Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Upon further review: Final week one thoughts

This one I'll try to keep short and simple, but as in-depth as possible. Plus, throw in what stuck out at me in the junior college scene this past week:

--One question I asked was how would Edison-Fresno's Khari McGee respond from one of his worse football performances ever, after tossing four interceptions in the stunning loss to Clovis. His answer? Three fourth quarter touchdown passes, including the game-winning 61 yarder to Preston Scott to win in come-from-behind fashion, a 26-21 victory over Los Angeles area powerhouse Carson. Looks like McGee has resolve and fight in him. So does Edison under Ricky Manning Jr.

--As for the team that stunned Edison last week, Clovis High, we know right here in the Central Valley they can compete with the best in the Central Section. However, following their loss to El Toro 30-10, we also know they still have a ways to go before they emerge as a state powerhouse.

--Speaking of El Toro, I'm starting to believe that Dominic Collins will get an influx of offers soon, just like his quarterback and Utah commit Conner Manning. The 6-foot-3, 170 pound junior caught 11 receptions for 126 yards and found flaws in a normally aggressive and quick Clovis defense.

--On to the JC scene, looks like Fresno City uses the "R" word every other year. No, not rebuilding--more like reloading. The Rams unveiled brand new future stars from quarterback Michael Baker, running back James Holland, and Nate Palomino on defense, as they smashed West Hills 30-6 on Saturday. The same West Hills that lost by a score of 44-37 last year to these same Rams. Baker, who once held PAC-12 and even MAC offers, combined for three touchdowns. Holland ran for 108 yards on 11 carries with one score, plus averaging 9.8 yards per carry. Palomino brings a pass rush in a two-point stance and a nose for the football. Oh, the trenches also still have to deal with big, bruising Rob Johnson, who averaged 6.8 yards per carry versus the Falcons.

--I finally got a chance to see what the College of the Sequoias secondary is all about. Well, they didn't blow me away, but I will say, they are real, real deep. I also saw why they receive the publicity they get among scouts. They don't give up too many big plays and even if they do, they're quick to force a punting situation. Gary Robinson grabbed an interception and gives them depth. Former Clovis East star Jerry "Bear" Haymon looks ridiculously chiseled and almost resembles a linebacker. He's a rugged hitter in that secondary. Darren Doston has the height and speed that can neutralize tall wide receivers, especially in the red zone. He's hard to pick on if you're a quarterback.

--I also must say, Reedley College looked vastly improved on defense. A unit that once surrendered 420 total points last season, including 41 to Sequoias in their 41-7 debacle, actually won the turnover battle versus College of the Sequoias with three interceptions. Cedric Fleming will be one to watch in the secondary, after getting one huge interception plus a devastating hit on a bubble screen during the Saturday game. Former Sanger quarterback Patrick Greene has made a nice transition to the other side, with two picks on Saturday. Linebacker Rodney Thomas brings a nasty streak from his linebacker spot, with two tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

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