The Scouting Guru has been all over the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, and like always, he’s offered to share his thoughts, free of charge. Don’t hate, enjoy it for what it’s worth, which is one man’s opinion on the talent and teams in the San Gabriel Valley and surrounding areas.
The Guru Says: It’s that time of year where the season is just about coming into focus and so is college football recruiting. I thought it would be a great idea to take a look the west coast schools and see where they stand from the point of view of the Inland Empire and the East San Gabriel Valley. For many football fans, the football season in college recruiting. So this week we will take a look at the Pac-10, next week the WAC and the Mountain West Conference. We’ll start with the defending Pac-10 champions…
USC - Well, last week’s event s sure didn’t help in recruiting, but no one finishes quite like the men of Troy when it comes to recruiting. On our board right now, they have verbal commitments from TE Randal Telfer (#7 Rated in IE on our rankings, Rancho Cucamonga) and CB Anthony Brown (#21, Kaiser). In our eyes, the offer to Brown is very much a reach. We see this kid as nothing more than a nickel corner when he gets to SC and will help out in the special teams department. They are many in the PAC that just don’t see what SC saw in the kid to offer him. But we’ll see what happens. As for the others, they have offered DE Ronald Powell (#1, Rancho Verde), DE/LB Josh Shirley (#3, Kaiser), DT George Uko (#4, Don Lugo), and S Demetrius Wright (#10, Corona). If they get all these guys, it’s a clean sweep for Carroll. But there are issues to be worked out. First, SC has to be Florida to get Powell. That won’t be easy. Shirley, in our eyes, is one that has never really been enamored with SC football. More about him later. SC has to compete against Oregon to get Uko (but we’ve projected Uko to being a SC commit) and Wright, according to several sources, will most likely he heading to Trojan land. It’s complicated, but if the board works right, it could be a heck of a February for Pete Carroll.
WASHINGTON - Yes, the Huskies are right up there and this has very little to do with the upset over USC last week. In the recruiting circles, you can see this happening starting last spring. The Huskies have been very proactive in their recruiting and it’s now beginning to show. Last week, they secured the services of RB Deontae Cooper (#5, Citrus Hill). They are in the game to getting RB Jordon James (#2, Corona), Shirley, ATH Derrick Malone (#8, Colton), DE Andrew Hudson (#9, Redlands East Valley), and Wright. I really think that UW has a great chance to getting James. Especially if Oaks Christian RB Malcolm Jones commits to UCLA – like many in our business is projecting. James has listed UW as his top five schools on his list and has scheduled an official trip up to Seattle. Shirley took an official visit at UW last week and saw the upset over USC in person. It still appears that UW still behind there. Malone and Hudson are the trump cards here. I think if UW gets those two guys, their recruiting class can be listed as successful. Both are studs and will make an immediate impact for HC Sarkisian right away. If the Huskies can finish the right way, they potentially can have one of the best recruiting classes in a long, long time.
UCLA - Last year, UCLA did an awesome job in recruiting. And it’s beginning to show its hand right away. Bishop Amat grad Sheldon Price is now starting at CB for the Bruins and Los Osos QB Richard Brehaut is listed as the number two quarterback on the depth chart right now. This year has been a bit of a funky year in the recruiting circles for the Bruins. They have only offered Powell, James, and Shirley. The Bruins had a chance to get Wright, but has one high ranking UCLA football insider told me yesterday, “We screwed up the recruiting with Wright. We got off to the wrong foot and we have to take responsibility for it. This is on us.” UCLA has no chance with Powell. They have a great chance with James and Shirley. I really think that Shirley will be a Bruin. James, that’s a whole different story. As good as the class was last year for UCLA, it’s been a bit of a disappointment this year.
Arizona - As usually is the case with the Wildcats, they will have a good recruiting class and get that one kid that you will think back several years later and say, “Boy that kid turned out to be pretty good.” The one kid that figures to be in that category is WR Austin Hill (#6, Corona Roosevelt). The Internet scouting services have done the kid an injustice. He will be a stud…trust me. The Wildcats have also offered his teammate WR Tyler Slavin (#12, Corona Roosevelt) who is a tall WR that is a mismatch against smaller DB’s that will be found in the PAC. Of course, Arizona has offered, James, Shirley, Uko, Hudson, Wright. Out of those they have an outside shot at James (who has said that he will take an official trip down there), no chance with Shirley; little chance with Uko; little chance with Hudson and little chance with Wright. They have also have offered a bit of a sleeper in DE Uche Amajoyi (#25, San Bernardino Aquinas). He is a decent sized kid with a good motor. But he is a bit of a reach. The board really has to work in the Wildcats favor to have a good recruiting class.
Arizona State - The Sun Devils were a bit late in offering a few guys in the IE and it has them on the outside looking in. They do have a verbal commitment from RB Deontrae Lewis (#10, Norco) and RB Carl Bradford (Norco). As far as the offers out there, they have offered James, Shirley, Uko, Malone, Hudson, Wright and DE Tony Washington (#13, Los Osos). Of those players, we figure that they have a great shot with Malone. But they have to beat Washington to get the kid. Look for ASU to go to the JUCO level and get a few kids as well. Mixed results for the Sun Devils.
Washington St. – You can’t blame the Cougs for not trying. They are trying to find some diamonds in the rough and they are succeeding. Yesterday, they secured the services of WR Bobby Ratliff (#26, Etiwanda). That is a great pickup for the Cougs. This is the usual middle of the road type of kid that the Cougs usually get. They have also secured a verbal from RB Brandon Golden (#68, Charter Oak). Let’s just say I hope it works out. We don’t see it on tape. As far as the offers out there, they’ve offered the two WR’s from Corona Roosevelt, and that is it. And this is where their patience will be rewarded. They are a number of players that have not made commitments that are waiting for a Pac-10 offer. So, their actions in November and December will be very, very interesting.
Oregon - As is usually the case, Oregon has been very stingy with their recruiting. Of our top-15 players in the area, the only players they have offered are Powell, James, Uko and Washington. They have no shot with Powell, little chance with James. But they have a great chance with Uko and they have even better chance with Washington. As a matter of fact, it’s probably going to be Oregon or Oregon St, that gets Washington. If they get Uko, call it a successful recruiting season for the Ducks.
Oregon St - The Beavers have been very choosy as well in the IE. As of this writing, the only players that they have a chance on is Hudson and Washington. The do need help on the D-Line and getting any one of these two guys will help. If Jordan Canada can find the field for South Hills, they will have interest in the kid. And Adam Muema is another name that has been floating around the coaching offices in Corvallis. Another school that will do their work late in the recruiting season.
California - In my opinion, Cal always recruits a bit on the strange side. I don’t know why…but they do. Of the top-15 players on our list, they have offered James, Shirley and Wright. And out of those players, I have heard no buzz from those guys about Cal. The Golden Bears do a good job of recruiting the No Cal area and look for that to continue this year.
Stanford – Stanford has offered the usual suspects, but (as was the case with Cal) there is no buzz from those players about the Cardinal. Sorry Jim – there is no Josh Nunes’ out there to save your recruiting class.
THE BEST WEEK OF THE SEASON
There is no disputing the fact this is the best week of football in the San Gabriel Valley. It starts tonight with Pac-5 finalist Tesoro coming down to Covina District Field and taking on a banged up South Hills football team. But the Huskies always play well at CDF and there is a home-field advantage for the Huskies. Fans will get to see two of the better offensive lineman in Tesoro’s Sil Ajawara (who figures to commit to UCLA in the fairly near future) and South Hills’ Siaosi Aiono (who already has offers from BYU and San Jose St.). It’s the end of a brutal four week run for the Huskies . It startred with the scrimmage against Corona Centennial, the season opener against Ayala (ranked #3 in the Daily Bulletin), then came a bruising battle against La Habra and now Tesoro.
Tomorrow night is a feast for football fans. First you have the Fox Prime Ticket game of the week as Charter Oak hosts Rancho Cucamonga (the top ranked team in the Inland Empire according to Riverside Press Enterprise). Sorry Charger fans, my IE arrogance comes into effect here. Not only with the Chargers lose, I think it will be a bit on the ugly side. Hopefully, I am wrong.
Then you have Bishop Amat traveling down to Damien for a huge non-league team. I’ve said it in the summer and I will stand by my opinion…. Damien beats Amat. How about that Gano? Does that work for you?
And then there is San Dimas taking on Monrovia in a battle of the top two teams in the Mid Valley Division. Great HS game to watch.
And since UCLA is off and SC doesn’t play until Saturday night, all fans should make it out to the Mt. SAC at 1 P.M. Saturday for the Saddleback vs. Mt. SAC game. Last year’s game was a great one and this year should be no different. The South Orange County boys coming down to play the elite of the SGV and beyond. Should be a great one.
Is this Christmas morning? It certainly has that feel for it.
Game ball time and let’s start with the offense. Walnut’s Austin Cooper gets the nod here. The playmaker was 14 for 23 for 233 yards in leading Walnut to a 47-17 win over Garey (who has some D-1 prospects on defense). The San Antonio League should be very interesting this year.
Defensively, gotta give it to the Damien defense that shutout Claremont and giving Greg Gano his first win as a Head Coach at Damien. Great job guys..
See you next week.