|Photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna|
--Over at Fresno City, two players I've kept my eyes and ears on are actually looking much more changed in a good way. They're former Central-Fresno teammates Mike Baker and Rob Johnson.
--Beginning with Baker, there's no question that he has the arm and other intangibles to be a top quality passer, proven by his four touchdown evening against a pretty solid Reedley College defense. However, I'm starting to notice his composure has changed for the time being. When Baker (photo) made mistakes, he had a tendency to let that sink to his head, then get down on himself during his prep career. After two fumbles though, Baker was quick to shake it off, then engineered a 96-yard drive with the winning touchdown pass versus the Tigers. If he can continue to maintain that attitude, he could become highly recruited again.
--As for Johnson, he showed something rare on Saturday, a cutback ability. Johnson is known more for wearing down the heart of a defense with his north-south running style. However, he looked much quicker and showed that rare plant and burst on Saturday night. He actually looks much faster than before.
--On defense, the Ram secondary still looks athletic and intimidating. Even despite surrendering 338 passing yards to the Tigers plus two touchdowns through the air, Fresno City's DB's still provided the boom and had two crucial interceptions, including Duron Singleton's pick in the end zone to seal the 28-24 win. There was also the nasty hit Donnell Vercher delivered in the fourth quarter on Tiger wide receiver WIll Hanford, which looked as if Hanford flew towards the track at Reedley High's Sal Gonzalez Field. Trevor Baker also provides some hands in the press coverage plus imposing size at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds.
--The Tigers may actually have a star on offense in Sean Stell. The former Washington Union quarterback, who once tossed touchdown passes to the celebrated All-American Deontay Greenberry (University of Houston), brought new and much-needed energy to a struggling Tiger offense. Stell's quick delivery and his ability to escape defenders actually came against one of the better defenses in the state junior college scene. He may become the quarterback that turns around a Reedley College team that's fallen on hard times, even at 0-3 right now.
--San Francisco City is back at scoring at will, thanks to their 71-6 onslaught over West Hills-Coalinga. One weapon to mention is Kristoffer Oglubode (Bellarmine Prep-San Jose). The 5-foot-9, 190 pound sophomore is elusive, quick and even powerful with an average of over seven yards per carry. He had 14 carries for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the 65-point drubbing of the Falcons.
--One other small running back gaining attention is Lanier Logan of Sacramento City College. In the Panthers' first win of the year on Saturday, Logan was almost Marshall Faulk or Ray Rice-like with his 249 total yards from scrimmage running and receiving in the 37-32 victory over Santa Rosa. The 5-foot-9 Logan is another small, quick, and explosive running back in the junior college scene.
--Former Fresno State quarterback Ebahn Feathers is trying to burst back on the football scene. But this time, the former prized recruit from Washington Union is down in the 805 at Ventura College, who's off and running at 3-0. Feathers so far has eight touchdown passes, four interceptions, and a completion percentage of 65 percent. He was 27-of-40 for 330 yards, two touchdown passes and three interceptions in the 39-35 victory over L.A Harbor. He's starting to make good use of 6-foot-1, 180-pound wide receiver Dylan McDaniel, who had his first century mark game this season with eight catches for 118 yards and one touchdown reception.
--One notable defender to keep an eye on in this scene is Ian Seau. The nephew of the late Junior Seau and former Kansas State defensive end has a state-leading nine sacks in three games for Grossmont College, who sits at 2-1 right now. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Seau's breakout game was a five sack evening in the 36-3 rout over Desert College in the season opener for Grossmont.