Thursday, March 31, 2016


Back in 2009, I got my first taste of the recruiting world through, where I got to cover the Scout high school skills camp and another young skills event during its infancy: Passing Down.

Seven years later, I’m elated to make this announcement…

I’ve gone full circle!

I’ve been given the green light to return to and help provide additional content for the Golden State Preps website. I’ll also assist the other sites through the family in whatever capacity. Thanks to a new partnership with Cal beat writer Ryan Gorcey, which was made earlier today, I will help provide an extra set of eyes, ears, and content in two regions I’m very familiar with: the Central Valley and Ventura County. Mr. Gorcey needed some help in those areas. I told him that I’m more than willing to lend a hand. Stoked to make a return to Scout!

So many people to thank: Mr. Gorcey for helping lure me back to scout, my immediate family, my second family at Passing Down and lastly, everyone who has ever read and shared my stories over the years. Regardless if you’re a friend, coach, parent or player I highlighted, you’ve made it all worth it in the long run!

I’m still planning on staying with Passing Down. The tournament opened up so many doors for me back in ’09 and it continues to get bigger and better; with so many national prospects attending the events. It’s a requirement for scout writers to attend PD anyway!

As for Cali Gold Mine, I can’t guarantee that you’ll see the same content on this blog as my focus now shifts to finishing out the tournament year with PD and diving right into Scout. I’ll update CGM once in a while, but I can look back and say CGM kept my journalism career alive.

More important, I’m forever grateful that I stayed alive nearly two years ago when I endured the darkest period of my life. I’ve gone from a guy who was losing his ability to move his joints and ligaments, to someone who is now assisting the Fox Sports online recruiting site.

If you’re at St. Bonaventure, Westlake High, Calabasas, Oaks Christian, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks or the 559 and 661, don’t be surprised to see me at your games soon!

Thanks! I will end this announcement by sharing one of my favorite Bible verses Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


USC commit Stephen Carr hasn't slowed down this offseason. He's put together a strong tournament season as he prepares for his senior year of high school (photo by Lorenzo Reyna). 
They may not be hitting the open holes created by their linemen or stepping in and picking blitzes up right now, but most running backs still use this time of year to work on another key trait to their game: receiving.

And five backfield stars – two of them already highly recruited – have shown their hands and big play capabilities during the tournament season.

Who has stood out to me? Here’s the five who have caught my attention during this spring season.

Disclaimer: Much like my last post regarding quarterbacks, once again this list is based off of who has stood out in my own eyes. I’m sure there has been some other solid running back performers, but to reiterate, I don’t always have the luxury to watch everyone. If anyone was left off this list, it’s nothing against you.


Stephen Carr, Fontana (Calif.) Summit

At a sinewy 190-pounds, Carr looks like someone who stepped out of a photo shoot with Muscle & Fitness Magazine. The USC commit is more than a chiseled frame, though. Carr – offered recently by Miami, LSU, Nebraska and Michigan - was the top receiving and running threat for his team Ground Zero Panoramic during the Passing Down Southern California Regional on March 20 in Fontana. Carr has made his hands softer and more reliable in the passing game during this period. He also has shown an elusiveness and second gear after the catch.

T.J. Pledger, West Hills-Chaminade

The Class of 2018 prospect was explosive on wheel and out routes during his appearance at PD’s March 20 Fontana regional. Like Carr, Pledger came equipped with some open field moves and hands. National powers USC, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Washington are currently making an early dash at him on the recruiting trail.

Jullen Ison, Hayward-Moreau Catholic

He’s got to be the biggest sleeper back in the Golden State. In shoulder pads, Ison accelerated to over 3,000 yards rushing last season. In shirts and shorts, Ison has displayed excellent body control with his catches and can make some ridiculous one-handed grabs in traffic. Ison is currently offer-less during this recruiting period.

Chuck Wick, Ventura-St.Bonaventure

Wick has been Team Green and Gold’s [an all-St. Bonaventure squad] top security blanket and dynamic playmaker during the tourney run. Wick gets good separation against his defenders, then shows a wicked burst after the catch that makes him look like a 100-meter dash sprinter coming off the blocks. Wick is yet to report his first offer but says he’s been in contact with Wyoming and Texas A&M.

Josh Boone, San Francisco-Riodan

Like Ison, the 5-foot-8 Boone is another sleeper back in the Bay Area. Boone has shown consistent hands, an ankle-breaking juke move after the catch and a never-get-tired attitude. Along with his admirable offensive game, Boone has excelled as a slot cover cornerback as well. He’s not only waiting on his first offer, but his first letter from a university.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Tristan Gebbia of Calabasas High School put together a dominant outing at Passing Down's Southern California regional on March 20 in Fontana, proving to the spectators why he's highly recruited (photo by Lorenzo Reyna). 
April is fast approaching, which also means that the spring 7-on-7 tournament season is nearing the finish line.

Like it or not, this is the time of year when a high school football player chooses to hone his craft instead of sitting at home playing a video game, cell phone game, or glorifying themselves on social media.

A number of athletes - either holding multiple offers or itching for scholarship No. 1 - have used this period wisely, which is why I chose to highlight them. They’re clearly not satisfied with their high recruiting ranking or their other accolades. Here’s who has stood out to me so far in the tournament season starting with the quarterbacks.

Disclaimer: These players are who I think has stood out in my eyes. Unfortunately, I can’t get to or watch everyone. So if your quarterback isn’t on this list, nothing against you but do not, I repeat, do not try to persuade me to change my list.


Tristan Gebbia, Calabasas

Gebbia has made good use of the weapons around him. He’s spread the ball around to the likes of Tyjon Lindsey, Brian Hightower, Keyshawn Johnson Jr. and Darnay Holmes with pinpoint accuracy and a quick release. He’s also done damage on roll out throws. He clearly has shown why schools like Ole Miss, Washington and Alabama are hunting him down on the recruiting trail.

Jake Haener, Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista

Haener, who is the son of renown Bay Area news anchor Julie Haener, has shown a cool composure when out on the field. All he’s done is refuse to get rattled over any mistakes and fires the long ball. The Most Valuable Player of Passing Down’s Northern California Regional on Feb. 28 has been courted by mid-major programs so far, with Hawaii, Toledo, Akron and Middle Tennessee all offering him.

J.T. Daniels, Santa Ana-Mater Dei

Think of Matt Barkley or K.J. Costello with athleticism and a cool demeanor. That’s what you’ll get with Daniels. Not only does the Class of 2019 prospect possess a rocket arm and sharp touch to his throws, but has shown to be mature beyond his years by the way he controls and leads the offense. Six Football Bowl Subdivision programs have already offered the star freshman, with Norte Dame and Cal jumping on him early.

Jayden Daniels, San Bernardino-Cajon

The other Daniels from the 2019 class is a mad bomber and school record breaker at state powerhouse Cajon High. Daniels has an impressive trajectory with his throws and doesn’t hesitate to unleash the long ball. What sticks out the most, though, is his high football IQ; helping him figure out coverages right away before picking a defense apart.

Chase Garbers, Corona Del Mar

Garbers proved to me why he got invited to the prestigious Elite 11 camp (for the top quarterbacks in the nation) and why he holds 11 reported offers. He knows how to move an offense quickly down the field with his arm and vision.

Adrian Martinez, Clovis West

Like Garbers, the Daniels and Haener, the Class of 2018 prospect Martinez has shown that he’s never rattled by his mistakes. His release and deep ball capability are two major strengths right now. He not only holds offers from Fresno State and Nevada, but comes from a high school known in the Central Valley for breeding quarterbacks (Billy Volek and Jeff Tuel).

Trent Tompkins, Fresno-Central

Tompkins could headline the Central Valley’s 2019 class. Despite standing at 6-feet and 180-pounds according to his Hudl account, Tompkins plays bigger than his size indicates. He’s got a nice zip to his throws and is a strong decision maker.


Devoreah Allen, El Cerrito

He’s undersized at 5-foot-8 and has an awkward release, but make no mistake, Allen takes shots down the field and isn’t afraid to thread the needle against coverages. His prowess in the short passing game helped propel his club squad Silly U Orange to a top four finish at the Passing Down Northern California Regional tournament in February, a tournament that had 40 teams.

Armando Muzquiz, Merced-Golden Valley

Muzquiz looks every bit like another former Merced County star: Tyrone Williams of Azusa Pacific. Muzquiz is near similar in size, has mobility and has identical throwing mechanics. The Class of 2017 prospect is good about sharing the wealth among his receivers and going deep in the end zone. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016


Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure defensive back Kamren Fabiculanan received his first NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision offer from BYU on March 26, making him the latest freshman to receive a scholarship pledge from the Cougars (photo by Lorenzo Reyna). 
Kamren Fabiculanan of Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure just joined this statistic: the Class of 2019 prospects who have received an early offer from Brigham Young University.

The cornerback, who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 175-pounds according to his Hudl account plus started as a freshman on varsity last season, received his first scholarship offer from the Cougars before Easter Sunday, making him the eighth reported 2019 prospect to receive a pledge from BYU.

“I like to thank God, my parents, family, coaches and friends who are supporting me. It's such a great feeling for me to receive an offer this early in my high school career,” Fabiculanan said. “When I spoke to the coaches on the phone, I was pretty excited to hear they expressed interest in me.”

Fabiculanan held down the right side of the field for the Seraph defense last season, knocking away passes and using his size and strength to dominate opposing wide receivers at the line of scrimmage.

The other prominent '19 recruits on BYU’s early board are quarterback J.T. Daniels (Santa Ana-Mater Dei), wide receiver Gaudie Campbell (Antioch), and tight end Isaiah Foskey (Concord-De La Salle).


The University of Arizona became first in line to land a quarterback who hasn’t started in his first varsity game yet: freshman Cameron Williams of state kingpin Bakersfield High.

The 6-foot, 173-pound Williams received his offer from the PAC-12 University on March 26 according to his club football coaches on the Pro Way, which is owned and managed by former NFL running back Darick Holmes.

Williams shows his arm, vision and athleticism in the Drillers’ Triple Option attack on Hudl. He was last seen throwing darts at Passing Down’s Southern California Regional held in Fontana on March 20, where he went against some of the top prospects in Southern California.