Sunday, May 31, 2015

McCoy could be closing in on first offer

Marqel McCoy has hit the offseason hard by attending Passing Down and having June camps mapped out. The Class of 2016 wide receiver and defensive back said one service academy is  getting close to extending a pledge to him (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna).
Could Berean Christian (Walnut Creek) wide receiver Marqel McCoy soon become “Army strong?”

The 6-foot-3 Class of 2016 prospect said talks between him and the Black Knights have heated up, which is elevating his chances of landing his first scholarship offer.

“My conversations with Army have been the most intense,” McCoy said. “Coach (Sean) Saturnio tells me that I’m an offer guy and he’s seeking approval to offer me.”

Army was one of 13 schools visiting McCoy during the NCAA Spring Evaluation period. McCoy said coaches from Michigan, Boise State, Colorado, Colorado State, Sacramento State and Washington were also talking to him.

“The other schools have been seeing what I’m doing. They’re telling me they really like me and my game, and that they want me at their camps,” McCoy said.

He adds that he worked out in front of Eastern Washington, UC Davis and Montana coaches. He said he’s being scouted as a receiver and defensive back.

McCoy, who holds a 3.86 grade point average, plans to hit the June camp season hard. He’ll seek to run drills at seven different camps including Arizona State (June 11 camp at Contra Costa College), Utah (June 15 at Inderkum High in Sacramento) and Stanford (June 16).

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Davidson lands two offers in one week

Kevin Davidson looks for an open wide receiver during Passing Down's Nor Cal regional on March 15, 2015 at Livermore. The McClymonds (Oakland) quarterback has skyrocketed to two scholarship pledges from the Football Championship Subdivision realm in one week (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna). 
Kevin Davidson – who’s been waiting awhile for his first set of football scholarship offers – can now sum up his recruiting process in six words:

“Everything has actually been coming together.”

The Class of 2016 prospect from McClymonds High School in Oakland has been throwing the football in front of different college football coaches during the spring and has seen his mailbox get flooded with letters from Cal, Stanford, Washington and Georgia – but he didn’t land any offers from those programs.

His recruiting period changed, though, with two pledges coming from the University of San Diego on May 21 and Sacramento State on May 28.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Davidson, who has played varsity football since his sophomore year, said the USD coaches made a solid impression on him.

“I had a great conversation with the coaches. They told me that I was a great kid,” Davidson said. “They actually never watched me throw (in person), but they showed up to my school, liked my film and offered.”

He had a short workout session in front of the Hornet coaches, which led to a quick scholarship.

“After a couple of throws, they told me ‘We’ve seen enough, here’s your offer,’” Davidson said.

Davidson emerged as a NCAA Division I prospect in his sophomore year when he played at San Ramon Valley High in Danville.

He threw his name into the recruiting ringer early. He became the quarterback for Kenion Training DI Elite during the 7on7 season and led his club squad to back-to-back appearances at the Passing Down Best of the West regional in 2014 and ’15. He then took home the hardware for Most Valuable Player among quarterbacks at the Elite 11 regional on May 17 in San Leandro.

While he can finally say he’s been offered a scholarship, Davidson said he’s not ready to decide which college he’ll attend.

“It just depends on where the right fit is,” Davidson said. “I have no timetable, but it might be sometime in the middle of my senior year and National Signing Day.” 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summer camps coming

The next two weekends in California will provide an opportunity for prospects to get recognized in front of national writers and NCAA Division I college coaches. Here's what's coming up in the Golden State:


The Athletic Performance gym in Clovis - which has helped mold college and NFL draft prospects - will host a combine for prep football players in the Central Valley at Fresno City College on Saturday, May 30.

Athletes will run a series of tests from the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump and the bench press. All results will be sent to national prep football writers/scouts and college coaches.

The AP gym has trained future college and professional football players. Athletes who trained at AP have moved on to the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, UCLA, Missouri, Nebraska, etc.

Registration for the camp starts at 8 a.m. The combine will run from 9 a.m. to noon.

Fresno City College is located on 1101 E University Ave. in downtown Fresno. For more information, call (559) 324-9000 or visit


T1 Sports Academy in Fresno is hosting the Central Valley Rising Stars Camp on Sunday, June 7, featuring coaches from the University of Arizona and Nevada.

The camp will be held at Bullard High School in West Fresno. Registration begins at 5 p.m. and the camp will go from 6-9 p.m.

T1 has helped produce future NCAA DI athletes. Notable T1 alums are Dejonte O'Neal (Fresno State), Ricky McCoy (Washington), Tyler Horton (Boise State) and Dehlon Preston (San Jose State).

Athletes who have a desire to play at the college football DI level are encouraged to attend, especially if they're in the 2016 and 2017 graduating class.

The cost is $30 and participants can also register online at

Bullard High is located on 5445 N Palm Ave. near the Fig Garden Shopping Center.


The duo of Gridiron Academy and Get It Done Sports will be holding two camps on Saturday, June 6, in Southern California featuring coaches from Boise State, Azusa Pacific, Cal Poly and Dixie State.

The morning camp will be held at Corona's Centennial High School, with walk-up registration starting at 8 a.m. and the camp running from 9 a.m. to noon.

Long Beach City College will be the site of the afternoon session, with registration starting at 2 p.m. and the camp going from 3-6 p.m.

Cost is $50 which includes online registration. Past Gridiron/Get It Done camp alums include James Jones IV (Air Force), 2016 prospect Davir Hamilton (Arizona State and Mountain West offers), 2016 prospect Kevin Davidson (University of San Diego offer) and 2014 recruit Marcus McMaryion (Oregon State).

The June 6 events is for players in the 2016, '17, '18 and '19 classes. For more information, visit or call (310) 734-1397.

Centennial High is located on 1820 Rimpau Ave. in Corona. LBCC is on 4901 Carson St. in the Lakewood Village section of Long Beach.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Burg learns quick - and moves around for Righetti

Zach Burg has lined up in a variety of positions for Righetti High School in Santa Maria. The incoming senior has started to gain interest from the Ivy Leagues for his versatility and high grade point average (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna). 
Zach Burg of Righetti High School in Santa Maria describes himself as a quick learner on the football field – and his grades in the classroom helps explain his rapid way of thinking.

Burg holds a 4.8 grade point average, which makes him the smartest Righetti football player according to his coaches. During the Warriors’ non-league slate last season, Burg fired off from his three point stance on the defensive line and used his speed, hands and hustle to disrupt plays against opposing offenses. As the season winded down, Burg lined up at two unfamiliar spots: linebacker and fullback.

Burg, however, didn’t look like a lost soul on Friday nights despite having to learn two new positions. His brain cells and athleticism enabled him to adjust right away.

At linebacker, he showed his closing angles and aggression, as he emerged as one of the Warriors’ top run stoppers. Offensively, the 6-foot, 215-pound Burg plowed through opening holes with the ball in his hand or created running lanes by charging at a linebacker and removing him from the play.

Burg is now entering the 2015-16 campaign as not only the Warriors’ most movable player, but also their fastest thinker.

“He’s a team player. And, intellectually, he gets it,” his head coach Ed Herrmann said. “That really helps his football IQ because he plays multiple positions. A guy like that is very valuable to the team.”

Herrmann, who’s entering his third season of coaching at RHS, said Burg reminds him of former Tampa Bay Buccaneer fullback Mike Alstott and a former Righetti star: Tim Carroll, who bullied past defenses as a Warrior fullback during the 2000 and 2001 seasons.

While Burg doesn’t hesitate to take on multiple tasks on the football field, he admits he’s not the most athletic guy on the RHS practice field. However, he still takes pride in his work ethic and “team first” mindset.

“I may not have the overall speed and quickness, but with my aggression I just do whatever it takes to help my team win,” Burg said.

As RHS opened spring practice during the week of May 18, Burg was seen lining up in the I-Formation at fullback or in a two-point stance as an inside linebacker.

His role for both positions is simple: be more physical than the other guy.

But for someone who’s used to being a moving chess piece on the field, does he prefer offense or defense?

“I probably prefer defense because of the physical aspect. But also, playing defense is more congruent,” Burg said. “Everyone really works together and you’re closer as a group. Everyone works together to just get that one tackle.”

Burg’s versatility and academics have turned him into a potential NCAA Division I prospect for RHS. Burg said Dartmouth, Princeton, Brown and Cornell of the illustrious Ivy League are four schools asking about him. He said out of all of them he “really likes” Brown.

Burg describes his class load and football life as challenging but not overwhelming. His ability to manage his class schedule teaches him to be organized and ready to take on several duties on and off the field.

“They’re definitely pretty hard (his classes). For some people, there’s a common assumption that there’s a ton of homework and you have to sacrifice some things. But it’s all manageable. You can balance it,” Burg said.

He adds that he’s energized about this year’s Warrior team, as they look to build off of their 4-7 season from a year ago.

Said Burg: “This year, we have more talent and more hard working guys.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Camps coming up in the Golden State

For the next three weekends, four different football camps plan to help prospects with exposure and help give them a chance to shine against quality competition.

Here's all four events (in order of date):

Saturday, May 23

Football University will host a combine for 5th-11th graders at Newbury Park High School, with the top participants earning an invitation to the prestigious U.S. Army All-American game.

Registration begins at 3:30 p.m. The combine starts at 4 p.m. and concludes at 7 p.m.

Participants will receive a t-shirt and have their name listed on the U.S. Army-All America game watch list. 

The cost is $50. Participants will run through a series of drills including the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and one-on-one competitions between wide receivers and defensive backs.

For more information, contact Chad Carpenter at 602-570-8100 or

T1 Sports Academy and QB Fraternity linking up 

T1 Sports Academy in Fresno is teaming up with QB Fraternity to host an open training session for all student-athletes preparing for any upcoming college showcase camp.

The event will also allow athletes to pre-register for T1's June 7 camp featuring NCAA Division I football coaches.

The T1 and QB Fraternity camp starts at 3 p.m, at Northside Church in Clovis located on 2709 East Nees Avenue. 

May 30

Athletic Performance in Clovis will hold a Central Valley football combine featuring the top athletes in the San Joaquin Valley region.

All camp results will be sent to college coaches, national recruiting websites and local news outlets. The event is open to athletes from incoming freshman on to seniors. 

The cost is $20 per athlete and the event will be held at Fresno City College located on 1101 E. University Avenue.

The AP gym has helped produce future NFL players, as former Fresno State Bulldogs Cody Wichmann, Bryce Harris and Isaiah Green all trained at AP before moving on to the pro ranks. 

Visit or to sign up or call (559) 324-9000 for more information.

June 7

The University of Arizona and University of Nevada-Reno will have coaches on hand at the Central Valley Rising Star camp hosted by T1 Sports Academy.

The Wildcat and Wolf Pack coaches will be on the Bullard High School (Fresno) field as they'll watch rising prep football stars in the Class of 2016 to '18 compete for a possible future scholarship. 

Cost of the camp is $30 per athlete. Registration starts at 5 p.m. The combine goes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Register online at 

Spring ballin' - Righetti goes to work

May is the month when the track, baseball and softball season comes to a close, but football picks back up at the prep level. Cali Gold Mine got a chance to check out Righetti High in Santa Maria, as the Warriors kicked off their spring season on Monday, May 18. Here's some photos:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Taylor is a human highlight reel in the Inland Empire

J.J. Taylor has not only landed four scholarship offers from the NCAA Division I realm, he's become an internet sensation with his array of moves on the football field (photo contributed). 
With his swift feet, field vision and his determination to keep both legs pumping against defenses, J.J. Taylor is a highlight reel waiting to happen.

Lately, the diminutive 5-foot-6 Taylor has become an internet sensation, with over 10,000 online viewers watching him either run through a defense in shoulder pads on Hudl, or getting a defender to do the splits after spinning away from him on You Tube.

Taylor’s Hudl film shows the Centennial High School (Corona) running back barging through an open hole, breaking loose from a defender trying to grab onto his uniform or ankles and then exploding into a speedy second gear for the long touchdown score. The twister maneuver he pulled on a defender at Passing Down’s Southern California regional on March 29 has not only landed on You Tube, but has surfaced on popular video website World Star Hip Hop and got former NFL wide receiver Bernard Berrian sharing the video to his Instagram followers.

Taylor caught a screen pass from his quarterback Tate Martell while competing with 702 Elite of Las Vegas. Taylor, who caught the pass on the right side of the field, planted his right foot toward an oncoming defender who was getting ready to tag him. But Taylor spun out of that defender’s way, leaving the defender falling to the Fontana sprint turf with his legs stretched out.

While his viral plays have gotten ooh’s and ah’s from spectators, family members and football fans browsing the internet, Taylor said he’s not bragging about being a sudden online star.

“I honestly wouldn't say that was the best play I've ever had,” Taylor said. “My dad loves it and my friends say I'm famous now, but I don't like to think that way until I'm in the NFL Hall of Fame one day and I hope that happens. That's always been my biggest dream.”

The Class of 2016 prospect has started to see a spike in his recruiting period. He’s landed four NCAA Division I scholarship offers from Montana State, Weber State, Sacramento State and the University of Ohio.

“All the conversations so far have been about building a relationship with them and what I want to study; plus all the good stuff the school has to offer,” Taylor said.

The 170-pounder led the Huskies with 1,657 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns last season. Three of his banner nights were against traditional Southern California powerhouses Orange Lutheran (266 yards), Long Beach Poly (200 yards) and Santiago of Corona (253 yards with six touchdowns).

While he’s received four scholarship pledges and has gained more notice in the talent heavy Inland Empire, Taylor said he thinks that most big time college football programs won’t make a run at him.

“To be honest when I was a kid I had two favorite schools: Arizona State and Boise State. But as I got older, I realized my size was going to limit me,” Taylor said. “So now, whoever is willing to take a chance on me is my favorite school - and those are the schools that offered me so far.”

Taylor, who’s listed as a 3-star prospect by recruiting websites Rivals and Scout, said that he’s mainly getting looks at running back but other coaches have told him they would consider playing him at a different position.  

“So far their interest (in me) has been at running back, but most of them have been talking about getting me in where I can fit,” Taylor said. “All I really want to do is play.”

Taylor describes himself as a leader by example and adds “I get the team going without verbal motivation.”

But through all the attention he’s received for his highlight reel plays, is he motivated by the opponents who underestimate him because of his stature?

“Honestly, I don't have anything to say to those who underestimate me. I let my talent show what I can really do,” Taylor said. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Edwards takes his leaps as a varsity freshman

Emoryie Edwards is looking like the future of Tulare Union High School after breaking out with 32 catches, 419 receiving yards and three touchdowns - as a freshman on varsity last season (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna). 
Like most incoming freshmen Tulare Union football players on the high school practice field, Emoryie Edwards watched, learned and became inspired by his older teammates.

Except Edwards wasn’t placed on the school’s freshman or junior varsity team. He got the promotion to have his name listed on the varsity roster.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Edwards got a chance to line up against elder high school football players in the Central Section last season. He tallied 32 receptions, 419 receiving yards and scored three times for the Redskins.

Now, he’s emerged as TUHS’s rising college prospect – especially at a school featuring Class of 2016 running back Romello Harris (10 scholarship offers) and the place that produced future NFL players Zac Diles, Virgil Green and Marquess Wilson.

Edwards said he did have an early fear with joining the varsity team.

“Yes, huge intimidation,” Edwards said. “It was actually hard on my family because they told me they didn’t want to see me do it (go on varsity). They told me ‘These are 17 or 18-year-old kids you’re going against.’”

But the juniors and seniors on TUHS took him in, even though Edwards jokingly said they quickly put him to work.

“My teammates would tell me ‘Freshman, get the cones! Freshman, get the bags!’ But they taught me the ropes,” Edwards said, smiling. “The senior wide receivers taught me the way of things and told me I’ve got to fill their shoes when they leave.”

He had five receptions or more in four games last season for the 7-5 Redskins. One of those performances was a 5 catch, 124-yard evening in a 49-28 rout of Kingsburg. Throughout the season, Edwards showed an early ability to play without phobias; as he would turn short screen passes into long gains or cut through the middle of the defense on a flag route and scamper to the end zone, with three or four defenders who crowded near him suddenly chasing him up the field.

“My route running and my catching (are my strengths). My hand-eye coordination is a big one I work on,” Edwards said. He adds that he develops his footwork and speed off the field.

He didn’t just elevate himself into one of the Redskins’ top receiving options, he brought the outside heat against quarterbacks and produced five sacks from his strong safety spot.

Edwards said his older teammates aren’t the only ones who motivate him. The past Redskin greats persuade him to reach for the stars whenever they stop by and give back to TUHS.

“They come back to the campus every offseason and we work out, do drills and they tell us about the NFL life. It motivates us to get to that point,” Edwards said.


What to like: He's not afraid to take on a challenge despite being one of the youngest competitors on the field. Shows a willingness to dash inside and draw contact. He has solid balance and keeps his feet pumping after contact is made. He catches most of his passes by extending out his hands and hauling in the reception. Has a running back-like vision when he runs the football and knows when to make his cuts then burst toward the end zone. Also a willing blocker who'll step in and throw his body into a defender to help free his running backs.

What to build on: Down the road, he'll need to polish his blocking. He sometimes comes up too high and has to learn how to lower and bury his shoulder pads into a defender. I'll need to see more of his ability as a deep threat. Right now, he looks like someone who can catch the short throw and turn it into a long gain. 

Overall: Tulare Union's future is looking bright with Edwards expected to carry the torch once Harris graduates. With his big plays and character, he could be the headliner for the Central Section's 2018 class. 

More on Edwards can be seen here

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Williams gets not one, but the first two offers

Charles Williams of Bullard (Fresno) received his first two scholarship offers from Washington State and Idaho on Tuesday, May 12 (photo credit 
Charles Williams of Bullard High in Fresno landed not one, but two football scholarship offers from Washington State and Idaho on Tuesday, May 12, ending the running back's anxiety of waiting for his first pledge.

Both offers came to Williams on Tuesday afternoon; with the Cougars of the PAC-12 Conference emerging as the first scholarship opportunity around 1 p.m. Two hours later, the Knights' leading rusher received his pledge from the Vandals out of the Sun Belt Conference.

"A lot of stress came off of me and my family," Williams said. "I just want to make my parents proud and happy after I graduate."

Williams said he credits his BHS coaches, the DB Guru coaches/players and his teammates on the Knights' football and track team for helping him during his recruiting process.

Last season, Williams dashed to 1,438 rushing yards on 217 carries and scored 20 touchdowns in 10 games for the Knights.

Williams said that he's not planning to commit to either school right away.

"I want to wait it out and see how it (the recruiting period) goes," Williams said. "It's because I still got some heads to turn and open a longer, better path for my career."

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Central Valley Christian lineman is now on the NCAA Division I radar

Blake Walker has spent the months of April and May talking to NCAA Division I football coaches from the Mountain West Conference and Big Sky (photo contributed). 
As the weight goes down for Blake Walker, the recruiting period has picked up for the mountainous 6-foot-7, 302 pound Central Valley Christian (Visalia) lineman.

Walker - who was once listed at 320 pounds during the 2014-15 season - has had college football visitors swinging by the West Visalia campus during the NCAA Spring Evaluation Period. Coaches from nine different colleges have noticed a slimmer Walker.

"I'm down to 302, but I've gained a lot of muscle and I feel faster," Walker said. "I've been doing daily workout programs at school to build strength. Three mornings a week, I work out with Core Active (a training facility in Visalia) for agility and quickness."

Walker said NCAA Division I coaches from Fresno State, UC Davis, Sacramento State, San Diego State, Nevada, Weber State, Cal Poly, Utah State and Wyoming have chatted with him. He said "all the coaches are really friendly and positive, plus they liked my size." He adds that Fresno State "stands out so far."

Central Valley Christian is known in the 559 for its big boys up front. Ten linemen, including Walker, measured between 225 to 320 pounds last season as the Cavaliers finished the year as the Central Section Division IV runner-up (lost to Liberty of Madera 24-6 in the D-IV championship contest).

Walker is the most towering presence along the Cavs' front line. Central Valley Christian ran a majority of its running plays up the right guard's side. Walker's highlight film shows the Class of 2016 prospect shoving defensive linemen out the way so his running backs can move the chains.

While he's known for plowing the road for CVC's running attack, Walker has aimed to become quicker and more athletic for his upcoming senior season. Along with his agility and weight room workouts, he's watching highlight films of his favorite NFL offensive tackle to help fine tune his game.

"Joe Staley of the San Francisco 49ers has been my favorite to watch for the past few years," Walker said. "He looks like he plays full speed all game and he's a great down field blocker."

Walker isn't just receiving visits from different college coaches along with the rest of the returning CVC senior class, he's taken trips to UC Davis and Sacramento State during the schools' junior days. He'll be one of 13 returning seniors from last year's 11-2 Cavaliers team.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Rising star watch: Brian Casteel

Brian Casteel has been on a hot streak with impressing people at Charter Oak High (Covina) and during 7on7 tournaments with his club team Rhare Breed Blue. Casteel is now on some major college football teams' radar (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna). 
Can Brian Casteel become a steal for someone?

There's lots to like about the Class of 2017 wide receiver from Charter Oak High School in Covina. From size, to speed all the way to fearlessness, Casteel has the makings of a heavily recruited wideout. So far, USC, Fresno State, Washington and San Diego State are among the schools talking to Casteel and wanting to know more about him.

Here's a closer look:

WHAT TO LIKE: He's a burner. He'll side-step or zoom past a cornerback and have his defender playing catch up. It takes him only three seconds to gain separation between him and his opponent. Catches the football with his hands extended out or with his palms nestled near his torso. Not only does he have quick feet, but has a head fake that can fool defenders with which way he's going. He's done his most damage as a deep threat but shows the fortitude to go inside on bubble screen passes and dart through the defense. Shows excellent balance after the catch and keeps his feet going after contact is made. He doesn't take his eye off of the football especially in double coverage or in jump ball situations in the red zone. Athletic enough to out-jump a cornerback in the end zone for possession of the ball.

WHAT TO BUILD ON: I noticed he's defeated most of his defenders when they play off of him. I'll need to see more of his ability to fight off press coverage and find out how physical he can be at the line of scrimmage. Also need to see more of his blocking ability.

OVERALL: I got a feeling that Casteel will be on a lot of major college football teams' short list when it comes time to fill the 2017 recruiting class. He looks like a young Jeremy Maclin (Kansas City Chiefs) right now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Davis goes red, commits to Louisville

Devron Davis of Merced College will soon make Papa John's Cardinal Stadium his home, as the cornerback announced his commitment to Louisville on Tuesday, May 5 (photo contributed). 
Devron Davis of Merced College - who emerged as a highly recruited junior college cornerback in late April of this year - decided to end his recruiting process on Tuesday, May 5, by committing to Louisville.

Davis, who's a returning sophomore at MC, landed five scholarship offers from April 20 to April 25. But Davis said the opportunity to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference energized him.

"I'm extremely excited and I can't wait to beat Florida State," Davis said.

The 6-foot, 200-pound cornerback added that the UL coaching staff made an impression on him.

"They treated me like a regular person and gave me their full attention," Davis said. "All around, it was just perfect (for me)."

Davis' other offers were from Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, Georgia Southern and Arkansas State.

Campbell, Perryman land first offers from the same FCS program

Jerald Campbell said he can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that he'll no longer worry about landing his first scholarship offer after Weber State came through for him on Tuesday, May 5.

The versatile wide receiver, cornerback and return man was waiting on his first offer since the end of the 2014-15 season for Lemoore High. He had mainly drawn interest from the Ivy Leagues and service academies before the Wildcats emerged as his first pledge.

"It's a huge relief knowing I've been offered," Campbell said. "Now, I don't have to stress about it and I can finally just play football."

Campbell described his conversation with the Wildcat coaches "interesting."

Said Campbell: "They were talking to me about what I can improve on and how they'll be willing to get me to play on Sundays."

Campbell - who combined for 176 all-purpose yards and intercepted two passes last year - added that the Wildcat coaches are recruiting him for either cornerback or an athlete position.

Campbell said he doesn't plan to commit right away to the Football Championship Subdivision program. He wants to let the process play out. He adds that a number of people have helped him during this recruiting process.

"I want to thank God for answering my prayers and my mother and father for making me who I am today," Campbell said. "I would also like to thank every coach who has coached me to get better. Lastly, I thank all of my supporters because they're the reason I motivate myself to become the best student-athlete I can be."


Jerald Campbell wasn't the only Lemoore High football player walking around the campus with a Weber State offer. Fellow teammate Allen Perryman received his first pledge from the Wildcats on Tuesday, May 5, as well.

Perryman stated on his Instagram page: "Beyond blessed to announce that I received my first scholarship offer to play football at Weber State University. Shout out to my bro Jerald on the scholarship too!"

Perryman, who lines up at wide receiver and safety, led the Central Section with 9 interceptions for the 11-1 Tigers during the 2014-15 season. Offensively, the Class of 2016 prospect caught 55 passes for 1,070 yards and scored nine times.

Monday, May 4, 2015

It's Louisville for Northern California versatile stud

Chris Taylor-Yamanoha, who's played varsity football at Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) since his freshman year, announced his decision to commit to Louisville on Monday, May 4 (photo credit 24/7 sports). 
Chris Taylor-Yamanoha, who stacked 16 scholarship offers during his recruiting period, decided to end his college search on Monday, May 4, by choosing Louisville.

The athletic 6-foot-2 wide receiver, safety and return man from Rancho Cotate of Rohnert Park, Calif., was offered by the likes of Boston College, Boise State, Fresno State, Arizona and Utah before deciding that the Cardinals out of the Atlantic Coast Conference was the right fit for him.

Here's a closer look at who the Cardinals are getting out of Taylor-Yamanoha:

WHAT TO LIKE: He catches just about everything with his hands. He does a consistent job of extending out his palms, waits for the football to touch his hands, then hauls in the reception. Athletic enough to pull down the one-handed grab or re-adjust himself for the air ball. He has a smooth explosion once the ball is snapped and gets behind the cornerback in a span of three seconds. Shows fearlessness and focus against both man and zone coverage. Has some slippery moves in the open field like a slot wide receiver. Not only does he show fluid feet, but he has a second gear with his speed and can turn short throws into long gains.

WHAT TO BUILD ON: Since he's a tall target, I'll need to see if he can catch the passes low to the ground. Also need to see his consistency with fighting off press man situations. At currently 174 pounds, he'll still need to add muscle down the road.

OVERALL: Taylor-Yamanoha is a big time pick up for Louisville. He's a big wideout with the acceleration and elusiveness of a slot receiver. He's clearly one of the hardest receivers to cover in Northern California.

More on Taylor-Yamanoha can be found here.

Rocklin High tight end starting to pick up collegiate interest

Wesley Preece has started to see his recruiting period pick up, as the Rocklin High tight end has been offered by one Big Sky school and has received interest from two Mountain West programs (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna).
(Editor's note: Wesley Preece received his second scholarship offer from UC Davis on the night of Monday, May 4, which was after the publication of this blog post.) 

College football programs are beginning to discover big 6-foot-6, 225-pound target Wesley Preece on the recruiting trail, as some mid major programs have taken the visit to Rocklin High School in the Sacramento region to chase down the tall, powerful tight end.

One school located 32 minutes south of RHS recently became the first scholarship pledge for Preece: Sacramento State of the Football Championship Subdivision. The Hornets made their offer to the Class of 2016 prospect during the week of April 20.

“They just called me up. It’s really exciting. I talked to my parents about it. It’s a great opportunity,” Preece said.

He adds that he came away impressed by the Hornet coaching staff.

“They’re really nice guys. I went over there to visit them awhile ago. I really like what they bring to the table and how they run their program,” Preece said.

Sacramento State isn’t the only school making an early run at Preece. He said Nevada and Utah State of the Mountain West Conference are both asking more about him.

On the football field, Preece is utilized in a multitude of ways for the Thunder. On some plays, he lines up in a three point stance, blows right past a defensive end, runs his passing route toward the middle of the field then uses his frame and muscle to pulverize defenders after the reception.

But in other schemes, Preece lines up over a defensive back at wide receiver and shows his swift feet. He fools a cornerback with where he’s going by stopping his feet, re-routing himself, get open by trekking up field, then stampede his way into the end zone.

He often likes to compare himself to two of the most dominating tight ends in the NFL right now: Rob Gronkowski of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and Jimmy Graham of the Seattle Seahawks.

“I like to see myself that way (as Rob Gronkowski). I love watching him and Jimmy Graham. I’m trying to be like them,” Preece said.

Last season, Preece caught 18 passes for 274 yards and scored six touchdowns in the Thunder’s pistol offense.

Even though he’s starting to gain recognition on the recruiting trail, Preece has hit his offseason training hard with the attitude of improving his craft. He travels from Rocklin to Sacramento to lift weights and condition inside Game Fit, a gym located north of the American River in Sacramento.

He’s also a key contributor to Game Fit’s 7on7 team, as he emerged as the team’s top possession target and red zone threat. Game Fit recently finished their season on April 26 as a qualifier in Passing Down’s Best of the West regional, which is a tournament that invites the top 16 teams in the West to Fullerton College as they compete for the state 7on7 title. Game Fit earned their bid to the regional after finishing in the top four of PD’s Cen Cal tournament on April 12.

“All the guys in there (at Game Fit) work hard. The intensity we bring in the gym is what we bring out here (at tournaments),” Preece said.

Preece shared some of the skills he’s looking to build on.

“I’m working on executing my routes. Run them as fast as possible so I can get open,” Preece said. “I’m also working on getting physical because you don’t want anyone bossing you around at the line.”

While Preece is starting to earn his offers and letters, he still thinks he’s a sleeper prospect in a talent heavy Sacramento region. But he adds that he’s staying patient with the process.

Said Preece: “I feel a little bit (underrated), but I feel like schools will start coming to see me a lot more soon.”