You basically just have to have some
vague interest in prep football to know the name Concord De La Salle.
The owner of the longest winning streak in the sport of football, the
Spartans seemingly play for the title more often than they don't.
Yet one thing is a constant surprise with them in that when you think California prep powerhouses that put out a ton of Division 1 kids every year, they aren't very high on the list. They certainly aren't at the level of an Oaks Christian, who puts out around 10 per year. And they aren't at the level of Centennial High School (Corona, CA), the former home of Husker Taylor Martinez.
Centennial put 12 kids into Division 1 from last year's team.
But they win, and they keep on winning, and against loaded prep juggernauts like Don Boscoe Prep in New Jersey. The Spartans lost on the road to them this last season in a squeaker, 23-21. Then against Martinez' team in the state championship they were edged 21-16.
Call it great coaching. That seems to be the logical conclusion as to how this team can be such a perennial success without being stockpiled like many of the teams they play. Chances are that won't change this year or even next in regard to the sheer number of kids heading to college on scholarship. But for the class of 2011 you can bet there is going to be at least one.
Charles Dylan Winn, actually, but that's only when he's filling out paperwork or he's in trouble with mom. But not even into his junior year he's got a nice resume':
As a 2008 sophomore, was named to GoldenStatePreps.com SuperSoph Team, First Team All-EBAL, First Team All-East Bay by the Contra Costa Times, First team All-Region by the San Francisco Chronicle, MVP Co-Outstanding Sophomore by the San Francisco Chronicle, First Team All-State, First Team All-Underclassmen and First Team All-NorCal. Helped Concord (Calif.) De La Salle to 18th straight CIF-NCS title and CIF State Championship game.
On that impressive season which actually saw Wynn move to the down-position at end from linebacker, his stats were jaw-dropping as he notched 103 tackles, including 15 for loss, 11 of which were sacks.
So, it wouldn't be a stretch to consider him a scholarship-worthy candidate, especially when he's already getting plenty of attention from Nebraska, Penn State, Cal and Notre Dame, just to name a few.
But if you ask Wynn why it is that his team can have such success but not put out the number of scholarship kids as everyone they beat on a regular basis, he said that's easy. "How our teams works is that you aren't allowed to be an individual. You aren't allowed to dress differently and you aren't allowed to act outside of how the coaches want you to act," Wynn said. "You are grown (here) as a person, as someone that will do good in life beyond football. But they use football to teach the values of life.
"With other teams you might hear them yelling at each other or getting on each other's cases. Not here. It's never "me", it's "us"…always."
OK, so that attitude is definitely there, but outside of the continuity they have which is so essential to a successful team, Wynn said that how they play the game isn't bad either. It's especially important when you consider that a Spartan offensive line usually doesn't boast a single player over 270 pounds. Point of fact, Wynn, who comes in at 6-2, 230 lbs., is slated to start at one of the tackle spots this year.
"We have great technique. Because of our size we are quicker than the teams we face, but where we win the battles is through great technique," he said. "Where you put your hands, how you line up, your base, technique to move out and cut in on defense or getting out of your stance quickly and square to the defender on offense – you have to be fundamentally sound here. You have to be very precise in everything you do or you won't play."
Wynn came to Concord his sophomore year, living in New Hampshire before that. He's actually a native of Texas. But since arriving at Concord Wynn has obviously not wasted a lot of time trying to get onto the field, especially at a school that sports enough players that they aren't forced to play kids both ways. If someone is good enough, however, they will.
Or to put it better, according to Wynn, if they are both good and have the right attitude. "Honestly, our coaches don't care if we win or lose as much as they care that each player is busting their ass on every single play. You either work hard or you will be sitting on the bench," he said. "It's really the basis for everything. If you don't have the effort the rest isn't going to matter."
Wynn said that in that regard it fits him to a tee. "Oh, I'm going. From whistle-to-whistle I am going full out, and all I want to do is embarrass the guy in front of me," he said. "I want to beat him off the edge so bad and so fast that whoever I hit in the backfield, that lineman who I beat, is going to have to apologize to his guy for him getting clobbered."
If that doesn't sound like a player that could fit what you want on your team, you probably need to find another team.
When it comes to the recruiting, Wynn is obviously looking at a long road ahead, still a couple of months away from when schools can even offer in writing. But that hasn't stopped him from going to camps to those aforementioned teams, and when it comes to Nebraska he's been there four times.
|Former Husker receiver Todd Peterson
is a cousin to Wynn, and someone
Dylan said he idolizes.
we profiled with players like Tyler Moore, an offensive lineman out of
Florida whose dad (Brian) played for Nebraska as well as his cousin,
Jay Moore. Then there is Aaron Green, perhaps a top 10 player in the
entire country for next year's class, and his brother (Andrew) will be
going into his freshman year with the Big Red.
Wynn has a pretty good connection himself.
"Both of my parents are from Nebraska. My dad went to Creighton Prep, and he played at UNO. Basically, the whole clan is out there," he said. That clan includes cousin Todd Peterson, who just finished his career at Nebraska at wide receiver, and is someone who Wynn idolizes in what he does and how he does it. "He knows how to practice, and he's about as smart of a player as you are going to see. He's someone I really look up to," Wynn said. "There are lots of people like that, including my brother, Gowan, who I call "prodigy", because he was taking Advanced Calculus as a freshman, and he scored in the top one percent in the country on his ACT."
Four camps, his parents are both from Nebraska, and Dylan's dad (John-Joseph) is not shy about his allegiance to the Huskers, as well. "Oh yeah, I am definitely a big Nebraska fan. My father has had season tickets there for the last 30 years," Dylan's father said. "So I'm a little biased. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing him in red and white."
Here's the thing you might not believe though: Dylan has never seen a game in Memorial Stadium.
All the history his family has with the state and following the program, the only Husker game he's seen in person was in 2000 as the Huskers took on the Tennessee Volunteers in the Fiesta Bowl. You could say that little fact drives Wynn nuts to this day. "It's definitely kind of depressing. I'm like one of the few who hasn't seen a game in Lincoln," he said with a laugh. "It's something I am really hoping we fix very soon."
Wynn isn't shy about saying that he's a Husker fan either. "Oh definitely. That's what I grew up with, even here," he said.
But when it comes to recruiting he takes a slightly different angle, but one which shouldn't come as a surprise. "Well, first it's so long away that while I think about it I don't think about it too much," he said. "But when someone chooses a college, at least for me, I am going to choose it on the criteria of academics, coaches and all the things that I know Nebraska has, but a lot of other schools have, too. College is such a big decision in your life that you can't base it on the fact that you are a fan. I'm definitely a fan. But there's a lot more that goes into it than that."
He's someone to keep in mind for sure, though, as Wynn could find easily find himself holding a Nebraska offer one day. Just the thought of that is something that Dylan himself knows would be a huge joy. But when it comes to his parents, the level of hysteria might hit its peak. "I can't even tell you what my dad's reaction would be if Nebraska offered. I know I would be happy, but he might actually go nuts," he said. "And that doesn't include all the calls I would get from Nebraska, too. It would be pretty crazy for awhile."
But that's down the road, probably. Then again maybe not. Right now it's too hard to tell. But for a potential class of 2011 which is already looking extreme, it might have stepped up yet another notch just with the possibility of adding this young man from the infamous Concord De La Salle.
Can another Husker connection pay off?
We have potentially two years to wait to find out.