Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Kurtis Brown holds up the ceremonial CIF Central Section Division I title plaque. The Liberty (Bakersfield) Class of 2017 prospect is already drawing collegiate interest with two PAC-12 offers (photo contributed). 
Liberty High School’s chances of continuing its NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision pipeline is in good hands – in the form of big 6-foot-3, 280-pound Kurtis Brown.

The Class of 2017 prospect from Bakersfield is already the latest Patriot to land some FBS pledges, as the defensive lineman currently holds offers from Colorado and Washington State of the PAC-12. Brown adds that UCLA, Norte Dame, Missouri, Colorado State, Auburn, Washington, Purdue and Utah have sent him letters of interest.

Since 2011, Liberty – the reigning California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Central Section Division I champions from this past season – have produced Krys Barnes (UCLA), Jordan Love (Utah State), Anthony Mariscal (Arizona), Ruben Guerra (Texas-El Paso), Cole Mazza (Alabama) and Cody Temple (USC) as its FBS products. Brown said he likes being the latest Patriot to draw collegiate intrigue.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Brown said. “From all the pain and hard work I’ve put in and to get amazing offers, I’m just happy to keep the DI chain at the great Liberty High School going.”


Lemoore High's Jerald Campbell holds 10 scholarship offers, but none of them are from the FBS ranks.

The Class of 2016 prospect’s biggest offer is from Weber State of the Football Championship Subdivision. His other pledges come from the likes of NAIA programs Avila University, Jamestown and Missouri Baptist. Yet, the lack of FBS attention doesn’t bother the Tigers’ versatile weapon, who doubled as play-making wide receiver and cover cornerback for the Central Section D-II runner-up.

“It's a privilege to be able to say I have a lot of offers because a lot of athletes can’t say that. The division doesn't really matter to me, as long as I'm getting a great education and playing the game I love (Football),” Campbell said.

Campbell finished with 31 tackles, six pass breakups and three interceptions for the 11-3 Tigers, who lost 45-19 to Ridgeview (Bakersfield) for the section D-II title.

Campbell said most college coaches are recruiting him as a cornerback and safety. He plans to take unofficial visits to Azusa Pacific and Humboldt State in January 2016. 


Looks like Chuck Wick is starting to give college coaches something to look forward to in 2018.

Wick, who starred at running back during his sophomore season with the Seraphs’ varsity unit, said his head coach Adam Guerra is already informing college coaches about him.

“Coach Guerra said Oregon put me on their underclassmen top recruiting watch list board after looking at Casey Roddick's film,” Wick said. “Utah offensive coordinator coach (Jim) Harding has me on their board and Texas A&M coach (Dave) Christensen has shown a lot of interest. Nevada, Colorado State, Wyoming and UNLV have also shown interest.”

Wick is listed as a 6-foot, 181-pound speedster for St. Bonaventure. He runs a 40-yard dash time of 4.46 according to his Hudl account

Friday, December 18, 2015


Charles Williams tries to break a tackle during a non-league contest against Clovis West. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior running back and 2,000 yard rusher announced on Friday, Dec. 18 that he's committing to UNLV (photo credit: Eric Paul Zamora/The Fresno Bee). 
UNLV scored a significant recruiting win on Friday, Dec. 18 by receiving a verbal commitment from a highly decorated running back in the Central Valley of California: 3-star Charles Williams of Bullard High School in Fresno.

Williams - who received offers from Wyoming, UTEP, Idaho and Washington State – chose the Rebels because he likes the direction the program is going in under head coach Tony Sanchez.

“I'm going somewhere where I can do damage and make a name for myself and I'm going to make everything I couldn't do in high school happen now,” Williams said.  “They (the UNLV coaches) did everything in their power to make me have a comfortable four year journey at their school and they want me on both sides the ball, which I really wanted to do in high school.”

Williams is known in the 559 for walloping defenses at running back. He accelerated to 2,039 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns in the Knights’ high-octane Wing-T offense. He helped lead Bullard into the Central Section Division-I semifinals, where the Knights lost 41-7 to eventual section champion Liberty of Bakersfield.

Williams said he received good, positive vibes from being around the Rebel coaching staff.

“All of the coaches are great and showed me love, plus want me to come up there with the mindset that I will play and do big things,” Williams said. “And coach Sanchez has had success everywhere. He’s just rebuilding and I'm going to help him with that.”

Williams becomes the latest Knight running back to join the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks. Since 2012, the Knights have sent Demetrius Warren (Sacramento State) and Dejonte O’Neal (Fresno State) to the FBS level.

He’s now the eighth commitment for the Rebels’ 2016 class and second Central Valley player to choose UNLV this week. College of the Sequoias (Visalia) safety Robert Jackson made his verbal pledge to the Rebels on Dec. 14. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015


St. Bonaventure (Ventura) offensive lineman Casey Roddick has emerged as one to watch in the 2017 class, as the 6-foot-4, 330-pound tackle landed his first scholarship offer from the University of Oregon on Thursday, Dec. 17 (photo credit: Anthony Plascencia/Ventura County Star). 
Casey Roddick of St. Bonaventure (Ventura) emerged as the latest Seraph player to land an offer from a distinguished university, as the 6-foot-4, 330-pound Class of 2017 prospect received his first football scholarship offer from the University of Oregon on Thursday, Dec. 17.

Roddick had been hearing from some big time universities like Miami, Norte Dame, USC, UCLA and Florida State. But the Ducks jumped into the Roddick sweepstakes early.

“It truly feels amazing and kind of a load off my shoulders to land my first NCAA Division I offer, especially from such a prestigious school like Oregon,” Roddick said.

Seraph players landing a PAC-12 offer is nothing new on the Telegraph Rd. campus. Past players Ricky Town, Bryce Dixon, Zach Green, Troy Hill and Whitney Lewis have all been targeted by PAC-12 universities on the recruiting trail.

Roddick - who helped clear running lanes for Chuck Wick, Darius Vines and the Seraph rushing attack this past year - said he spoke with Ducks offensive line coach Steve Greatwood and described his conversation as a “nice talk with him.”

Roddick also raved about the Ducks’ innovative read option offense that has taken the college football world by storm in the last few years.

“Oregon’s offensive is electric and efficient. It's one of the fastest and greatest offenses known around and many schools can try and model it, but Oregon is truly one of a kind,” Roddick said.

Roddick added that he doesn’t plan to commit early. He gave thanks to his head coach, who has been proactive with getting Roddick’s name in front of college coaches.

“This all wouldn't have happened without the help from coach (Adam) Guerra,” Roddick said. “He has helped me step by step to achieve and succeed all of these accomplishments.”


The first phone call Dinuba’s Isaac Leppke received after his Dec. 15 basketball game against Orosi came from the University of Wyoming.

It was to inform him that he’s been offered a walk-on spot to play quarterback for the Cowboys.

Leppke, who starred at quarterback and later wide receiver in two years with the Emperors varsity team, announced his pledge from the Mountain West program on Dec. 17 via social media.

While Leppke has received offers from the University of San Diego and St. Francis (Illinois) for football, the Cowboys are considered his biggest offer yet, since it’s his first pledge from a Football Bowl Subdivision school. Leppke spoke about his reaction following his phone call.

“I was very excited because this is an FBS Division I school, which has been my dream growing up,” Leppke said. “Quarterback is the route I want to go and when Coach (Brent) Vigen told me he wanted me as a QB, it gave me the chills. He knows I have a lot of potential to come once I put on some muscle.”

Wyoming has followed Leppke for some time. The Cowboys were among many college football teams that sent coaches to Dinuba to watch Leppke throw during the NCAA Spring Evaluation Period.

Wyoming currently has one former Central Valley star on the quarterback depth chart: Josh Allen, who starred at Firebaugh High and Reedley College.

Leppke is confident that his skills can allow him to mesh with the Mountain West talent if he accepts Wyoming’s opportunity.

“With my athleticism, I know I'll do big things at the college level,” Leppke said. “I am very relieved to see my recruitment picking up. God is blessing me with many opportunities and it feels great.”


As the victories continue to pile up for Camarillo High football, so has the scholarship offers for some of the Scorpion players, as running back Isaiah Otis (Black Hills State) and Collin Kirksey (Black Hills State and Henderson State) have become recent recipients of scholarship pledges.

On Dec. 17, the Scorps’ leading tackler Brett Herron joined Camarillo’s offer list, as the senior landed pledges from Avila University and Northwestern College of the NAIA realm.

“I always looked forward to a day when one (offer) came. And it's awesome it came at a time like this,” Herron said. “The recruiting process has really picked up for all of the Scorps because of the success we have been getting. I love the fact that more and more guys on my team are getting offers because most of our starters on our team all deserve offers. There is not one starter that isn't ready to play at the next level.”

In 15 games, the 6-foot-0, 210-pound Herron has 145 tackles and is averaging an astonishing 21 stops per game for the undefeated Scorpions, who will battle for the state championship against Del Oro-Loomis on Dec. 18 at Sacramento State University’s Hornet Stadium.

While he now holds two offers, Herron said he won’t rush on his decision.

“I am not going to commit just yet. I’m going to wait and see what happens with the recruiting process,” Herron said.


After accumulating 1,631 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns in his senior year, Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) running back Gil’Scott Jackson II looked like a prospect who increased his chances of landing some late offers.

Sure enough, Idaho State emerged as pledge No. 1, as the Bengals came through for Jackson II during the weekend of Dec. 11.

“It feels great to know that a lot of stress has been relived, and I am so thankful to Idaho State for giving me an opportunity,” Jackson II said. “The conversation (with the coaches) were very friendly and they seem to really want me to consider their school heavily, which I am.”

Jackson said he wants to visit the campus and get a feel for the environment at the Football Championship Subdivision school before he decides to make a decision. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Marqel McCoy ended his recruiting process by verbally committing to UC Davis on Monday, Dec. 14 (photo by Lorenzo Reyna). 
In a span of 10 days, UC Davis left a lasting impact on Concord High School wide receiver/safety Marqel McCoy, which convinced him to become an Aggie.

McCoy announced his verbal commitment to UC Davis on Monday, December 14. Just 10 days earlier, the Aggies became the first four-year university to offer McCoy a football scholarship.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound McCoy said the academics at Davis was a key factor in his decision.

“What intrigued me about Davis was the opportunity to get a prestigious degree from one of the best universities while also pursuing my dream of playing college football,” McCoy said.

He added that the Aggie football coaches left a positive impression on him.

“The relationships I have developed with the coaches and the feelings I get when I step on the campus led me to commit,” McCoy said.

McCoy played at Berean Christian High before transferring to Concord for his senior year. As a receiver, McCoy caught 16 passes for 202 yards and scored three touchdowns while averaging 12.6 yards per catch. Defensively, he intercepted one pass for the 9-5 Minutemen.

McCoy said he’s being recruited as a safety and adds “this is a solid commitment. This is where I will be for the next four years of my college football career.”

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Camarillo wide receiver Frankie Tostado leaps for the one-handed catch during the Scorpions' 63-49 shootout win over La Habra on Dec. 12. Camarillo will face Del Oro-Loomis for the state title on Friday, Dec. 18 (photo credit Joseph A. Garcia/Ventura County Star). 
One after another, Jake Constantine and Eric Barriere exchanged fireworks on a Dec. 12 evening that saw the scoreboard light up once again at Camarillo’s Carl Thompson Field.

When Constantine lobbed a touchdown pass, Barriere countered with another. Once Constantine evaded rushers and flung a ridiculous touchdown throw, Barriere showed off his elusiveness and fired a responding touchdown pass. The two quarterbacks combined for an astronomical 816 passing yards and 11 touchdowns through the air.

But in the end, Constantine’s Scorpions made the most plays and advanced on to the state title game, knocking off La Habra 63-49.

Constantine, who is yet to land his first NCAA scholarship offer, finished with 354 yards and seven scoring lobs including three in the first half.

Barriere, who is the recipient of three football scholarship pledges including one from Eastern Washington, ended his night with 462 yards and four touchdowns.

More important for Camarillo (15-0), the Scorpions will advance on to the Division II-AA state championship game next week at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium.  

Awaiting them will be a red hot Del Oro-Loomis team that stunned Liberty-Bakersfield 28-24 on Dec. 12.

"The miracle season keeps going," Constantine told the Ventura County Star. "There's been a lot of practice time, a lot of energy, and we wanted to do whatever it takes.

"I know, for me, it's a special feeling. This was the last game I'm ever going to play in this stadium and I wanted to get everything I had to get out of here with a victory."


Chowchilla High – once known for producing former NFL safety Cameron Worrell – is now one victory away from bringing home a state title to the city of over 17,000.

Facing a feisty and talkative Fairfax-Los Angeles team, the Redskins used their vaunted Shotgun Double Wing-T to power past the Lions 28-16 on Dec. 12 at home.

Chowchilla wore down Fairfax with 360 rushing yards, 134 of them coming from lead rusher Alex Guttierrez.

Chowchilla is now one of three Central Section teams still alive in its pursuit of the state title, with Immanuel-Reedley and Hanford High being the others. The Redskins will return home to take on Sierra-Manteca, which beat Sutter 17-13 in the Northern California Division-IV A regional.


Last year, De La Salle-Concord turned a 21-14 first half deficit into a 63-42 trouncing of Centennial-Corona.

The Huskies, the state’s No. 1 team in the state all year long, now get their shot at redemption against the Spartans, as they’ll tangle with the team that ended their season at 8 p.m. at Sacramento State on Saturday, Dec. 19.

So many future college football players will be sprouted on the Hornet Stadium turf. De La Salle features big tight end Devin Asiasi and electrifying running back Antoine Custer. Centennial will counter with its workhorse back and Arizona commit J.J. Taylor, top wide receiving target Javon McKinley, plus a stacked secondary that features PAC-12 commits Cam Bynum (Cal) and Chacho Ulloa (Stanford). 

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Khalil Hodge will play in the MAC after verbally committing to the University of Buffalo on Wednesday, Dec. 9 (photo contributed) 
Khalil Hodge will now prepare for the cold East Coast winters and Mid-American Conference (MAC) competition, as the City College of San Francisco linebacker announced his verbal commitment to the University of Buffalo on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Hodge took a trip to his future campus and said he immediately became drawn to Buffalo.

“Buffalo just felt like the right fit,” Hodge said. “Everything that I want to accomplish academically and athletically is available to me at Buffalo. Also, being able to leave in January was another intriguing opportunity that I just had to jump on.”

Hodge is set to enroll for Buffalo’s spring semester in January, which will allow him to participate in the Bulls’ spring practices as he fights for a starting position on defense.

In 12 games, Hodge tallied 67 tackles and intercepted two passes, returning one of them for a 31-yard touchdown during the Rams’ 44-7 rout of Diablo Valley College on Oct. 31.

Hodge - who was the state’s leading tackler during his senior year at Stockton - St. Mary’s in the 2014-15 season - held one other scholarship offer from the University of Idaho.

The Bulls finished 5-7 overall this past season and went 3-5 in the MAC. Hodge has one last game left with the 11-1 Rams: the Saturday, Dec. 12 CCCAA state title game against Saddleback College. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Isaac Leppke's third scholarship offer is from outside the track and field realm. He received his latest academic pledge from the University of San Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 2 (photo by Lorenzo Reyna) 
Despite holding state accolades in the hurdles and receiving two track and field scholarship offers, Dinuba’s Isaac Leppke wants to remind people what his passion is: football.

And his chances of playing college football increased on Wednesday, Dec. 2, as the 6-foot-4 Leppke received his first scholarship offer from the University of San Diego.

Leppke had drawn interest from Football Championship Subdivision, Mountain West, Ivy League and Big 12 schools since the conclusion of his junior year.

“USD offered me an academic (scholarship), so it’s whatever money I get based on my grades and other stuff. They are an academic school and don't offer athletic scholarships there. But they’re interested in me as an athlete from what it sounded like,” Leppke said.

During his senior year, the Emperors experimented Leppke in other positions, including wide receiver. He finished with eight catches for 152 yards and scored once in three games out wide, averaging 19 yards per catch for the 5-5 Emperors.

At quarterback, Leppke threw for 1,209 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions during his senior year.

While track powerhouses Fresno Pacific and the University of Iowa have extended a pledge to him, Leppke said he’s “very grateful” a football opportunity came.

 “I don't know if I can live without it. Football is the route I want to go,” Leppke said. “It has been tough with Iowa, but San Diego is a very good academics school and the degree is just as meaningful. To me, there is nothing better than football.”

Leppke added that he won’t commit right away to USD’s pledge and “I may wait a little bit to see what else happens.”

In the end, Leppke is counting his blessings as he’s become Dinuba’s third straight quarterback to land a pledge (David Rico and Marcus McMaryion).

“I thank God for blessing me and keeping me patient through it all. I knew with God that my path would eventually unfold,” Leppke said. “I also thank my parents because my dad spends endless hours helping get my name out. My mom also spends her hard earned money on getting me to college visits and she sacrifices a lot for me.”