Thursday, January 31, 2013

In the (Mix)on

Photo courtesy of
Looks like schools from the Mid-Major ranks to the Bowl Championship Series realm will make its stop in California for perhaps the best running back in the nation - Cali's own Joe Mixon.

Mixon, a Bay Area product from Freedom High School in Oakley, has received Adrian Peterson comparisons and has 19 offers - as a junior!

These offers aren't from the Football Championship Subdivision ranks either. Fresno State, Nevada and Boise State of the Mountain West has offered. Half of the PAC-12, including nearby Cal has made the offer for him. Running back-heavy Wisconsin wants to try and lure him in and even the mighty Southeastern Conference has Arkansas and Texas A&M trying to snatch him up.

His film definitely shows why he's worth all the hype. He's got nice size at 6-foot-1, 200-pounds. His burst through the hole makes him ahead of most of his peers. What sticks out the most, though, is his freakish combination of speed and power. One game saw him shed six different tacklers en route to a 28-yard gain.

Mixon also is a valuable receiver out of the backfield with his same explosive burst through a hole. He returns kicks too for Freedom High and brings an array of juke moves and power.

He'll need to polish his ball-handling ability. Like Adrian Peterson, Mixon too was caught swinging the football away from his body.

Mixon is one of the few running backs in the California prep scene that can clearly run around you or over you. By the time he's done with his senior year and with an even bigger 2013, perhaps every Football Bowl Subdivision school will offer him. He's becoming one of the most highly recruited California running backs in years.

More on Mixon can be found here.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Captain Chaos" leads Buffalo stampede

Photo courtesy of Max Preps
One of the top linemen in the Sac-Joaquin Section goes by what should be one of the more popular nicknames under the Friday night lights in that region - Captain Chaos.

Sounds like the nickname for Billy Sharmoug was given by teammates, coaches and also beat writers in that region. Well, after watching this massive 6-foot-1, 299-pound offensive guard in my film room, he does bring chaos in the run game.

Sharmoug was a powerful road clearer for the Manteca Buffaloes. He showed powerful leverage on his blocks and a mean streak to drive his defender to the grass. I noticed that Manteca preferred running up his side, probably because of his rugged blocking. He was also the lead option for Manteca when they needed a pulling guard to help set up the counter or trap run plays.

Down the road, I need to see how he handles pass blocking and speed rushers. He also looked like he didn't have the quickest feet. However, this class of 2014 prospect has one full year of developing that trait. In the classroom, he's carrying a 3.3 grade point average.

With continued development and more exposure, the lineman known as "Captain Chaos" could emerge as the biggest sensation in Manteca since pop diva Dev.

More on Sharmoug can be found here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Say hey for Don'Yeh

Photo courtesy of
This is the time period where the window begins to close on the 2013 class, but begins to open up for the 2014 prospects.

In the case for one Compton wide receiver, Dominguez High's Don'Yeh Patterson could be the most physical wideout for the 2014 class.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Patterson is already blowing up on the recruiting trail. He's earned interest from the likes of Boise State, Colorado, Nevada, UCLA and already holds an Idaho offer. 

When looking at Patterson on film, you could see a wide receiver who has the potential to be a match up nightmare when lining up before the snap, or also with the ball in his hand. The tall Patterson proved to be a strong possession type with his ability to make the tough middle grabs. His ball control when hauling the tough grabs were a plus. He hauled in 37 catches for 586-yards and four touchdowns.

His physical nature, however, should be why schools will look into him more. He showed an ability to carry defenders on his back with his upper body strength plus has a refusal to stop his legs from moving. His first step off the line is an explosive one too and is quick to get open.

Blocking ability I haven't seen yet out of him. I also haven't seen his ability to run the long routes and catch the deep ball. Yet, looking at his size and physical nature makes him one to keep an eye on down in the Los Angeles area. He's also carrying a 3.5 grade point average and is the nephew to former Oregon star wide receiver Jaison Williams. 

More on Patterson can be found here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Junior College linemen heating up

Photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna
Three different linemen are starting to gain heavy interest as the final recruiting period begins to gain ground.

One is a powerful offensive lineman now armed with 15 offers, including a recent one from the Orange Bowl Champions. Another is a versatile defender getting Football Championship Subdivision love and an Illinois offer. The final one is a high-motor defensive end who became one of the state's best pass rushers.

Here's three guys to help keep an eye on through the final recruiting push at the J.C ranks:


Kondolo has become one of the more sought-after prospects in the junior college scene, with a total of 15 offers now on the table for him, including a recent Florida State offer.

After looking at Kondolo closely, he's earned the heavy interest. Let's just say, he can be the type of guy where an offensive line coach would want five Chongo Kondolo's on his line, because of his aggressive playing style.

The gritty 6-foot-4, 290-pound Kondolo has one viscous pop at first contact that can rattle his defender, plus knock him back nearly one yard. His run blocking is his main strength. He's a mauler who wants to drive his opponent straight to the ground.

His pass blocking will need to be an area of improvement, since he doesn't always show quick feet plus he tends to have the wrong hip direction. He's also been caught standing up on occasion and tries to resort to muscling a guy around. His ability to run block plus his size might get him to move over to guard with his next team.

In the end, however, if you're a fan of brute force, you'll love watching a guy like Kondolo. Defenders don't appear to be safe when going against this rugged lineman one-on-one.

More on Kondolo can be found here.


The Tigers had one of the worst defenses in the state the last couple of years. However, you could tell who was one of the bright spots just by looking at the winner of the 2012 Golden Gate Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Dallas (photo) is a 6-foot-4, 245-pound athletic defensive end now armed with seven offers, including Appalachian State of the FCS, Nevada of the Mountain West and Illinois of the Big Ten. Dallas has an explosive get-off from the line and can get around offensive tackles. He was more of a run stopper for the Tigers' 3-5-3 look, but he does have some pass rushing skills thanks to his hustle and refusing to stop his motor.

He does tend to rely on brute force to get past his blocks. He'll also need to polish his hand technique at the next level. Some schools have also tried to recruit him as an outside linebacker.

Dallas has excellent size and hustle to become a difference maker for his next defense. Too me, he can do more damage as a book end in a 4-3 scheme thanks to his ability to burst around the corner and stuff the run. He's next in line at a school that produced notable college football defenders Donyell Booker (Fresno State), Sylvester Brinkley (Texas Tech) and Doug Langenfeld (Auburn).

More on Dallas can be found here.


Borel was one of the fiercest pass rushers in the state - with 19 total sacks in 2012.

His first step is a freakishly explosive one. In one second, he's already five yards up the field and then chasing down the quarterback.

He does rely on a rip move to get past his blockers along with his quick burst. Like Dallas, he's another hustle player who won't stop trying. One area to wonder will be his ability to handle double teams, because he rarely drew two blockers during this past season at Butte College.  Still though, a defense in need of a pass rush should get a significant boost with Borel, who has four offers ranging from Middle Tennessee State, Troy, Texas State and incoming Big East member Houston.

More on Borel can be found here.

For a Purpose

Photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna
Let me first off start out by saying what an honor it was to take part in the 2013 Purpose Field Camp in Clovis.

I remember when former Sacramento State wide receiver and Ex-St. Louis Ram practice squad player Elon Paige created Purpose Field's camps, he had not even 10 players showing up and getting work in. However, on Saturday, Paige brought out nearly 40 kids from Clovis, Fresno, to as far as Hanford, Reedley and Tulare.

One highlight was Paige bringing out his father Stephone to talk to the kids about staying humble, staying in faith and influencing them that you don't need to be the popular kid in high school or a mega star to make it in the NFL. Stephone Paige told the kids his journey as an undrafted wide receiver out of Fresno State who went on to play 11 seasons in the NFL. He then shared what he called one of his greatest accomplishments: raising three athletic children that became college graduates.

Some potential future collegiate athletes took the field at Alta Sierra Middle School behind Buchanan High's Veterans Memorial Stadium. The end result are some 2014, 2015 and 2016 prospects who could break out soon with continued work. Truth be told, every kid stood out for waking up on a Saturday to get better for next season. If I had a choice, though, six players captured my attention. Here's who stood out:

--Bullard High's Dejonte O'Neal (photo) stole the show with his speed and versatility. The 2014 prospect was certainly the fastest player on the field and became the top option as a wide receiver and one of the top cover cornerbacks in the camp. O'Neal, who says his natural position is running back, impressed with his ability to quickly recover from slipping during runs. His breakaway speed made him a match up problem for whoever lined up against him and says Utah of the PAC-12 is the lone school talking to him.

--Speaking of match up problems, fellow Bullard High teammate Ricky McCoy will be one to keep an eye on in West Fresno. McCoy is only a sophomore, but is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound tight end who's capable of giving opposing defensive backs fits. McCoy is currently growing into his tight end role, since he was an offensive tackle early in his Bullard Knight career. However, he showed his size and athleticism on the field. He'll need to polish his routes, because he had a tendency to stop his feet. But make no mistake, continued development could make him the best tight end in the Central Section for 2013-2014 and next in line at the same school that produced former Bullard tight end Ian Taubler (UCLA).

--Clovis West looks like a once proud program that's fallen on hard times. However, two young Golden Eagles could give the school hope for the future. Freshman Quarterback Trace Garabedian became the most impressive quarterback with his ability to make the long throws and quick release. He should grow soon from his current 5-foot-6 frame. Wide receiver Darian Owens showed some fast route running skills and an ability to make the tough middle grabs.

--Reedley High is currently searching for a new head coach, plus a new identity after a dismal 2-8 season in 2012. However, massive 5-foot-10, 200-pound sophomore Greg Quezada will give the new regime something to look forward too. Quezada was a bulldozer best known in Reedley for his 191-yard night versus Roosevelt-Fresno. At the Purpose Field camp, however, Quezada turned heads with how quick his feet were for a guy his size. In an area not known for being a college football factory, Quezada could emerge as a highly touted prospect for the city of Reedley with continued progress.

--Defensively, Mount Whitney-Visalia's Abel Tavarez has shut down corner written all over him. The 2014 prospect blanketed receivers all day and has a physical jam at the line of scrimmage. While his size may be a drawback at 5-foot-8, his speed and physical nature could make him a hidden gem in the Central Section.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Van Nuys RB going unnoticed

One of the more versatile players in the Los Angeles City Section happens to be one of the more unnoticed during this last minute recruiting period.

Van Nuys High School running back Kyle Jean hasn't heard from too many people. Too me, this sounds perplexing since he's in the biggest hotbed for football recruiting - the L.A region.

Plus, after watching his film, I'm stunned not too many people have gone after this versatile and explosive player. He's also won over former state of California star and NFL running back Reggie Bush.

Jean runs the ball, returns kicks, catches out of the backfield and also snatched six interceptions for Van Nuys. He totaled 2,485 yards while being out on the field (2,035 rushing, 450 receiving). He was the main cornerstone for a Wolves team that finished 10-2 this past football season thanks to all those yards, picks and 35 total touchdowns.

On the field, Jean has burst and a juke. He'll fake out defenders with his elusiveness. He's also shown to be strong enough to go between the tackles despite his 5-foot-9 frame and along with his elusive nature, also has a spin move that can shake defenders.

I was most impressed with his second gear when finding an opening on the field. Once he bounces outside and takes off, he showed a quicker burst after the first five yards.

He does tend to rely more on his speed and elusiveness. I didn't see him run anyone over when he carried the rock, so that will make me wonder how powerful he can be as a runner. He'll also need to be more consistent with his stiff arm at the next level.

He has heard from New Mexico State and Montana, but Montana had no scholarships to offer according to him. He currently carries a 3.0 core grade point average. Sometimes I also wonder if some schools are turning him away because of his small stature.

In the end, however, this is not only one of the more explosive players in the L.A region, but he just may be the best kept secret in that renown recruiting region.

More on Jean can be found here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Kemp ready to break out

Looks like Buchanan High School in Clovis could still be in great shape on the perimeters, despite Billy East leaving for Army thanks to emerging 2014 prospect Trenton Kemp.

Kemp, who will be a three-year varsity letter winner in the 2013-2014 season, turned heads at the U.S All-American Combine  from Jan. 3 to Jan. 5.

Despite missing most of his junior year, Kemp managed to hit the ground running to get back into shape and have an early head start on his senior year, with showing up at the event that produced the likes of NFL stars Jamaal Charles, Percy Harvin and Patrick Peterson.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Kemp ended up with the highest vertical jump out of all the wide receivers present at San Antonio. The tall target had his highest jump at 37.5 inches. His vertical wasn't the only area that got spectators to take notice - he ran a 40-yard dash time of 4.48 and showed his upper body strength by bench pressing 185-pounds 23 times.

The skills he's developing now could make him one of the more explosive wide receivers in the Central Section for 2013-2014. He'll be a reliable red zone option thanks to his size. But he already has an explosive get-off from the snap of the football and is very fluid with his hips when running his routes. When healthy, he's versatile enough to double as possession/red zone target or as a deep threat. For a balanced offense like the one Buchanan has ran in the past, Kemp showed to also be an effective decoy in the run game - thanks to being one of the Bears' top options for a crack block on sweep plays.

Bulk will still be needed. He'll also need to show people he can play a full 10 regular season games. But the work ethic is making him one to watch this off-season and in 2013-2014.