Monday, November 25, 2013

All-Star game coming to Fresno

photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna/The Reedley Exponent
Central High School's Koligian Stadium will be the site of the first annual DB Guru Veterans Bowl, which is set for Dec. 28.

The game will feature some of California's top football players from the high school level this season. Notable names expected to play are Arizona commit Devon Brewer (safety, Central), Washington State commit Greg Hoyd (linebacker, Vista Murrieta), five-star athlete Michiah Quick (Central-Fresno, over 30 scholarship offers, feature photo) and Utah commit Jeremy McNichols (wide receiver, Santa Margarita Catholic).

There will also be an underclassmen combine held on Dec. 28 from 9 a.m to noon. Returning high school football players are invited to attend.

Announcing and scouting the game will be college recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, who's scouting reports have been featured on and

For more information about the game or combine, call 1-855-821-0570 or visit

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Santa Barbara sledgehammer

Photo courtesy of
On the Central Coast, Santa Barbara City College has long been a junior college laughingstock - until now.

The Vaqueros were a surprise 7-3 this past season and the play of hard-nosed linebacker Morgan Nevin is one reason behind the turnaround.

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Nevin showed versatility for the improved Vaqueros by lining up inside and stuffing the run, to pursuing from the outside and rushing the quarterback.

The thing that impressed me about Nevin were his reads. He didn't get fooled by option keeper quarterback runs and stayed disciplined to halt the play. His reaction to the ball is a strength.

I did catch him coming up too high on tackles. He'll need to be more consistent with his pad level at his next football stop. He'll also need to polish his coverage ability against the pass.

Still, though, Nevin is a high-motor player and versatile run stuffer/pass rusher.

More on Nevin:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Central and Edison loaded with Fresno talent

Central and Edison High School have been the two biggest hotbeds for college football talent in the city of Fresno.

Names from Edison include: Khari McGee (Arizona), Cliff Harris (Oregon), T.J. McDonald (USC/St. Louis Rams), Tevin McDonald (UCLA/Eastern Washington), Courtney Viney (UCLA/New Mexico State), Nat Harrison (Fresno State), Arkelon Hall (Memphis), Brandon Breazell (UCLA) and Ricky Manning (UCLA/NFL veteran).

Central's list also has sprouted since 2008. Names include: Brendan Bigelow (Cal), B.J. Kelley (Oregon), Matt Lea (UNLV), Hatari Byrd (Oklahoma), L.J. Moore (Oklahoma), Johnny Johnson (UCLA), Devon Brewer (Arizona), Shariff Williams (Arizona), Tashon Smallwood (over 10 scholarship offers, former USC commit) and Michiah Quick (over 30 offers, including Alabama and Oregon).

Now, the two schools that's been the big producers of Division I talent will meet at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, in a quarterfinals playoff match up that has the makings of becoming one of the most highly-anticipated showdowns in the Central Section this year.

This game has been dubbed by some as the "DB Guru Bowl," since iconic defensive back coach and current Central assistant Tony Perry has played a huge role with getting prospects from both schools recruited by several D-I schools.

Then again, I've had people tell me that this could pass as the Cali Gold Mine Bowl! Since this game is big on college football talent. 

Time to sort through all the college prospects on both squads, beginning first with the 2014 players:

Photo courtesy of Rivals!.com


The Nevada commits have given Edison one of the deepest and most talented running back tandems in the state. Nutt (photo) is the long-distance threat with his 4.4 40-yard dash speed and is versatile enough to play cornerback and return kicks. Wright has a college football physique with his powerful 5-foot-11, 195-pound frame and can wear down defenses with his inside running. Wright, though, can also amaze people with his cutback ability and second gear when running the ball.

More on Nutt:

More on Wright:


A versatile and powerful lineman. Haynes has been a mismatch when someone tries to block him one-on-one, because he's got the quickness and power to blow past blockers. Even though he's also played guard and defensive end, his size and ability to explode through the gaps makes him an intriguing prospect at defensive tackle.

More on Haynes:


A freakish wideout that stands at nearly 6-foot-6 and 185-pounds, Smith makes life difficult for cornerbacks to try and lock up with him. He's not the fastest receiver on the field, but Smith is the one wideout the Tigers want to get the ball to. Look for the football to go his way if Edison is at the Central 20-yard line.

More on Smith:


The 6-foot-0, 170-pound Johnson has emerged as the sledgehammer in the secondary. He's the one providing the big hits for the Tigers. Not the fastest DB (his Hudl account says he runs a 4.9 40-yard dash), but Johnson has the kind of aggression defensive coordinators at the college level can love.

More on Johnson:

photo by Chris Martinez


One of the most highly recruited players in the state of California, Quick has rapid fire feet and wins numerous one-on-one battles with his speed and separation. He's also got an array of moves at his disposal when he returns kicks. You could be looking at the next DeSean Jackson with Quick.

More on Quick:


Brewer is the hitter and top ball-hawk in a stacked Grizzlies' secondary. The Arizona commit has shown to be the complete package at safety.

More on Brewer:

Photo courtesy of Central Valley Football


Wilson, one of three Arizona commits on the Grizzlies, has gone from one-dimensional outside threat to one of the most complete running backs in the state. Wilson's inside running game has almost looked Marshawn Lynch-like - with his ability to bounce off of tacklers and punish defenders with his shoulder. Perhaps his best highlight was when he drove a Clovis High defender nearly five yards into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown this season. A breakaway threat who runs a 4.4 40-yard dash time.

More on Wilson:


Like Haynes, he's another versatile mismatch for offensive linemen. I've yet to see Smallwood take plays off. He's got a motor on him and an explosion off the ball that got colleges flocking to Central. Smallwood also serves as the team's fullback and is a short yardage/goal line threat. His hand technique has improved from last year and some people have called Smallwood the next Warren Sapp.

More on Smallwood:


Freeman Jr. has emerged in the Grizzlies' secondary as an excellent box safety. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Freeman can play up to the line of scrimmage and halt running plays. His breakout night came against 2012 Tri-River Athletic Conference champion Clovis High, where Freeman helped crash in on Cougar running plays at the goal line. He plays like an extra linebacker in the secondary.

More on Freeman:


Photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna/The Reedley Exponent


Horton has the potential to become next year's Michiah Quick in the Central Valley. The rising junior is another explosive and versatile playmaker with the ball. He's also a typical Edison cornerback: He'll press you at the line, cover you like a blanket, then makes a play on the ball.

More on Horton:

Photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna/The Reedley Exponent


Greeley, a two-year varsity letterman, already holds an Arizona State offer and is another explosive athlete. Like Horton, Greeley could be another highly recruited athlete through the 2015 class. Though he's been an explosive read-option quarterback for the Tigers, his future is at cornerback with his speed, closing pursuits and hands.

More on Greeley:

Photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna/The Reedley Exponent


You could be looking at the Central Valley's version of Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs with this Tiger duo. Sams (nicknamed Area 51) has improved his game significantly. Sams (photo) is a tackling machine on the inside and also is one of the best in the Valley at reading the pass from his linebacker spot. He's become the Ray Lewis-type for Edison and is usually a threat to get 12-17 tackles per game. Hamilton is the speed guy off the edge and can wreak havoc. A key match up in this game will be seeing both men collide with Nick Wilson.

More on Sams:

More on Hamilton:


The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Williams makes the Tiger backfield one of the deepest in the state. Williams is a long-distance threat with the ball in his hands and is capable of breaking the 40 or 70 yard touchdown run. If he adds bulk, more speed and improves his vision and inside running, he could also pile up the offers just like Nutt and Wright.

More on Williams:


Swearingen must've did enough to convince Edison to move Greeley out of quarterback and go with him toward the end of the regular season. Swearingen has provided a nice deep ball and is dangerous with the play action. A huge off-season could also see the 6-foot-2, 175-pound quarterback pile up the offers.

More on Swearingen:

Contributed photo


Whether on offense or defense, Simms is always a threat to go the distance and leave defenders grabbing the oxygen tanks. Simms has to be one of the fastest players in the Valley and has put together the kind of season that's gotten San Diego State and a few PAC-12 schools already showing interest.

More on Simms:

photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna/The Reedley Exponent


Page is a hard nosed safety and a Troy Polomalu-type for the Grizzlies. He's also lined up at cornerback and shows a mean streak with his jams at the line of scrimmage and coverage skills.

More on Page:


Preston had a breakout evening against Buchanan in the first round of the playoffs with his hands and return ability. He's another typical Tony Perry defensive back with his press ability and feisty demeanor. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Preston already holds a University of Houston offer.

More on Preston:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

DB Guru adds a 'Page' to secondary lineage

Photo contributed
Central-Fresno can probably be assured of one thing: colleges will flock to check out who is in the Grizzlies' secondary.

If you follow California recruiting, don't be shocked if schools seeking a safety looks in on rising 2015 prospect Jovonte Page.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Page has become a Troy Polamalu type for the Grizzlies. He's a safety who can line up in the box and wreck havoc. Page shows instincts with locating the football then come crashing in.

Page is capable of being a tone-setter in an already stacked Grizzlies' secondary. He's a feisty player who loves aggression and plays with an mean streak. He's recovered around four fumbles this year. Also, in the camp and 7-on-7 scene, Page showed versatility by becoming a physical press cornerback and helped lock up wide receivers.

Bulk and improved speed will be needed this off-season. In the end, though, this could be your most highly recruited safety in the 2015 class and the latest to join a long lineage of talent from the DB Guru.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The underrated list

The regular season is winding down. As the year comes to a close, there are some notable prospects that have either put together a nice senior season or placing the finishing touches on a storied career. Yet, these guys are still flying under the radar.

Maybe late interest or a late offer comes to this group. These young men highlighted by Cali Gold Mine are still searching for scholarship offer No. 1. One recently shattered a section touchdown record. Another is a touchdown threat whenever he touches the football while another is a hard-nosed run blocker wreaking havoc for both lines.

Here's an underrated group of prospects worth mentioning by CGM:

Photo courtesy of Central Valley Football


Segura will go down in Central Section football history with one of the most storied careers ever. He's won two Central Section titles and, on Nov. 1, shattered a section record by getting career touchdown No. 119. That's right, Segura has scored 119 touchdowns in a span of just three years.

While Segura isn't your ideal-looking back at 5-foot-9 and nearly 165-pounds and doesn't appear to have breakaway speed, he's an elusive ankle-breaking machine and a productive workhorse. Segura is an overachiever who makes up for his lack of size with a desire to score every play. Get a team with 50 Edgar Segura's and you can win any game.

More on Segura:

Photo courtesy of the Napa Valley Register


When Beachum touches the ball, he's a threat to either break a 40-yard gain or get six points on the board. One of the most versatile athletes in the Bay Area and teammate to Colorado commit Jomon Dotson.

Beachum doubles as a wide receiver and cornerback. He's also got a running back-like juke to his game and can fake defenders with the ball. The fact that he can stretch the field through both receiving and returning interceptions should indicate that he's got plenty of speed.

More on Beachum:

Photo courtesy of ESPN Recruiting Nation


Undersized 5-foot-8 cornerback who's a feisty one down in Southern California. Raye plays with an edge and shows solid closing speed on the football. Will need to improve his tackling ability since he's been caught trying to muscle players to the ground, but his aggression and cover skills could make him an intriguing late bloomer prospect.

More on Raye: 

Photo courtesy of Lorenzo J. Reyna/Reedley Exponent


Espiritu has battled a bad back and still shoves defensive linemen 5-10 yards to the turf. On offense, he's got a defensive lineman motor on him and doesn't stop until the game ends. On defense, his 6-foot-3, 270-pound frame allows him to be impossible to block one-on-one and he's also developed into a fine pass rusher. Pass blocking still needs some refining, but he's been one of the best and most versatile linemen in the Central Section.

More on Espiritu:

Haven't really heard the interest pile up for Haynes, but he's had a dominant 2013 season and could land on numerous all-star teams when it's over. Haynes is a 6-foot-1, 280-pound weapon of mass obstruction who beats one-on-one blocks with power and quickness. Haynes has made it tough for opponents to run the football against the 9-0 Tigers and has been a key figure in Edison's unbeaten run.

More on Haynes:

Photo courtesy of Central Valley Football


A dual-threat type who shows off some Russell Wilson-like capabilities. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Justice is dangerous when he takes off and runs and shows a scary second gear that can leave a trail of dust. His arm strength has been up-and-down the last couple of years, but can be an effective play action passer. He's got a huge game this Friday against Bullard's top rival Edison.

More on Justice:

photo courtesy of


Lancaster shattered an Orange County rushing record this season and is currently the state's fifth leading rusher according to Max Preps with 2,089 yards and 28 touchdowns. After breaking him down in my film room, Lancaster has good vision, a solid burst through the hole and he's powerful.

More on Lancaster:


He may not be the fastest guy on the field (runs a 4.6 40-yard dash), but Palmer's size at 6-foot-3, 197-pounds makes him a problem to cover in the red zone if you're a defensive back, plus also becomes hard to get a catch against if he's lining up at cornerback. On defense, Palmer has only allowed one catch of 20 yards and zero touchdowns.

More on Palmer: