Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Davidson lands two offers in one week

Kevin Davidson looks for an open wide receiver during Passing Down's Nor Cal regional on March 15, 2015 at Livermore. The McClymonds (Oakland) quarterback has skyrocketed to two scholarship pledges from the Football Championship Subdivision realm in one week (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna). 
Kevin Davidson – who’s been waiting awhile for his first set of football scholarship offers – can now sum up his recruiting process in six words:

“Everything has actually been coming together.”

The Class of 2016 prospect from McClymonds High School in Oakland has been throwing the football in front of different college football coaches during the spring and has seen his mailbox get flooded with letters from Cal, Stanford, Washington and Georgia – but he didn’t land any offers from those programs.

His recruiting period changed, though, with two pledges coming from the University of San Diego on May 21 and Sacramento State on May 28.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Davidson, who has played varsity football since his sophomore year, said the USD coaches made a solid impression on him.

“I had a great conversation with the coaches. They told me that I was a great kid,” Davidson said. “They actually never watched me throw (in person), but they showed up to my school, liked my film and offered.”

He had a short workout session in front of the Hornet coaches, which led to a quick scholarship.

“After a couple of throws, they told me ‘We’ve seen enough, here’s your offer,’” Davidson said.

Davidson emerged as a NCAA Division I prospect in his sophomore year when he played at San Ramon Valley High in Danville.



He threw his name into the recruiting ringer early. He became the quarterback for Kenion Training DI Elite during the 7on7 season and led his club squad to back-to-back appearances at the Passing Down Best of the West regional in 2014 and ’15. He then took home the hardware for Most Valuable Player among quarterbacks at the Elite 11 regional on May 17 in San Leandro.


While he can finally say he’s been offered a scholarship, Davidson said he’s not ready to decide which college he’ll attend.


“It just depends on where the right fit is,” Davidson said. “I have no timetable, but it might be sometime in the middle of my senior year and National Signing Day.” 


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summer camps coming

The next two weekends in California will provide an opportunity for prospects to get recognized in front of national writers and NCAA Division I college coaches. Here's what's coming up in the Golden State:



ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

The Athletic Performance gym in Clovis - which has helped mold college and NFL draft prospects - will host a combine for prep football players in the Central Valley at Fresno City College on Saturday, May 30.

Athletes will run a series of tests from the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump and the bench press. All results will be sent to national prep football writers/scouts and college coaches.

The AP gym has trained future college and professional football players. Athletes who trained at AP have moved on to the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, UCLA, Missouri, Nebraska, etc.

Registration for the camp starts at 8 a.m. The combine will run from 9 a.m. to noon.

Fresno City College is located on 1101 E University Ave. in downtown Fresno. For more information, call (559) 324-9000 or visit www.apfresno.com.



T1 SPORTS ACADEMY

T1 Sports Academy in Fresno is hosting the Central Valley Rising Stars Camp on Sunday, June 7, featuring coaches from the University of Arizona and Nevada.

The camp will be held at Bullard High School in West Fresno. Registration begins at 5 p.m. and the camp will go from 6-9 p.m.

T1 has helped produce future NCAA DI athletes. Notable T1 alums are Dejonte O'Neal (Fresno State), Ricky McCoy (Washington), Tyler Horton (Boise State) and Dehlon Preston (San Jose State).

Athletes who have a desire to play at the college football DI level are encouraged to attend, especially if they're in the 2016 and 2017 graduating class.

The cost is $30 and participants can also register online at T1SA.com.

Bullard High is located on 5445 N Palm Ave. near the Fig Garden Shopping Center.



GRIDIRON ACADEMY/GET IT DONE SPORTS

The duo of Gridiron Academy and Get It Done Sports will be holding two camps on Saturday, June 6, in Southern California featuring coaches from Boise State, Azusa Pacific, Cal Poly and Dixie State.

The morning camp will be held at Corona's Centennial High School, with walk-up registration starting at 8 a.m. and the camp running from 9 a.m. to noon.

Long Beach City College will be the site of the afternoon session, with registration starting at 2 p.m. and the camp going from 3-6 p.m.

Cost is $50 which includes online registration. Past Gridiron/Get It Done camp alums include James Jones IV (Air Force), 2016 prospect Davir Hamilton (Arizona State and Mountain West offers), 2016 prospect Kevin Davidson (University of San Diego offer) and 2014 recruit Marcus McMaryion (Oregon State).

The June 6 events is for players in the 2016, '17, '18 and '19 classes. For more information, visit www.TheGridironAcademy.com or call (310) 734-1397.

Centennial High is located on 1820 Rimpau Ave. in Corona. LBCC is on 4901 Carson St. in the Lakewood Village section of Long Beach.




Friday, May 22, 2015

Burg learns quick - and moves around for Righetti

Zach Burg has lined up in a variety of positions for Righetti High School in Santa Maria. The incoming senior has started to gain interest from the Ivy Leagues for his versatility and high grade point average (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna). 
Zach Burg of Righetti High School in Santa Maria describes himself as a quick learner on the football field – and his grades in the classroom helps explain his rapid way of thinking.

Burg holds a 4.8 grade point average, which makes him the smartest Righetti football player according to his coaches. During the Warriors’ non-league slate last season, Burg fired off from his three point stance on the defensive line and used his speed, hands and hustle to disrupt plays against opposing offenses. As the season winded down, Burg lined up at two unfamiliar spots: linebacker and fullback.

Burg, however, didn’t look like a lost soul on Friday nights despite having to learn two new positions. His brain cells and athleticism enabled him to adjust right away.

At linebacker, he showed his closing angles and aggression, as he emerged as one of the Warriors’ top run stoppers. Offensively, the 6-foot, 215-pound Burg plowed through opening holes with the ball in his hand or created running lanes by charging at a linebacker and removing him from the play.

Burg is now entering the 2015-16 campaign as not only the Warriors’ most movable player, but also their fastest thinker.

“He’s a team player. And, intellectually, he gets it,” his head coach Ed Herrmann said. “That really helps his football IQ because he plays multiple positions. A guy like that is very valuable to the team.”

Herrmann, who’s entering his third season of coaching at RHS, said Burg reminds him of former Tampa Bay Buccaneer fullback Mike Alstott and a former Righetti star: Tim Carroll, who bullied past defenses as a Warrior fullback during the 2000 and 2001 seasons.

While Burg doesn’t hesitate to take on multiple tasks on the football field, he admits he’s not the most athletic guy on the RHS practice field. However, he still takes pride in his work ethic and “team first” mindset.

“I may not have the overall speed and quickness, but with my aggression I just do whatever it takes to help my team win,” Burg said.

As RHS opened spring practice during the week of May 18, Burg was seen lining up in the I-Formation at fullback or in a two-point stance as an inside linebacker.

His role for both positions is simple: be more physical than the other guy.

But for someone who’s used to being a moving chess piece on the field, does he prefer offense or defense?

“I probably prefer defense because of the physical aspect. But also, playing defense is more congruent,” Burg said. “Everyone really works together and you’re closer as a group. Everyone works together to just get that one tackle.”

Burg’s versatility and academics have turned him into a potential NCAA Division I prospect for RHS. Burg said Dartmouth, Princeton, Brown and Cornell of the illustrious Ivy League are four schools asking about him. He said out of all of them he “really likes” Brown.

Burg describes his class load and football life as challenging but not overwhelming. His ability to manage his class schedule teaches him to be organized and ready to take on several duties on and off the field.

“They’re definitely pretty hard (his classes). For some people, there’s a common assumption that there’s a ton of homework and you have to sacrifice some things. But it’s all manageable. You can balance it,” Burg said.

He adds that he’s energized about this year’s Warrior team, as they look to build off of their 4-7 season from a year ago.

Said Burg: “This year, we have more talent and more hard working guys.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Camps coming up in the Golden State

For the next three weekends, four different football camps plan to help prospects with exposure and help give them a chance to shine against quality competition.

Here's all four events (in order of date):

Saturday, May 23



Football University will host a combine for 5th-11th graders at Newbury Park High School, with the top participants earning an invitation to the prestigious U.S. Army All-American game.

Registration begins at 3:30 p.m. The combine starts at 4 p.m. and concludes at 7 p.m.

Participants will receive a t-shirt and have their name listed on the U.S. Army-All America game watch list. 

The cost is $50. Participants will run through a series of drills including the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and one-on-one competitions between wide receivers and defensive backs.

For more information, contact Chad Carpenter at 602-570-8100 or ccaprenter@footballuniversity.org.

T1 Sports Academy and QB Fraternity linking up 


T1 Sports Academy in Fresno is teaming up with QB Fraternity to host an open training session for all student-athletes preparing for any upcoming college showcase camp.

The event will also allow athletes to pre-register for T1's June 7 camp featuring NCAA Division I football coaches.

The T1 and QB Fraternity camp starts at 3 p.m, at Northside Church in Clovis located on 2709 East Nees Avenue. 

May 30



Athletic Performance in Clovis will hold a Central Valley football combine featuring the top athletes in the San Joaquin Valley region.

All camp results will be sent to college coaches, national recruiting websites and local news outlets. The event is open to athletes from incoming freshman on to seniors. 

The cost is $20 per athlete and the event will be held at Fresno City College located on 1101 E. University Avenue.

The AP gym has helped produce future NFL players, as former Fresno State Bulldogs Cody Wichmann, Bryce Harris and Isaiah Green all trained at AP before moving on to the pro ranks. 

Visit combine.apfresno.com or cvfcombine.com to sign up or call (559) 324-9000 for more information.

June 7



The University of Arizona and University of Nevada-Reno will have coaches on hand at the Central Valley Rising Star camp hosted by T1 Sports Academy.

The Wildcat and Wolf Pack coaches will be on the Bullard High School (Fresno) field as they'll watch rising prep football stars in the Class of 2016 to '18 compete for a possible future scholarship. 

Cost of the camp is $30 per athlete. Registration starts at 5 p.m. The combine goes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Register online at T1SA.com. 







Spring ballin' - Righetti goes to work

May is the month when the track, baseball and softball season comes to a close, but football picks back up at the prep level. Cali Gold Mine got a chance to check out Righetti High in Santa Maria, as the Warriors kicked off their spring season on Monday, May 18. Here's some photos:






























Friday, May 15, 2015

Taylor is a human highlight reel in the Inland Empire

J.J. Taylor has not only landed four scholarship offers from the NCAA Division I realm, he's become an internet sensation with his array of moves on the football field (photo contributed). 
With his swift feet, field vision and his determination to keep both legs pumping against defenses, J.J. Taylor is a highlight reel waiting to happen.

Lately, the diminutive 5-foot-6 Taylor has become an internet sensation, with over 10,000 online viewers watching him either run through a defense in shoulder pads on Hudl, or getting a defender to do the splits after spinning away from him on You Tube.

Taylor’s Hudl film shows the Centennial High School (Corona) running back barging through an open hole, breaking loose from a defender trying to grab onto his uniform or ankles and then exploding into a speedy second gear for the long touchdown score. The twister maneuver he pulled on a defender at Passing Down’s Southern California regional on March 29 has not only landed on You Tube, but has surfaced on popular video website World Star Hip Hop and got former NFL wide receiver Bernard Berrian sharing the video to his Instagram followers.

Taylor caught a screen pass from his quarterback Tate Martell while competing with 702 Elite of Las Vegas. Taylor, who caught the pass on the right side of the field, planted his right foot toward an oncoming defender who was getting ready to tag him. But Taylor spun out of that defender’s way, leaving the defender falling to the Fontana sprint turf with his legs stretched out.



While his viral plays have gotten ooh’s and ah’s from spectators, family members and football fans browsing the internet, Taylor said he’s not bragging about being a sudden online star.

“I honestly wouldn't say that was the best play I've ever had,” Taylor said. “My dad loves it and my friends say I'm famous now, but I don't like to think that way until I'm in the NFL Hall of Fame one day and I hope that happens. That's always been my biggest dream.”

The Class of 2016 prospect has started to see a spike in his recruiting period. He’s landed four NCAA Division I scholarship offers from Montana State, Weber State, Sacramento State and the University of Ohio.

“All the conversations so far have been about building a relationship with them and what I want to study; plus all the good stuff the school has to offer,” Taylor said.

The 170-pounder led the Huskies with 1,657 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns last season. Three of his banner nights were against traditional Southern California powerhouses Orange Lutheran (266 yards), Long Beach Poly (200 yards) and Santiago of Corona (253 yards with six touchdowns).

While he’s received four scholarship pledges and has gained more notice in the talent heavy Inland Empire, Taylor said he thinks that most big time college football programs won’t make a run at him.

“To be honest when I was a kid I had two favorite schools: Arizona State and Boise State. But as I got older, I realized my size was going to limit me,” Taylor said. “So now, whoever is willing to take a chance on me is my favorite school - and those are the schools that offered me so far.”

Taylor, who’s listed as a 3-star prospect by recruiting websites Rivals and Scout, said that he’s mainly getting looks at running back but other coaches have told him they would consider playing him at a different position.  

“So far their interest (in me) has been at running back, but most of them have been talking about getting me in where I can fit,” Taylor said. “All I really want to do is play.”

Taylor describes himself as a leader by example and adds “I get the team going without verbal motivation.”

But through all the attention he’s received for his highlight reel plays, is he motivated by the opponents who underestimate him because of his stature?

“Honestly, I don't have anything to say to those who underestimate me. I let my talent show what I can really do,” Taylor said. 


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Edwards takes his leaps as a varsity freshman

Emoryie Edwards is looking like the future of Tulare Union High School after breaking out with 32 catches, 419 receiving yards and three touchdowns - as a freshman on varsity last season (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna). 
Like most incoming freshmen Tulare Union football players on the high school practice field, Emoryie Edwards watched, learned and became inspired by his older teammates.

Except Edwards wasn’t placed on the school’s freshman or junior varsity team. He got the promotion to have his name listed on the varsity roster.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Edwards got a chance to line up against elder high school football players in the Central Section last season. He tallied 32 receptions, 419 receiving yards and scored three times for the Redskins.

Now, he’s emerged as TUHS’s rising college prospect – especially at a school featuring Class of 2016 running back Romello Harris (10 scholarship offers) and the place that produced future NFL players Zac Diles, Virgil Green and Marquess Wilson.

Edwards said he did have an early fear with joining the varsity team.

“Yes, huge intimidation,” Edwards said. “It was actually hard on my family because they told me they didn’t want to see me do it (go on varsity). They told me ‘These are 17 or 18-year-old kids you’re going against.’”

But the juniors and seniors on TUHS took him in, even though Edwards jokingly said they quickly put him to work.

“My teammates would tell me ‘Freshman, get the cones! Freshman, get the bags!’ But they taught me the ropes,” Edwards said, smiling. “The senior wide receivers taught me the way of things and told me I’ve got to fill their shoes when they leave.”

He had five receptions or more in four games last season for the 7-5 Redskins. One of those performances was a 5 catch, 124-yard evening in a 49-28 rout of Kingsburg. Throughout the season, Edwards showed an early ability to play without phobias; as he would turn short screen passes into long gains or cut through the middle of the defense on a flag route and scamper to the end zone, with three or four defenders who crowded near him suddenly chasing him up the field.

“My route running and my catching (are my strengths). My hand-eye coordination is a big one I work on,” Edwards said. He adds that he develops his footwork and speed off the field.

He didn’t just elevate himself into one of the Redskins’ top receiving options, he brought the outside heat against quarterbacks and produced five sacks from his strong safety spot.

Edwards said his older teammates aren’t the only ones who motivate him. The past Redskin greats persuade him to reach for the stars whenever they stop by and give back to TUHS.


“They come back to the campus every offseason and we work out, do drills and they tell us about the NFL life. It motivates us to get to that point,” Edwards said.

CALI GOLD MINE'S TAKE

What to like: He's not afraid to take on a challenge despite being one of the youngest competitors on the field. Shows a willingness to dash inside and draw contact. He has solid balance and keeps his feet pumping after contact is made. He catches most of his passes by extending out his hands and hauling in the reception. Has a running back-like vision when he runs the football and knows when to make his cuts then burst toward the end zone. Also a willing blocker who'll step in and throw his body into a defender to help free his running backs.

What to build on: Down the road, he'll need to polish his blocking. He sometimes comes up too high and has to learn how to lower and bury his shoulder pads into a defender. I'll need to see more of his ability as a deep threat. Right now, he looks like someone who can catch the short throw and turn it into a long gain. 

Overall: Tulare Union's future is looking bright with Edwards expected to carry the torch once Harris graduates. With his big plays and character, he could be the headliner for the Central Section's 2018 class. 

More on Edwards can be seen here