The big story for Stanford recruiting this weekend is that it was a bye week,
finally giving the coaches a chance to hit the recruiting trail en masse and
visit, evaluate and show love to prospective recruits in both the senior and
junior classes at this weekend's high school games across the nation.
Hopefully we'll see some interesting tidbits about how those visits went.
In general, the season is winding down as some teams get eliminated from
postseason consideration and others end their regular seasons and go on to the
playoffs. The Hawaiian prospects on the board, Matthew Masifilo and
Savai'i Eselu, played for bad teams that didn't make the playoffs and are done
with their high school careers. They're moving toward the official visit
portion of the recruiting process. Other than those two, most prospects of
note played this weekend. Chase Minnifield's team did not play and begins
playoff action next week. I'm no longer providing Harrison Smith updates,
as he has now given a number of interviews in a row in which Stanford has
received no mention. He will almost surely end up at Notre Dame or
Tennessee, with Auburn being a very outside possibility and anybody else being
one of the shockers of the year nationwide in recruiting.
* Eddie Morgan has been nominated for the Watkins Award, given annually
to the nation's top African-American scholar-athlete. I don't believe that
he has yet been named a finalist, but this is a nice honor nonetheless.
Stanford has attracted a good number of Watkins winners in recent years,
including Michael Craven, Marcus McCutcheon and Ekom Udofia. Additionally,
Allen Smith, Emeka Nnoli, Jason Evans, J.R. Lemon, Brandon Royster, Chris Lewis
and Luke Powell have all been finalists. Mark Bradford and others have
been named semifinalists (presumably the level Morgan has reached). On the
field, Morgan had a more bittersweet weekend. He had some personal
success, scoring both of his team's touchdowns (24-yard touchdown run and
seven-yard touchdown run), but his team lost 20-17 and was eliminated from
postseason consideration. The touchdowns gave Morgan 12 touchdowns in
* Need I post how Friday night went for George Halamandaris and
Moorpark? Moorpark won 45-0 and Darrell Scott ran for 279 yards and four
touchdowns despite only playing four minutes into the third quarter. What
else is new? For those who have been missing my updates, Darrell Scott is
a junior running back who very well may be the top junior in the nation.
He already reports offers from the powers in the Pac-10 (including USC, a huge
accomplishment for a junior this early in the cycle) and national powers
(including Michigan, a huge accomplishment for a junior that far from Michigan).
He runs behind a big, highly acclaimed offensive line whose biggest and most
acclaimed member is Stanford OT commit George Halamandaris. In eight games
this season, Scott has led Moorpark to a 7-1 record with the only loss coming in
the opener to powerhouse Canyon Country, giving Moorpark an outside shot at the
state championship. In those eight games, Scott has 1,838 rushing yards
and 26 touchdowns.
* After a bye to nurse the wounds of two dispiriting losses, L.D. Crow's team
scratched out a 15-13 win this week. For whatever reason, Countryside's
offense under Crow has not been as successful as one would hope to see from a
talented powerhouse with a DI-A quarterback. I can only hope that the injury
problems with the offensive line have proved crippling, and Crow will flourish
under a more stable offensive line at Stanford (hey, a guy can dream!).
* Mission Viejo won easily 42-6. I presume David Green was 6-of-6 on extra point
attempts. The most recent stats I've seen for Green are 19-of-20 on extra points
(with the one miss being a block) and 2-of-3 on field goals, with the made field
goals being 36 and 31 yards long and the miss being a 30-yard miss that would
have tied a big game in overtime against Mater Dei. Those stats are a few
weeks old because I know that Green has also made a 45-yard field goal and more
extra points than the 19 of 20 listed.
* Readers of these reports may have noticed that my blurbs on Francis Parker
football have become less substantial. For some reason, it's become harder to
find pieces online on Parker football the last few weeks, a development that
apparently followed an illness absence for Gino Gordon and coincided with
Parker's first two losses of the year. I'll keep looking for stuff, so that we
can get a sense of how Gordon and Stanford commit Tyler Mabry are doing, but
there's not much out there for now.
* After all the hype surrounding the Auburn-Auburn Riverside showdown, it
turned out to be no contest. Kellen Kiilsgaard's Auburn team secured sole
possession of the regular season title and completed an undefeated regular
season with a 61-6 shellacking of David Paulson's Auburn Riverside team. Kiilsgaard ran for 108 yards and
three touchdowns and added six extra points and a
field goal. He finished the regular season with 18 touchdowns in nine games, best
in his league, and he will obviously win his league's player of the year awards
once again. He may be in line for state or even national honors given the extent
of his dominance this year. Said Kiilsgaard of this particular game, "You could
tell from the first drive that we had the momentum and it wasn't going to be
easy to stop us. We were executing really well." Said the opposing coach, "They
flat-out took it to us. What can you say? They are a very good
football team... That's a state championship-caliber team." Kiilsgaard says,
"It's there for
the grabbing... We couldn't have asked for a better way to make a statement to the
state that we clearly are the best team going into the playoffs from this
league. We're playing very well right now, better than we've been playing all
season. It's exactly what we want going into the playoffs." Hopefully he
continues this dominance through the playoffs.
* Oaks Christian remains way too good for high school football. This week,
they won 70-7. Jimmy Clausen was his efficient self, completing 9-of-11 passes
for 211 yards and three touchdowns. With 11 more touchdown passes, Clausen would
become the all-time California record holder (keep in mind that he usually only
plays half of the game and has a dozen or less passes). Marc Tyler had 99 yards
rushing and two touchdowns on 10 carries, with another receiving touchdown for
good measure. I think Tyler may also be contending for all-time touchdown
records even though he too usually only plays half of the game. No word on Sean Wiser's performance. After watching Wiser twice and following other Oaks
Christian games as closely as I can, I'm not confident in saying that Wiser is a
difference maker, but he would be a nice addition to Stanford's program. He comes
from a tradition of winning, has a good body, is reasonably athletic and has a
physical aspect to his play that would make him a serviceable possession
receiver or run-stopping safety at the next level.
* Cameron Collins' team won 63-35 in a real shootout against an undefeated
team. The story for Santa Monica was all about a running back (not Collins) who
had an absolutely monster day, finishing with 341 yards and six touchdowns on 34
carries. The win was a huge win for Santa Monica, as it evened their record at
4-4, kept their playoff hopes alive and was a big upset given the opponent's
undefeated status. Hopefully Collins made big contributions on defense, though
Santa Monica did give up their fair share of points. For what it's worth, the
opponent was Culver City, a team that has been very successful in employing a
four-receiver spread passing attack.
* One of my favorite players on our board is Chike Amajoyi, who I think is
better than the #66 running back in the nation ranking Scout.com gave him. Coming
into this weekend, Amajoyi was approaching 1000 yards on the season (through
games) and had an impressive 10.9 yard per carry average with 12 touchdowns. He
doesn't receive much out of the backfield, but makes the most of the
opportunities when he does, scoring one touchdown on two catches (one 35-yard
catch and one 26-yard catch). In this weekend's game, his team won easily in a
58-0 blowout. Presumably he had a big (maybe even huge) day - statistics
are not yet available.
* I wrote last week that Jamaine Olson's nationally ranked Jesuit team won a
42-0 blowout. Apparently Olson had a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown
in that contest. In this week's game, Jesuit stayed perfect with a 51-7 win. Olson had a 27-yard touchdown catch. In news that should be even more
interesting to Stanford fans, The Oregonian reported this week that Stanford has
offered Owen Marecic. I had never heard of Marecic, but upon further examination
it looks like he's a two way starter for Jesuit at fullback and linebacker. Like
Olson, Marecic appears to be a prospect with no recruiting profile other than
the Stanford offer, who plays a position of real need for Stanford in this recruiting
cycle. I'm hoping Stanford's coaches have done a good evaluation job, but it would be
nice to be going after prospects other teams want. Still, I've been really
hoping for a fullback offer, so I won't complain. Stanford could use help at
linebacker, too, if that's where the coaches see him.
* With USC quarterback commit Samson Szakacsy out for the whole season with an injury,
the year seemed lost for Bryan Anger's Camarillo team, which lost four of their
first five. After that stretch, however, they won two in a row to stay alive in
the title hunt. In this week's game, Szakacsy came back and threw two touchdowns to lead Camarillo to a
31-28 homecoming victory to keep title hopes alive. One of those touchdowns was a 30-yard
score to Anger, which kept Camarillo in the game in a fourth quarter comeback. Though recruited as a punter, the athletic Anger collected five catches in all for 123 yards and two scores - numbers that impress all the more when considered against Camarillo's total passing statistics. Szakacsy completed 7-of-12
passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
* Matt Conrath's St. Rita team won their first round playoff game 45-20.
* Matt Bentler's high school career is over, as his team just missed out on
the playoffs. They lost 45-44 in overtime and were eliminated from playoff
consideration. They hadn't given up many points this season but were on the
wrong end of a shootout in the season finale.
* Derrick Hallman's team won their district championship with a 17-10 win. Their record is only 4-6, but they won all their district games and accomplished
their big team goal. Said Hallman, "I told them from Day One when we lost at Vero
Beach that as long as we win our district games, that's all that matters. We
could go 3-7 for all I care, as long as we win our district games... It feels
great." According to the local newspaper report, "Hallman played stellar
defense, as he has all season, and also helped Central's offense with a
spectacular catch on a 34-yard pass from John Bladek."
* As I described last week, Doug Baldwin updates come a week late. In last
week's game, Baldwin had a 20-yard touchdown catch and also had a 57-yard
touchdown catch that was called back due to a holding penalty. Next week I'll
see if I can find details on his performance in this week's game.
* Matt Howe's Colleyville Heritage team scored two touchdowns in the final
minute of the game to cap off an amazing comeback and win 35-31. They improved
their record to 6-2.
* Mitchell Schwartz' team won 17-13. They relied on 141 yards and
touchdowns on 22 carries from their running back, who undoubtedly ran behind
holes opened up by Schwartz.
* Johnathan Frink's Oxford team lost a 29-28 game in the regular season finale to
fall to 8-2 and third place. They'll have to go on the road for the playoffs
* Jason Peters' Baton Rouge Catholic remained undefeated with a 24-0 win. They are now 9-0 and have largely dominated their schedule.
* Hoover improved to 8-1 with a 42-20 win. Brandon Clear caught three passes for 123 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown and another reception for 57 yards. His reportedly most sensational play did not make the stat book: a leaping, twisting one-handed grab over a defender in the back of the endzone on Hoover's very first play that hauled in the ball but was out of bounds. "I thought I had it," Clear said of the play. "We were clicking on all cylinders. [Hoover quarterback] Ross [Wilson] said he would get [the football] to me and he got it to me. It’s a great experience to know we are all clicking on all cylinders at the same time."
* Charlie Hatcher's team had a disappointing season but finished on a good
note with a 20-13 win. He joins Masifilo, Eselu, and Bentler as prospects whose
high school careers are over.
* Victor Ojukwu's team lost once again, this time by a final score of 40-23. I continue to find him and his recruitment one of the more mysterious and
perplexing things about this recruiting cycle.
Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg?
If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide
daily on our website, as well as our full-length feature articles in our glossy
magazine. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage
with TheBootleg.com (sign-up)
and The Bootleg Magazine (sign-up)!