Cal-bound Charter Oak RB Zion Echols is No. 4 on our list.
1. Trevon Sidney
Bishop Amat, WR/DB, Class of 2016
Sidney exited his junior season ranked as the top cornerback in the nation for his class. However, he wants to play receiver. That’s what Sidney concentrated on this offseason and his stock at that position went through the roof. He had offers to play both positions and ultimately will get the chance at USC, where Sidney committed to in early July. Sidney chose USC after deciding from a large field of suitors that included UCLA, Michigan, Notre Dame and Miami.
2. Tyler Vaughns
Bishop Amat, WR, Class of 2016
Name a college football powerhouse and odds are that school has offered Vaughns. The phenom receiver has been called “The High School Megatron” because of his size and ability to treat a football like it’s a tennis ball. Vaughns’ stock stayed high all offseason and the reigning Tribune player of the year has his choice of SEC powers, Pac-12 elites and several others big names mixed in. It’s thought that USC is the front runner, which means Vaughns will team with fellow locals Matt Fink and Trevon Sidney at Troy.
3. Matt Fink
Glendora, QB, Class of 2016
At this time last year, Fink had no offers. At the end of his junior season he had just Boise State and Washington after his services. But once the offseason circuit of camps and combines began, Fink flashed his dual-threat skills and college interest spread like wildfire. Fink quickly became one of the top QB recruits on the West Coast and ended the suspense early by giving a verbal commit to USC in spring.
4. Zion Echols
Charter Oak, RB/WR, Class of 2016
Echols saw his stock jump this offseason after strong sophomore and junior seasons. Echols’ versatility allows him to fit nicely into the vast wide-open offensive strategies being employed by many teams at the next level. Echols took visits to USC, LSU, Oregon and Washington, but following a visit to the Bay Area and an offer from Cal, he was hooked on the Bears and committed before getting on the plane and coming home to the San Gabriel Valley.
5. Keanu Saleapaga
La Mirada, DE, Class of 2016
Saleapaga is a new name to area fans after transferring to La Mirada this offseason. He played his sophomore season at Gahr and last season he was at Cabrillo. At 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds with good speed off the ball, it’s easy to see why Saleapaga is in hot demand at the next level as a strong-side defensive end. But he ended all suspense early by committing to USC in June.
6. Francisco “Paco” Perez
Baldwin Park, OL, Class of 2016
Perez combines good size at 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds to go with a versatile style that has some thinking he can play guard or tackle at the next level. Perez saw a slew of offers in March when the likes of Arizona State, Texas Tech, Oregon State and Vanderbilt came calling for his services. But Perez ended the suspense in early summer by giving a verbal commit to Cal.
7. Brian Casteel
Charter Oak, WR, Class of 2017
Looking for the prized gem of next year’s area super recruit? Here he is. Casteel was named to CalHiSports.com’s All-State sophomore team last season and was a Tribune All-Area first-team selection after putting up some of the top receiving numbers around. He’s a stone-cold play maker who can catch whatever is thrown at him and make things happen in the open field. The recruiting barrage is expected to begin this season.
8. Micah Croom
La Mirada, DB, Class of 2016
Croom played last season at Servite and is part a dynamic haul of transfers that La Mirada got this offseason. At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Croom was on many recruiters’ short list of safety recruits. Croom had offers from Oregon, Colorado, UCLA, Illinios, Indiana and Stanford. But Croom ended the process early and chose Utah.
9. J.P. Shohfi
San Marino, WR, Class of 2016
Shohfi used the offseason to shine with his traveling seven-on-seven team and opened eyes just about everywhere he went. Shohfi has the speed needed to thrive at the next level and catches just about everything thrown his way. It also helps that he scored a perfect 800 on the math portion of his SAT. His 1,821 yards and 25 touchdown receptions last season were among the best in the state. Shohfi has no official offers yet but said he’s in heavy contact with Stanford, Colorado, Washington State, Harvard, Yale, Nevada and Cal.
10. Jake Colacion
La Habra, LB, Class of 2016
Colacion was one of the most sought-after defenders in Southern California. His speed allows him to be a menace from his outside linebacker position whether he’s pressuring the quarterback or dropping into coverage. That kind of versatility helped Colacion give the impression that he was all over the field on every play. Colacion didn’t wait long and this offseason he chose Arizona as his college destination. He had offers from Washington State, Boise State, Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern, Air Force and San Diego State, among others.