This weekend was significant for Stanford 2007 recruiting in two respects. First, Saturday was an SAT test date, so a number of prospects may have had retakes (David Green? Jamaine Olson?). Second, Kellen Kiilsgaard officially visited Stanford for the homecoming game against Arizona. Each of those events is probably significantly more important for Stanford football than any of these specific high school games, and I'll be waiting for word on those fronts. Anyway, this week's updates in general don't provide much hope that Stanford will be able to stop digging into a deeper hole with this recruiting class, although there are a few exciting prospects.
* This season is sadly becoming a nightmare for L.D. Crow. His Countryside team came into the year as one of the favorites to be an undefeated championship level team in Florida this year, but they've now lost their last two games and are totally reeling. Last week Crow threw an interception in the end zone (on a bootleg that his coach blamed for putting Crow in a bad position) that lost the game (or at least prevented them from winning). This week they lost 8-6 in a game in which Countryside's offense was obviously painfully unproductive. The decisive play in this game was a failed two-point conversion attempt with two and a half minutes left in the game in which Countryside's running back was stuffed at the goalline. The stop was particularly heart-wrenching for Countryside, as the margin was enabled by a missed extra point by their opponent (the opponent had one touchdown and a safety). Crow finished with 8-of-17 passing for 71 yards and an interception, which I believe is his third in two games. Countryside is playing with two starting linemen out for the year and two more starting linemen playing hurt, so Crow is playing behind a troubled offensive line. Still, I can't say that this season has been real encouraging.
* Same ol' same ol' for George Halamandaris and Moorpark, a team that is starting to look like one of Southern California's elite teams. In a game that was supposed to be a big showdown between good teams, Moorpark rolled to a 33-13 win. As always, junior running back sensation Darrell Scott, who is starting to be talked up as arguably the top running back recruit nationally, was the story. Scott rushed for 238 yards and five touchdowns on 24 carries. That's a huge day for just about anybody in the country, but Scott does it every single Friday. As he said, "just another day at work." The very early USC and Michigan offers and the reverence with which some people in Southern California are talking about him make me think that he's really special, but I'm still holding out hope that Halamandaris is a big part of the success and will come to Stanford ready to provide punishing blocking for a new set of running backs. Halamandaris had this to say after the game: "We've got great coaches who allow us to make proper adjustments at halftime. We keep playing hard and getting after it."
* Francis Parker, Tyler Mabry's team, is proving one-dimensional. After a 4-0 start to the season, they've lost two in a row now that stud running back Gino Gordon, who may end up at Stanford, has been out with mono. This week they lost 18-14 to a team with only one previous win.
* After last week's loss to De La Salle, Mission Viejo bounced back with a 27-17 win. This game is a particularly encouraging one to me among this week's contests as David Green made a 45-yard field goal. I presume he also made a shorter field goal and was 3-of-3 on extra point attempts.
* Eddie Morgan's team lost their second consecutive game, losing 31-21 to Xxavier Carter's former school. The story of the game was an opposing running back, who basically just ran the ball down McKinney's throat, carrying the ball 40 times for 246 yards. Maybe Stanford got the wrong Frisco running back.
* Cameron Collins' team lost for the second week in a row and fell to .500 on the season. I had read in a local newspaper report that Collins would sit out last week's game to complete his recovery from injury, but a recent Scout.com story quoted him as saying that he came back for that game and had nine tackles in a losing effort. I presume he also played in this game, a 28-6 loss. He's a recruit of real interest to me since he plays a position of enormous need for Stanford, he expresses real Stanford interest, and Scout.com recently bumped him up to real star status with a safety ranking comparable to Harrison Smith's.
* Oaks Christian really needs to just scrap the rest of their schedule and play De La Salle or maybe West L.A. (Willie Williams chasing down Jimmy Clausen and Marc Tyler sounds like fun viewing to me). They just can't get competitive games, no matter who they face. After blowing out a couple of solid teams earlier this season, they've moved on to their league schedule. This week they beat the latest hapless victim 63-7. Marc Tyler's first touch was a 50-yard run. Clausen threw long touchdowns to Tyler and Marshall Jones and a 10-yard touchdown to possible Stanford recruit Sean Wiser. Jones' manchild of a younger brother blocked a punt that Wiser returned 17 yards for a touchdown. Tyler added another touchdown. As always, those studs didn't play the second half as Oaks Christian gave their sophomore and junior studs a chance to shine.
* Chike Amajoyi continues to excel, this week leading his team to a 33-28 victory, their fourth win in a row after an 0-2 start. Amajoyi wasn't as dominant as he has been the last few weeks, ending up with 64 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. He was apparently a standout on a defense that limited the opposing quarterback to 6-of-14 passing and 35 yards.
* I accidentally reported the same score for Jason Peters' team two weeks in a row. Last week they actually had their toughest game of the season, winning their first non-blowout by a final score of 28-21. This week, they improved their record to 7-0 with a 21-7 victory. The other team's touchdown came on a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown. Baton Rouge Catholic's defense, led by Peters, only gave up five first downs (only one in the second half) and 47 total yards.
* Harrison Smith and his team are the real deal. They knocked off Tennessee's top ranked team 27-14 to stay undefeated. They'll surely get consideration as one of Tennessee's best teams now. Smith had seven catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a one-yard rushing touchdown. Said Smith: "People underestimate us. And we come out as the underdogs. But we always play better that way." Smith's coach had this comment on Smith: "I don't think there's any doubt the kid can play. He's our go-to guy. He's who we want to get the ball to, and he made the plays tonight." While I think Smith would be a difference maker for Stanford, I think I'm on the verge of removing him from these updates since I think there's a snowball's chance in hell that he comes to Stanford.
* Before coming to Stanford for the visit, Kellen Kiilsgaard took care of business on the field, leading his Auburn team to a 49-21 victory that improved their record to 7-0. K2 carried the ball 13 times for 94 yards and four touchdowns, including two fourth quarter scores that took the lead and then turned the game into a late blowout. He also completed 4-of-7 passes for 71 yards.
* All season I've been writing about the possibility of an end-of-season showdown between undefeated Auburn high schools, but David Paulson's Auburn Riverside team didn't live up to their end of the bargain, losing for the first time this season by a final score of 31-20. Paulson threw an interception, and Auburn Riverside struggled on offense compared to their effective option running attack in their previous games.
* Hoover won a big Alabama showdown 28-21. I think Brandon Clear missed another game with his knee injury. MTV is filming a second season of Two-a-Days, and Brandon Clear will star in the new season. Maybe commitments from the Clear twins on national TV could give Stanford some recruiting momentum. At least that way, something positive could come out of a show that makes even this huge high school football fan gag.
* I'm curious to hear more about Matthew Masifilo. By all accounts, he's a legit prospect with serious Stanford interest. I would be stoked if he could come in and project as a quality interior offensive lineman. I'd take him as a defensive tackle as well, though I think the need is less great there. Despite his quality recruiting profile, I'm a little perplexed that I haven't heard/read more about Masifilo this season. I know he's battled an injury, but I thought he had come back from the injury and his team is still bad, losing this week 34-7. Perhaps it's just a case of a stud playing on a team with little other talent, but I don't like seeing an injury-riddled and loss-riddled season for one of the top prospects likely to end up at Stanford.
* Matt Bentler's Assumption team won 41-0 nothing to improve to 5-2. Like I wrote last week, Assumption has a dominant defense. This is their second shutout in a row and their fourth shutout of the season. They only gave up a touchdown in the fifth win. The offense has been improved of late, so Bentler and the offensive line are presumably doing well.
* Still coming back from a groin injury, Doug Baldwin caught four balls for 62 yards and a 47-yard touchdown in last week's game. In this week's game, his team won 14-10. More so than for most of these other players and schools, I find that newspaper coverage of Gulf Breeze lags behind a few days, so I might have more details on Baldwin's performance in next week's update.
* Todd Huber's Peninsula team returned to their losing ways after last week's big win, losing 27-10 this week. Huber's local newspaper described the opponents' offensive line as effective in keeping Huber away from the quarterback.
* After an 0-4 start, Derrick Hallman's team has won three games in a row. They won their latest game 10-7 in a defensive showdown.
* Jamaine Olson's dominant and undefeated Jesuit team cruised to a 63-15 win.
* Johnathan Frink also plays for a dominant team. They improved to a perfect 8-0 with a 42-7 victory.
* Matt Conrath also plays for a notable team. His St. Rita team secured the Catholic Blue league title with a huge 7-6 victory against fellow Chicago powerhouse Mt. Carmel. Conrath is being talked up as one of the Chicago area's top players.
* Matt Howe's Colleyville Heritage team bounced back from a blowout loss at the hands of national powerhouse Southlake Carroll with a convincing 49-9 win.
* Mitchell Schwartz' team improved to 4-2 with a 15-14 win.
* Victor Ojukwu's team fell to 2-4 with a 36-8 loss.
* The weekly Chase Minnifield update gains added relevance this week with the word that he has some concerns about following through with his Virginia commitment if Al Groh loses his job, and that he will officially visit Stanford. This is one of Stanford's best opportunities for an impact football player, and the fact that he's a skill position/defensive back prospect makes him a doubly exciting prospect. In this week's game, his team stayed a perfect 9-0 with a 42-3 drubbing of a winless team. The opposing team only attempted one pass, which fell incomplete, and was held to 133 rushing yards on all the other plays of the game. Minnifield's team recovered four fumbles and totaled 403 yards on offense, and I'm sure he got in on the action.
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