Scouting Guru on how coaches and players should deal with college recruiters, plus much more

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 in the San Gabriel Valley.

“Great leaders don’t use people so that they can win. They lead people so that they all can win together. If that is truly your motivation, you can become the kind of person others want to follow – whether they are beside, above or below you in the organizational hierarchy.” — John Maxwell in his book “The 360 Degree Leader

Guru says: I think the great high school coaches follow the paragraph above. I was watching the NFL Network one night and they were profiling the 1969 Minnesota Vikings. And they were led by one of the greatest NFL coaches of all-time Bud Grant. Anyone that can get a team to FOUR Super Bowl’s can be called “one of the greatest.” They had a team motto for the year that was simple – 40 for 60. 40 players were committed to each other for the 60 minutes of a football game. There were signs all over the place at the old Metropolitan Stadium that had those words. And those words led them to Super Bowl III that year. Too bad they ran into a coach in Hank Stram that was way ahead of his time. So who will be the 40 for 60 team this year? Time will tell….


And so it begins. It’s the time of year that I call, “The Big Tease.” It’s time for the spring evaluation period. It’s an eight week period where the NCAA allows colleges to visit high schools for four weeks. The purpose of the visit are to evaluate prospects for the upcoming senior year and take a look at the sophomores that are going to be juniors.

Here are some friendly tips to our area coaches and players who maybe new to this and need a little guidance from someone who makes a living doing this stuff.


1) One of the things about this time of year is that if you are on a scouting/recruiting list, you are a prospect. So, your demeanor to college coaches are everything. A firm hand shake and a strong look in the coaches eyes are two of the most important things that a prospect can do when he meets with an assistant coach. Now, understand that the NCAA prohibits college coaches from speaking with players, other than to say hi. Just remember that first impressions are everything.

2) When you (the prospect) gets a questionaire, you have to fill it out. It is your way of letting the college know that you are interested in that school. It also allows the college to have accurate information on you so that they can call you in the fall. Don’t let a bad phone number get in the way of ruining your chances of getting a scholarship.

3) Make sure that you get a business card from the college assistant coach so that you can call and email them whenever possible. During this evaluation period, colleges are only allowed to call a prospect ONCE! But, the prospect can call an assistant coach as many times has he can. And the same thing goes with emailing. Coaches and players can email each other as much as they want. And that is an important thing since the NCAA has put a ban of text messaging. [Just for you to know, I am on a national subcommittee that is lobbying the NCAA to reinstate the text messaging rule with some new rules. Hopefully, we can get this done by next year.] The more that you stay in contact with an assistant coach, the more recruit able you become.

4) Be patient. And if there was ever a year for those words to take heed, it’s this year. Right now, out of our top 20 players in the SGV and the IE, only NINE have been early offer kid. It wasn’t that way last year. This is a process. Don’t let the process stress you out. Just do the best that you can and make sure that your senior tape is solid so that people (like myself) can put in a strong word for you.


1) Nothing frustrates colleges more than visiting a school with inaccurate personal information. So make sure that when you have your prospect sheet ready to go for these colleges, that all the information is accurate. Also, it’s advisable for you to have an assistant coach that is in charge of recruiting. It helps you out and it also allows him to see what the process is like. Colleges like the fact that they can contact more than one person from the school.

2) I remember when I took the job as Director of Football Operations at South Hills back in 2004 (and I was in charge of recruiting) Steve Bogan was compulsive about one thing, “make sure that every school has a transcript on our kids.” And it’s true. When a coach stops by, it makes his life so much easier when there is a transcript ready to be evaluated. So when you present your prospects to college coaches, make sure that you three things for them, a DVD highlight tape, a prospect list and up-to-date transcripts.

3) To know what an college assistant coach does during this period is to know what he is responsible to do. An assistant coach usually has four days (Monday-Thursday) to visit more than 60 high schools (that is amount of schools in the SGV and IE that usually pump out D-1 players) and find out the best prospects in his area. Plus, when you take in the fact that he has more than one area to do, it’s a little rough. A typical “out of state” college assistant coach will have this area, along with an area in Northern California and either Washington, Oregon or Arizona. And that is not to mention that since he is an position coach, he will most likely be asked to visit one school outside of his area to watch a prospect at his position work out. Yep, you would be tired too. So here is a word to the wise for any area coach, PLEASE DON’T HOLD COLLEGE COACHES HOSTAGE. There is no need to show them any film on all 6 of your players. At this point in the process, they have already seen your kids and have them graded on their boards accordingly. Just give them a DVD highlight tape, a prospect list and a transcript. These guys have long days as is it. They usually want to visit a school for 10 minutes, view your prospects and then move on. Remember, they are also on a timetable and have to get done by three o’clock. And that’s not counting the JC’s that they have to visit as well.

4) College are allowed two visits to a school. Once to meet the coaches at the high school and the other is view one practice. So, if you are spending time on the football field in the afternoon (doing spring football), make sure that you give the college coach the time and place you are practicing at. It makes it easier on everyone.

So, there it is. A few pointers to take heed on. And one more message to the juniors that are “prospects”… enjoy the process. It only happens once. Don’t stress out, just enjoy it.


OK, I pulled a goof last week. I am old enough to remember the Jim Healy show back when it was on KLAC and then moved to KMPC from 5:30-6:00 Monday through Friday. One of his favorite tracks was Howard Cosell saying, “Who goofed I’ve got to know?…”

Well it was me. This Saturday is the Nike Combine at Veterans Stadium at Long Beach City College. If you registered online… you might want to get their by 8:00 a.m. We pump out more than 1,000 kids by the time the day is done. If you are walking up without pre-registering, a good time to be there is t 11:00 am.

And Sunday is the biggest day on the camp/combine circuit in Southern California. It’s Nike Camp at USC. The day gets started at 9:00 with registration and heights and weights. We usually hit the field at around 10 a,m. This is an invite only event and judging by the roster, their will be a ton of talent out there at USC.

Among the locals that have confirmed for the camp are Aaron Almond, Chase Price and Jacoby Carter of Diamond Ranch, Michael Ball of Rowland, Patrick Carroll, Ryan McAllenan and Travis Talianko of St. Francis, Chris Solomon of West Covina, Rio Ruiz of Bishop Amat, Demetrius Jackson of Baldwin Park, Chad Jefferies of Glendora, Aaron Cantu of Schurr, Dennis Rufus of Charter Oak.

But if you are looking for the one school that will have a strong representation at the camp (sorry bloggers, you are not going to like this)…that’s right, it will be South Hills High School. South Hills will have four players at the camp, more than any other school in the area. Those four are Sioasi Aiono, Peter Nonu, Jamel Hart and Randall Varela. And if you include offensive lineman Jeff Vargas and Jamie Canada that will be attending the Nike Stanford camp on May 15th, SIX South Hills players will have participated in an Nike Camp event.

One last note. And please don’t mean this to be in the wrong tone. But, we will be at the camp and our job is to evaluate as many players as we can. With more than 250 prospects, it’s tends to be a very busy day. So please, if you happen to see me working, please don’t pull me over and talk. Time is a precious commodity and we will be working from the first minute to the last. At another time that you see me, feel free to pull me over. However, this is the only day that requires my full attention.


I had a great conversation with a colleague of mine who told me he couldn’t believe the tone of the conversation on this blog these days. He has asked me if it bothers me when talk about me the way that they do. I told him no. Then I gave him a passage from “The 360 Degree Leader” by John Maxwell. He loved it so much, he’s using it to give to his coaching staff this year. Here is it…

“For years one of my definitions of success has been this: HAVING THOSE CLOSEST TO ME LOVE AND RESPECT ME THE MOST. That is what is most important. I want the love and respect of my wife, my children and my grandfather before I want the respect of anyone I work with. Don’t get me wrong. I want the people who work with me to respect me too, but not at the expense of my family. If I blow managing myself at home, then the negative impact will spill over into every area of my life including work.

“If you want to lead up, you must always lead yourself first. If you can’t, you have no credibility. I’ve found the following to be true:

* If I can’t lead myself; other won’t follow me.

* If I can’t lead myself, others won’t respect me.

* If I can’t lead myself; others won’t partner with me.

“That applies whether the influence you desire to exert is on the people above you, beside you or below you. The better you are at making sure you’re doing what you should be doing, the better chance you have for making an impact on others.”

And the last time I checked, my family doesn’t blog on this site. Have a great weekend.

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  • sigh

    kids have been gettin scholarships in this valley for years!

    youve taken more away then youve handed out…look what weve done since youve been around! your a jinx

  • 7 South Hills Players

    You were missing one player Mr. Guru. Jordan Gutierrez of South Hills will be attending the NIKE camp up North as well. Arguably your #1 returner, but doubtful he will be in GREEN next year. The RED, WHITE and BLUE would love to have him back!

  • sgv scouting

    If you are interested in a breakdown of the Nike Camp on Sunday, you can read my story on

    Here is the link to the story….

  • BigDog

    It would be nice if you could recognize Charles Brown from Diamond Ranch being drafted in NFL 2nd round by Super Bowl Champs New Orleans Saints.You now Fred if this was a player from Amat or South Hills I’m sure you would have headline news.Well there’s one thing i must say about you Fred is that you are very consistent.CONGRATS TO DIAMOND RANCH and there football program.

  • Joe Amat

    For those that have been asking I’m told Austin Lacey has returned home from the hospital and on his way to an expected full recovery.

  • Diamond Ranch Fan

    Diamond Ranch gets no loves but showers love on everyone else.

    I was looking thru some old blogs and come to find Coach Roddy Layton congratulating Damien’s Ryan Mc Mahon on his inclusion to the Trojan family. The words Coach Roddy spoke, so eloquently to Ryan, were thoughtful and inspiring. He spoke of the common bond between them both being walk ons and how he was sure Ryan would soon earn his scholarship as well. Finally Coach Roddy spoke of USC’s Coach Rocky Seto who was also a walk on that loved players like Ryan who played all out.

    I’m paraphrasing because I couldn’t find the exact comments but I do recall Ryan Mc Mahon thanking Coach Roddy for the kind words.

    Having been on the DR sidelines a few times I can say they are an exceptional group. From the ticket takers to the trainers to the players to the coaches to the always supportive alumni who make countless games Diamond Ranch continues to impress with their sense of one.

    Best of luck to Mr. Brown and to the Diamond Ranch community, this day belongs to you.

  • WEAK


    Whats that famous line from A few good men,
    You can’t handle the truth! You took off facts about the guru, i thought journalists were about truth not cover ups.

  • Guru Alert!

    You young men at the Long Beach combine, be sure not to bug the Guru while he’s working. He is hard at work at the height and weight station. Moonlighting for Nike, are we Guru? Did you get paid more than the free shoes and shirt?

  • Baseball NUT!

    Any news on the camp at USC?

    Heard that Victor Blackwell WR @ Mater Dei, stole the show!

  • Joe Amat

    Baseball NUT!,

    And Mater Dei QB MAtt Wittek verbally committed to the Trojans. Where are all those people who were saying they were “down” last year?


    Congrats to our sgv boys who took home MVP awards from the Nike camp yesterday.
    Offensive line: Sioasi Aiono, South Hills
    Quarterbacks : Chad Jeffries, Glendora
    Thats awesome !

  • Norco

    Joe Amat…

    Let me get this straight…So because Wittek commits to SC that means that they didn`t have a down year? wow…Hell problem is even with Barkley (USC)and now Wittik (USC) MD can`t get out of the first round. You Amat fans are joke…MD was 5-5 entering the playoffs….MD has lost 3 out of 4 times in the first round since 2006, so your victory last year over them is really not that big of a deal…Of course maybe to you guys since Amat was 27-26 overall missing the playoffs 3 of those 5 years…I mean you clowns have to hang your hat on something. Everyone wants to think of them in this great light of the 90’s but the proof is in the pudding. 4 exits in the last 6 years in the first round.

    I guess you could throw Los Al in that basket to with them losing in the first round four out of the last five years. (With exception of the year they didn’t make the playoffs)

    Sometimes perception isn’t always reality.

  • just askin’

    How did Mater Dei do against the Inland Division finalist last season? They sure didn’t need a TD/2pt conversion in the last 30secs – did they? Sure they’ve lost in the playoffs-to Bishop Amat last year, Tesoro(finalist)in’08, Crespi(finalist) in ’07, Poly(finalist) in ’06 – get the picture? Not a AB Miller or Carter in the bunch, is there? In the Pac 5 there are no easy ones-even in the 1st round so where you get eliminated is as much based on the pairings as how good you are. I’m betting Norco goes 6-5 or worse with Mater Dei’s schedule too.

  • needthe411

    Any Sierra League standouts @ the Long Beach combine??? Been out of the circle so just wanted to catch up on who to look out for. All I’ve heard is that there is speed at some of the schools???

  • Norco

    just askin,

    Get your facts straight…CC was not an Inland Finalist last season. As for Norco needing a TD and a 2Pt conversation, yes Norco went for the win, so they went for two…But lets see what was on the line when Norco/CC played, The Big VII League Championship & a top seeding in the playoffs, not to mention its a RIVILARY game. Now you bring up MD again…Funny you dismiss MD’s exits in the first round due to the tough opposition….Amat (09) up until last year was 27-26 and had missed the playoffs three out of those five years(not to mention got their butt kicked the following week against Lakewood) Tesoro (08) was a one hit wonder and missed the playoffs last year, hell what has Tesoro done that last five years? NADA… Poly (06) thats MD fault they were the wildcard in the Trinity with a loss to RSM…so ya I get the picture…And no one really even perceives MD to be a juggernaut, but you Amat clowns, hell they’ve been talked about as yesterday’s news for a solid 5 years…but like I said Amat fans need a signature win from their last six seasons to hang their hat on, and if beating a 5-5 MD teams is it… so be it….Bawaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Also this has nothing to do with Norco so bet all you want, but you do know Norco the last seven years has put out more D1 players than MD…just small fact…

  • just sayin’

    Signature wins?

    St Bonaventure ’09
    Notre Dame ’09
    Orange Lutheran ’08 (ask your nephews)
    Crespi ’08
    In Amat’s worst year ever their wins were
    St Paul ’07 (DIII Champions)
    Loyola ’07
    Rancho Cucamonga ’06, ’07
    Mater Dei ’05 (Semis)
    Loyola ’05 (CIF Champs)
    Redlands ’04

    what comparable wins would be considered “signature” for Norco?


    ST BONNIE , ND , CRESPI , O LU , LOYOLA , MD , in the past 2 seasons. Give me Norco’s signature wins , outside of the ie . Common denominator here is those are all teams Norco has not and never will face . I wonder why ? Don’t come back with your Los Osos we beat them they beat you bs.

  • Baseball NUT!

    Joe Amat,

    Sent my $$$$ in last week for my USC tickets. Can’t wait. HOPEFULLY I can still afford them in 9 years. This is when USC and TENNESSEE collide!

  • Baseball NUT!

    I am sure your a nice person, and would even have a beer with you after a game to talk football but I Wonder Why your even here? ALL you do is badmouth anything involved with the SGV! Everytime someone says something about Norco, its usually followed with:

    ” Its a rival game”, or ” you can’t touch the BIG 8, or whatever!

    Most people here don’t know much about the BIG 8, other than their in DIV II. I tend to follow! I have TWO nephews both will be juniors, BOTH played varsity as sophmores, and BOTH are in your division.
    The cream of the crop in your area and pretty much the IE. has been Centennial, and they OWN 5 wins in their last 7 vs Norco. You need to worry about them, and not us!

    I was at that Centenial game last November. You had over 350 yards rushing, and ZERO passing with two picks, and held on to win vs a Huskie team who was considered to be young in experience.

    Chaparral who WON it all in December, had a new QB transfer in, and that was their top weakness last year, and has 35 underclassman on their team. I would say the Pumas will be there again this year, and you need to worry about them, and not us!
    Vista Muerietta went 13-1 lost in the finals, and will return over 40 underclasman. I would wory about them not us!
    Redlands E. Valley, went 11-1 and return 45 underclassman. Worry about them not us! These are all teams who NORCO will see come CIF!

    What is sad is how you talk so much about us BUT we will NEVER hear about Charachter coming from your mouth. I was at the Roosevelt game too, and you had TWO guys ejected for dirty plays. One was actually suspended, for STEPPING on a kids head, that was all over the Press Enterprise paper, and your coaches tried to cover it up! Now NOT all of your plyers are like that but it Sure isn’t a nice team to be associated with!

    You talk about how our little valley teams can’t compete, YET,

    Your non league games have consisted of
    Etiwanda, La Quinta, Leuzinger, Bloomington, Palm Springs, Miller, Ike. Not to include those BIG VIII powers Riv Poly, JW North, King, and Santaigo. Corona has been average, Roosevelt is under 5 years old, and you have had Crenshaw, who has had one ONE GREAT season last year and they BEAT you!
    Now before you say well these schools all have one or two kids that will go to NCAA DIV I schools, and blah, blah. Well yea, and so did Oaks Christin with 5 or 6 guys EVERY year in DIV XI, before moving up. SO whats the point?

    NORCO is a fine team, but you remind me of all those YANKEE fans, before last season. You know the team who last WON a ring in 2000, yet their fans kept reminding us all ” How great, and how many rings they have, and what they have done in the past.
    To me it doesnt matter if your in the PAC 5, or DIV XII, a ring is a ring, and kids work hard regardless of what division they play in. Norco has two rings in the past five years. A good accomplishment, BUT Our tiny schools with NO talent have many more! We also have team who is in transition who is in DIV VII (Los Altos), who has MORE RINGS for football in their history, than the BIG VIII COMBINED!

    Nobody is saying you can’t disagree with anyone and
    You are free to say what you want, but please take your garbage elsewhere if you can’t be respectful!

  • mrlippy

    a few things i think you left out guru, and they should be noted.
    remember, kids are there to get an education first! that is the most important thing! weather its d1 or d3. a free education is best for sure, but any help from a schools is good… don’t get a mind set that “if i don’t play d1 i’m not playing” remember, there are 119 d1’s, and 125 d1-aa. plus the d2’s, d3’s and lower divisions. bottom line,there are lots of places to play at the next level,not everyone is a d1 athlete, most are not!
    secondly, keep your grades up! don’t settle for c’s. a high gpa just opens the door so much for you. as i’m sure the guru knows, and i do too. if a school is looking at you against another athlete, they always prefer the better student, with a good sat score to boot! work hard all 4 years! don’t slack your 2nd semester of your senior year either. finish strong! just like on the field!
    thirdly, sites like are hugely helpful. thats the national collegiate scouting assosiation. they are a great service for exposure. yes,it cost some money, but they work hard for you. just check out there web site. they may not get you a d1 scholorship, but i can bet that they will get you to a school that wants you! yes it maybe across the the country at a place you’ve never heard off,but,you’ll get the oppertunity to play on saturday somewhere!!!
    hope this helps thanks, mr lippy


    Baseball NUT!

    I`m here to talk football, when I first posted on these blogs it was in regards to the Sierra Leagues coaches comments about being moved up to the Inland division. Now some posters disagreed with my post and they felt they needed to respond with racial insults, profanity and attack the Norco program. I also have said in several post that I know first hand football is played in all divisions. Also I find it hard to believe that you don`t think a League Championship game/ rivalry game and CC 26 game league unbeaten streak would hold more value to CC then a pre season game. Now you said you went to the CC game back in November? So you must know Norco had “ZERO” passing yards because they did not throw the ball one time…they ran the ball 56x for 370yds, no need to pass when your averaging 6.6yds a carry…So you see it`s impossible to have thrown two “interceptions” in that game.

    And yes CC is the cream of the crop right now of the IE, but Norco has scoreboard and a league championship from 2009.
    CC-Great program-my childhood friend coaches the DL there
    Chap-great program-my college teammate coaches the RB there
    VM-great program-we had them down 27-7 in the 2nd qt and special teams cost us the game
    Redlands East-Don`t like them…PERIOD

    Now did you really bring up Oaks Christian? A private school that recruits? Norco plays with Norco kids-ENOUGH SAID

    Also you say youre a follower of BigVIII football, so you know then Norco is one of the most respected programs in the Inland Empire. Also please post a link where we had two players ejected in the Roosevelt game. I mean if your throw dirt at least post a link, that shows we had two players ejected and our coaches covering it up. YOU CANT….We had one player ejected and if you were at the game, it wasn`t because he stepped on a kids head….hell there was a picture in the PE and it clearly shows why he was ejected.

    Hey it is what it is……

  • Baseball NUT!


    First off let me say I think this board should be monitored better, especially if racist things are being said and directed towards you. That is totally uncalled for and many of us older guys know better.

    Second I stand corrected, on the INT’s It was vs Roosevelt, and one was actually called back so in reality only one pickk in three attempts. I know your a big fan but you have to admit the penaties that Norco had were few and between the number of what Roosevelt had.
    ALSO I WAS at the Norco- Rooselvelt game ( a very good one) AND it was # 2 Aaron Campbell for Norco who actually was caught slamming Austin Hills head into the ground, and it was in the P.E. Sad thing was he was caught on Roosevelt’s video of the game doing it roughly FIVE times, but caught only once. I guess like Jim Rome says ” If your not cheating your not trying”. Also the second kid was for taunting after the game and after the Cougars stopped the Mustangs at the goal line. It should have been a suspension the following game vs Santaigo, but it came only as a warning from CIF. The coaches said no taunting ever happened but its on video. I will look for the article.

    I am more than happy to send you me personal e-mail if you want to talk off the this blog. I’ll tell you who my newphews are at Centennial and Roosevelt.