite to training camp. Of course, he still has a long way to go to make the 53-man roster, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who didn’t envision McMahon ever signing an NFL contract. At the very least, his look in this Sacramento State bio picture looks like something that would fit in Green Bay.
The Upland High School football program has attracted its share of transfers over the years, but it may reach new heights this season.
If all players who have transferred from other schools since last season are approved by the CIF-SS, the Highlanders could feature at least eight new faces in the fall.
That figure doesn’t include incoming freshman receiver Nathan Tilford, who received scholarship offers from USC and Arizona State while he was still in eighth grade.
“We work really hard at what we do and if people move in for whatever reason and we’re the benefactor, then I’m happy for that,” said Upland head coach Tim Salter, who is entering his 19th year. “We’re not out there recruiting kids, but I think we have one of the best programs around.”
San Dimas running back Jake Payton will be forced to sit out his senior season after a ruling today that his transfer to Upland was athletically motivated. The CIF-SS denied Payton’s transfer due to a violation of rule 510, according to its website.
This is the second high profile football transfer in the Inland Valley to receive this ruling in the offseason. Payton can only hope to have more success in the appeals process than Diamond Bar transfer Antonio Hull. Originally, San Dimas planned not to challenge Payton’s transfer to Upland, but changed its tune this week.
“We had a change of heart, it’s a group decision,” Zernickow told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune on Monday. “My opinion is that you can’t say nothing if something happened.”
Despite CIF recently easing restrictions on transfer rules, football player Antonio Hull was dealt an old school punishment today. The rising junior, whose transfer from West Covina to Diamond Bar in February was ruled athletically motivated by the CIF-Southern Section, lost his second appeal today, according to Diamond Bar football coach Ryan Maine.
Hull will not be permitted to join the team until Nov. 16, eight days after the end of the 2013 regular season. He can play on the junior varsity in the interim, but only if Diamond Bar reaches the playoffs and wins its first-round game will Hull be able to suit up this season for the varsity.
One of the rising stars last season on a West Covina team coming off consecutive CIF-SS championships, Hull split time between quarterback and running back. He would have joined a Diamond Bar offense that returns a trio of juniors including a 2,000-yard passer and two receivers, each with multiple Pac-12 scholarship offers.
“I want to be known as Cordell Broadus first. I want to be known as Snoop’s son second. I want to make a name for myself.”
Those were the first words out of Broadus’ mouth last summer before his sophomore season at Diamond Bar. As evidenced by his 10 scholarship offers, the son of rapper Snoop Lion is well on his way to accomplishing his goal.
Broadus and cousin Kanya Bell, Diamond Bar receivers who are transplants from Long Beach Poly, are ranked among the top 16 recruits in California in the class of 2014, according to espn.com.
The 6-foot-2 Broadus, a four-star prospect whose first offer came last summer from UCLA, now has a list that reads more like a coaches’ poll. Nebraska, LSU, Tennessee and Duke join five others from the Pac-12: USC, Oregon State, Washington, Arizona State and Cal.
The rising junior certainly passes the eye test – he looks like a tank in his football pads – and for a big receiver has very good speed.
It wouldn’t be fair to say Ryan Clady is Eisenhower High School’s finest football product considering Ronnie Lott, for whom the school’s football field is named, was a member of the class of 1977. The Denver Broncos left tackle, however, has established himself as one of the best in football at his position. Now he’s getting paid like it.
Clady signed a five-year $52.5 million extension today that includes $33 million guaranteed in the first three years. The guaranteed money in that time frame easily bests the contracts of the St. Louis Rams’ Jake Long ($12 million) and Houston Texans’ Duane Brown ($22 million). Only Joe Thomas received more with $40 million in his first three years with the Cleveland Browns.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune’s Aram Tolegian is reporting that San Dimas will challenge the transfer of star running back Jake Payton to Upland on the grounds of athletic motivation. San Dimas originally said it wouldn’t challenge the transfer of the running back who had 1,658 yards and 22 touchdowns last season.
“We had a change of heart, it’s a group decision,” San Dimas football coach Bill Zernickow told the Tribune. “My opinion is that you can’t say nothing if something happened.”
It’s often a pat answer for why recruits decide on a college, but Jordan Austin’s grade-point average gives his reasoning some serious credibility.
Academics were indeed the Claremont High School offensive tackle’s deciding factor in committing to USC June 26. His 4.4 GPA and ambitious plans for higher education, not to mention the scholarship offer he received from Harvard, certainly speak to his priorities.
“I want to get a Masters degree and when you get one of those from USC, NFL or no NFL, you’re set for life,” Austin said. “But if you’re a starting offensive lineman at USC, you’re practically guaranteed a shot at the NFL.”
Decorated coach Steve Johnson will not return as Eisenhower High School’s athletic director or boys basketball coach this coming school year, according to Rialto Unified School District director of communications Syeda Jafri.
The two-time Daily Bulletin Coach of the Year returned to his athletic director position briefly after recovering from gunshot wounds suffered Jan. 21 at an inner-city park in San Bernardino.
The 47-year-old Johnson was not asked to return as athletic director by newly appointed Eisenhower principal Scott Sparks. Johnson chose not to return as boys basketball coach for a program he turned into one of the area’s best over the last 19 years.
“Both the new Rialto and Eisenhower principals opened the athletic directors’ positions up going toward a different direction,” Jafri said. “Mr. Johnson chose not to return to coach basketball for next school year. The district has not opened the position yet.”
As soon as Erik Brown’s season ended, it began.
The Summit High School receiver didn’t have a scholarship offer when the No. 1 seed in the CIF-SS Central Division went down in the first round of the playoffs Nov. 9, 2012. Over a four month period beginning in February, he became one of the most sought after receivers in the country.
The pursuit ended last week when the 6-foot-2, 175-pound rising senior verbally committed to Washington, choosing the Huskies from nearly 30 scholarship offers that included UCLA, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Boise State and Oregon State.
“I knew it was coming,” Brown said. “I worked hard for this and it has been a blessing. It all happened really fast. I think I just got a chance to showcase what I can do when passing league came around.”