football

Sizing them up

ANAHEIM, Calif. –
There were almost too many talented Division I prospects at this past
Saturday's Rivals.com Junior Day at Anaheim Servite High School. Of
the 257 players in attendance at the event, almost all of them looked the
part and definitely appeared to be legitimate prospects. However, there was
a good handful of players that definitely passed the eyeball test.
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Carter came in a few inches shorter
than first reported, but honestly it doesn't matter. There wasn't a more
put together skill player at the event than Carter. The explosive
Crenshaw rusher is already a member of the pre-evaluation period
Rivals100, and he decided to end the recruiting process early - picking
UCLA over offers from Arizona, Cal and USC. "I think Raymond has as much
upside as any running back in the nation," Crenshaw offensive
coordinator Eric Scott said.
DE
Kenny Rowe, 6-2, 216,
Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
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Rowe continues the long, long, long
line of stud defensive players for the Jackrabbits. Rowe, another
pre-evaluation period Rivals100 selection, looked trim and in great
shape in street clothes. He more than passed the eyeball test and
seemingly had a great time at the event hanging out with Carter, Baker
and several other of the elite prospects. Rowe already has offers from
teams like Ole Miss and Oregon on the table.
WR
Markques Simas, 6-2 , 200,
San Diego (Calif.) Mira
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Actually it was Simas' stud teammate,
tight end Nathan Chandler, that was expected to show up at the
Junior Day, but the appearance by Simas was an exciting one. Decked out
in a red and black San Diego Padres hat, it was clear by looking at
Simas that he was something special. He measured in right on the nose at
6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, and it's easy to see that he more than passes
the eyeball test. With early offers from Colorado, San Diego State,
Boise State and a host of others, Simas is also a pre-evaluation period
Rivals100 selection.
OL
Garett Pendergast, 6-3, 272, Anaheim
(Calif.) Servite
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Troy Thomas, the coach at Servite,
bragged Friday afternoon about Pendergast and said once people see him
in person, they'll know he's a big time player. Pendergast, who already
has an offer from Washington on the table, definitely passed the eyeball
test, and measured in at 6-foot-3 and 272 pounds. He has a lean frame
that still will have plenty of room to grow into. Look for his stock to
continue to move up the charts throughout the spring evaluation period.
OL
Adam Tello, 6-3, 270, Norco, Calif.
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At each Junior Day across the nation, there
are always new names that tend to pop up almost out of nowhere. Adam Tello
is a name that hasn't been talked about a lot when the discussion has been
about the top offensive linemen in California, but he definitely looked the
part on Saturday. The 6-foot-3, 270-pounder already has an offer from New
Mexico State and is getting attention from teams like Utah, Hawaii and
Southern Cal. If his film matches his looks, then look for his name to
become more familiar during the spring.
DB
David Ross, 6-0, 174,
Compton (Calif.) Dominguez
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Ross rivaled Baker for the most physically
impressive looking defensive back at the event. Ross, who was a very solid
6-foot and 174 pounds, had a great frame with a lot of lean muscle. It's
easy to see why Arizona, Washington and Oregon have already offered him and
teams like USC, UCLA, and Texas are recruiting him heavily. "I talk to mess
with people's head," Ross said. "Once I get in, I lock them down and they
never get open."
RB
Brandon Johnson, 5-9, 184,
Compton (Calif.) Dominguez
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Johnson should be one of the better smaller
running backs in Los Angeles County in 2007, and some are calling him one of
the best overall rushers in all of the nation. Johnson rushed for 1,500
yards and 25 scores as a junior, and then rushed for 251 yards against
Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the CIF Division III title game. Johnson already
reports offers from Oregon, Arizona, Washington and Oregon State and also
likes USC, UCLA and childhood favorite Miami.
DE
Devin Mahina, 6-6, 223, Upland, Calif.
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BYU was the first to offer the 6-foot-6,
223-pound Mahina, who could project at both defensive end and tight end in
college. His frame still could use some filling out, but once it does, look
out. When it does, Mahina doesn't plan on letting anything slow him down.
"My goal is to become a great person on and off the field. I want to use my
competitiveness in every day life to succeed." Oh yeah, he's also an Eagle
Scout, so you know he'll be prepared for the next level.
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Aaron Harris, 5-8 1/2, 171,
Baldwin Park, Calif.
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Harris was a little smaller than he was
first reported, measuring in at 5-foot-8 1/2 and 171 pounds. Still he does
have a sturdy and strong looking frame that should allow him to get by for
what he does. Harris is a jack of all trades for Baldwin Park. At running
back, he could be special on the next level. At cornerback, he could also be
a success. It doesn't matter either way honestly, because with offers
already on the table from UCLA and Washington and heavy interest from others
like Cal, Colorado, Michigan State, Oregon, Oregon State and Southern Cal
he'll find a spot somewhere.
LB
Robert Mullins, 5-11 1/2, 191, Los Angeles
Dorsey
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You have to respect somebody when they show
up all decked out in a killer black and red Scarface jacket. Mullins, a
killer on the field at linebacker for Dorsey, measured in right at 5-foot-11
1/2 and 191 pounds. Arizona and Ole Miss have already offered him a
scholarship, and plenty others are in line to after the spring evaluation
period. The linebacker plays inside in high school but with his speed and
size look for him on the outside in college.
DE
Akeem Ayers, 6-2, 214, Los Angeles Verbum
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You should hear what his coach has to say
about this California sack master. Ayers looked great at 6-foot-2 and 214
pounds. With a frame that has plenty to build on, it's easy to see why teams
like San Diego State and Arizona jumped on board early with scholarship
offers and teams like UCLA, Cal, Oregon, Florida State and others are
heavily recruiting him early. "He's an explosive player with a great first
step," his coach said. "We haven't played a team yet that could block him,
he really is unstoppable coming off the edge."
LB
Darnell Reeves, 6-1, 235,
Riverside (Calif.) Arlington
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Reeves is another name that
not a lot of people know about yet, but seeing him in person it's easy to
believe that he'll be a heavily recruited prospect. With a great frame that
has impressive muscle tone and solid height, he looks the part of an
aggressive defensive end that likes to get after the quarterback. "That's my
job," Reeves said, "I like to go get the quarterback and make him pay." If
his tape matches his frame, then he might be a steal for somebody.
DE
D.J. Holt, 6-0 1/2, 241,
Encino (Calif.) Crespi
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Holt is one of the players
that you want on your team. He might not be flashy. He might not be the most
vocal player around, but what he does do, he does it well. The 6-foot 1/2,
241-pound defensive end/linebacker is a two-time all-CIF selection and he
already has racked up an offer from Nevada. He's also getting major
attention from UCLA, USC, Miami, Arizona State, Notre Dame and LSU. After
seeing him in person on Saturday, it's easy to see why people from
coast-to-coast like him.
TE
Eric Brooks, 6-1, 240,
Monrovia, Calif.
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Brooks, who plays tight end
and defensive end in high school, definitely looked the part and has the
body of a Division I prospect. Brooks says he's a good receiver at tight end
and is hoping to improve his blocking this summer. Still he's talented
enough to earn his first scholarship offer from Colorado State. He's also
getting regular attention from UCLA, BYU, Arizona, Oregon State and Cal.
K
Billy Bennett, 6-1, 191, San Diego (Calif.)
Torrey Pines
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It's rare that you say a
kicker passes the eyeball test, but that was the case for Torrey Pines
kicker Billy Bennett. After picking up early offers from Arizona State,
Kansas State, San Diego State and UTEP, Bennett ended the process early by
committing to Boston College. From the looks of it, the Eagles not only got
a heck of a kicker, but also one good looking athlete. Bennett provided
Rivals.com with some highlight clips, which are sure to make BC fans smile
with excitement because this kid is something special.
RB
Anthony Wright, 5-11 1/2, 183,
Compton, Calif.
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More than 20 players from
Compton High showed up at the event, including several highly touted
underclassmen. But the star pupil from Compton was a shy guy named Anthony
Wright. With early interest from people like Arizona, Arizona State, Cal,
USC and UCLA, Wright looked the part coming in at 5-foot-11 1/2 and 183
pounds. With several of his teammates cheering him on, Wright did several
interviews with Rivals.com, something that was kind of tough for guy with a
shy personality. But Wright might want to get used to the attention, because
he's about to get plenty of it.
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