It has been reported that Anaheim (Calif.) Servite junior standout D.J. Shoemate may miss the rest of the season with a fracture in his foot. That could still be the case but there is also a chance the state's top junior could return much earlier than that.
Shoemate, 6-1, 205 pounds is an incredible talent and a top five player in the state right now regardless of class. He plays receiver and defensive end for the Friars and could play receiver, linebacker or safety in college. He committed last April to USC becoming the first sophomore to ever commit to the Trojans in the Pete Carroll era.
We saw Shoemate in action last year when the Friars shocked Long Beach Poly in the CIF quarterfinals. The talented sophomore was the best player on the field in the game and it wasn't even close. He caught three touchdowns to go with three sacks and several bone crushing hits while playing defensive end.
Later in the year, we talked to Friar coach Troy Thomas during the CaliFlorida Bowl. Thomas, who was one of the coaches for the Cali squad, told us during one practice, 'I think D.J. might be as good as anyone here,' and we didn't disagree. The athlete finished the year with 464 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns to go with 35 catches for 646 yards and five touchdowns.
Shoemate has had foot problems most of the summer and sat out the Friars entire passing league schedule. In the Friars season opener last Friday, he re-aggravated the foot injury and could miss serious time, although possibly not as much time as has been reported.
"I don't think it will be season ending," Friar offensive coordinator Frank Kalil said. "In fact, and we'll know more in a couple of week, but I think there is a good chance he could be back in time for league. He does have a small fracture in his foot but surgery isn't going to be required and he's not wearing a cast or anything, just a walking boot.
"D.J. is a very tough kid and I think it will mostly come down to whether he can handle the pain. It's going to be totally up to him and his family, we're not pushing him at all. Obviously we would love to have him but he's just a junior and the last thing we want is for anything to happen that could hurt his future. If D.J. and his family feel it's the right thing to do and everything looks good in two weeks when they do another check up on it, he could be out here by week four or five."