2010 Verbal Commits in Action:
* Stanford running back commit Brandon Bourbon has dominated so far in his senior season. His Potosi (Mo.) team is 6-0 and through six games Bourbon has rushed for 1473 yards and 17 touchdowns. His signature game on his way to compiling those gaudy statistics was this most recent weekend, when he romped for a ridiculous 451 yards and 6 touchdowns on only 9 carries in a 47-19 win against Bonne Terre (Mo.) North County. Bourbon also blocked an extra point attempt, had 3 tackles, and had a catch out of the backfield. Two of the touchdown runs came in the first 26 seconds of the game after he took his first carry for a 54-yard touchdown and then ran for a 19-yard touchdown after Potosi recovered the opposing team's kick at the 19-yard line. The third touchdown run came when Bourbon ripped off a 71-yard run on a 4th-and-1 gamble from Potosi's 29-yard line. He also had touchdown runs of 80 yards and 42 yards, as well as a 52-yard non-scoring romp early in the third quarter on his last carry of the game. Among other Potosi players, linebacker Brand Wright stood out with 22 tackles, junior Garth Rogers picked off two interceptions and recovered a fumble, and Tanner Glore caught a 12-yard touchdown pass, ran for a successful two-point conversion, and had 9 tackles on defense. The win over North County made Potosi 6-0 on the season. They had beaten Perryville (Mo.) 35-7 the previous week in a game in which Bourbon rushed for 116 yards on 9 carries and had a very rare game in which he was kept out of the end zone, though he did have a touchdown called back. Junior quarterback Matt Marler and the passing attack had the scoring fun this time as Marler completed 7 of his 8 passes for 236 yards, 4 touchdowns, and no interceptions. All four touchdown passes went to the aforementioned Rogers, who compiled 212 yards on the 4 catches. Potosi scored all of their points in the first half and did not play Bourbon or other star players in the second half, a weekly time off for Bourbon this season.
* Gainesville (Ga.) is off to a similarly dominant start to their season. Also 6-0, the Red Elephants have won their games by a combined margin of 262-45. Stanford wide receiver commit Tai-ler Jones and the offense have scored 34 or more points in every game and have broken 40 points four times. Stanford safety commit Daunte Carr and the defense have pitched three shutouts and only given up more than 13 points once. Both Jones and Carr receive some opportunities to ply their trade on both sides of the ball. In the most recent games, Gainesville dispatched of Oakwood (Ga.) West Hall 56-13 and Cumming (Ga.) West Forsyth 34-0. Against West Hall, Tai-ler Jones ripped off a 21-yard touchdown run on his only carry and had 3 catches for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 68-yard bomb. He also returned a punt 16 yards. Daunte Carr also got in the action, intercepting a pass and returning it 16 yards, recovering a fumble, and making 4 tackles. Junior linebacker A.J. Johnson, who is high on Stanford's radar, led the Red Elephants in tackles with 8. Against West Forsyth, Jones had 7 catches for 39 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 25-yard connection, and returned a punt 8 yards. Carr contributed 6 tackles and Johnson had 14 tackles.
* After missing a showdown with Orange (Calif.) Lutheran due to a hamstring injury, Stanford running back commit Anthony Wilkerson has gotten Tustin (Calif.) back to its winning ways the past two weeks. Two weeks ago against Mission Viejo (Calif.) Capistrano Valley, Wilkerson scored on touchdown runs of 45 yards, 11 yards, and 5 yards, all in the first half, on the way to an easy 35-3 win for the Tillers. Wilkerson was only needed for 5 third quarter carries before being pulled. For his half and change of work he finished with 167 yards and the 3 touchdowns on 24 carries. "He didn't run 100 percent, he was about 85 or 90 percent, but he wasn't hurting," head coach Myron Miller said after the game. "I kept asking after every play if he was OK." The next week, Wilkerson scored another 3 touchdowns in a 52-0 rout of Anaheim (Calif.) Western. The touchdowns were on runs of 5 yards, 16 yards, and 16 yards. In all, he rushed for 198 yards and the three touchdowns. Tustin is now 4-1 heading into a bye week that will allow some rest for Wilkerson's hamstring. "I'm glad we have this bye," Wilkerson admitted. Following the Western blowout, the Stanford-bound running back headed up the coast to take his official visit to Stanford for the Cardinal's win over UCLA. On the season, Wilkerson has rushed for 1036 yards in only four games and has also scored 17 touchdowns.
* Stanford quarterback commit Dallas Lloyd has led Pleasant Grove (Utah) to a perfect 6-0 record. Against American Fork (Utah) two weeks ago, Lloyd struggled a bit in the passing game, completing 7 of 14 pass attempts for 136 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions, but he nonetheless led his squad to a 21-7 victory by dominating with his feet. On the ground, Lloyd finished with 125 yards and 2 touchdowns on 13 carries. The rushing touchdowns came from 20 yards and 11 yards on the first two drives of the second half. The 20-yarder came on a 3rd-and-2 play in which Lloyd broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage and powered through multiple opposing tacklers on the way to the end zone. The passing touchdown was a 49-yard strike to favored target Jason Fanaika, who finished with 4 catches for 84 yards. It came with only a minute left in the game and put the nail in the coffin for American Fork. Lloyd's mediocre passing line was the product of a first half in which he only passed for 9 yards and threw 2 interceptions. "That first half was a nightmare," he acknowledged after the game. "I think this was good for us because we were able to bounce back from the first half and play well against a good team." The next week, Lloyd led a 35-14 victory over Sandy (Utah) Jordan. In that game, he carried the ball 9 times for 40 yards, including goal line touchdown runs of 2 yards and 3 yards. Through the air, he completed 8 of 15 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown, a 29-yard connection with Jeff Harris. After doing more scoring damage with his feet than his arm the last two weeks, some have speculated on a future at a position other than quarterback, but Lloyd views himself as a quarterback. "The reason that I signed with Stanford is because I'm going to be a quarterback," he said after the most recent game. "I'm really excited at the challenge of playing at a Pac-10 school." His coach views his intangibles as more significant than anything else. "The biggest thing is that Dallas is a leader," Pleasant Grove coach Dale Sampson said. "He always takes the lead at whatever he does with the team. With Dallas it's not about statistics, it's about winning, and he's a huge winner."
* Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman is another 6-0 team off to a great start to their season. Two weeks ago, the Gaels beat Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Oasis 42-11. Stanford defensive end commit Alex Turner had a good game, racking up 9 tackles and a sack. Former Stanford commit Evan Palelei also had a sack, though he only had 2 tackles. On offense, Victor Belen rushed for 155 yards and 3 touchdowns on 16 carries and sophomore quarterback Anu Soloman completed 9 of 19 passes for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. The next week, Bishop Gorman took out Henderson (Nev.) Green Valley 58-0. In that game, Turner caught a 22-yard pass and once again had a sack. Soloman was much more efficient than the week before, connecting on 8 of 10 passes for 149 yards and 3 touchdowns. The top rusher was sophomore running back Shaquille Evans with 160 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 5 carries. USC tight end commit Xavier Grimble 3 catches for 48 yards and two touchdowns. His younger brother Jalen Grimble, a potential Stanford recruit, had 6 tackles, a sack, and a safety.
* Yet another 6-0 powerhouse program is Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton, which has padded its record in recent weeks with 50-13 win over Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista and a 24-20 squeaker past cross-town rivals Chandler (Ariz.), Hamilton's closest game since last losing almost 13 months ago. Against Desert Vista, Stanford safety commit Devon Carrington had a 19 yard catch on offense and 5 tackles on defense. Junior linebacker Tyler Rutt had a big game, making 9 tackles and adding a sack and an interception. The offense was led by Zach Bauman, who rushed for 219 yards and 4 touchdowns on 22 carries. Hamilton continued their winning ways the next week against Chandler, albeit in a much closer game. The highly-touted Huskies actually fell behind 13-0 in the first half and 13-3 after 3 quarters before ripping off 21 points in the fourth quarter and edging by the cross-town team. In a heart-breaker for Chandler, Carrington's Hamilton squad was trailing by 10 with four minutes remaining in the game and scored two touchdowns to win the game. Carrington had 11 tackles in the dramatic comeback win.
* Plymouth (Minn.) Wayzata is now 5-0 after a 35-0 shutout of Edina (Minn.) and a 35-14 victory over Minnetonka (Minn.) Hopkins. The Wayzata defense has only given up an average of 7 points per game, but Stanford linebacker commit A.J. Tarpley and the first string defense has actually not given up a point all season. Tarpley caught a 1-yard touchdown pass against Hopkins. Through five games, the future Stanford linebacker has 33 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown, and 3 receiving touchdowns on offense.
* Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel is also 5-0. The latest victories were 35-8 win over Arlington (Va.) O'Connell and a 21-7 win over Forestville (Md.) Bishop McNamara. Although Stanford commit Louis Young projects as a cornerback at the next level, he is also starring at wide receiver so far this season with 12 catches for 218 yards despite Our Lady of Good Counsel's offensive emphasis on the run game. Young had 2 tackles against O'Connell , a game in which the offense was led by two 100+ yard rushing performances, neither of which was by touted sophomore Stefon Diggs. Instead, Wes Brown (148 yards) and Michael Nittoli (104 yards) got in the action. Brown had 120 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns against Bishop McNamara, a previously undefeated team. Bishop McNamara features 4-star wide receiver Brandon Coleman, but Young and the Good Counsel defense held him to one catch for 4 yards until the game's last drive, when he caught two passes for 63 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown with less than two minutes that gave his team their only score of the game.
* Austin (Tex.) Westwood is now 3-2 after splitting their last two games, a 42-7 loss against Round Rock (Tex.) Stony Point and a 31-14 win against Round Rock (Tex.). In the Stony Point loss, Stanford kicker commit Jordan Williamson made his only extra point attempt and had touchbacks on both of his kickoffs. Against Round Rock, Williamson made field goals of 47 yards and 23 yards, made all 4 of his extra point attempts, and had touchbacks on all 7 kickoffs. On the season, he has already made 4 field goals of 40 yards or longer and has consistently put kickoffs into the end zone.
* Stanford linebacker commit Jordan Zumwalt is now sidelined with a broken left hand on doctor's orders, but two weeks ago he played through the pain and led Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison to a 23-9 win over Southern California power Anaheim (Calif.) Servite. Zumwalt racked up 8 tackles and a sack. After his doctor told him he should not play with the injury, he sat out the next week against Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, a game Edison won 36-29. The defense took a big step back without Zumwalt but the team proved it can remain a force in the Southland as the offense held Mater Dei off. Quarterback Matt Viles passed for 263 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions on 26-of-39 passing and Wade Houston worked hard for 99 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. Houston was also Edison's second leading receiver with 54 yards on 7 catches and had 5 tackles on defense. Edison is one of the top teams in the nation and will hope to get Zumwalt back for a potential state championship run.
* Stanford tight end commit Blake Barker from Cambridge (Mass.) Buckingham Browne & Nichols was the last of the commits to begin his senior season, getting the season off to a successful start with a 33-14 win over Belmont (Mass.) Belmont Hill, the school that produced current Stanford starting cornerback Corey Gatewood. Boston College commit Jimmy McCaffrey shifted the momentum in the third quarter with a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown. After the game, BB&N head coach John Papas highlighted a number of key performers, including Barker, saying "Barker is an All-American tight end and did a great job of blocking." The next week, Barker and the Knights improved their record to 2-0 with a 35-21 win over Needham (Mass.) St. Sebastian's Country Day. Running behind Barker's blocking, Derek Papagianopoulos ran for 222 yards, 3 touchdowns, and a successful two point conversion. Papagianopoulos also had 12 tackles on defense.
* Stanford's other run blocking standout tight end commit, Zach Swanson of Katy (Tex.), enjoyed a bye week this past weekend. The week before that, Katy improved to 4-1 with a 36-7 triumph over Beaumont (Tex.) West Brook. Primarily a run blocker, Swanson had his most prominent game in the passing attack against West Brook as he caught 3 passes for 46 yards, including a 22-yarder. Katy passed a fair amount, totaling 269 yards receiving among nine receivers. Swanson was tied for second in receptions in a team effort. In the run game, Katy ran 35 times for 133 yards and 3 touchdowns, which is much less successful than usual and probably explains the shift to more passes than in past weeks.
* Stanford commit Tate Nichols and Union (Ky.) Ryle improved to 5-1 after dominant wins over Burlington (Ky.) Cooper and Alexandria (Ky.) Campbell County, by the respective scores of 56-13 and 62-19. Against Cooper, Ryle made it a laugher with 6 first half touchdowns. The Ryle offense turned in a balanced effort with 186 yards rushing and 164 yards passing. "Our offense has done a very good job of balance and being team oriented," head coach Bryson Warner agreed. The game against Campbell County was more of the same, with sophomore running back Travis Elliott running for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns on 16 carries and junior quarterback Connor Hempel completing 10 of his 13 pass attempts 236 yards and 3 touchdowns. Warner left the game early in the third quarter to go to the hospital to be with his pregnant wife, who left for the hospital just after halftime. Nichols did not score in either of the two most recent games, but you can check out a picture of him after a reception here.
* After a nightmare 0-3 start, defending Class AAAA state champions Bethlehem (Pa.) Liberty has won two in a row, including a 42-0 beat down of Allentown (Pa.) Allen and a 26-15 victory over Whitehall (Pa.). Stanford wide receiver commit Jarrod West scored one of the six touchdowns against Allen, a 16-yard touchdown reception. Liberty did almost all of their damage in that game on the ground, rushing for 333 yards on 38 carries. Andrew Klotz scored 3 touchdown runs, all from 3 yards out. Against Whitehall, Pitt 4-star quarterback commit Anthony Gonzalez returned to action after missing time with a strained meniscus and West was able to get more involved in the passing game, hauling in 4 balls for 66 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown. Gonzalez rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
* After missing two consecutive weeks with a torn labrum suffered earlier in the season that he tried to play through, Stanford athlete commit Kain Colter returned to action for Greenwood Village (Colo.) Cherry Creek this past weekend in a 41-21 loss against Littleton (Colo.) Arapahoe. With the ailing labrum, Colter only attempted 4 passes at quarterback, completing 3 of them for 24 yards, including a 16-yarder. He was a force on the ground, however, scoring Cherry Creek's first two touchdowns on runs of 59 yards and 74 yards. He finished the game with 162 yards and 2 touchdowns on 9 rushes. Cherry Creek is now 2-3 on the season as they deal with the adjustment of playing with an injury-limited Colter.
* A week after Jim Harbaugh attended a Fair Oaks (Calif.) Del Campo game to see Stanford commit Eddie Plantaric in action (and according to the Sacramento Bee particularly enjoyed a play in which a linebacker switched to fullback and pancaked a defender on a touchdown run), Del Campo beat Shingle Springs (Calif.) Ponderosa 31-14. As usual, quarterback Ryan Dimino led the way, this time rushing for 161 yards and a touchdown and throwing for 174 yards and 2 more touchdowns. The next week, Dimino, Plantaric, and Del Campo fell to 3-1 with a 27-23 loss against Roseville (Calif.) Woodcreek. Dimino completed 17 of 23 passes for 285 yards and 3 touchdowns and rushed for 146 yards, but it was not enough for the Cougars as Woodcreek scored two fourth quarter touchdowns in a come-from-behind win.
* After losing the first game of the season, College Park (Ga.) Woodward Academy has won four in a row and is now 4-1. In the last three weeks, Stanford defensive end commit Henry Anderson and the War Eagles defense has only given up 14 points. In the most recent games, they beat Atlanta (Ga.) South Atlanta 57-7 and Griffin (Ga.) Spalding 26-7.
* Stanford offensive line commit Cole Underwood mans the trenches for 5-0 Denton (Tex.) Guyer, one of the elite teams in the Longhorn State. Their most recent games have been a 62-13 pasting of The Colony (Tex.) and a 41-20 win over Wichita Falls (Tex.) Rider. The game against The Colony was spearheaded by standout junior quarterback J.W. Walsh, who totaled 343 yards and 7 touchdowns, including 4 on the ground and 3 through the air. He rushed for 143 first half yards. Walsh was less explosive in the Rider game, so Guyer turned to running back Jamaine Wilhite, who ran for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns on 17 carries. "My line did so good," Wilhite credited after the game. "There were such big holes. I almost fumbled one time because the hole was so big, and I was kind of surprised. I knew they [the offensive line] were good but I wasn't used to the holes being that big. The line said, ‘We'll carry you, just follow us.' It was like the Red Sea. I was amazed." As a team, Guyer gained 420 yards on 39 carries and passed for 111 yards.
* Fellow offensive line commit David Yankey and his Roswell (Ga.) Centennial team is now 3-2 after losing 31-22 to Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton and then having a bye. Centennial was winning 16-14 at halftime but then gave up 17 unanswered points before scoring a last minute touchdown to make the score look more respectable.
Injured 2010 Verbal Commits:
2011 Verbal Commits in Action:
* San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine won their first four games of the season and then dropped the fifth to start off 4-1. The fourth game was a 45-7 win over La Jolla (Calif.). Junior quarterback commit Evan Crower was an efficient 12-of-15 passing for 167 yards and 3 touchdowns, all in the first half, with no interceptions. His touchdown passes included a 19-yarder, a 4-yarder, and a 17-yarder. Four of Crower's receiving targets had multiple catches. Crower also had a 16-yard touchdown run and 20 total rushing yards on 4 carries. Running back D'Andre Crowder had 168 yards on 11 carries, one of them a 49-yard touchdown run. After the undefeated start to the season, Crower, Crowder, and St. Augustine suffered their first loss of the year with a 37-14 loss against San Diego (Calif.) Serra. Crower had more trouble connecting with targets in this game, completing 13 of 30 pass attempts for 137 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception. The touchdowns were strikes from 10 yards and 47 yards and were both in the fourth quarter when the game was well in hand for Serra. Crower had a run of 13 yards but was sacked five times by the Serra defense. Dana Barbaro, his old favorite receiver who missed a few games with an injury, returned and caught 6 passes for 90 yards, including the 47-yarder with four minutes left in the losing effort.
* Dallas (Tex.) St. Mark's finally got into the win column two weeks ago with a 28-14 win over Houston (Tex.) St. John's. Junior athlete commit Ty Montgomery caught a 22-yard touchdown pass that took the lead midway through the second quarter and proved to be the difference in the game. Unfortunately for Montgomery and the Lions, they returned to the losing column the following week with a 55-35 shootout loss against Tulsa (Ok.) Holland Hall. Montgomery did, however, have a great game in that loss. In addition to giving St. Mark's a 27-21 lead at the beginning of the second half after taking the kickoff back 90 yards for a touchdown, Montgomery also caught 6 balls for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Lions defense simply could not stop Holland Hall junior running back Kwame Sexton, who rushed for 274 yards and 5 touchdowns. St. Mark's is now 1-5 on the year.
* Sunnyvale (Calif.) King's Academy had a bye this past weekend. Before that, they took out Saratoga (Calif.) Prospect 39-14 and did it without the services of Stanford-bound junior running back commit Amir Carlisle, who was out of state attending a funeral. In a bit of an eye-opener about the disparity between King's Academy and the competition they face, Carlisle's fill-in, Matt Mitchell, rushed for 215 yards and 4 touchdowns on only 5 touches. As is often the case with Carlisle, the end zone ending his runs is the only thing that prevented him from gaudier numbers. Carlisle has played in three games this season and amassed 472 yards and 9 touchdowns while averaging over 20 yards per carry.
2012 Verbal Commit in Action:
* Philadelphia (Penn.) St. Joseph's is now 4-1. Two weeks ago, the Hawks took out Wyndmoor (Penn.) La Salle 24-17. Stanford's precocious sophomore quarterback commit Skyler Mornhinweg threw a 13-yard touchdown pass with 1:30 left in the game to take an 18-17 lead, which St. Joe's capped with a score thirty seconds later after a La Salle fumble. On the game, Mornhinweg completed 7 of 19 pass attempts for 99 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has been the comeback kid this season as this game was the third time already this season that he has engineered a game-winning second half comeback. He did not need to come from behind the next week against fellow city power Philadelphia (Penn.) Father Judge and instead had to hold on for a 28-21 win. St. Joe's led 28-0 in the closing minutes of the third quarter and then held off a furious Father Judge comeback attempt. In putting together the lead, Mornhinweg threw a 4-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and ran for a 43-yard touchdown with two minutes left in the third quarter to extend the lead to 28-0. The Father Judge comeback attempt was partly facilitated by an interception Mornhinweg threw on a pass in the flats that was returned for a touchdown and a fourth quarter Mornhinweg interception that was returned 72 yards to set up another touchdown. On the game, Mornhinweg's stat line was ugly as he completed only 4 of 14 passes 51 yards, the 4-yard touchdown pass, and 4 interceptions. He did run for 88 yards and a touchdown and is now 4-1 as a starting quarterback as a sophomore against excellent competition. But St. Joe's victory in this game was due mostly to the dominance of sophomore running back Desmon Peoples, who rushed for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns on 22 carries.
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