The Scouting Guru on football camps, and his thoughts on the prep sports scene

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.

This is the Scouting Guru at his best, writing about the importance of football camps, and then going on-and-on with his, “I think, I think,” thoughts on the area high school football scene and more.

The Guru Writes: If it’s June – then it’s camp month for all the major universities across the country. It used to be that camps were just a fundraising tool to get some members of the staff taken care of for the summer. And to a certain aspect – it still is. However – camps are being used as a recruiting tool and a evaluation tool for coaches and scouts. The one school that has – in the past – used these camps to evaluate prospects was USC in the Pete Carrol era. I can’t tell you how many camps we watched (or worked) when the talent was just bursting out of the seams. Things have change just a bit these days. But if you are a legitimate D-1 prospect, camps offer the prospect a bunch of benefits. Here are some of those benefits….(To continue, click thread)

1) You get to work with the position coach that you are playing.

2) You get to see what the program is like.

3) You get to see what the school is like.

If you are a college coach – there are some benefits as well….

1) You get to put the players through the drills that you do on a daily basis.

2) You get to evaluate the player and see if he matches up to the guys that you have offered.

3) You get to interact with the player and see if he passes all character tests.

Now – if you are a prospect (and there are many ways to figure out if you are a prospect) you might be asking, “Which camp do I do?” I always say stay local. But if you are realistic and the prospect knows that a school like Cal Poly SLO would like for you to go to camp, my advice…”Go For It!” Listen, the football at the Division 1 FCS level is just as competitive as it is in the D-1 FBS level. The perfect example of a FCS player is former Amat and South Hills player Dorian Wells.

He just didn’t have the size to play in the WAC or the Mountain West Conference – but he got offered by several D-1 FCS and he felt comfortable going to Villanova. And he has become an integral part of their offense. So – while it’s awesome to go to UCLA or USC – remember they are recruiting nationally and just because they may give you a little love now, it’s doesn’t mean anything once the leaves turn brown in September.

For those lineman that are going to USC on Saturday, and for those skill guys that are going to the skills camp on Sunday, good luck. I look forward to seeing you out there.


One of the better runs 7 on 7 local passing league tournaments is the Bonita Tournament. It’s a great tournament for a person like me. For two days I can go from field to field and see some pretty good talent.

For guys like Fred and Aram, you get to see what the whole team looks like for a competition perspective.

And please, if you see me at a particular game, feel free to say hello. I’m not going to mean — not that type of guy. I love talking football with people.

And if you plan on being at the Santa Fe or Claremont Tournaments, make sure that you pull me over.


Let’s make Saturday July 9th the day we call it “Sensory Overload” Saturday. There are three big passing league tournaments.

First you have the Santa Fe Tournament that has some of the bigger schools participating…(BTW, this will be the last year that they will be having the tournament. Jack Mahlstede, the longtoime head coach at Santa Fe High School, is retiring at the end of the year and so will the tournament…such a shame).

Then you have South Hills going to the best passing league tournament on the west coast – the Battle of the Beach Tournament at Edison High School. It’s a tournament where guys like Greg Biggins from ESPN Rise (who is recognized as the best in the business in reporting on the recruiting scene on the west coast), and will be found looking at some of the top prospects in Southern California.

Then you have the SGV Shootout Tournament at Arroyo High School. What it may lack in big-time talent, it makes up in competition level for the area. Arroyo HC Jim Singiser does a great job with the tournament, and fans will have a great time again this year.

Like I said, it’ll be “Sensory Overload” Saturday.


The 10 Things that I think I think

1) I think that while Aram did a good job with the SGVN Summer Top-25, there are some interesting things to take note.

a) Apparently Aram is drinking the St. Francis cool-aid quite a bit ever since he got the word that they got a new QB in the barn. Just remember one thing, the kid played football for two years in Vermont. I don’t know about you, but when you think of great football, Vermont isn’t the first place that comes rolling off the tongue, right?

b) Muir is still under-ranked a bit. Remember they have several DIVISION 1 prospects. They have a kid that will probable end up at USC. My rule of thumb, high schools that have legit D-1 talent (and it only has to be two or three teams) are really tough to be in Southeast Division. Make sure that you watch the Arcadia vs Muir game this year. It should be the game of the year on the westside.

c) The summer passing league schedule should give us a lot of clues as to who showed be the pre-season favorite for the Sierra League crown. But Aram might have this one right with Charter Oak as the pre-season favorite.

2) I think I have two questions legit question….

a) Why is there no buzz on Diamond Ranch?

b) Why is there no buzz on Damien?

3) I think that people don’t understand why the Serra League is the second best league in California and one of the top-10 league in the United States. Folks, it’s pretty simple. While the schools like Bishop Amat, Crespi, etc. get an extra player or two, what it comes down to is the coaching. Every week in the Serra league, you are facing coaching staffs that know what they are doing. They work there tails off in the off-season getting position drill tapes, going to college campus’ to talk schemes with college coaches, and know how to relate to their players.

Please don’t take this the wrong way. There are some schools in the East SGV that have good coaching staffs. But, they just don’t stack up to the coaching staffs at Alemany, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Crespi. etc. And it’s the same way in the Trinity League. There are leagues, then they are the Serra League and the Trinity League. And I should know – I’m in the line of fire every week in the Serra!

4) I think that you’ll be hearing some excellent coaching news from South Hills High School in a couple of weeks. I’m not authorized to say it, but let’s just say that South Hills fans will like the addition they are getting…

5) I think that I had one Division 1 FCS assistant coach tell me recently, “I watched both Jalen Moore’s tape and Jamel Hart’s tape and they are almost identical.”

6) I think that I got blasted last week because I didn’t mention any of the Muir and Monrovia guys. First off, they are on the Westside of the SGV. If you want to make them part of the Tribune coverage area, talk to Fred. But since you want to know about what I feel about both of the big-time players Ellis McCarthy of Monrovia and Kevon Seymour of Muir – here are my thoughts of both of those players…

7) I didn’t really drink the Ellis McCarthy cool-aid last year because I thought he was a bit soft. But there was a huge upside to the kid and I thought he got recruited just because of that. That all changed for me when I saw McCarthy at the Nike Camp at USC this year. The improvement he made mentally was astounding. He’s figured it out and his battles against Crespi’s Jordan Simmons were the best of the day at the camp. He richly deserves the accolades he is getting right now.

a) When I watched the Bishop Amat vs Muir game last year, it didn’t get me excited about Seymour. The kid was shying away from contact, and didn’t play like a elite D-1 player. I was then told by people in the know in the Muir program that Seymour was hurt in the game and to watch the late season tape – you won’t be disappointed. And they were right. He’s a definitely a Pac-12 player and look for USC to land this kid. He’ll be a good one!

8) I think that with all the talk of skill talent we have the area, one area that this area is lacking is quality offensive line talent. I’ve checked all my recruiting lists and it’s astounding that there are no lineman from schools such as Bonita, San Dimas, South Hills, etc. Even Bishop Amat is young up front. That makes this football season all the more interesting.

9) I think from a college perspective, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to Charter Oak grad Keith Smith, South Hills grad Dorian Wells and Bishop Amat grad Sheldon Price. Both have had excellent starts to their football careers. And they have certainly done us proud in being the flag-bearers for the area. But, now that opposing coaches know what they bring to the table, they’ll be challenging them more each season. But, like all of you, I will be cheering like heck for them.

10) These are my non-football thoughts of the week

a) Thanks go out to for video broadcasting the CIF-SS baseball championships last week. It allowed people like myself a chance to watch Bishop Amat destroy Palm Desert. Chris McGee was awesome and so was Rex Hudler.

b) My condolences go out to Austin Lacy. This should never happen to a kid that was awesome! What was more awesome was the way Rio Ruiz paid tribute to the kid during the championship game. This is the reason why I will always cheer for Rio. Nothing but class… a lesson that area coaches and players should take note of…

c) Congratulations also go out to the South Hills High School softball team. It’s tough to be on the wrong end of a lop-sided result. But, there is nothing wrong on making to championship weekend.

d) And while were at, it would be great for the Los Angeles Times to cover a little softball. I was looking for coverage on Friday from the “World Champion” (those of you that listened to the late Jim Healy know what I’m talking about), but I couldn’t find it. Apparently, they want to write more articles on the private vs. public’s rather than on CIF-SS championship events.

e) I’m looking for new places to eat in the area. I’ve been to Buffalo Wild Wings and The Habit (and judging by the crown recently, so have you). Now, I need some new places to go to. If you have any recommendations, please email them to me at I’m up for any type of food.

f) I’m thinking of doing a “blog-up” where bloggers can spend an evening talking area sports with Fred, Aram, Steve and yours truly. If we can do it in late July at a nice establishment, it would be great. Email me your thoughts and if the interest is there, I’ll talk to Fred about it. And if you are nice, maybe we’ll bring a couple head coaches and make it fun.

g) See you at USC this weekend!

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  • reality

    What a total boor. Like they said in the movie Contact.”What a terrible waste of space”

  • Mark this down

    Guru, before all of the hate blasts come (and you know they will) let me disagree with your “Muir is under-ranked” comment in #1 (b). Just scroll down to your #3 comment. That is why they will not be good this year, regardless of how much talent they have. They will have a very rough year this year and be 2-8 or 3-7 at best.

  • Aaron

    2nd draft equals 1st draft minus 10%…except you needed to cut 50% of what you emailed.

    Why would I not be surprised if SF’s tournament is still going next summer?

  • askin’

    scouting guru – is there any way these athletes can get more exposure if they aren’t invited to these camps? are their services out there that will help if your coach isn’t doing the work?

  • Dan

    Agree on comment number 6, Jalen Moore and Jamel Hart both remind me of each other, both have nice vision are quick and elusive and are tough, strong, runners.
    On your point #5, about Solomon and grades, It usually seems to come down to freshman and sophomore year grades, I’ve seen this happen to a few of our top players in the past couple of years, kids losing out on scholarships because of their grades at the lower levels. When the kids start to mature, and finally “get it” and finally bring their grades up [usually around their junior/senior year] it’s too late because the colleges look at the overall core grades from all 4 years. If an incoming highschool kid has talent and is hoping for a scholarship, he needs to understand early on how important it is when your a freshman and sophomore to get the good grades in those years because if you don’t, it will come back and bite you. Unfortunatly, most kids probably are not thinking about scholarships and core grades in their early highschool years.
    Oh and this is a dumb question but What does “FCS and “FBS” stand for? Seems like I remember that FBS stand for “Football Bowl Series” am I way out in left field on that.

  • NCAA eligibility

    to be eligible for NCAA scholarships, it is a sliding scale with the SAT/ACT and the GPA of 16 core subjects. If you have a 2 part SAT of 1000 and a core GPA of 2.35 you are eligible. If you have a 900 SAT at 2.35 you would not be. The higher GPA, the lower the SAT has to be. Trust me I am going through this right now with my son and his eligibility

  • still askin’

    NCAA eligibility – what are you doin’ to get exposure and get recruited

  • recruiting

    It is always helpful to know your real talent and potential, you should have a good idea whether you are BCS, FCS, or Div II calibur. It will assist you in planning (and being recruited).

    1) The combines are always a good idea. NUC from Feb – May have their local combines, June are their regionals, July is their national, and Christmas is their All World Competitions. Combine stats are looked at by many. Under Armour and NIKE also have well established combines.

    2) Increasingly, 7×7 competitions are getting a lot of looks, though the NCAA legal guys are starting to look into them rather closely as too their legality and the amatuer athlete. If you are a skill position it is wise to consider it. BadgerSports have some of the largest exposure, there are also linemen competitions

    3). Have a hilite dvd. Scouts and coaches usually want about 4 minutes (no music, no hype) just real footage of your skills and ability. Some say they only want your ten best plays of your high school career.

    4). Having a, rivals,com, or ESPN profile is also very helpful and gives exposure. Your stats from the combines, and video hilites are usually on the profiles of individual players

    5) Having your season stats are important, is important but not all teams participate.

    6) You need to sell your self, be realistic but let colleges, universities that you are very interested in there school. They have people to do the checking.

    7) The college summer camps is a good way for individual schools to see what you have in ability, and now a days most all schools ahave a summer camp, some just an afternoon, others like Boise St have 3 days with sleepovers.

    8) It is not your high school head coach who is responsible for getting you a scholarship, but his network can be extremely helpful (again your talent and ability must be realistic)Last month after a saturday practice, the head coach made 3 phone calls to 3 PAC-12 college coaches, the next Monday and Tuesday, all there of the colleges had football coaches fly in and go to the school to talk to my son

    9) the NCAA Clearinghouse is a necessity for all athletes

    10) Do your homework. For example, if a college is graduating just 2 WR’s and they are committing 4 WR’s to scholarships from the class ahead of yours, that school may only want 2 WR’s from your class because they are top heavy at that position.

    You can take as many unofficial visits to colleges you want, but starting Sept 1 of your season, a player can only take 5 official visits in total, but then if actually get 5 requests for official visits, you do not need any of this advise

    Finally, never under estimate the power of word of mouth, if you are good enough, chances are colleges are going to take a look

  • Damien Alum

    Division 1-A is now referred to as the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision). Division 1-AA is now referred to as the FCS (Football Champioship Series).

    The FBS uses a bowl system to determine its championship whereas the FCS uses a playoff system, 16 teams, single elimination to determine its championship.

    The FBS’ authority falls under an independent body known as the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) whose authority is above that of the NCAA. The FCS uses the 1-AA commitee as its governing body and for the rankings of the playoff teams.

    The other major difference is that the FBS schools are allowed to offer 85 scholarships whereas the FCS schools are allowed 63 full scholarships. I do believe the FCS schools are allowed to give as many partial scholarships as they can in a year.

    There are only 236 (120 FBS) Division 1 football programs so only 1.4% of high school football participants earn scholarships to D 1 schools each year. There are 156 Division II football programs which are allowed up to 36 scholarships a year. NAIA schools offer many partial athletic scholarships combined with academic and need based scholarships. There are 235 Division III football programs and though they cannot offer traditional athletic scholarships, they do offer academic and need based scholarships to high school student athletes. Even though a high school athlete might not be Division 1 caliber, there are plenty of other schools in the lower divisions offering full and partial scholarships. Though its every high school football player’s dream of eventually winning a BCS championship, high school athletics should be looked at as a means of obtaining a college education.

  • NotSince1995

    Where’s the Education part come in…?
    Your advise is all well and good, but the fact is that unless your HS transcripts can prove your Core GPA is 3.0 or higher and your SAT is above 1000 or your ACT is above 18, then you can throw all of your suggestions out the window.
    No School and I mean no school is going to give you a scholarhip (athletic and certainly not academic) if you don’t have the grades. That is the bottom line…
    I agree completely with Damien Alum.
    Not in 2011 Either…