Football: Scouting Guru’s spring top ten college prospects in the East San Gabriel Valey

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…

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  • shfan

    The Payton’s were busts at the college level…

  • DB

    What about Omana?

  • SGV 4 30 Years


    Your list if very interesting. The only thing i really have a problem with is having a kid at #1 who basically hasn’t done much of anything on the field on the varsity level since he was at Duarte. The one thing I have learned over the years is that there is no such thing as “can’t miss”. Now I have heard of the best player that never was. I do hope that Canada has a great senior year since he was basically screwed our of his Sophomore year (by his mom’s big mouth). As far as the Payton’s go I would hardly call them busts. They both played in the Pac 10 for respectable teams. Solid careers not spectatular but solid.

    SGV430 Ouuutt!!!!!!!!!!

  • Aaron

    Free of charge and without foundation…how is Solomon not your number one. Jaime Canada right now is not even a has been and has the potential to be a never was. However, I hope he has a great senior year of football.

  • Swing and a miss

    @ Fred
    If this were an article about whos the best high school qb, rb, cb in the valley then you might have some wiggle room on the ensuing debate. However, d1 schools recruit based on potential, and not on what a kid can do against other high school kid here and now. None of these qbs here have the size or speed or the right combination of either to get offers to play qb at the bcs level, two of them might get offers at the sub bcs level and as for the 3rd kid, nobody is giving full rides to 59 qbs anymore. (Doug Flute was 30 years ago). Most of these running backs dont have the right balance of either speed or size to sign with a bcs school (maybe Solomon or Canada with low end pac12 schools or mountain west). There is no way that Arizona st. is offering up a scholly to a 59 corner that runs a 4.9 forty, and if they are, look for dennis Erickson to be looking for a new job very shortly. The most obvious recruit in the valley is not even on this list, omana, the qb at diamond bar. The kid is 64 200+ and throws the ball a country mile. From what I here he already has a pac12 offer on the table with Colorado.

  • terrence williams

    Wow… how can you miss Luke Williams, WR for Monrovia, CA. At 6’2″, 188 lbs, this kid has the best hands in the league!

  • Inyoureye

    To Swing and miss. Actually that corner that was 5’9 is now 6ft and runs a 4.4.

  • Observer

    You failed to mention Billy Livingston from Covina. He is currently getting a lot of interest. Another former West Covina Bruin!

  • D1 QB?


    Livingston is 5’10” and has what 5.0/40 isn’t D1 (not a chance), D1AA if he has a great season. Omana has D1 size if he has a great season he may get some looks “most obvious recruit” don’t think so. To date I haven’t seen one D1 quarterback in the SGV, I will say with a great season Omana has the best shot. You people need to go to some of the high end combines, like the USC one coming up. If you aren’t at least 6’3″ to 6’4″ you better be something real special (4.4/40).

    The Guru is a joke, Ruiz 6-1, 185, 4.7e does he actually read what he writes or is he that clueless. QB way to small and slow (for his size). His numbers were average at best. At DB running a 4.7e just a little bit on the slow side? That was his two pick behind a kid that hasn’t played football for what almost three years.

  • Nate

    Garbage…I can’t believe I just wasted those last 3 minutes of my life reading this. This guy is such a South Hills homer and he really has no clue…there are no D-1 QB’s in the SGV, Soloman is the best in the valley…hands down.

  • PUoSU

    D1Qb? You are certainly slinging alot of mud in here. What are your Top 10 kids to watch for? I know, I know…Omana is # 1. How about 2-10? Give us yours Put Up or Shut Up.

  • D1 QB?


    As I attempted to explain my expertise is in the QB position, I was ranking the QB’s only. I have seen all the QB’s I mentioned multi times last season and have also seen some of the top QB’s in the Country. Now that being said Omana maybe my top ranked quarterback to play at the next level, but by no means is he my top ranked high school QB.

  • sgv scouting

    Aaron – It was really close between both guys. Both were 1st teamall-state underclass selections by ESPN Rise.

    There were two reasons why I chose Ruiz over Solomon.

    1) Ruiz – I felt – had better game film that Solomon and is more versatile than Solomon.

    2) Ruiz plays in the Serra League – the 5th toughest league in the United States as was listed by Maxpreps. So week in and week out he has to perform at the highest level. They are no gimme’s in the Serra League. Don’t take it personal Aaron – but the Hacienda League can’t measure up to the Serra. West covina couldn’t handle the grind of playing against Crespi, Notre Dame, Alemany Loyola and Amat. They will have their chance to proof it against Loyola this year.

    But I’ve seen the ending of this story… And it usually not good for the local teams.

  • Aaron

    As an individual talent Solomon still had to run for all those yards and still had to cover receivers and stop the run as a safety. Pretty versatile to me. I don’t trust this OMG THE SERRA LEAGE IS SO MUCH BETTER stuff spewed. Are they tough? Yes, is the overall level of play better? Yes.

    But on an individual talent level do you seriously believe Solomon would not have been able to win some games for Notre Dame last season as they were in the bottom of the Serra?

  • saladays

    Ellis McCarthy… Anyone??? Its rather obvious who is the top recruit in SGV this year.

  • Swing and a miss

    Why you comming at me? Fred’s the one that had the kid listed at 5’9″ and a 4.89 forty. I guess the kid grew 3 inches and slashed a half second off his forty since his last combine. I’d sure like to have a couple bottles of whatever suppliments he’s been taking. (lol)

  • Aaron

    So when are you going to get a real website? Because your Blog you have not updated since 15MAY2010.

  • sgv scouting

    Aaron – I’ll answer one of your questions very simply..

    “But on an individual talent level do you seriously believe Solomon would not have been able to win some games for Notre Dame last season as they were in the bottom of the Serra?”


  • What does it take?


    What would you know about the Serra anyways? It was the 5th toughest in the nation and people like you continue to ignore this fact…or perhaps you are clueless as to just how many highschools are in the United States?

    What would it take for you to understand the level of competition the Serra competes at?…the athletes that play at these schools? The amount of $$$ thrown at these programs?

    You will never understand nor ever accept the fact that the Serra and the Trinity compete at a level that few schools in the SGV have seen nor could tolerate year after year after year.

    I’ll continue to laugh every time you and others attempt to downgrade the elite from the Pac-5 in one way or the other.

  • just sayin’

    Aaron –


  • Observer

    whats up with this Livingston is 5’10? he is at least 6’1 have you met him in person? so unless you have seen him and measured him up then… you really have nothing to say.

  • Sillyboy

    Aaron: I know this is hard for you to accept but playing Crespi or SO Notre Dame or playing FOR them is just a tad different than playing Rowland or West Covina. Seriously dude, what football world are you living in? Have you seen the record of SGV teams vs the Pac-5’s best? It’s not good. Wake up!

  • Video don’t lie

    This same conversation took place on the other blog. All the covina bloggers swear Livingston is 6’1′ and the other bloggers say 5’10”. The covina bloggers got shutup when one of the bloggers pointed out on Livingston’s highlight video at 1:38, where Livingston and Ainsworth were standing next to each other at the 15 yard line. Ainsworth was at least two inches taller than Livingston. On Maxprep Ainsworth is listed at 6’0″. The only thing that you can conclude from that video is that Ainsworth is much taller than Livingston. So if Ainsworth is really 6’3″ then yes Livingston could be 6’1″ like the covina bloggers want you to believe.

  • Aaron

    No what I find completely stupid is that you believe the difference is that vast when it is not. We’re still talking about 14-18 year olds and the majority of the players even on your precious PAC-5 squads do not play football at the next level.

    And if you didn’t notice I’m talking about one specific player that is an amazing talent…oh and he’s not even from Bonita imagine that!

  • Dan

    I’m familiar with Pac 5/D1/4A football, seen lots of it in my life. Solomon is a good athlete and difference maker when it comes to football, he made a difference in many games, I’m confident he could make a difference even for a Serra team in at least a game or two, whether at running back or in the back 7 on defense, he is just to athletic not to make a difference, so yeah, I think he just may be good for a win or two.
    James E. your still letting your SH, and Crespi bias get the better of you, I’m not saying Canada won’t be as good as you say he will be, heck he may turn out to be next years version of Chris Solomon. (I’m rubbing it in cause I know your sensitive to the accomplishments of West Covina lol.) The problem is that he is still recovering from his leg injury and also that he
    is unproven at this new level he will be competing at, he hasn’t even stepped on a Southeast or Inland div. field in a game situation yet. I get the feeling he will be very good, but to put him at #1 above players that have proven themselves at this level or to say that he is better than any player at Bishop Amat is a bit premature.
    To “video don’t lie”
    Billy Livingston looks close to the size of Ainsworth in that video, maybe a tad shorter like you say, but remember that was the first game of last season, it’s been about 8 months since then, being a junior, he is still in a growing stage. I would take the word of someone who know’s and see’s him on a regular basis than to base your truth on a video shot last year from a distance and maybe from a slight angle.

  • I really like Luke Williams,He is best player.I am really excited about league.

  • Right From The Coaches Mouth


    I just talked to one of the Covina coaches, and asked him if Livingston was “at least 6’1” as you put it. The comment went something like “maybe in high heels”. He said Livingston is maybe 5’11” he definitely is not 6′ and 6’1″ is just crazy talk.

  • Colt74

    Right From The Coaches Mouth said:

    “one of the covina coaches”
    ” The conversation went something like…”

    Bull shyt!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The conversation in your head went something like….