Monday, June 24, 2013

Segura sizzles

Contributed photo
He looks small at 5-foot-9, plays for the tiny town of Mendota and his high school has played at the lowest level of competition in the Central Section at the Division-VI level.

You know what I say regarding Mendota 2014 running back Edgar Segura? Throw out his size, forget about where he plays at or what level of competition he's in. The kid can flat out play after watching him in my film room and from following his career in Fresno.

You're already looking at one of the most underrated running backs in the Central Section and perhaps the entire state. You could also be looking at a serious threat to rush for over 3,000 yards, especially since Segura ran for 2,507 yards as a junior with 41 touchdowns.

He's one of the most elusive runners in the Central Valley. He'll juke out defenders and run circles around people. He's also surprisingly strong for a kid who's nearly 165-pounds. Segura breaks through arm tackles and can knock defenders to the turf with his shoulders. His patience with allowing his blocks to get set up is a plus. His stature also makes him effective to play hide-and-seek with defenders, where he runs behind his linemen, then burst through an opening he sees.

He does tend to run upright and can work on consistently running at a low center of gravity. He's not the fastest running back and does get caught from behind. However, he's a workhorse and also an effective deep threat as a wide receiver.

He's been a Marshall Faulk-type back for the Aztecs, since Mendota uses him in so many ways as a runner and receiver. He'll need to add muscle to his frame if he goes the college route, regardless of NCAA level. He's had UNLV taken interest according to his head coach Beto Mejia.

I honestly don't care about the level of competition Segura is playing in. He can probably still be a 1,200 yard back at the D-I level in the Central Section. He's also a cornerstone for Mendota High with back-to-back section titles. He's become a big fish in Mendota's pond and has proven to be capable of swimming alongside some of the best players in the Central Valley.

More on Segura:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

On the recruiting trail

Photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna
Since Friday, June 21, some notable California high school prospects have found a college home. I've had an opportunity to watch these guys play and grow. Here's a trio who made their commitments:

*Jordan Lasley, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound speedster from traditional Los Angeles area powerhouse Serra-Gardena, decided to stay in the L.A area and play for UCLA. Lasley was a big-time playmaker at both Passing Down's So Cal Regional and in the Best of the West Finals. He's got a deadly combination of size and speed. He's also shown to be a tough possession type, with the knack of going across the middle and making the tough grab and for fighting for the air ball in the end zone. He's a pro-style wideout that Jim Mora should enjoy having at Westwood.

More on Lasley:

*Another wide receiver finds a new home, as St. John Bosco-Bellflower's Shay Fields committed to Boise State during the weekend. Fields isn't the biggest wide receiver on the field with his 5-foot-10, 170-pound frame. However, Boise State has done very well with small wide receivers under head coach Chris Peterson. Fields is a fluid route runner who completes his routes. He's also got an impressive head fake that can make cornerbacks second guess where he'll run. His run-after-catch ability is another strength, since he shows his track speed on the turf. Despite his size, he's a fundamentally sound wide receiver who's capable of being a marquee playmaker at the next level.

More on Fields:

*Finally, one guy I've had my eyes on since the beginning of his junior season, Dinuba quarterback Marcus McMaryion, quickly earned an Oregon State offer and committed on the spot. McMaryion (photo) blew spectators away at the Get It Done Sports camp in Concord on Father's Day with his arm, patience with wide receivers, decision-making and zip. Among the spectators was the entire Oregon State coaching staff. Head coach Mike Riley got a chance to spend some one-on-one time with McMaryion and was overheard saying how he really liked McMaryion. A visit to the campus at Corvallis sealed everything for the 6-foot-2, 170-pound signal caller. While bulk will still be needed, McMaryion has a chance to become one of the most athletic quarterbacks Oregon State has ever had. Not only can McMaryion light defenses up with his arm, but can hurt defensive schemes with his mobility. McMaryion should enter the 2013-2014 season with the possibility of being an All-State performer.

More on McMaryion:

CGM City/County All-Star gallery

A few prospects, some highlighted throughout the 2012 season on Cali Gold Mine, got a chance to play in one final high school game - the legendary 59th annual City/County All-Star game - which was held on Friday, June 21, at Clovis High's Lamonica Stadium.

Here's some of the pics (all photos by Lorenzo J. Reyna:

Buchanan ATH Billy East, who's heading to Azusa Pacific
Orange Cove RB/OLB Jared Velasquez, who will walk-on at Fresno State
Edison QB and Arizona commit Khari McGee
Edison OLB Tyrone Muhammed, who will play for Reedley College

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Athletes 'Get It Done' in front of Oregon State and Cal Poly

Photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna

I've been busy this week with different all-star games and camps, but found the time to highlight some top performers at a camp I got a chance to attend on Father's Day.
Got a chance to meet the Oregon State coaching staff and a few Cal Poly coaches. Great people! They had their eyes on numerous players.
After attending the Get It Done Sports Camp in Concord, there was a couple of prospects that caught my attention and the college coaches. Two who caught my eye were:
*McMaryion impressed Beaver head coach Mike Riley so much, that the veteran coach asked to see more reps from McMaryion and even told the Dinuba signal-caller to lead the team break after the camp. McMaryion impressed with his patience and zip.
*The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Houston showed an explosive get-off during penetration drills and powerful hands. He was also impressive with his hand technique. Houston landed an Oregon State offer earlier this week.
 Other top performers (including participants from Cerritos College):
Offensive Linemen: Redondo Union (Calif.) center Harry Whitson, Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial offensive guard Kamryn Bennett, Offensive guard, Apple Valley’s (Calif.) Troy Bacon.

Defensive linemen: Chino Hills (Calif.) 2015 defensive end Trent Goens.
Irvine (Calif.) Beckman rush end Charles Wright

Linebackers, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne’s Uchenna Nwosu. Uchenna received a offer.

Running backs: Vista Murrieta’s (Calif.) Kishawn Holmes, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian’s D.J. Riggins, Carson (Calif.) Daevon Vigilant. Richard Doctor, Lemoore (impressed Cal Poly).

Quarterbacks: Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei’s Chase Forrest, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian’s Brandon Dawkins, Canyon Country (Calif.) Canyon’s Cade Apsay and Long Beach Poly’s (Calif.) Tai Tiedemann,Upland (Calif.) Tyler Hilinski.

Wide receivers: Los Alamitos (Calif.) Dashawn Gordon, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei’s Ben Humphreys (2015), Buena Park’s (Calif.) Jaylinn Hawkins (2015), Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita’s Jeremy McNichols, Palmdale (Calif.) Highland’s Michael Sewell, Roseville (Calif.) Oakmont’s Justin Holmes and Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame’s Daniel Khan.

The DB group: Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) corner Artuz Manning, LB Cabrillo (Calif.) safety Darren Gardenhire, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) safety Kameron Powell (2015), LB Poly (Calif.) corner Demetric Woodard, LB Poly (Calif.) safety Elijah Moody and Upland (Calif.) safety Elijah Jones (2015).

Also in attendance (did not work out):

 Joe Mixon, running back, Freedom-Oakley

Naijiel Hale, cornerback, St. John Bosco
Iman Marshall, Defensive Back, Long Beach Poly
Cordell Broadus, Wide Receiver, Diamond Bar High School

Friday, June 14, 2013

CGM Photo Gallery

Cali Gold Mine pics from the summer 7-on-7 scene, featuring emerging Central Section prospects A.J Greeley (2015), Artie May (2015), Caleb Kelly (2016), Dejonte O'Neal (2014), Kaleb Bowen (2015), Ricky McCoy (2015), Greg Quezada (2015), Tyler Horton (2015), Vance Sams (2015) and Nick Cole (2016). Looking to get more pics at different camps/tournaments (all photos by Lorenzo J. Reyna):

Edison-Fresno dual-threat A.J. Greeley
Bullard-Fresno DB Artie May 
Clovis West TE/WR Caleb Kelly
Bullard RB/DB/KR Dejonte O'Neal
Bullard DB Kaleb Bowen
Bullard TE Ricky McCoy
Reedley RB/LB Greg Quezada
Edison WR/DB Tyler Horton
Edison MLB Vance Sams

Bullard QB/FS Nick Cole

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Six deep in the 805 trenches

Photo courtesy of Max Preps
One region in California could see a breakout season on the offensive and defensive lines. That region is down Highway 101: The Central Coast.

Santa Barbara and Ventura County has six prospects in the trenches that have either landed their first offer, is armed with 13 offers or has drawn a bevy of interest from the Mid-Major ranks and the PAC-12.

Here's a look at who to watch along the lines down in the 805:


Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 270

Offers: 13 (Arizona, Cal, Fresno State, Mississippi, UCLA and Wisconsin are among the schools who've offered).

*Not only the most highly-sought prospect in the 805, but Taua is one of the most coveted defensive linemen in the state with programs from the Southeastern Conference, Big Ten or PAC-12 after him. He's got an explosive get-off after the ball moves and uses an array of moves from the swim to the spin move to beat offensive linemen. Taua moves up-and-down the defensive line and his speed, athleticism and his motor helps energize the Braves. He's obviously undersized and will likely face more double teams this upcoming year. If he has an even bigger 2013, then the younger brother to former Nevada running back and city of Lompoc star Vai Taua could see up to 20 offers by December.

More on Taua:


Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 255

Offers: One (San Jose State)

Schools interested: Arizona, UCLA and Stanford

*Franke is built more like a college-level defensive end and has an explosion off the line that makes it look like he should be playing on Saturdays right now. He uses his arms very well and won just about every one-on-one battle against an offensive tackle or blocking back. One strength is his bull rush thanks to his speed, arm extension and upper body strength. He's another one that moves inside and out, plus I didn't see his motor stopping during plays. He probably should have more than just the San Jose State offer with the way he plays. Improving his hand technique even more should mean more interest from schools.

More on Franke:


Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 245

Offers: None

Schools interested: Cal Poly, Cal, Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State, USC, UCLA, Hawaii, San Jose State and San Diego State

*Another strong and feisty bull rusher, Krall wreaks havoc on both sides of the football. His penetration skills on defense is a plus, and he may end up generating more interest on that side of the ball because of his size and pass rushing ability. He does tend to let his emotions get the best of him and can have outbursts. Still, though, he's got the demeanor and style of play that can make a defensive line coach very happy. He's also quick off the line thanks to his 4.97 40-yard dash time.

More on Krall:


Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 275

Offers: None

Schools interested: Not known

*Navarro is a powerful run blocker who shows off a defensive lineman-like motor once he gets on his blocks. He won't stop until his opponent falls to the ground. He moves his feet well in both run blocking and in passing situations, but does tend to stand up and resorts to overpowering his opponents. He bounces between tackle and guard but looks more like a guard for the next level.

More on Navaro III:


Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 260

Offers: Two (San Diego State and Nevada)

Schools interested: Arizona, UCLA, Cal, Oregon, Utah, Washington State

*Salcedo (photo) is quietly getting on the scholarship radar with two Mountain West schools that have made an offer to the tall blocker. While Salcedo doesn't have the quickest feet and tends to come up high after the snap, he's got powerful strength and a mean streak. He'll either drive his defender 10-yards back or bury his defenders' back to the turf. Off the field, he carries a 4.0 grade point average and scored an 1800 on his SAT.

More on Salcedo:


Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 220

Offers: None

Schools interested: Not known

*Tooley was an All-County, All-Tri-Valley, All-City and All-CIF selection in Santa Barbara after helping lead the Cardinals to a 12-1 mark last year. While his size, explosive get-off from the line and red zone ability at tight end makes him an intriguing prospect on offense, he could make someone happy on defense with his athleticism and pass-rushing. Whether if he's in a three-point stance or standing up, Tooley runs around opposing offensive tackles for the sack and can haul down interceptions from his end spot. He's got long arms on him and can bull rush blockers to gain penetration to the quarterback. Tooley finished his junior year with 10.5 sacks for the Cardinals. He does tend to come up too high on tackles, but he's one of the Cardinals' best all-around athletes for 2013.

More on Tooley:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Reedley Pirate powerhouses

Greg Quezada (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna)
Time to travel through the blossom trails and head over to Reedley for two bruising and fast-rising prospects at Reedley High School.

When it comes to duos in football, we tend to think about a quarterback-wide receiver duo, or cornerback and safety pair. Very rarely does a lineman and running back duo get mentioned - until now.

Class of 2014 offensive lineman Ivan Espiritu and 2015 running back Greg Quezada could be one of the most underrated duos in the Central Section this fall. Both have been receiving lots of praise from new Pirate head coach and 31-year coaching veteran Mike Vogt, plus have had schools from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Mountain West Conference asking about them.

Both Pirates could be the most physical duo in the Central Valley. With a new regime coming in and both men on offense, expect Espiritu (6-foot-3, 273-pounds) to create space on the line and Quezada (5-foot-11, 200-pounds) to be the freight train for the Pirates.

Espiritu has an explosive get-off after the ball is snapped that's quite similar to a fast defensive lineman. He does a good job getting his hands on a defender right away then exploding into his opponent. He'll set a tone for any offensive line with his drive blocking and upper body strength. He's also played all five line spots. If there's anyone who loves watching offensive linemen putting defenders on their back, Espiritu will be one to watch under the lights this fall.

Quezada led the team in rushing as a sophomore last season while playing in the fast-paced fly offense. With his bulk and power, though, he's built more to go north-south and the perception around Reedley is that the Pirates will go between the tackles a lot this fall, which could mean a breakout junior season for Quezada. He's starting to remind me more of former University of Nevada star running back Vai Taua.

Right now, he's a power back who bounces off of defenders or drags them on his back. I've yet to see one defender get lucky enough to tackle Quezada by himself. He's a determined runner who doesn't stop his feet after contact is made. For a big back, I was also impressed with his cutback ability. He's got a smooth foot plant and then bursts through the open hole on the outside.

So far this summer, Quezada has been trying to improve his hands. He's been an effective receiver on screen passes and short out routes.

Ivan Espiritu No. 76 (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna
Both men have had college football visitors. Espiritu has talked to UC Davis, Sacramento State, Fresno State, Cal, Arizona, Cal Poly, Portland State, Boise State and Air Force either by phone, through letters or on the RHS campus. Espiritu was also a recent participant of the Fresno State individual skills camp on Sunday, June 9.

The same schools have also asked about Quezada, but Colorado State and BYU have also asked about the Class of 2015 prospect.

Espiritu will need to refine his pass blocking, since he's been caught standing straight up and relying more on his power. Quezada will have to continue to develop his speed because he's not a trail blazer at the moment. In the end, though, these are two powerhouses in Reedley who can leave a trail of defenders on their backs. And, after a disappointing 2-8 season in 2012 plus three consecutive sub .500 seasons, both Espiritu and Quezada can help turn the tide of Pirates football.

More on Quezada:

More on Espiritu:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sac-Joaquin 2014 versatile threats

Photo courtesy of
The corridor from Stockton to Woodland has caught my attention recently with players that have proven to do damage in a variety of ways on the football field.

Most of these guys are under 5-foot-11, but don't let that size turn you away. The Sac-Joaquin region should have plenty of versatile threats under the Friday night lights this fall. Here's six to look out for:


Offers: None

Schools showing interest: Sacramento State, Fresno State, Cal Poly, San Jose State, Eastern Washington, Montana, Portland State, Southern Utah

*Terrell was highlighted by Cali Gold Mine in this April 2 scouting report. He's a 5-foot-8 quarterback with a cannon and deadly mobility. In recent weeks, Terrell is sounding like his future will either be as a slot receiver or cornerback. Terrell has wheels on him and can make a fool out of defensive backs on out routes and wheel routes. As a cornerback, he's excellent with his attack angles and pursuits to the ball. He was rarely caught out of position to miss the tackle. He'll need added muscle to prove he can take on bigger wide receivers this upcoming year, but Terrell can make game-changing plays and the Sacramento region should have one of the most exciting athletes under the lights this fall.


Offers: One (North Dakota)

*The 5-foot-11, 160-pound Jones may end up as a cornerback, but has also proven to be an effective wide receiver too. He's dangerous on swing passes because of his running back-like vision to locate the open hole then leave a trail of dust. He's also an effective deep threat and can fight jams off the line, then have cornerbacks struggle to play catch-up. Bulk will be needed, but he's a competitor who shadows a wideout with his speed and with his fluid hip direction. He's also a wicked hitter on special teams who could help set the tone on kickoff teams. Lastly, he's the younger brother to current Fresno State strong safety Dalen Jones.

More on Jones:


Offers: None

*Like Terrell, Brooks is another 5-foot-8 quarterback. And, like Terrell, Brooks is another small quarterback who blows people away with his cannon and athleticism. Brooks threw 34 touchdowns and 2,920 yards in his junior year. Then, he turned more heads with his Stockton-based team, Diverse Sports, at Passing Down's Nor Cal Regional at quarterback. In the Best of the West State Finals for Passing Down, Brooks showed off his ball-hawking skills at free safety where he impressed with his reads, closing pursuits and ability to take off sprinting after the interception. He'll likely be better suited at safety in college, but could become an explosive slot or X wide receiver.


Offers: One (UC Davis)

Schools interested: Boise State, Sacramento State, Fresno State (taking unofficial visit with the Bulldogs during the week of June 10).

*Banks (photo) is built like a tank and is a hard-nosed hitter. Franklin likes calling on him for a blitz and he'll crash into a ball carrier. He's having to learn safety after being a 5-foot-9, 180-pound outside linebacker. He did impress at the Fresno State camp with his backpedal and hip direction. On offense, he's a tough, gritty running back who can carry two guys with him while carrying the rock. He tends to stop his feet when making tackles and will have to be more consistent about keeping his legs pumping after contact. In the end, though, Banks is a rough hitter who'll be very valuable versus the run at the next level.

More on Banks:


Offers: Two (Idaho and Weber State)

*The 5-foot-8, 170-pound Simmons is another playmaking athlete at PGHS who's impressed on the 7-on-7 circuit this off-season. Simmons has soft hands and gets open. He closes in on the football well on defense. His size is obviously a drawback, but he makes up for it with strength and speed.


Offers: One (Idaho)

Schools interested: Oklahoma

*The big 6-foot-2, 240-pound Chism is freakishly athletic for a big man and has shown off basketball-like hops for the interception from his linebacker spot. Chism has a 38.9 inch vertical leap and runs a 4.63 40-yard dash. He's impressed with his ability to read the quarterbacks eyes then attempt the pick. It'll be interesting to see what position he'll play in college, but he's become one of the Sac-Joaquin region's best athletes.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sams Club

Photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna
Colleges looking for a big, bruising, playmaking linebacker in 2015 could probably make West Fresno one of their first stops when entering the Central Valley, since incoming junior middle linebacker Vance Sams of Edison is starting to become a fast-rising name in the region's football scene.

Sams already looks like he can play college football with his 6-foot-1, 230-pound build. He's not the complete package at linebacker, or a guy that can make jaw-dropping, highlight reel plays for right now. However, after breaking him down in my film room, he's a big difference maker for his team.

Though Sams may not blow people away athletically right now, his work ethic and desire to get better are major pluses. On the football field, he's become a Tedy Bruschi-type: A linebacker that just makes plays. Need an extra run stuffer? Sams will fly to the football. Need someone that can break up a pass? Sams can provide that. Need someone that goes sideline-to-sideline? Sams has shown to be that guy.

One thing I like about Sams is his vision. Watching him closely, he locates the football right away and closes in. He's shown good football smarts by reading where the play is going and reading the quarterback's eyes, then disrupting the play. He's spent this off-season working on his coverage skills and at different tournaments, he's impressed with his ball-hawking skills. He could be a linebacker that can get three to five interceptions for someone's defense.

Speed will be one area he can continue to work on. So far, Clemson of the Atlantic Coast Conference has sent him a letter. He gets two more varsity seasons to further develop his skills and emerge as the latest in a long line of Edison Tigers that have made the college ranks. He could also end up being the most sought-after middle linebacker in the Central Valley's 2015 class.

More on Sams:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Jaloni Miller time

Photo courtesy of 24/7 sports
Flying under the radar down in the Los Angeles region is a wide receiver that, at 6-foot-5, shouldn't be hard to spot on the football field.

Jaloni Miller is a tall possession-type wide receiver who has a 180-pound frame and holds just one offer from Utah of the PAC-12. He's drawn interest from San Diego State of the Mountain West. He has been active at different camps, though, and could generate intrigue among different colleges after examining his skill set more closely.

The tall frame already makes him valuable in the third and long situation and across the middle. However, his route running combined with his frame makes him scary to cover. Miller can get deep and get open.

He's not the fastest guy and still needs to develop his speed. In the end, though, Miller is emerging as one of the best kept secrets down in L.A. He's drawn comparisons to a well-known former L.A star - Keyshawn Johnson. He's also a protege of former Oregon wide receiver James Finley.

More on Miller: