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.
The Guru Writes: Well the time has come for guys like me to be wanted. That’s right… it’s the month of May and it’s time for prospects to be found. The process of evaluation never ends until signing day. But – and you can look in the archives if you want – we have a pretty good opinion on the talent in the area. So, let’s get right to work and begin with the top-10 college prospects in the East SGV. To continue click thread.
1. Jaime Canada (5-11, 180, 4.6e, Ath – South Hills) – Ok, I can hear you now…”what are talking about? This is nothing more than you being a homer for Bogan.” Just hear me out and then you have a right to your opinion. He started his freshman year at Duarte HS (and when you start on the varsity as a freshman, that means you have the makings of being something special) and was denied eligibility at South Hills his sophomore year. His junior year ended on a spring day at South Hills when he damaged his ACL. But, let me say this – this kid is absolute difference maker. He ran track last year and ran an 11.0 second 100 meter dash. After watching him run, I sat next to a father of a player that had two excellent players play for Bogan at South Hills. He told me that this kid was better than both of his kids. The name of the father was Salaam Payton and his sons were Pac-10 players Jeremy and Bryan Payton. I’ve worked with this kid in the past and for me – he is a reputation pick. As a matter of fact – if this kid doesn’t at least get one offer in December, I’ll take Fred, Aram and Steve Ramirez to dinner at Petrillo’s in Glendora. That is how sure I am of this kid’s talent. Let me put it to you this way, if this kid was at Bishop Amat – he’s starting for them and making them that much more of a team to watch in the Pac-5. He’s better than anything they have over there… and believe me – I’ve seen what they have.
2. Rio Ruiz (6-1, 185, 4.7e, QB-DB, Bishop Amat) — Phenomenal athlete. He is a four position player on the football field. He can play QB, WR, CB and Safety. A true athlete is every sense of the word. I believe his best position in college is as safety. Still winds up very badly for his throwing motion and I don’t know if he can handle a college playbook for the QB position. But as a safety or a wide receiver – that is a whole different story. He has it all. But the question that will stop many college coaches is simple – this kid is a 1st round baseball draft pick right now! Colleges are just not interested in getting involved with a kid that will be making a ton of money in the pros. He is a verbal commit for baseball to the University of Southern California and I just think this the opportunities for this guy on the baseball diamond trump anything on the football field. But he is a heck of a football player…
3. Chris Solomon (6-0, 185, S, 4.65e, West Covina) – The word was out on this kid when he was playing for the West Covina Bruins as an 8th grader. He sports offers from Colorado and Arizona State. I thought this was a solid football player – but I think he’s a bit of a reach for the upper-echelon on the Pac-10 schools. Safety is his position that he will play in college – but he is more of a free-safety type rather than a strong safety. And he’ll have to improve on his speed if he wants to get looked at seriously by schools such as USC and Oregon. He was at the Nike Camp at USC – but he certainly didn’t create any buzz at the camp (then again, no one did from the East SGV).
4. Jalen Moore (5-10, 195, 4.78, RB, Bishop Amat) – It was so close between him at South Hills’ Jamel Hart. I chose him just more the mire fact that when I saw him in person twice this year – he was the best player on the football field for Bishop Amat (vs. Crespi and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame), I’ve seen 7 game films on this kid and I just love him. He is a true between the tackles runner that doesn’t go down on first contact. Been coached up well by one of the best running back coaches in Southern California in Rodney Sermons. Now he’s not going to test well… as evident by his results at the Nike Combine (4.78 electronic 40, 4.75 shuttle and 26.8 vertical jump) but I don’t care what anyone says, this kid is a football player. And it will be his speed that will stop a lot of D-1 teams. Need evidence , just watch his highlight tape. In two of his plays he was caught from behind by a safety from Crespi High School named Charles Washington (who signed with Fresno State). Washington was timed not once – but twice – as a 4.44 electronic 40 dash by Nike and he caught Moore from behind. So here we have another RB that needs to really work on his speed to get that offer that he is looking for. I think he grades out as a WAC or a D-1AA scholarship. Like him a lot.
5. Jamel Hart (5-10, 173, 4.7e, RB, South Hills) – This was the other kid that generated a lot of buzz in his eighth grade year with the West Covina Bruins. Another tough nosed, one-cut RB that that has a lot of heart. You want any proof? Just watch the Charter Oak game where he literally willed his team into overtime on one leg! Now, once as is the case with Moore, is speed will be in question. But he has the body type to be a first and second down running back. He is running track with his best 100 meter in the low 11.10′s. He has pedigree as his older brother played for Pete Carroll at USC. Great kid off the field…I think he’ll get picked up in December.
6. Corey Victoria (5-8, 181, 4.7e, RB, Glendora) — While ESPN has it as the year of the QB, here in the valley we have “The Year of the RB.” You have Moore, you have Hart and you have this kid. The one thing I did was I watched all three of this kid’s highlight tapes on Youtube and I thought this kid was the third best film on tape at the RB position. He’s tough, has decent speed and can catch the ball. But he just doesn’t have that change of direction that you want to see in a RB. This is what makes it an inexact science. He performed at the Nike Camp at USC – but in a year that craves a gamebreaking RB, this kid was just OK. Grades out with us as a D-1 FCS type of kid. Solid.
7. Ajee Montes (5-9, 158, 4.89, CB, Bishop Amat) – Reportedly sports an offer from Arizona State. He has marginal speed and change of direction (4.78 shuttle) and plays physical. The word on the street is that this kid “locked up Crespi’s Devin Lucien.” Well if that is the case, why are there not any clips on his highlight tape from the Crespi game? Just wondering. Sorry, Amat fans. I loved Sheldon Price his junior year.
8. Lonzell Barnett (5-11, 155, 4.62, CB-S, West Covina) — West Covina is going to be a team to watch next year and one of the reasons is this kid. Loved him at the Nike Combine. I just thought he needed to bulk up a little bit, but he did a great job with us at the combine and has better marks than Montes. Then you watch his highlight tape and the one thing that you noticed right away, this kid can tackle. He’s not afraid of sticking his nose into the play and making the tackle. However, I think he might be better as a strong safety at the next level with the capabilities of playing in space. He came to the Nike Camp but generated no buzz when the camp was over. Another player that I think grades out as a WAC or a D-1 FCS player. Pleasantly surprised after tape evaluation.
9. (tie) Travis Santiago (5-9, 160, 4.8e, QB, Charter Oak), Vincent Hernandez (6-1, 185, 4.8e, QB, South Hills) – Couldn’t make up my mind with these two guys so we just give it a tie and that’s it. Both have many of the same attributes. Both are tough kids who can sling the pig. Santiago is more a gun slinger than Hernandez, but Hernandez has more of an upside than Santiago because of his size. Both will be the faces of the program but with Hernandez, he can also play WR and CB, were Santiago is just limited to the QB position. The one that thing both need to do is learn the game of football a lot better. They will be given a lot of responsibility given the fact that are returning varsity QB’s, so that will have make their reads a lot better, and complete passes in tighter holes. I always measure QB highlight tapes to that of Nick Lamaison — current starter for the UTEP Miners and a South Hills grad (you know that I had to throw that in there). When you look watch both Santiago and Hernandez’s tape and then watch Lamaison’s, there is no comparison. They both need to improve a ton if they want to play on Saturday’s. But they both have a chance.
Next week, we’ll take a look at the sleepers…