Thursday, August 30, 2012

Prospect watch for week one: The JC scene

Photo courtesy of
This weekend signifies the start of college football, and while the Top 25 will be on display, so will a number of college kids dreaming of the four year level lifestyle.

There's some notable games with some quality prospects this weekend. Here's some of the highlight games from the junior college curcuit:


The Falcons gave the Rams all they could handle, but Fresno City won in exciting fashion 44-37 last year. That was one of many victories for the powerful Rams, as they made their run at the state championship and appears stacked again.

PROSPECT WATCH FOR FRESNO CITY: The Rams have got to have one of the best quarterback depths in the junior college scene. Both quarterbacks on the roster this year Mike Baker (Central-Fresno) and Trey Mitchell (Clovis, Arizona Western College transfer) are identical passers and can even terrorize defenses with their legs. Both are also near similar in size at 6-foot-3 and should fit nicely in this up-tempo approach the Rams have built under veteran head coach Tony Caviglia. While both are new to the Rams, powerful Rob Johnson is not and he's back to terrorize the trenches once again. The north-south grinder is a punishing runner who still has the PAC-12 and Mountain West intrigued with his throwback running style. Josiah St. John, who has drawn interest from the Big XII and the SEC on the offer front, is back. The 6-foot-6, 280 pound St. John protects the blindside for the Rams and is a mauler in the run game, since he's usually seen driving his defenders back 5-10 yards. Another mauler is 6-foot-4, 280 pound incoming freshman tackle Ernie Acosta (Central-Fresno), who could form a nice tackle tandem with St. John. On defense, safety Donell Vercher could be the top playmaker, after a strong freshman campaign with three interceptions under the coaching of former NFL player Cameron Worrell.

PROSPECT WATCH FOR WEST HILLS: Looks like cornerback Motrez Butts returns for the Falcons, who are usually quite athletic on defense. Butts picked off eight passes last season as a freshman.


Modesto would have actually taken the Central Valley Conference championship if it weren't for the Rams last year. As for Merced, they're looking to take the next step from their 4-6 2011 season.

PROSPECT WATCH FOR MERCED: There should be plenty of size and speed for the Blue Devils up front. But it seems it all begins with Adron Collins, who nearly had 15 tackles behind the line and bounces between defensive end and tackle. Versatile weapon Tyrell Vinson also returns to bring back kicks and punts for the Blue Devils. He averaged nearly 23 yards per kickoff last season. 

PROSPECT WATCH FOR MODESTO: It's Aaron Fields' show now at Modesto College. The small but gritty and rugged runner is looking to build off of his 816 yard and eight touchdown freshman year from 2011 with the Pirates.


The Tigers have sent players to the SEC and Big XII ranks in the past. As for the Giants, they got a secondary who's Big XII and SEC bound after this season.

PROSPECT WATCH FOR REEDLEY COLLEGE: Marcus Dallas was one of the lone bright spots for what was an awful Tiger defense last season, which surrendered 40 or more points on seven occasions in 2011. Dallas earned All-CVC honors from his defensive end spot. Freakishly quick with a 4.7 40 yard dash time, Dallas uses his speed to his advantage and has solid size at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds. Dallas currently holds an offer from Jackson State. Linebacker Rodney Thomas is the one the Tigers will probably look to for a blitz in their 3-5-3 look.

PROSPECT WATCH FOR SEQUOIAS: It all starts with the loaded secondary at COS. All four defensive backs, from Darren Dotson, Stormey Butler, Brandon Bagley (photo) and Steven Nelson are all committed somewhere for the 2013 class. Everyone except for Nelson (Georgia) is heading to Texas Tech next season. All four bring imposing size, ball skills and the threat to put six on the board with their speed to go the distance. The Giants also may have struck gold by getting former Norte Dame commit Tee Shepard on board in their secondary. Shepard left the Fighting Irish after enrolling early at the school. He could see some time in the nickel and dime looks.

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