Monday, October 15, 2012

The JUCO scene: week eight

Photo courtesy of Lee Central Coast Newspapers
Here's what stood out on the junior college level from Saturday:

--Much like how his late uncle Junior Seau terrorized opposing ball carriers, Ian Seau is doing his part at striking fear into quarterbacks at Grossmont College. Seau, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound versatile demon rusher collected three more sacks and tallied 11 tackles in the 26-23 victory over Golden West College. Seau also forced a fumble and recovered one. The former Kansas State commit returned to his home region because of the stories of him not liking being far away from home. Now, with 16.5 sacks through seven games, maybe a stateside four-year institution, especially Big East bound and nearby San Diego State can try and pursue him. He'll fit perfectly for a 3-4 as an outside linebacker.

--Though his team lost, Allan Hancock College-Santa Maria running back Cameron Artis-Payne has put together a dazzling year. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound running back is becoming one of the most highly coveted prospects to ever come out of the 805 junior college, thanks to 135 carries, 1,116 yards, an average of 8.3 yards per carry, 14 rushing touchdowns and, in all six games for the Bulldogs, his lowest rushing output was 125-yards versus Cerritos College on Saturday in the 55-25 defeat. Artis-Payne (photo) combines as a north-south grinder and a breakaway threat to go the distance with his 4.5 40-yard dash speed. His combination of burst, vision, power and determined running makes him one of the top running backs in the state J.C scene. He's also getting the attention of Utah and Washington now of the PAC-12.

--Another running back starting to get attention is Kristoffer Olugbode of San Francisco City College. He's another speed demon on the field, but his power and inside running has improved as the year progresses on for the 6-0 defending state champions. His most recent outing saw an average of 4.4 yards per carry on 28 carries, 124-yards and two touchdowns. His last game was a 31-carry, 216-yard and five touchdown game against previous unbeaten American River College. Kind of skeptic how a guy from state power Bellarmine Prep in San Jose, who drew the interest of Washington and a slew of PAC-12 schools would still end up at the J.C level. Maybe Olugbode got lost in the shuffle for the always deep Bells' backfield. But nonetheless, the Rams have an electrifying and productive runner.

--For quarterbacks, Diablo Valley College's Quinn Kaehler is breaking out as a pocket-passer. The tall 6-foot-4, 205-pound signal caller has had just one game where he's thrown two touchdowns only. All the other games? He's reaching three to five, including the five he tossed as the Vikings lit up Reedley College 49-21 on Saturday. Kaehler was even picking apart a Tiger defense that's been good about creating turnovers and rushing the passer. Kaehler threw for 441 yards in the Saturday win and currently has 2,813 yards, a 61.4 percent completion percentage, 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His cannon, quick-release and vision are making him a potential top prospect in the state junior college scene now.

--Finally, is there perhaps a more rejuvenated Ebahn Feathers down at Ventura College? The former top recruit for Fresno State, who had a very decorated prep career at Washington Union-Fresno but had an awkward throwing motion, plus struggles with learning the playbook has still remained the starter for 7-0 Ventura. His season so far has 1,534 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns, six interceptions and some Offensive Player of the Week recognition earlier this season. On Saturday, he threw 289-yards and four touchdowns as the Pirates won a shootout with College of the Canyons 44-37 on Saturday.

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