Football Recruits Weekly Update

High School football has now kicked into action for almost the entire United States. The holiday weekend afforded several high profile contests, including several Cardinal recruits playing in the famed Herbstreit Challenge in Ohio. Read on for the latest stats and notes on Stanford Football's recruits from this weekend's high school action.

The big recruiting story for Stanford Football this past weekend was that junior recruit Shayne Skov committed to the Cardinal while making an unofficial visit for the UCLA game. Joined by seniors Quinn Evans and Brady Amack on the visit, Skov committed to play for Stanford on the first day junior recruits were allowed to receive written offers. Meanwhile, the high school football season picked up pace nationally this past weekend as most prospects were in action and a number of top teams played in major inter-state showdowns. No fewer than nine of those games involved Stanford recruiting targets playing out-of-state competition, including a quartet of high-profile games in the Herbstreit Challenge in Ohio. In addition, five of Stanford's public commitments kicked off their senior seasons while a sixth helped his team keep rolling in its quest to win the mythical high school national championship. The weekend's action:

*  Stanford commit Andrew Luck kicked off his season in style, leading his Houston (Texas) Stratford team to a 21-17 win against another top Houston area team. On his way to making all the big plays in orchestrating the victory Luck racked up 228 yards passing and two touchdowns on 15 of 33 passing while also gaining 75 yards on the ground including a 28 yard touchdown run. The game garnered extensive media coverage in Texas since it pit two of the state's top prospects against one another, with Stanford commit Luck playing quarterback for Stratford and Michigan commit Sam McGuffie playing running back for Cy Fair. McGuffie had 66 yards rushing on 11 carries before being forced out of the game with an ankle injury.

*  Stanford commit Fred Craig's Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier team improved to 2-0 and defended their claim to being the nation's top team with a 28-7 win over Hyattsville (Maryland) DeMatha in the Herbstreit Challenge, which matches top Ohio teams against top teams from across the country. Making the win even more impressive, St. Xavier played without star running back Darius Ashley, who is recovering from an ankle injury suffered in last week's opening week win. In Craig's words, "It was a hot day, and everybody was going at it so hard. We met the challenge. To have Darius out and win 28-7, you can't argue with that."

*  Mission Viejo (California) joined St. Xavier in the field at the Herbstreit Challenge and in the win column at the prestigious event, posting a 26-22 win over Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller. The game gave stud junior quarterback Allan Bridgford a national stage and he used the opportunity to throw for 282 yards on 17 of 29 passing. One of Bridgford's two touchdown passes went to Stanford commit Warren Reuland on a 69 yard strike. In addition to the long touchdown, Reuland added one four yard catch before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with an injury.

*  Westlake Village (California) Oaks Christian set a CIF-Southern Section record with their 47th straight win, one that came in typical Oaks Christian blowout fashion with a 49-14 romp. Stanford commit Chris Owusu helped the cause on offense with a 19 yard touchdown reception and another 13 yard catch. As a safety, Owusu added two interceptions and returned one of them 80 yards. Boise State commit Chris Potter threw for 103 yards and two touchdowns and ran in three more touchdowns. All-world sophomore Malcolm Jones had 155 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries as the new Oaks Christian running back replacing Marc Tyler and big brother Marshall Jones, both now at USC.

*  Stanford commit David DeCastro's Bellevue (Washington) powerhouse was stunned in the season's opening week, losing 6-0. The loss was Bellevue's first in over a year and the first time they have been shut out in nearly a decade.

*  Stanford commit Marcus Turner's Long Beach (California) Cabrillo team won for the first time since October of 2005 with a 6-2 defense-dominated opening week win.

*  Houston (Texas) Nimitz cruised to a 41-21 win in their first game of the season, with Michael Thomas providing a 39 yard touchdown run and two successful two-point conversion runs. Thomas completed 2 of his 4 passes for 23 yards and gained 136 yards on the ground on 10 carries.

*  Like Thomas, Robert Griffin started the season off with a big opening week win from the quarterback position. In leading Copperas Cove (Texas) to a 33-0 blowout win, Griffin completed 8 of 16 passes for 137 yards, which included a 37 yard touchdown pass. On the ground, the All-American track superstar was limited to 30 yards on 8 carries but did add a running touchdown.

Jarred Holley's Easton (Pennsylvania) team handily beat H.D. Woodson (D.C.) 30-8, but not before Holley was knocked out of the game with an injury. On the same night that Holley was inducted into his high school's Wall of Fame, he amassed 35 yards and a touchdown on seven carries and knocked away a pass in the end zone as a defensive back. On the last carry, Holley gained 11 yards and was gang tackled out of bounds before landing underneath a bench. After several minutes on the ground, Holley rose under his own power and went with his parents to a local hospital. According to his father, Holley will sit out the next game if he suffered a concussion: "It's a much bigger world. Football is an extra curricular activity. I need to make sure my kids are OK.''

*  Memphis (Tennessee) University School's defense was not as impenetrable as last week but eventually prevailed 35-19 to make the Owls 2-0 on the season. DeAndre Jones paced the Owls defense with 9 tackles.

Ryan Wallace's Bowling Green (Kentucky) team fell to 1-1 with a 39-28 loss against Kentucky's two-time defending Class 4A champions. Wallace scored a touchdown for the second straight week to start the season and caught 4 passes for 63 yards.

Quentin Williams, another tight end on Stanford's radar, faced a big test as his Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Central Catholic team squared off against Clayton (Ohio) Northmont in the Herbstreit Challenge. Williams had one catch for 12 yards as a tight end and a quiet day at defensive end as he went head-to-head with Northmont star tackle Zebrie Sanders, but Central Catholic ultimately won easily 34-6.

*  In a nationally televised game, Chandler (Arizona) Hamilton beat Phoenix (Arizona) Brophy Prep 29-6. Covaughn Deboskie punched in a touchdown from one yard out. Deboskie gained over 100 yards on just 11 carries and generally dominated, though he did lose a fumble.

*  Before flying to Stanford for the UCLA game, Quinn Evans helped Chandler (Arizona) Basha improve to 2-0 with a 21-3 win. Evans had two carries for 8 yards, one kick return for 25 yards, and three tackles from his cornerback position. The first week of the season was a forfeit in Basha's favor so this game was the true start to their season.

Harold Bernard's team completed the trifecta of wins by teams from Chandler, Arizona with an impressive 50-7 performance. Bernard had seven tackles on defense. On offense, he added a 25 yard touchdown catch and a 1 yard touchdown run. Teammate Kurt Mangum, who has mentioned Stanford as a possible school of interest in the past, contributed 7 tackles and a sack.

*  In yet more Arizona action, Luke Matthews' Desert Vista team started their season off with an 18-10 loss. Despite the loss, Desert Vista's stud junior Devon Kennard stole the show with 4 sacks, numerous tackles for loss, and a blocked kick. He looks to be one of the top players in America in the 2009 recruiting class.

Brett Nagel and Lemont (Illinois) continued to roll as they went to 2-0 with a 27-7 victory. Nagel ran for 130 yards on 14 carries, one of which went for a 31 yard touchdown and another that went for a 22 yard touchdown.

Devonte Christopher's Las Vegas (Nevada) Canyon Springs team won an out-of-state matchup with St. George (Utah) Snow Canyon by the final score of 42-35. Canyon Springs is now technically 1-0 after last week's game was cancelled in the second half due to power outages.

Austin Holt's South Jordan (Utah) Bingham team stayed undefeated by beating defending Hawaii state champion Kahuku 27-0. As they did the previous week against Alta, Bingham won on the strength of a physical offensive line and running game that overpowered a top opponent. Against Kahuku, Bingham involved Holt in the offense more than in the previous two wins as he caught two passes for 44 yards and a touchdown.

Sausan Shakerin and Sandy (Utah) Alta bounced back from their close loss to Holt's Bingham team last week with a 28-12 win over Clovis (California) East in the Gridiron Classic in Las Vegas. Shakerin ran in touchdowns from 7 yards out and 2 yards out. Alta is now 2-1.

Kenneth Page's Columbia (South Carolina) AC Flora team also bounced back from a loss last week by winning 10-7.

Anthony Mains' Naples (Florida) Golden Gate team struggled out of the gate too, losing 38-10 and giving up 242 yards rushing.

Xavier Avery's team also dropped their first game of the season as Ellenwood (Georgia) Cedar Grove fell 17-6.

Chase Thomas' Marietta (Georgia) Walton team was not able to get in the win column in their first week, losing 21-16. Walton's defense did get stronger as the game went on, however, holding their opponent to negative yardage and only two first downs in the second half.

Spencer Krauss and his Clinton (Michigan) team fell to 1-1 with a 35-33 loss despite Krauss passing for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 for 24 passing. Krauss also had 109 yards rushing on 9 carries. Said his coach, "Spencer played a tremendous game, one of the best games I've ever seen him play."

Tate Forcier, the brother of current Stanford quarterback Jason Forcier and UCLA quarterback Chris Forcier and the recipient of a junior year offer from Stanford, took San Diego (California) Scripps Ranch into Kea'au, Hawaii and knocked off Kamehameha 35-14. Forcier completed 17 of 26 passes for 276 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. The touchdown passes were 13 yard and 59 yard strikes. Forcier also added a 7 yard touchdown run.

Jacob Karam, like Bridgford and Forcier the early recipient of a Stanford offer, guided Friendswood (Texas) to a big 35-0 win to open the season. Karam completed 11 of 22 passes for 143 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. He also punched in a one yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown. His coach offered a mixed assessment of Karam's performance: "I didn't think it was one of his better performances. He threw some ill-advised balls. A lot of that, too, was our protection. Our timing was off. That affects everything. But it's good when you can nitpick your quarterback after he throws three touchdowns."

*  Long Beach (California) Wilson won their first game 39-26 with junior recruit Jemari Roberts contributing an 88 yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a receiving touchdown.

*  Another junior offeree, Johnny Simon of Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney, also contributed to a winning effort as Cardinal Mooney defeated Monroeville (Pennsylvania) Gateway 27-6 in the Herbstreit Challenge. Cardinal Mooney is now 2-0 and boasts one of the nation's top defenses with Simon, Penn State commits Mike Zordich and Brandon Beachum and Notre Dame commit Dan McCarthy.

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