Football Recruits Weekly Update

After a hiatus for a week, The Bootleg's weekly update on Stanford's football recruits is back. This week, we divide coverage between recruits already committed to Stanford and some of the top outstanding targets left on the board. First up: the current commits. Read on for the latest stats and notes from recent high school action.

Stanford hosted its first official visitor of the year for the Arizona game two weeks ago in Josh Mauro and gained his commitment.  It also hosted a group of other unofficially visiting recruits that weekend. The team then went on the road to play UCLA in the Rose Bowl. Meanwhile, two more weeks in the high school football season are now in the books. The results from the past two weeks of high school games involving Stanford's commits:

*  Over the past two weeks, Taysom Hill led Pocatello (Idaho) Highland to 5-2 by defeating Idaho Falls (Idaho) 38-28 and Pocatello (Idaho) 26-13. In the first six games of the season, Hill piled up 696 rushing yards as a dual threat quarterback. Then in the cross-town rivalry game against Pocatello, when Hill was a marked man and was hit repeatedly throughout the game, the Stanford-bound quarterback passed for 148 yards and rushed for 61 yards and 2 touchdowns, recovered a fumble on defense, and kicked 2 field goals. After the game, he declared that winning the rivalry game was special, saying, "This is such a great feeling. The Black and Blue Bowl is such a big game that it's fun to play in whether you win or lose. But we won, so it makes the experience even greater." There was some controversy after the game with Hill and his coach both saying they felt the Pocatello kick return unit deliberately tried to get gratuitous hits in on Hill after each of his kickoffs for Highland. The opposing coach tried to downplay the controversy but acknowledged that Pocatello consciously tried to make life difficult for Hill, saying, "It was such a little part of the game. Taysom is such an amazing athlete, and he's out there on almost every play, we wanted to do something to wear him down a little bit or distract him. That's all."

*  After a bye week, Upland (Calif.) continued their winning ways by blowing out Claremont (Calif.) 48-7. The game is the fourth in a row in which Josh Nunes and the Highlanders' offense has scored over 40 points. They have scored at least 35 in each game this season, all wins. Nunes completed 16 of his 22 pass attempts for 353 yards and 4 touchdowns with no interceptions. This season he has passed for 1569 yards and 17 touchdowns to go with 6 interceptions. Upland is 6-0 and quietly putting together a case as one of the elite teams in California. They square off next week against 5-1 Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos and UCLA quarterback commit Richard Brehaut, one of the premier quarterback matchups in the nation this year.

*  San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep kept rolling by winning each of the past two weeks to improve to 6-0. Two weeks ago, the Bells took out San Francisco (Calif.) Riordan 41-7. In that game, Usua Amanam scored on touchdown runs of 6 yards, 9 yards, and 12 yards on his way to an 18-carry, 105-yard game. This past weekend, Bellarmine faced their toughest test of the season thus far, but prevailed over San Jose (Calif.) Valley Christian 27-16. Amanam starred once again with 137 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns on 21 carries. The touchdown runs came from 2 yards out, 13 yards out, and 17 yards out. So far this season, Amanam has been one of the standout players in California, running for over 100 yards in all five games he has played and totaling 15 rushing touchdowns while leading the charge on both sides of the ball for one of the top teams in the state.

Zach Ertz joins Nunes and Amanam as a Stanford commit starring for one of the standout undefeated teams in California so far this year. Ertz' Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista squad is now 6-0 following a 49-14 win over Livermore (Calif.) Granada and a closer 24-21 victory over San Ramon (Calif.) California. In the game two weeks ago, Ertz hauled in 4 catches for 69 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown reception. He played an even bigger role this past weekend, grabbing 6 catches for 81 yards and a 36-yard touchdown.

*  After winning only one game last year, Long Beach (Calif.) Wilson is now 4-3 and could make a run at the playoffs after beating Long Beach (Calif.) Cabrillo 41-18 this past weekend. Wilson outmatched Cabrillo and Jemari Roberts starred in limited action, catching 3 passes on his way to a gaudy 149-yard receiving, two-touchdown performance. He also had one carry for 20 yards. His longest touchdown was a 66-yard score that included broken tackles and then a dash to the end zone in which he outraced the opposition. The win helped wash the bad taste out of the mouths of Roberts and his teammates following the previous week's 30-22 loss to Compton (Calif.) in which Roberts was held catch-less and only touched the ball on offense twice on runs of 10 yards and -3 yards. The game was a microcosm of the more disappointing moments this season in which teams have keyed on Roberts and prevented Wilson's most explosive playmaker from putting up big numbers. On the other hand, at other times this season the heavy focus other teams put on Roberts has opened up breathing room for other players for Wilson, particularly running back Brandon Robertson. Robertson has rushed for over 100 yards five times this season and has been a workhorse averaging nearly 23 carries per game.

*  Denver (Colo.) Mullen is on a roll, reeling off a four game win streak to go to 7-1 on the year heading into their regular season finale next week. Two weeks ago, Mullen survived a scare from Greenwood Village (Colo.) Cherry Creek, winning 21-7 after tacking on two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Ryan Hewitt had 2 catches for 16 yards. This past weekend, Mullen beat Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Mountain Vista 23-7, once again relying on a second half push to seal the deal. In that game, Hewitt contributed 1 catch for 13 yards. On the season, Hewitt has grabbed 18 receptions for 239 yards for a 13.3 yard-per-catch average and has 3 touchdowns.

*  Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton has now won five consecutive games and is 7-1. Two weeks ago, they blew out Gilbert (Ariz.) 49-12, with Drew Terrell contributing 6 catches for 55 yards, 1 kick return for 31 yards, and 1 rush for 4 yards. He had a bigger game on Friday in an even more lopsided rout. With Hamilton taking out Gilbert (Ariz.) Highland 48-0, Terrell caught 9 passes for 103 yards and 1 touchdown, a 16-yard grab.

*  McDonough (Ga.) Henry County is similarly piling up wins after winning four games in a row to start the season 6-1. Their most recent wins were a 16-15 victory over Greensboro (Ga.) Greene County and a 36-28 triumph over Macon (Ga.) Southwest. In the latter game, Jamal Patterson had 4 catches for 84 yards.

*  In other Georgia action, Camden Wentz' Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter team split their last two games, a 25-22 win over Alpharetta (Ga.) and a 21-10 loss against Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton, and is now 5-2. Wentz and the Lassiter offense scored the first 10 points in the loss against Milton but the defense surrendered 21 unanswered points and Lassiter lost the game. The 25- and 10-point outputs of the past two weeks have continued the season-long general trend of scoring fewer points as the season progresses. Wentz and the Lassiter offense had averaged 34.6 points per game over the previous five games.

Jordan Najvar and Spring (Tex.) Klein Oak lost for the first time this season when they dropped a 14-7 contest to Spring (Tex.) Klein Collins. The game was dominated by the two defenses and the normally high-powered Klein Oak offense, which averages over 400 yards per game, was held to 70 yards rushing and a single second quarter touchdown run. The loss makes Klein Oak 4-1 on the season and follows a 56-29 win the previous week over Tomball (Tex.). Najvar did not get into the end zone but had 5 catches for 50 yards.

Shayne Skov's Pawling (N.Y.) team also lost for the first time this year, losing 41-7 to Lakeville (Conn.) Hotchkiss in a bitter disappointment for a team with hopes of repeating as New England Prep School champions. Skov had 6 catches for 63 yards on offense and 8 tackles on defense in the losing effort. Skov and the Pride bounced back on Saturday with a 34-6 win over Waterton (Conn.) Taft that makes Trinity-Pawling 4-1. In that game, the future Stanford linebacker once again made 8 tackles on defense. On offense, he racked up 5 receptions for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns, one a 72-yarder, and also brought in a 2-point conversion.

Terrence Stephens joined the club in playing for a top prep team that suffered its first loss of the year this past weekend with Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard falling 14-6 to Sandy Spring (Md.) Sherwood. Quince Orchard is now 6-1 in a campaign they hope will lead to a repeat state championship. Sherwood scored all their points in the first quarter before the stout Quince Orchard defense anchored by Stephens tightened the screws, but that proved to be the difference. Coming into the game, Stephens had 4 sacks and 16 tackles in 5 games despite being double-teamed consistently. His presence has opened up opportunities for the others on the high-profile Quince Orchard defensive line, which has not yielded more than 65 yards rushing in a game by a running back and had combined for 57 tackles and 11.5 sacks going into the game against Sherwood, which is now 7-0 after snapping a 20-game winning streak for Quince Orchard.

*  After a couple of disappointing midseason losses, Arizona powerhouse Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy College Prep has rattled off three straight wins. In the last two, Trent Murphy and the Broncos' defense has pitched shutouts. In a 7-0 win over Chandler (Ariz.) Basha, Murphy and his mates only surrendered 86 total yards of offense and forced 2 interceptions. They then only allowed 100 yards of total offense the following week in a 49-0 rout of Yuma (Ariz.) Kofa. In that game, Murphy contributed 1 tackle and .5 sacks.

*  Stanford's newest commit is defensive end Josh Mauro, who committed earlier this month at the tail end of his official visit to Stanford for the Arizona game. On the high school gridiron, his Hurst (Tex.) L.D. Bell team got off to a hot start to the season by winning their first five games but has now dropped two in a row and now stands at 5-2 on the year. The most recent game was a battle against Colleyville (Tex.) Heritage, a top team in Division 5-5A in Texas, in which Bell fought back from a huge early deficit. Colleyville Heritage burst out to a 24-0 lead just seconds into the second quarter, but Bell scored 21 second quarter points and at one point led 28-24 before losing the lead and the game 45-28. The game was a decidedly offensive affair with the two teams combining for 984 yards. The tough part of the schedule for Mauro and the Raiders continues next week with a game against the other top team in Division 5-5A, Keller (Tex.).

*  Mansfield (Tex.), now 4-3, spent a bye week nursing their wounds from a 51-0 beat-down at the hands of Arlington (Tex.) Bowie. Stepfan Taylor had averaged 172 yards per game and was second among all 5A running backs in Texas in rushing but was bottled up for 42 yards and no touchdowns in the game. According to Bowie defensive end Jarrett Brown, "We watched him all week and he was very impressive on film. He was like a man-child against other teams. We know how much he likes to cut back, so we had to play our gaps." The game was the first time this season Taylor has been held under 100 yards rushing.

*  Coming off a bye week following their most dominating win of the season, La Mesa (Calif.) Helix dispatched El Cajon (Calif.) Valhalla 28-14 to improve to 4-1-1. Levine Toilolo did not show up in the stat sheet in the most recent game. The previous week, a bye for Helix, he trekked up the coast to take in Stanford's victory over Arizona.

*  Stanford's lone junior commit, 2010 linebacker Tony Jefferson, also came off of a bye and saw his team pick up a win. The 42-7 win for Chula Vista (Calif.) Eastlake over Chula Vista (Calif.) Hilltop makes Eastlake 4-2 on the year. Jefferson had 7 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown, which came when he punched in a 1-yard touchdown. Taking that touchdown out of the equation, Jefferson averaged nearly 18 yards per carry. He also had a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown. Jefferson has consistently scored two touchdowns per game all season and also stars on defense, which is where he projects at the college level.  

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