Scouting Guru delivers Memorial Day thoughts on top football prospects and much, 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.

The Guru writes: Happy Memorial Day to all. For most of the high schools, spring football is either done or we are in the final week of it. And with the end of May nearing, it also means that the college spring evaluation period has come to a close. So for this column we’ll take a look at our revised Top-10, reveal out diamonds to watch and recommend a new hamburger establishment in West Covina. (To continue, click thread).

Since we already went into great depth for our top-10, some minor adjustments have been made based on the “buzz” some prospects are receiving and which ones are not… So here is our “new” top-10 with quick comments on the prospects…

1. Chris Solomon (DB, West Covina) — He got offered by Arizona just before the end of the month. He deserves to be at the top of the list – but here is a piece of advice, if you think you are going to be offered by USC, UCLA or Oregon – don’t hold your breath. Though we have been wrong before.

2. Jamie Canada (ATH, South Hills) –– I took a lot of heat from many people – for which it really surprised me. All I will say is I stand by my instincts and will remain true to them. This kid is legit and hopefully he will prove it on the field this year. One more note, if you run into Bogan – ask him what he thinks of Canada?

3. Rio Ruiz (QB, Bishop Amat) — He hasn’t done a thing wrong to lose his standing with us.

4. Jame Hart (RB, South Hills) — He jumps ahead of Jalen Moore just for the mire reason that the Ivy League and Big Sky Conference schools really like this kid…

5. Jalen Moore (RB, Bishop Amat) — He hasn’t done anything wrong, just no buzz on the kid.

6. Corey Victoria (RB, Glendora) — I think he has a chance, but with Karl Holmes in the backfield, will he get his chance?

7. Ajee Montes (CB, Bishop Amat) — Got confirmation that he has no offers from either Arizona State nor New Mexico. Not getting much buzz on him yet, but we know he can play.

8(t). Travis Santiago (QB, Charter Oak), Vince Hernandez (QB, South Hills) — There has been a little buzz about them, both need breakout senior seasons.

10. Justin Meaders (DE, West Covina HS) — Listed at 6-1, 230, not the size that you would want from a D-1 DE prospect. He has decent film and is the one kid that the HC has been pushing to college coaches. Senior film will be important for him.

As I promised several weeks ago, there are some sleepers out there that have a chance… my list is going to be a lot different from yours. Here are the guys that I feel have a chance.

Seven Sleepers to watch…

1) Chris Gilcrest (WR, Charter Oak) — He’ll have to show that he has legit speed.

2) Henry Omana (QB, Diamond Bar) — He has decent film but has to prove that he can lead a team to a league championship and make a deep run into the playoffs. And since Colorado just got a QB commitment for their signing class several weeks ago (Shane Dillon, El Cajon CA) – I don’t think they’ll be in the QB business anymore.

3) Nick Enriquez (OL, Chino Hills) –Talked to four different Sierra League coaches and they all told me the same thing, this kid has a chance. He is listed at 6’5 but he’s more 6’3 but he has good junior film and his size will give him a chance in his senior year.

4) Davis Morgan (OLB, Diamond Bar) — This is a kid that had a steady year last year and with his size , he’ll definitely get a look at by the D-1AA schools in the fall. A watch and see kid.

5) J.R. Nelson (WR, Wilson) — Made third-team All State Underclass team by He is an intriguing kid with decent film. Will he be showcased his senior year? That is the $64.000 question.

6) Deandre Manus (WR, Claremont) — Limited film makes his evaluation very tough. But, this was the one player that the staff at Claremont has been gushing about all spring. That makes a high priority enior film kid. Another big kid as he is listed at 6-2, 220.

7) Devante Brown (WR, San Dimas) — Fair size for a kid that plays in D-11 HS football (6-0, 180), but has decent numbers for a system that makes its living at running the ball. He has good ball skills and is one to follow. Liking the WR bunch in the area a lot.

Ten things that I think I think…..

1) I think fans have to prepare themselves for the lowest amount of kids that will sign on signing day this spring. I will agree with the writer for the football blog when he says that the talent in the West SGV is much better than the talent in the East SGV. When you have two elite football players playing ball on the west side, we have to suck it up and tip our caps to the boys on the west side.

2) I think it’s time for the area principals to be proactive and make the Hacienda League a ten-team conference and split it into two divisions. The three teams that needs to be in are obviously Charter Oak, Glendora and South Hills. And if you think I’m crazy, the Marmonte League is moving in that direction starting in 2012. It would be great to have a SEC type of format for league championship weekend in week 10. And the publicity would be great for the leagues. If the Marmonte League can do it, the Hacienda League can do it too.

3) I think it’s time for this question to be asked. Who is going to be the back-up QB at Bishop Amat and South Hills High School this year?

4) I think that no matter what anyone says, West Covina will be the prohibitive underdogs against Loyola. They have yet to prove that they can beat a D-1 team and just remember this… even though Loyola went winless in league, they were very good in pre-season play. And with Steve Grady back as an assistant coach at Loyola this season, they’ll be just fine. West Covina is just not Serra League tough right now.

5) I think we’ll know just how good Amat is when they play Servite. I don’t have a real feel for the game.

6) I think we all need a countdown the launching date of the football preview issue. If last year was any indication, this year’s will even be better.

7) I think that there will be another big-name area football coach that will not be coaching after the 2011 season. I just feel it in my gut.

8) I think that Ryan Maine will do a nice job in his first year at Diamond Bar High School. I had a chance to meet him several years ago and he really impressed me with his football knowledge. He’ll bring a fresh attitude and energy to his job. If the fans allow him to develop the program the right way – they’ll start getting some legitimate wins.

9) I think that if Glendora fans are looking for Todd Quinsey to led them to a 8 or 9 win season, you are dreaming. There will be a period of transition which means that kids will have to adjust to the style of the new head coach and his staff, new offensive and defensive schemes and much more. Plus, the Baseline League is pretty brutal. And I say that with a little bit of experience from last year.

10) And here are my non-area football thoughts….

a) Looking for a great place to eat… you can’t go wrong with “The Habit” at the Eastland mall. I’ve been to the same establishment in Encino and I can tell you after you eat their for the first time, you’ll come back again and again and again.

b) Interesting tweet sent by Eric Sondheimer last Friday, “Doesn’t Bishop Amat (baseball) belong in Division 1?” I concur.

c) It was at this time last year that people thought I was crazy that Remontay McClain should have been on my top-10 college football prospect list. He could run (and he is proving that again this spring) but you have to be able to catch the ball. He was a track guy playing football.

d) Look for the Sierra League to be the toughest league in all of the SGV and the IE in baseball next year.

e) I disappointed that Jim Tressel has decided to resign as head coach at Ohio State. Somewhere around here, Chris Bowden is going through withdrawls right now.

f) I’d say I would see you at the USC this summer for camp season, but with the NCAA sanctions in place, fans will NOT be allowed to watch any of the camp. Parents of kids are the only one allowed at Brian Kennedy field. Yours truly will be working the USC, UCLA, California and Washington camps. Who says June is not a busy period?…

g) Finally, as we being the spandex and shorts time of the football season, just remember that football is played with helmets and shoulder pads. We tend to forget during this time period.

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  • patrick


    What about George Katrib from Diamond Bar??? He was a BIG contributor to the program last season.

  • reality

    I don’t like the idea of allowing some guy to just rehash the same old names he read about in the paper last year. There are many prospects much better than these at DR,DB,SD,Bonita etc. C’mon coaches speak up and do a little promotion of your unknown diamonds. Would love to hear about some fresh names. Just look at all the flops from last year that were mediocre at best. I even hear there is a huge stud at Keppel?

  • Aaron

    Escarcega…do you really believe you know what you’re doing?

    1. Chris Solomon-this is a no brainer
    2. Jaime Canada-this is horrible, he has not seen a single down of football in two years…he should be on your watch list…if that.
    3. Rio Ruiz-for a QB, he’s not bad I guess but who is recruiting him to play QB? Since he’s committed to USC for baseball and is a Major League prospect.
    4. Jamel Hart-If anything he should be your number two with the amount of feelers he’s got…I’ve known he’s been good for two years now, just tell Bogan to run off tackle more and he’ll have a great year.
    5. Jalen Moore-He’s a mack truck without “blazing” speed, honestly I think this a kid that might not get his shot even though he has the production and the grades. Which is sad, rooting for him for sure.
    6. Corey Victoria-what? Karl Holmes played for Muir last year and is going to ASU, this is how I know you know less than I do. (I’m just a Bonita homer.) Donovan Holmes however had less than half the yards Victoria had.
    7. Ajee Montez-18 solo, 7 assts tackles…um yeah not so much there. Pretty good size though at 5’10.
    8. Santiago and Hernandez-Santiago is a pretty good QB and has been a starter since he was a sophomore. Probably going to have a huge senior season. Hernandez…are you kidding me.
    10. Justin Meaders-He should be your number two or three.

    As fans do we see things through a certain tint…sure, but I also can tell from every list that you put out that you don’t know what you’re doing. You touted one QB last year and that was Jeffries…the two other senior QBs that didn’t get a fair shake in my mind were Pendleton and Kessler. So maybe I know very little, but you know less.

  • just sayin’

    Aaron – maybe he does know what he’s doing. Pendelton ended up at a non-scholarship D3 – so Guru was right on.Muir is in the West SGV not Trib territory. Meaders is too small to be at #2 – and if you expect a cover corner to be getting many tackles your team is either really bad or padding their stats.

  • UCLA Trojans

    Arizona State not Arizona.

    1. Chris Solomon (DB, West Covina) — He got offered by Arizona

  • Aaron

    I know where Muir is quite well. But apparently Mr. Escarcega confused a player that comes from the west side and whom will be a Sun Devil in the fall…for a kid that only bears the same last name that was a junior in the fall.

  • Mike calls Mike

    Head Coach West Covina: Mike Maggiore Edgewood H.S. Class of 85′

    UCLA Offensive Coordinator (Recruiter San Gabriel Valley) Michael Johnson Baldwin Park High School Class of 85′

    Who do you think Johnson calls first when getting information concerning recruits? (no matter what high school)

  • sgv scouting

    I thought I would pass this note along from my close friend Brandon Huffman of….

    “West Covina (Calif.) safety Chris Solomon is up to three offers with the newest coming today.
    “Chris received an offer from Arizona, from Coach Kish,” said Kordell Knox of Gridiron Football Academy.

    Arizona State and Colorado have also offered Solomon.”

  • sgv scouting

    Some interesting notes from our man Aaron (who thinks he’s the next John Madden)

    “4. Jamel Hart-If anything he should be your number two with the amount of feelers he’s got…I’ve known he’s been good for two years now, just tell Bogan to run off tackle more and he’ll have a great year.”

    Let me see – how many CIF championships does Bogan have…4 and you?…0. I think Bogan knows what he’s doing….

    “10. Justin Meaders-He should be your number two or three.”

    Make up your mind.. is it two or three….

    “You touted one QB last year and that was Jeffries”

    And apparently so did the other colleges after his performance at the Nike Camp at USC…

    ” …the two other senior QBs that didn’t get a fair shake in my mind were Pendleton and Kessler.”

    Don’t blame me if the college coaches didn’t think much of them….

    “So maybe I know very little, but you know less.”

    Maybe I should quit working for a team that made in to the quarterfinals of the Pac-5 playoffs….

  • FBFan

    Craig Jones from la Serna is getting some looks as a linebacker as well as Bonita’s safety Garrett Horine.

  • fb102

    sgv scouting,

    Wow, did Aaron get under your skin?

    1st time that I can recall you replying with a [snarky] answer to comment on your posts. Usually when you get HAMMERED you are SILENT.

    The next time you are called out by others, hopefully you will ‘respond’ so rapidly,

  • Aaron

    That’s right, I have zero…and you have zero as well.

  • sgv scouting

    Aaron — That is not correct sir. I was on the coaching staff at South Hills that won the 2005 CIF-SS Division 7 championship. Maybe I should wear my ring tomorrow….

  • SHHS

    Jimmy Jimmy

    You have never been crap here at Huskie land. Bogan let you carry the water because he felt sorry for your dumb @ss. You didn’t teach squat about the X and O here.

    Get a grip…

  • Steve Ramirez

    SHHS: Let’s be nice. I just never understand the hate for someone who is just expressing an opinion.

  • reality

    I think sgv scouting and bulldog 1 are twin sisters. They both want us to kiss their rings. Ms. scout take your pompous ass and name dropping prevarications somewhere else. You add nada to this blog. Just curious since when did standing on the sidelines qualify somebody for a ring?

  • fb102

    Steve R., this guru gets a regular spot on the blogs [that is afforded NO ONE ELSE], expresses his opinion[which MANY do NOT remotely agree with] and you are expressing wonderment at the venom pointed in his direction?


    What do you and your SGV Newsgroup cohorts expect?

  • Give us credit

    Fred, Steve,

    everytime you give mr. sgv scout the reigns, you get the same results as today. You’re not helping any when you still have the same bloggers exposing him.

    So what is it, same blog, same result, or maybe move him to the East??

  • BIG D

    I’m so glad my son and I are no part of the south hills football program anymore! The guru is an embarrasment!

  • Fred Robledo

    What do I write, “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 mean-spirited, personal attacks come from bloggers towards the Guru, but somehow there is something so wrong with the Guru….Check yourselves first.

  • Top Prospects

    I guess I’m mistaken, but I thought this blog was supposed to be about the top 2012 prospects

  • fyi

    The class of 2012 freshman football team at south hills went 10-0. the buzz around this team was ridiculous, and rightly so..that team was filled with absolute studs. but most of that team either transferred to different schools or quit playing football. that is why south hills dropped off last year to a 3-7 record. vince hernandez is not a qb he is a wr.

    notable transfers: travis santiago(Charter Oak), chris gilchrist(Charter Oak), randell varella(Amat), joseph harrison(Diamond Bar), ajee montes(Amat),

    players that quit: Ty france, cj saylor, ryan perterson.

    if this team would have stuck together you would be in awe of how great they are.
    My son quit playing ball after his sophomore year but i had an opportunity to watch them play their freshman year. big dissapointment that these kids left.

    just thought id leave my opinion on the SH program..

  • Sierra League Fan

    Jaimie Canada #2….Really? The kid hasn’t played a down of FB in 2 years and probably won’t be ready until the 2nd half of this season. You couldn’t think of more deserving kids to put on this list? Wow! I would put Jamel Hart in front of him. At least that kid played and was very good. If he was on a team like Chino Hills or Charter Oak, he would have been all CIF.

  • Sierra League Fan

    Jaimie Canada #2….Really? The kid hasn’t played a down of FB in 2 years and probably won’t be ready until the 2nd half of this season. You couldn’t think of more deserving kids to put on this list? Wow! I would put Jamel Hart in front of him. At least that kid played and was very good. If he was on a team like Chino Hills or Charter Oak, he would have been all CIF. Santiago is a legit HS QB (Athlete) but he is too small to play QB at the next level….Rumor is that he is thinking about sticking with Baseball and not playing FB next year since Baseball is his # 1 sport. Hernandez???? Really, come on dude.

  • jcaz

    This is just a thought, but, believe it or not, I do believe that the Guru has a right to an opinion.

    The simple fact however, is that that when he makes his opinion known, there always seems to be a small measure of smack talk mixed in with some generally interesting stuff.

    Why be surprised by the reaction by all the bloggers ?

    Look, if the Guru only came in here and spoke about teams and athletes in a neutral way, then perhaps he would be better received. As it is, so many folks get worked up by his Bull poop that it makes it hard not to get a hard on every time he comes on here.

    But then again, maybe that’s the idea right ?

  • sgv old school

    guru- drive out east a litte, Garett Horine at Bonita is gettting looks D1 looks, big, fast and a hitter safety or WR kid is a game changer. the list is suspect till you take a look at Bonita as there are others too, same goes for San Dimas and DRanch, Horine however is a no brainer.

  • Observer

    I honestly believe Billy Livingston from Covina should be in the top 10. He has been looked at by many scouts.

  • Colt74

    It’s all about the hit count…

    You really want to hear from someone that knows what he is talking about…AND increase the hit count…..

    Give Amat73 the reigns for a blog insight/topic or two.I can honestly say that I’ve NEVER read one of his posts where I did not learn something or have it initiate thought..and him and jcaz going back and forth sometimes is just funnier than hell you gotta admit….

  • Trevino

    Why all the hate towards the Guru? None of us are asked to work at the various college camps he works. He is also present at all the Nike combines. So what if he name drops. We would too if we had college coaches on our rolodex.

  • Coach

    My issue with this Guru is his limited knowledge of the area teams. He stops by the top four or five schools and he’s done. I know of one school that has at least three D1 2012 prospects and one of if not the top 2013 receiver in the valley.

    Guru which program am I talking about?

  • Coach

    When it comes to name dropping no one competes with Coach Bert over at Wilson. He has more D1 HC numbers on speed dial than this guru knows.

  • player

    The list has some legit ballplayers. Respectfully and admire the opinion of the SGV bloggers. My question to all. What kids on the list have the SIZE, grades and ability to move on to the next level? Kids that can be coached and molded by next level coaches. Also there are many kids that are not on the list as patrick mentioned George Katrib from DB would like to see more names of local talent. thanks

  • Coach

    Let me qualify my statement, I have worked with players on the Guru’s list and off his list.

    This list is a popularity contest.

  • player


    Respectfully, Which local kids have what it takes?

  • SGV

    who are amat and shhs back up qbs?

  • Mtown…

    The two best players in the entire Valley is…

    1.Ellis McCarthy Monrovia(Best Player in California)
    2. Kevon Seymour Muir(Best all Purpose player in SGV)

    Now you can continue with any list you want.

  • GameDayatUSC

    I can’t say if this is REAL or not. I’m assuming its all based soley on YOUR opinion ONLY.
    The NUMBER ONE kid on this list BY FAR is Ellis McCarthy a DT from Monrovia. He is a STUD, and a 5 ***** athlete by both Rivals, and ESPN. He has offers from Every Pac 12 school except Stanford, as well as offers from LSU, OKLAHOMA, and FLORIDA. Pretty sure Not one SGV kid has that list.
    I have no probelm you letting us know who is out there, but PLEASE do MORE research. Other than that nice job~~~

  • GuruofDudu

    “I (sic) disappointed that Jim Tressel has decided to resign as head coach at Ohio State.”

    That in and of itself should disqualify you as having any opinions that anyone would want, or need to hear. I’d put more substance in the opinions of Stevie Wonder on this seasons fashions……

    Please spare us your completely biased drivel and if Fred gives you another shot on the blog :

    (a) Slap him to see if he is heavily medicated
    (b) Do 1000 words on why you think the world is flat.

    I mean theses are just my opinions….

  • SHHS


    We happen to know alot more about little Jimmy than you do.

    You guys crack me up! Giving a guy like Jimmy his own thread to discuss what? An opinion? Credentials? Coaching Experience? Teacher of the Game? What job did he really have over here? Do a little research and you might be surprised…. But maybe trying to sell Jimmy might sell hits…

  • AMAT 73

    Thanks for the kind words but I think we should leave the blog to pro’s like the Guru . HA HA HA HA. Now about my pal Jcaz , well he is like the set up man in comedy team . I mean who else would equate reading the Guru’s expert takes on valley players as Jcaz put it ” makes it hard not to get a hard on every time he comes on here.” Is that someone who’s twisted or what. But he’s family as in AMAT FAMILY so you take the good with the twisted. As for the guru and his prospects there are many bloggers who could give a better breakdown of talent and offers to them without the biased input of the SH players. I mean really Canada on here . No knock on Canada at all but he has been off the field for 2 years now and to put him at #2 and not even mention McCarthy who probably has more scouts looking at him then any other player in the valley speaks volumes on how much the guru knows. How this guy got the gig here on the blog is beyond me .

  • AMAT 73

    I forgot one thing. I am very suprised we don’t see a Crespi player on this list but I guess even for the guru that would be quite a stretch. But I bet before the season’s over there will be a mention of one of them on one of his threads on evaluation of SGV talent.

  • sgv scouting

    Amat 73: You mean that you didn’t want to hear that Crespi offensive lineman Jordan Simmons has 31 offers as of today, was ranked a 5-star lineman by – had visits from three different SEC teams, every BCS school on the West Coast, a visit from Notre Dame, had coaches such as Ed Orgeron, Norm Chow etc. visiting the school – or that two more Crespi players got offers after the May evaluation period.

    Oops sorry, I didn’t mean for that to happen.

    I’m sure you’ll be making that trip down the 101 to Crespi in October. Make sure you leave early!! Traffic can get a little congested sometimes.

  • AMAT 73

    You could at least thanked me for openning the door to get your Crespi guy in here. I will definitely be there at the game if only to see this lighting speed in which everyone says you carry the water bottles up and down the sidelines . I know well enough about the rigors of going out to the SFV for a game . Afterall this is not new territory for an AMAT fan . We have been doing it for years . But answer me this oh wise one , how could you miss putting the kid at Monrovia on your list ? I mean do you have SH and Crespi in your mind so much you have blinders on to other standout talent in the SGV.

  • sgv scouting

    “But answer me this oh wise one , how could you miss putting the kid at Monrovia on your list ?”

    Easy – he is on the west side of the SGV. Not the east side. When the Tribune decides to cover Monrovia HS – we’ll put him in.

  • AMAT 73

    Very weak reply considering you have a player from Claremont on your list . I know I know but the Trib covers them only because they are in the Sierra but at least Monrovia is in the SGV. It sure is funny but I recall seeing Nick Bueno all over Trib last season.

  • Observantcat

    Well sgv scouting, you can now go nation wide and read about Ellis McCarthy, his recruiting has gone viral, not to mention that he is currently rank #13 recruit in the nation….THE NATION! which borders extend way beyond the sgv. After the July combines he may be ranked even higher. That is a great thing for the entire San Gabriel Valley who has been hidden behind a rock for quite some time now in the recruiting wars. The list is very interesting to say the least. I can see a hole in it in terms of not putting Charter Oaks Kurt Scoby somewhere on that list. He would have been a Name Brand had he stopped in at Bishop Amat or even Damien for that matter or just went to Monrovia High like he maybe should have. But He will be the next blue chipper to make it out of the valley with the accolades he should receive in the next three years.

  • Joe Amat


    List is for seniors, so Scoby will be on plenty in due time… although I think, like you, he made a poor choice.