Extra Points: The Opening L.A.
RECRUITING: Lewis was offered a scholarship Saturday by USC along with his sophomore teammate Greg Johnson and his freshman teammate Jalen Hall. Lewis is the youngest of the group at 15-years-old. None of the Hawkins School three made any grand statements about being offered a scholarship by USC, although Johnson did say it was the scholarship offer he had been waiting on the most. All three acknowledged being offered together by USC was a positive as well.
RECRUITING: Redd was also offered a scholarship by USC last weekend. He said Sunday at the camp that he grew up in the shadow of USC living in Carson, and that Trojan football is all he knew in his formative years. Redd has a lot of USC ties, so it fair to say the Trojans will be the team to beat here.
RECRUITING: Pollard may decide to announce a commitment at The Opening Finals in July. He knows he does not want his recruitment to play out until signing day, so prolonging the process is more about securing exposure and officials visit dates to some prime locations during the season. Safe bet is, his last official visit will be to USC next January as a Trojan commit.
RECRUITING: Juarez commitment to USC was reported publicly prematurely, which did not go over well with his family. USC is Juarez dream school and his relationship with the coaching staff is strong. But his family wants him to visit other schools, with Notre Dame and Michigan at the top of the list. The main issue with Juarez and USC is the linebacker class the Trojans signed last February. The vibe is that Juarez will not venture that far from home. And with an invitation to The Opening Finals and the Army All-American Bowl this week, Juarez is getting all of the national exposure he feared wouldn’t come because of his early commitment.
RECRUITING: Toailoa had a very good day playing middle linebacker, but physically, he is a stout linebacker without much length. USC has yet to go after Toailoa hard despite the early scholarship offer, which suggests his profile may not fit their defense. On the other hand, USC is after Krys Barnes, who grew up a Trojan fan. Barnes isn’t quite as big as USC 2015 signee Cameron Smith, but he has enough height and length to play MIKE or WILL in a 3-4 system. It’s possible Barnes makes a decision on a college before his senior season.
RECRUITING: Franklin says he will most likely make a commitment in May. Wearing NIKE Trojan gloves and socks Sunday, USC is far and away his favorite school at present date. Franklin wants to graduate in December, so at this point, the ball is in USC’s court as to whether to take his pledge before the Rising Stars Camp.
RECRUITING: USC offered Stovall a scholarship Saturday, which was a bit of a surprise because of their lack of size at running back heading into the 2016 season. Stovall isn’t necessarily small, but at 5-foot-8, 185-pounds, he’s not really moving the pile as a tailback either. Stovall is high on USC and wants to get a decision done relatively early and he is working toward being a midyear graduate. However, a scholarship offer from Oregon would make a major impact on his recruitment. He sees himself fitting in well with the Ducks offense and will wait on that scholarship offer if need be.
San Bernardino running back Alexander Mattison should end up with a handful of scholarship offers. At 5-foot-11, 210-pounds, Mattison was one of the best
looking athletes on the field and has the moves and quickness of
a much smaller running back. Mattison carries a 4.8 GPA, so he has the
grades and ability to garner multiple D-I scholarship offers.
Inland Valley sophomore running backs Stephen Carr (photo below) and Nathan Tilford are already as good as any local tailbacks in the 2016 class. In non-contact drills, there’s not
a lot to evaluate with running backs, especially when they’re not of
the scat back variety. Carr is a powerful runner with good lateral
quickness shifting his weight to his outside foot. Although he was inconsistent
catching the ball Sunday, Carr still managed to make it to the first team
offensive seven-on-seven session Sunday.
Chandler (Ariz.) running back Chase Lucas is a safety in college. Physically, Lucas as a lean frame and does not carry a low center of gravity when he runs. While he made a
few decent receptions as a tailback, his body type screams defensive
back. Lucas unofficially visited USC Monday, but came away without a
The offensive or defensive lines were just okay
Sunday. While Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei offensive lineman Frank Martin was solid in drills and showed up to the camp in really good
shape, he still grades out more as an interior lineman than a trie
offensive tackle. Martin gave up the inside move a few times in
one-on-one drills because he was concerned about staying with the speed
rush to the outside. In pads, he would have mauled his main on the
inside shade, but in no pads, the defender slipped through.
Murrieta Mesa offensive tackle Nathan Smith was the best looking
offensive tackle in attendance physically, but he had a tendency to
play high and a bit stiff in drills. He didn’t get many one-on-one reps
either, while Martin was much more aggressive getting looks. Overall,
Martin gets kudos for his physicality and willingness to play out of
his comfort zone as a pass blocker.
Honolulu (Hawaii) Kaiser offensive guard Michael Eletise was listed as
the region’s top player at his position and he backed that up Sunday. While it wasn’t the greatest group of offensive linemen, Eletise had the cleanest day during one-on-ones.
Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne offensive tackle Alex Akingbulu might be a good forward. Listed at 255-pounds, Akingbulu is now closer to 235-pounds because of basketball
season. While USC has recruited players like Chad Wheeler and Tyron Smith at 260-pounds out of high school, Akingbulu does not compare
physically with either of those players.
The camp quarterbacks need a mulligan. Santa Margarita quarterback
K.J. Costello was one of the better performers among a group that had
trouble being consistently accurate. Costello will attend The Opening
Regional in Oakland as he wasn’t satisfied with his own performance
Glendora (Calif.) quarterback Matt Fink missed an opportunity to shine Sunday. While Fink is an athletic quarterback with the
ability to run by design, he struggled to throw an accurate football
with velocity Sunday. Even under optimal conditions, the slightest
breeze seemed to send his passes fluttering. The 2016 class of
quarterback in Southern California just doesn’t compare to the stellar
group the camp hated last year.
RECRUITING: Costello could make a decision within the next few weeks, and at this point, all signs point to USC. Since missing out on the nation’s No. 1 quarterback in Shea Patterson last month, USC has focused almost solely on Costello. While Stanford and Michigan continue to make a push, USC is Costello’s dream school, and as of the camp, sources are confident that will be his pick. That is if USC is prepared to take a quarterback before May Evaluations.
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