Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Introducing: The first ever All-CGM team (2014 class)

From attending my first set of camps in January, to witnessing the talent level increasing at Passing Down, to meeting coaches at Oregon State and Arizona State during the season to lastly, seeing more players delivering a breakout year, the 2013 season has been a fun ride for me.

In two weeks, we'll be in 2014. I think it's time I do something different with all the players I've watched: I've decided to put together an All-Cali Gold Mine team.

This will be the first of three lists before the year ends. The others will highlight top underclassmen and junior college talent that I got a chance to watch or see on film.

Here's my first list, the best seniors I saw:


Photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna/The Reedley Exponent

QB: Marcus McMaryion, Dinuba: Perhaps not since former Centennial-Bakersfield quarterback and current USC starter Cody Kessler has there been a more college ready quarterback in the Central Section than McMaryion. Along with his 6,136 yards, 71 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, McMaryion had the zip and composure college coaches fell in love with. He's now Oregon State bound.

Photo courtesy of Rivals.com

RB: Joe Mixon, Freedom-Oakley: Saw what the hype with Mixon was all about at Passing Down. The guy made highlight reel after highlight reel plays and even convinced some scout writers to give him a six-star rating. On the field, Mixon had 1,704 yards and 23 touchdowns for Freedom-Oakley. He earned comparisons to NFL star Adrian Peterson and was even called "The LeBron James of High School football."
Photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna/The Reedley Exponent

FB: Darian Duckett, Bullard-Fresno: The 5-foot-11, 220-pound Duckett is a true throwback in the backfield. He looks for someone to pummel with or without the football. One of the only true fullbacks in the Central Section and a recent selection to the Blue-Grey All-American Game in Dallas.

Photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna/The Reedley Exponent

WR: Michiah Quick, Central-Fresno: A mismatch for anyone trying to cover him one-on-one. Quick's big plays energized Central for three seasons and at a school that's produced nearly 10 Bowl Championship Series prospects since 2011, Quick will go down as one of the most decorated Grizzly players in school history after completing three varsity seasons. Like I said in a recent blog, this could be the next DeSean Jackson.

WR: Tyrone Smith, Edison: A freak 6-foot-5, 200-pound wide receiver who convinced the read option-heavy Tigers to throw the ball. Smith was a red zone nightmare and got the attention of numerous PAC-12 schools.

TE: Darrell Cloy, La Habra-Los Angeles: The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Cloy had one of the softest and most consistent hands out of any tight end I saw at Passing Down. A future Arizona Wildcat. Played with McMaryion at Passing Down through Team B2G.

LT: Kameron Schroeder, Consumnes Oaks-Elk Grove: Future Duke Blue Devil really impressed me with his feet and athleticism. One of the most athletic tackles in the state.

LG: Arnulfo Navarro, Righetti-Santa Maria: A hard-nosed run blocker for traditional run-heavy Righetti, even if he wasn't considered the biggest lineman at 6-foot-2, 250-pounds.

Photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna/The Reedley Exponent

C: Ivan Espiritu, Reedley: He was, hands down, the best run blocker in the Central Section. Not too many lineman drove their defenders back 5-10 yards or planted them to the turf the way Espiritu did. Also a dominant nose tackle, there's college programs who love his motor. Enjoyed what I saw in Reedley.

RG: Chris Misaalefua, Lindsay: A mountain of a man at 6-foot-5, 350-pounds, Misaalefua could be a fixture at guard for someone at the next level. He was Lindsay's "Tower of Power."

RT: Joe Salcedo, Bishop Diego-Santa Barbara: Like Schroeder, Salcedo was big 6-foot-6 tackle with a mean streak. Has gotten Mountain West interest and was part of this list.


DE: Sumner Houston, De La Salle-Concord: Houston I saw at the Get It Done Sports Camp with former Georgia wide receiver Karif Byrd. His explosion off the ball and hands made him an intriguing one at defensive end. He's also Oregon State bound with McMaryion.

DT: Yasmon Haynes, Edison: A weapon of mass obstruction, Haynes was one of the cornerstones for a Tiger defense that was among the best in the Central Section. He dominated one-on-one blockers and swallowed running backs.

DT: Tashon Smallwood, Central: Like Quick, Smallwood has to go down as one of the most highly decorated Grizzlies ever. A dominant pass rushing machine who even got to play fullback this season too. Smallwood had a motor that only stopped after the game ended. Most dominant defensive lineman I got a chance to see. Now Arizona State bound (once committed to USC).

DE: Ainuu Taua, Lompoc: At a school that's produced former NFL running back Napolean Kaufman and Washington 2013 commit Lavon Coleman, Taua became one of the most sought after Braves in recent memory, with nearly 15 scholarship offers. The 6-foot-1, 270-pound Taua was freakishly athletic and versatile against Arroyo Grande in 2012, which was when I first watched him play. He'll now join UCLA.

LB: Michael Lazarus, Berkeley: One of the most complete linebackers in the state. Lazarus was a ball-hawk at linebacker at Passing Down, then became a pass rushing demon with 13.5 sacks this past year. He could be PAC-12 or Fresno State bound soon.

LB: Joe Castignani, Bellarmine Prep-San Jose: Castignani was one of the best in coverage and could blanket tight ends. An athletic 6-foot-3, 215-pound OLB.

LB: D.J. Calhoun, El Cerrito: Like Lazarus, Calhoun had impressive coverage skills when I saw him. His instincts and closing speed made him one of the most highly sought linebackers in the state. He's joining an Arizona State defense that could have a dynasty going.

CB: Adarius Pickett, El Cerrito: One of the most complete cornerbacks in the state also has to be the most physical. The 6-foot, 185-pound Pickett rattles wide receivers at the line with his muscular wing span then shadows over a receiver. Future UCLA Bruin.
Photo courtesy of Max Preps

CB: Naijiel Hale, St. John Bosco-Bellflower: Though undersized compared to Pickett at 5-foot-10, 175-pounds, Hale became one of the best ball-hawking corners in the state. The son of the late hip-hop music legend Nate Dogg showed a strong vision for the ball and wide receiver like hands, which made him attractive to a number of PAC-12 schools. Currently an Arizona Wildcat.

FS: Devon Brewer, Central: Brewer didn't just show off soft hands, the future Arizona Wildcat also was the hardest hitting Grizzly in their always-stacked secondary.

SS: Jordan Thomas, Inderkum-Sacramento: A tank at strong safety who blew plays up, Thomas was one of the best at playing up to the line of scrimmage. He's part of Arizona State's future defensive class.

PK: Tyler Bakker, Hanford West: Also a QB, Bakker can nail the 55-yard field goal.

P: Jacob Valladares, Madera South: One of the best at burying opponents inside the 20.

ATH: De’Aundre Terrell, Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove: An undersized quarterback at 5-foot-8, 175-pounds who became a valuable weapon as a passer, runner and receiver. Has a nasty vertical jump.

Honorable mentions: Matt Palmer, CB, Heritage-Menifee. Malik Beachum, ATH, American Canyon. Dejonte O’Neal, RB, Bullard. Don’Yeh Patterson, WR, Carson. Jomon Dotson, RB, American Canyon. Khalil Montgomery, RB, Immanuel. Manny Wilkins, QB, San Marin-Novato. Edgar Segura, RB, Mendota. Blake Wright, RB, Edison. Nautica Fleming, CB, Bullard. Nick Wilson, RB, Central. Teofilo Freeman, Safety, Central. Brad Kaaya, QB, West Hills-Chaminade. Richard Doctor, RB, Lemoore. Eban Jackson, QB, Narbonne-Harbor City. Malik Cyphers, CB, Oaks Christian-Westlake Village. Isaiah Justice, QB, Bullard-Fresno.

No comments:

Post a Comment