The Scouting Guru’s opening week thoughts

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.

GURU WRITES: It’s finally here. The 2011 football season begins tonight and for guys like myself, this is the best time of the year. Scouts have been combing the field during the summer, getting their lists together and now it’s time to find out who’s stock is going to rise; and who’s stock is going to fall. But rather than talk about the players that are the college prospects in the area; and you can look back at my previous columns to know where I stand with the prospects in the valley, let’s go over what in going on in recruiting now that the month is September. (To continue, click thread).

1) Game films. For those players that have been garnering interest from the D-1 school, the first three games of the year are critical. When colleges say that they want the first two or three games of the year; it’s no lie. Colleges will either call a scouting service (like us) or the school and will look over the tape very carefully. If the prospect is balling and shows that he is one of the better players on the field, look for the schools to be recruiting him even harder. If the players comes up a little lacking on the tape; well – they will move on to the next prospect. That’s how it goes in D-1 recruiting. It’s all about finding the next great prospect.

2) Contact with the player. Each school is allowed (by NCAA rules) to call a prospect once a week. And believe me, for players like Monrovia’s Ellis McCarthy and Muir Kevon Seymour; their cell phones will be ringing every night. If a player from your school gets a call from college football assistant coach; that is a good thing.

3) Grades, grades, grades. Colleges will be contacting the records clerk at the school and requesting updated transcripts. So if you are a prospect that is trying to make the qualifications of the NCAA Clearinghouse, make sure that your grades are up-to-date and accurate.

I’ve never seen a more fluid recruiting situation in the San Gabriel Valley more than this year. There are many players that are on the recruiting boards for a lot of colleges, so the more you take your academics seriously, your chances of going to a D-1 program will continue to improve.

Sometimes, I read your comments on the blog and they just smack with ignorance. A perfect example happened the other day. As you well know, there was a breakdown in communication and the prep football preview issue was not on the newsstands until Wednesday.

And it was not done on purpose. Much like all of you, I purchased a copy of the paper on Tuesday – looked hard and couldn’t find the magazine. I figured something was up and when I checked the blog, sure enough – there was an explanation. But to hear some of you talk, you would think that Fred and Aram purposely did this. And to those people I say – GET A LIFE!!!! It’s not their fault. They didn’t go leave the office on Monday night and say, “well let’s screw with the readership base and say that the magazine will be in the newsstands on Tuesday, when it will really be in on Wednesday.”

Please -spare me. So you had to eat 75 cents. If you had read the sports page, you would have read a great column by “The King” Jim McConnell. But, judging by your comments, some of you probably couldn’t find the sports page. Let me be in the minority when I say this; the pre-season magazine is so horribly undervalued at 75 cents. It should be sold for $3.99. And you know what, it would sell too. So be thankful you got your copy on Wednesday. It was wonderfully crafted by three of the best reporters in the business, Robledo, Tolegian and Ramirez.

The 10 Things I Think I Think

1) For someone who spends a lot of times scouting more than the San Gabriel Valley, I couldn’t be more fired to hear of the expanded coverage of Friday night football on the SGVN network. You better believe that when the clock strikes 10 o’clock, I will on-line hearing the reports from everyone that went to the games. It should be fun and the studio might look like a major network studio on election night. And they picked the right guy to handle all the mess in Aram Tolegian. Good luck guys – you’ll definitely have one viewer watching all the action.

2) I think that I find it very funny how opinions change when the leaves turn brown and the pads go on. All spring and summer; I was absolutely hammered by everyone on the blog when it came to the subject of South Hills’ Jamie Canada. Having been with the kid for more than a year; I knew what was under the hood. But – when I made Canada my number one top prospect in the area, well it was open season to sling the arrows at yours truly. Well after reading the comments from everyone that attended the South Hills – Covina scrimmage and watching Canada is practice; I feel a bit vindicated. Here’s hoping that he has an opening night to remember tonight against Colony.

3) I think that this is my first prediction of the year; I don’t think West Covina or any other team from the East San Gabriel Valley will win the Southwest Division this year. I make Arcadia the favorites with Muir the second choice. Those two schools are absolutely loaded! And with all due apologizes to people who think Chris Solomon is a elite Pac-12 prospect; there is a reason why USC offered Kevon Seymour and not Solomon. The kid is special! I would make Muir the favorites; but something weird always seems to happen to Muir when the calendar turns to November. But the talent is there and I just can’t wait to see them on film.

4) I think that the tactic that Glendora used in not scrimmaging last week will come back and haunt them on Friday. Here something for fans to consider. Scrimmages are nothing more than an NFL pre-season game and are used to evaluate talent and to see what happens when there is some popping going on. Offenses usually keep it vanilla and defenses rarely tip their hands when it comes to schemes and blitzes. Charter Oak already has an advantage and it will show on Friday night. This was a move that I predict to will backfire against Glendora horribly.

5) I think that in case you have been paying attention, former players that used the fields of the SGV to get themselves into college are making everyone proud this weekend. Consider that three former SGV players will be in the starting lineup Saturday for UCLA (Sheldon Price, Bishop Amat; Albert Cid, West Covina and Sean Sheller, Walnut). South Hills alumnus Nick Lamaison will be the starting QB this Saturday for UTEP against Stoneybrook. Two more South Hills alums Nic Curry (USC) and 2007 Tribune Player of the Year Dorian Wells (Villanova) will be in action, San Dimas’ Allen Brown is moving up the depth charts at Fresno State, South Hills’ Sioasi Aiono is in a battle for the back-up center position at Utah and Charter Oak’s Keith Smith will be starting for San Jose St this weekend. Once last note, I noticed on the UCLA two deep depth chart that Isaiah Bowens (Bishop Amat alum) is now the back-up at WILL Linebacker. I will admit it, didn’t care for the kid in High School, but this was a Dewayne Walker pick and he is the reason why I respect his opinion so much.

a) One final note, seems like Kyle Salm, the offensive lineman from San Dimas that is at Idaho right now, just seems to be a big fish out of water entering his second year up there. As one insider told me last week, “I just don’t see him playing this year or next year.”

6) I think that West Covina has the most to lose the next three weeks. And it’s easy to see why. First, there is Saturday’s game against Covina. A loss there and people start asking questions. Then there is the long road trip to LA Valley College to take on Loyola (and you know my thoughts on that game) and if there not careful, they could be 0-2 heading into South Hills week. And you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that South Hills will be looking for blood after what happened last year. The flip side of that is if West Covina goes 3-0, they could be the second best team in the area next to Bishop Amat. Talk about two major extremes.

7) I think that my man Aram Tolegian could be outthinking himself. In most of the state polls that came out these past two weeks, Bishop Amat has been anywhere from ranked 7th to 15th. Yet, he has them as the second best team in the area next to Charter Oak. Funny, I couldn’t find Charter Oak in any of the state polls. Somebody is right or somebody is wrong when it comes to Amat. We will find out soon.

8) I think that one kid that I will be watching very closely is Davante Brown from San Dimas HS. I went back and watched some tape on this kid and I am very intrigued. He is a kid that I would be watching closely tonight if I was going to the Smudge Pot game.

9) I think that much like all of you, I will be interested in the outcome of the Amat vs Servite game next week. And it’s not like both team won’t see each other in person. Servite plays San Diego area powerhouse Oceanside on the road tonight – so you better believe the Amat coaching staff will be taking a road trip down the 405. Friday, look for the Servite coaches to be at Amat in force to watch the Lancers game against Garfield. Should be a very interesting game next week.

10) I think these are my thoughts after going through the pre-season magazine Wednesday…

a. Either Coach Gano will look like genius or he might be looking for some work next year if he is correct on the assessment of his talent at Damien. I trust his opinion a lot – and if he is right, well he might want to consider bulking up his non-league schedule next year and playing some tougher teams.

b. Interesting comments on the Bassett preview page from their head coach Aubrey Duncan. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tony Zane leaves after this year. He is one of the best high school coaches in the area today and didn’t deserve some of the comments that were made.

c. I’m wishing Diamond Bar head coach Ryan Maine all the success in the world. He is one of the few young head coaches in the area that gets it! Ryan, if you win league – the first round is on me for you and your coaching staff.

d. I thought this quote was interesting from Diamond Ranch head coach Roddy Layton. “The winner of our league has won CIF and the runner-up was also the division runner up for the past three years.” Funny, this is the second year of the Hacienda League. Draw your own conclusions.

e. Call me a homer, but if South Hills QB Vincent Hernandez has a huge year, you can make a compelling argument that he could be the most under-appreciated football player in the valley. And that is just the way he likes it. Very humble, quiet and goes about his business in a business-like fashion.

f. That is some group of running backs in Robledo’s top 5.

g. The same can’t be said for the Wide Receivers.

h. Looking at Aram’s Top-10, I think the one team that can move up the board is Diamond Bar. The other team that I think will slide off the board at the end of the season… that’s easy – Glendora.

Enjoy opening weekend

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  • I absolutely enjoyed your thoughts today.Thanks for some of the goings on outside the area of the sgv on ex-players and there situations.

  • Colt74

    It was a nice read. Agree with the bit about McConnell’s piece. I enjoy his stuff and reading about the areas history.

  • Just keeping it real

    I have asked this before what is the name of your company and how do I utilize your services?
    Just a few points to what your what you think comments
    2: No one said Canada wasnt good. That fact he did good doesnt mean he is the best back in the valley.
    3: What happens to Muir is report cards. Just a fact you heard straight from the coach on the Tuesday night prep extra keeping school a priority is not easy at Muir.
    4: Not scrimmaging is only one of a series of mistakes made by Quinsey that will make this a real long year for the Tartans.

  • Guru/James,

    re: Roddy’s quote.

    The last three years … OUR LEAGUE … he’s referring to D-Ranch’s league the past three years, not the Hacienda … and if you look at D-Ranch’s league the past three years, Charter Oak, Charter Oak and West Covina won the league and won the division.

  • reality

    Not 1 fresh take. Bloggers have made the same points 100 times this off season. Arcadia plays in the Southeast dummy. But there is one thing I have to hand it you for, all your butt kissing of Aram and the Trib guarantees you at least 1 more article. Too bad for us.

  • D-Mo

    On #7, CO doesn’t need a state ranking to make an impression. I’m not saying they would beat BA, or that they should be the SGV #1 because I haven’t seen BA yet. But I’ll say this, they are looking very good….and lots of young talent to boot. Aram isn’t imagining things.
    Glendora may be the first fall under the new mercy rule.

  • Mike the Clone

    The so called Guru over thinks his own thinking! I think….Gezzz!

    Mike the Clone



  • SD

    why do you think kyle won’t play this year or next?

  • FBFan

    Mr. Guru,

    I have heard you sing praises for Devantay Brown from San Dimas and they are very deserved since he is an outstanding athlete. But if he is in the eyesight of colleges, Garrett Horine definitely should be. There were several times when Garrett put some major punishments on Brown on both sides of the ball. I’m sure Brown is seeing #23 in his nightmares.