Saturday, August 25, 2012

Upon further review: week zero

Now that the first week has officially come and gone, here's an overview on certain prospects:

--Lavon Coleman of Lompoc isn't just as good as advertised, he might be the greatest running back ever produced in their program history, even better than former Brave Napolean Kaufman. At 5-foot-11, 210 pounds, Coleman already has better size than the 5-foot-8, 190 pound Kaufman. He's already got more power and bounced off of four different Arroyo Grande defenders on his biggest run of the evening on Friday, a 68 yarder in the second quarter. The biggest stunner, though, is how fluid Coleman is with his elusiveness, which is scaringly identical to Kaufman when the former Oakland Raider was a Brave. The Washington commit finished with 17 carries, 170 yards and two touchdowns in Lompoc's 31-0 romp over the traditional 805 powerhouse Arroyo Grande, who could have sorely needed Oklahoma State commit Seth Jacobs in their secondary last night.

--The jury is still out for me regarding Ainnu Taua. I could see why schools like Arizona and Utah are after him, thanks to Taua's combination of speed, power, and hand technique. He doesn't appear to be the most discipline of players though, especially on defense. He was in a good position to make at least three stops behind the line of scrimmage, but dove at the ankles from his defensive end spot. He can correct this with nine games left. I do like his aggression level as a blocking tight end. He may grow into a guard at the next level thanks to his upper body strength, hand leverage, and motor.

--Taylor Cornejo needs to build off of not only his 1,075 yard performance from last season to draw heavy interest, but also must show people he can wear down the trenches inside. He clearly looks like a one-dimensional back with acceleration to the outside. He can be an effective fly sweep guy. But bulk and an improved ability to break tackles will be a must for him to draw interest somewhere. Maybe he can fit someone's pistol or triple option offense.

--Going over to the Central Section, Adrian Salas of Clovis looks like a player to watch. Salas had his coming out party for the Cougars thanks to 10 tackles and one interception on defense, while two touchdowns running and receiving on offense, as the Cougars stunned area and state powerhouse Edison-Fresno 27-10. Salas, a 5-foot-10, 190 pound senior running back and linebacker, was on a Clovis defense who frustrated highly-touted quarterback Khari McGee all night, thanks to four interceptions, two of them from ball-hawking safety Jason Black, a three-year varsity starter.

--Speaking of McGee, I know it's just one game, and Clovis will likely be the last real legit defense the Tigers will face all season, since their league opponents have been rather up-and-down on defense over the years. But, this one game was against last season's No. 1 Central Section defense, and McGee was intercepted four times and appeared to also be flustered as a runner. This may cause college coaches to wonder how he'll fare against other speedy and athletic defenses, or some of the top defenses he'll face in general. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back with Carson and Crenshaw coming up. McGee's character will clearly be tested.

--Another character being tested this season is 2014 quarterback prospect Jacob Young of Hanford. I heard rumblings that Young is reminding people of former Centennial-Bakersfield star and USC backup quarterback Cody Kessler. I don't think Kessler would have been sacked six times, picked off twice, or held to 59 yards passing in any games even against a loaded defense. Not discouraging Young, he's got a great deep ball, but last night could have cemented his case of being a highly-recruited quarterback in the state by going against the Grizzlies' renown secondary. Central took him and the air attack away easily last night.

--Devon Brewer of Central is next in line for Tony Perry for the Grizzlies. The junior, who's already armed with four offers from the mid-major ranks, led the way with two interceptions and one 31 yard touchdown score. Teams will likely throw away from L.J Moore and Oklahoma commit Hatari Byrd. Unless something catastrophic happens, Brewer is due for a huge junior year, and may become one of the more highly-recruited safeties in 2014.

--Nick Wilson is already appearing to be comfortable in the Grizzlies' new run-heavy pistol offense. Wilson, who's in the same backfield that once produced Brendon Bigelow (Cal) and Rob Johnson (Fresno City, Mountain West and PAC-12 offers), ran for 181 yards and three touchdowns in Central's 44-3 romp over the Bullpups.

--A sleeper in the Central Section at quarterback could be Marcus McMaryion of Dinuba. He's actually a much taller prospect than last year's starter David Rico, who's now at Cal Lutheran. The 6-foot-2 McMaryion has size, a smooth rocket arm, and even a sense of comfort in the pocket. His pocket awareness has what got me sold along with his delivery. More exposure and a breakout junior year could lead to heavy interest for him. He already introduced himself to Dinuba fans thanks to five touchdown passes in the Emperors' 42-26 win over Madera on Friday.

--Finally, Bakersfield has a strong chance at being the best team in the state period with their talent level, and their 48-14 trouncing against a proud Ventura squad that was 11-1 last year. Jeremiah Reddick should get heavy interest soon, the junior opened the year up with 118 yards, on just six carries and a score. Fellow junior Derrick Vickers also reached the end zone twice. Both are around six feet, 170 pounds and explosive through the open holes.

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