Football Recruits Weekly Update

Kellen Kiilsgaard

High school seasons across the country are winding down for many teams who are not playoff-bound, and that includes a handful of Cardinal recruits. Others like Kellen Kiilsgaard and Sean Wiser are enjoying undefeated seasons with a lot of football still ahead of them. Read on for the latest stats and notes on Stanford Football's recruits from this weekend's action.

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 eight games.

*  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 seven 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 two 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 next week.

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.


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