Football Recruits Weekly Update

The past weekend saw a full schedule of action as teams across the country either began the playoffs or raced toward the end of the regular season. Meanwhile, Stanford secured a big commitment from a recruit from the Grand Canyon State. Read on for the latest stats and notes on Stanford Football's recruits from this weekend's high school action.

With Stanford on the road at Oregon State and unable to either host official visitors during a home game or use the road game to evaluate high school prospects of interest, the past weekend's main recruiting story involved the full action of high school games occurring throughout the country. On Thursday, however, big news broke for Stanford Football as 3-star safety Harold Bernard from Chandler (Ariz.) was admitted into the school and immediately made public a Stanford commitment that had previously been silent. Bernard is recovering from a broken fibula but hopes to be healed in time to help Chandler compete in the playoffs. Stay tuned to The Bootleg and for more on Bernard and other Stanford commits. The past weekend's high school action:

*  Stanford quarterback commit Andrew Luck brought Houston (Tex.) Stratford to 6-2 with a 48-20 win. The game was one of Luck's better performances of the year. Through the air, he completed 20 of 27 passes for 308 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the ground, he scored 2 more touchdowns and ran for 41 yards. He compiled those stats in only a half of play since Stratford blew the game open with a 24-point second quarter.

*  For the first time this season Stanford commit Delano Howell and his Newhall (Calif.) Hart teammates left the field without having won the game, but the 21-21 tie against Valencia (Calif.) ensured that Hart controls their own destiny in the race for the Foothill League championship. Howell carried the ball 24 times for 167 yards and a touchdown and also caught 6 passes for 75 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown that was entirely yards after the catch on a pass at the line of scrimmage. While Hart controls their destiny in their league and setting up a playoff run, the tie makes it less likely they will be chosen for the season-ending California bowl game championship.

*  Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier completed a perfect 10-0 regular season with a 28-14 win. They begin the playoffs this Saturday and will be attempting to close out an undefeated season and gain recognition as arguably the top high school team in America. After the completion of the regular season, Stanford commit Fred Craig, who leads the vaunted Bomber defense, was named Greater Catholic League South Player of the Year. Star running back Darius Ashley, who rushed for 204 yards in the most recent game, committed to Louisville this week.

*  Due to the Southern California wildfires, Mission Viejo (Calif.) played a rare Monday night game in order to let the air quality and recovery efforts improve. Mission Viejo ultimately rolled to a 41-3 victory. A week removed from a 115-yard receiving game, Stanford wide receiver commit Warren Reuland once again starred in the passing game, this time with a 97-yard effort. Junior quarterback Allan Bridgford finished with 209 yards passing and 1 touchdown pass.

*  Stanford offensive line commit David DeCastro, who has been the mainstay of the Bellevue (Wash.) power-running offense in a year in which they have suffered a number of injuries, led Bellevue to a 35-0 win to close out their regular season. Bellevue is now 8-1 heading into the playoffs. Meanwhile, DeCastro has been selected to play in the East versus West high school all-star game to be played in Miami in January and televised on Fox Sports as an alternative to the Army All-American game played in San Antonio every year.

*  Stanford commit Sam Schwartzstein's Southlake (Tex.) Carroll team clinched a playoff berth with 42-13 win that made them 7-1 and undefeated against Texas opponents. Their lone loss came in a highly-hyped showdown with fellow national powerhouse Miami (Fla.) Northwestern. North Texas quarterback commit Riley Dodge threw for 307 yards and 3 touchdowns and Texas running back commit Tre Newton ran for 195 yards and 3 touchdowns of his own. On the season, a potent offense featuring Schwartzstein, Dodge, Newton, and Oregon commit Blake Cantu has averaged over 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing per game.

*  After losing last week for their third loss of the season, the most they've ever suffered in a season, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian took out their frustration with a 48-0 blowout that looked more like Oaks Christian scores of recent years. Stanford commit Chris Owusu missed his fourth straight game with a knee injury. He is expected to be available for the playoffs and saw a doctor on Tuesday to assess the status of his knee. In this week's blowout, Boise State commit Chris Potter threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more. Stud sophomore Malcolm Jones ran for 140 yards and a touchdown on 9 carries as the featured running back and dominated on defense with an interception and sack.

Marcus Turner recently softened his Stanford commitment as he waits for further clarity with his recruitment and admissions status. This past weekend his Long Beach (Calif.) Cabrillo team was shut out 31-0 by the dominant Long Beach (Calif.) Poly powerhouse that has now won 71 consecutive league games. As with many Southern California teams, the teams played despite not practicing much in the previous week due to the fires in Southern California.

Shayne Skov, Stanford's early commit in the current junior class, helped Pawling (N.Y.) become 5-1 with a 39-16 win. Skov caught a 65-yard touchdown pass and ended up with 5 catches for 114 yards in total. He also successfully converted a two-point attempt. On defense, he made his presence felt with a fumble caused and fumble recovered to go with 3 tackles. This weekend brings a pivotal showdown in the race for the Open Division Prep School Super Bowl.

*  Las Vegas (Nev.) Canyon Springs concluded their regular season on the right side of a 48-43 shootout that gave them an 8-1 record for the regular season. Quarterback Devonte Christopher lost a fumble and threw an interception but otherwise dominated the stat sheet as he always does. On the game, he had a 53-yard run for a touchdown, 6 touchdown passes, and 3 successful two-point conversion passes, thereby putting him in the action on every point Canyon Springs scored. As a passer, he completed 18 of 33 passes for 420 yards, those 6 touchdowns, and 1 interception. On the season, Christopher has eye-popping numbers, with 38 passing touchdowns and 7 rushing touchdowns to only 6 interceptions, 2712 yards passing in 9 games, and a 64% completion percentage.

*  Memphis (Tenn.) University School had their second convincing shutout win in as many games as they rolled to a statement-making 24-0 win over Cordova (Tenn.) Evangelical Christian. DeAndre Jones and the MUS defense not only shut out Evangelical Christian but also held them to 5 first downs and 128 yards of offense in the game. Jones had a big game with 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and an interception. Evangelical Christian is the team of Barrett Jones, who remains arguably the top offensive line target for Stanford in the entire nation. On defense, Barrett Jones made 4 tackles, including one for loss. He was also the only player on either team to start on both sides of the ball.

*  After winning their first six games of the season, Houston (Tex.) Nimitz fell for the second week in a row. Michael Thomas completed 3 of 5 pass attempts for 17 yards and ran 14 times for 84 yards. The 21-10 loss sets up an important late season district showdown with Andrew Luck's Stratford team, which is also 6-2.

*  Chandler (Ariz.) Basha improved to 6-3 with a 47-14 win. Quinn Evans had a huge game for Basha, finishing with a 50-yard touchdown reception, 130 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns on 15 carries, and 8 tackles and an interception on defense.

*  Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton, the top team in the Grand Canyon State, stayed perfect with a 44-8 romp that made them 9-0 heading into the final week of the regular season. Gerell Robinson accounted for over 200 yards of total offense and Covaughn Deboskie rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Both Robinson and Deboskie are in the heat of hotly-contested recruitments with Robinson withdrawing his commitment from Arizona in October. Deboskie's official visit to Stanford for the Oregon game remains the only trip he has taken this fall.

*  Sandy (Utah) Alta got the playoffs off with a bang by winning a 56-10 blowout in the playoff opener. After being hobbled much of the season with injuries, reigning Utah Mr. Football Sausan Shakerin has looked like himself the last two weeks. In the playoff opener, he romped for a 49-yard score and also caught a 36-yard touchdown pass. On only 7 carries, he ended up with 110 yards and 3 touchdowns.

*  South Jordan (Utah) Bingham's 42-6 win kept up their end of the bargain in keeping hopes alive for a likely decisive semifinal showdown with Shakerin's Alta team for Utah supremacy. Austin Holt caught 3 balls for 39 yards including an 18-yard touchdown. Bingham running back Sam Langi ran for 165 yards and two scores. Holt has been selected to play in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio in January.

*  Lemont (Ill.) also won their playoff opener, though in a closer 48-35 tussle. Brett Nagel came up with a huge performance in his role as a bruising rushing quarterback and ended up with 239 yards on 18 carries. He highlighted the game with long touchdown runs of 72 and 66 yards. All season, Nagel has been a lethal rushing combination along with running back Bobby Earnest as they both run behind blocking from Illinois commit Graham Pocic. Earnest finished the playoff opener with 222 yards and 4 touchdowns on 20 carries.

*  Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic finished their regular season 9-0 after a 60-7 win. As a tight end, Quentin Williams added 2 catches for 41 yards and blocked for a running game that put up over 500 yards in the game. As a defensive end, Williams had 2 tackles, a quarterback hurry, and a fumble recovery.

Chase Thomas' Marietta (Ga.) Walton team stayed red-hot with a 42-20 win that gave them their seventh consecutive win after an opening week loss. Thomas contributed a 37-yard reception, 5 tackles and a fumble recovery in the big win.

Ryan Wallace had 3 catches for 46 yards in a 35-7 win that made Bowling Green (Ky.) 8-1 on the season.

*  Junior quarterback Jacob Karam led Friendswood (Tex.) to a 41-14 win that made them 7-2 on the season and brought them above .500 in district play. Karam passed for 209 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 interception on 13-of-22 passing. He also punched in a 1-yard touchdown run and had one of the game's key early plays with a draw play up the middle that saw him scamper for 81 yards before being tackled. Interestingly enough, Karam's passing output on the game was almost entirely racked up by picking on the opposing defense by going to top target Matt McLaren. McLaren exploded for 172 yards and all 3 of those touchdowns, all of which came in the first half. Even with the win, Friendswood's pair of district losses mean that they must win in their next game two weeks from now and depend on a loss by a district rival in order for them to make the playoffs.

*  Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista lost 35-32 to fall to 5-4. Top junior recruit Devon Kennard had 5 tackles and 3 sacks. On offense, Desert Vista was led by 138 yards receiving and a touchdown from Allante Battle and two touchdowns by new Utah commit Luke Matthews.

*  In the past week Stanford offered a scholarship to junior defensive tackle Corey Adams from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro, who joins Kennard as an elite junior defensive lineman from Arizona with a Stanford offer. Saguaro won 35-7 this past weekend to stay undefeated. Adams wreaked havoc with 5 tackles and 2 sacks.

*  Junior Johnny Simon's Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney team as a 10-0 Ohio powerhouse that begins the playoffs on Saturday. In addition to Simon, who was recently named by as one of the ten best juniors in the nation, the Cardinal Mooney defense includes Notre Dame commit Dan McCarthy, Penn State commits Brandon Beachum and Michael Zordich, and Oklahoma commit Taylor Hill. In the regular season finale, they put together a 28-0 shutout in which Zordich scored two touchdowns.

Manti Te'o and Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou went to 6-2 with a 55-38 shootout that saw them give up more points than in any other game this season. Their opponent relied on a big effort from running back Kama Bailey, arguably Hawaii's best running back since Joe Igber. Bailey ended up with an epic game in which he ran for 317 yards and 5 touchdowns on 29 carries. As Te'o said, "We did our best to try to stop him, but with Kama, you cannot stop until the whistle blows because he can make something out of nothing." Te'o ended up contributing to the Punahou win nonetheless with a fumble recovery and a long touchdown run in addition to his typical intimidating presence on defense.

*  Wheaton (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel cruised to a 42-0 win that made them 8-1 on the year. Versatile junior recruit Jelani Jenkins took the game off with an ankle injury.

*  Long Beach (Calif.) Wilson fell to 1-8 with a 41-7 loss. Junior wide receiver/returner Jemari Roberts leads Wilson in all-purpose yards this season but has battled injuries for the latter part of the season.

*  Junior receiver Joshua Adams' Cambridge (Mass.) Rindge & Latin team won 22-10 to improve to 6-2, but Adams did not get into the action.

*  The entire slate of San Diego area games were cancelled due to the poor air quality and devastation caused by the recent fires and a number of games further north were also cancelled. Players whose games were cancelled included: Stanford commit Matt Zubyk; top junior Levine Toilolo; junior quarterback Tate Forcier; kicker Travis Golia; and Mater Dei stars Matt Barkley and Khaled Holmes. Best wishes to all those across Southern California affected by the fires.

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