PRESEASON ALL-STATE FOOTBALL TEAM

We threw everyone who made it on one of our preseason all-section teams and sliced it down to a preseason all-state team. There's no guarantee any of these players will be on the season-ending and official all-state team (we're the only ones who've been doing that for nearly 20 years), but it should spark a debate or two.

Offense

WR -- Derrick Jones (Poly, Long Beach) 5-11, 170, Sr.

He was universally hailed as the state's fastest player last season based on track accomplishments and turned in a breathtaking series of games (except vs. De La Salle). Is he still the state's fastest? Again, based on track, the label now might best be worn by Oakland Skyline's Kenny O'Neal.

WR -- Damon Morton (J.W. North, Riverside) 5-11, 175, Sr.

You won't see Cameron Colvin on this list just because the De La Salle standout is going to miss his first five games due to academics. As impressive as he was at the Stanford Nike Camp and in other summer camps, Colvin still only caught 14 passes last season. Morton has caught more than 100 in two years and was co-Player of the Year by the Riverside Press-Enterprise last year with Terrell Jackson. Again, based on high school accomplishment over recruiting potential, Morton still has to get the nod as a wideout on any all-state team.

OL -- Bradis McGriff (Vallejo) 6-5, 300, Sr.

He's this school's most impressive big man athlete since baseball's C.C. Sabathia.

OL -- Chilo Rachal (Dominguez, Compton) 6-6, 310, Sr.

Generally ranked among the top five in the West among offensive linemen. Again, with linemen, we go more off the college recruiting stuff for these picks than high school accomplishment. It's not like offensive linemen have very many stats we can use to quanify success.

OL -- Leo Talavou (Fountain Valley) 6-4, 300, Sr.

Leo's been picked by us to be on three separate preseason honors teams in the last two days.

OL -- Brandon Nicolas (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-5, 260, Sr.

Same situation as Talavou. Nicolas also should be playing again well into December.

OL -- Jacob Hucko (Cerritos) 6-8, 265, Sr.

Too bad Hucko and Rachal's teams aren't in the same league anymore. A mano-a-mano matchup would've been fun.

QB -- Sean Norton (Hart, Newhall) 6-1, 175, Sr.

Latest in a long line of Indian QBs, Norton isn't the big-time recruit that Kyle Boller was, but he'll still land a Div. I scholarship. See our All-CIFSS team for more on our explanation of why we picked Norton here instead of one of the more highly-recruited QBs.

RB -- Terrell Jackson (Centennial, Corona) 5-9, 185, Sr.

Another year like 2002 and Terrell just might looking at being named the next Mr. Football State Player of the Year.

RB -- Marshawn Lynch (Oakland Tech) 5-11, 195, Sr.

Subscribers will see in our All-CIFSS writeup that Jackson is the clear-cut No. 1 RB in that section. Statewide, though, it's not clear-cut. Many recruiters think Lynch could be even better.

RB -- Le'Andre Matthews (East Bakersfield) 5-8, 180, Sr.

Rushed for more than 2,000 yards last season, and, oh yeah, that was without being in the playoffs.

K -- Juan Gamboa (Bellarmine, San Jose) 5-9, 160, Sr.

The kicking part of these teams is always the toughest. Juan was our first team All-State Underclass pick from last year and was All-CCS by the San Jose Mercury-News.

Defense

DL -- Jeff Schweiger (Valley Christian, San Jose) 6-4, 235, Sr.

One of the top DL prospects in the nation and key returnee for team that won 2002 CCS Div. I championship.

DL -- Thomas Herring (Fremont, Los Angeles) 6-6, 290, Sr.

Long arms are just one reason why Herring projects to be more of an OL for the next level. But since Thomas wants to be known more for being a DL, we'll do what the big fella wants.

DL -- Phillip Mbakagu (Hayward) 6-2, 260, Sr.

He was the Alameda Newspaper Group's Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. More size and strength will make him unstoppable.

DL -- Brigham Harwell (Los Altos, Hacienda Heights) 6-1, 245, Sr.

He's got a great first step and some think with additional size he could be moved to a tackle spot in college.

LB -- Worrell Williams (Grant, Sacramento) 6-0, 245, Sr.

One of the best plays we saw lall last year was when Williams picked off a pass and high-stepped it for a TD against Nevada Union. When all he has to do is concentrate on being a linebacker, rather than do so many other things for a team, Worrell could begin to get to the level of half-brother D.J., the Univ of Miami All-American.

LB -- Eugene Germany (Pomona) 6-3, 245, Sr.

Just a monster of a player, Germany should help keep Pomona flying high deep into the CIFSS Div. IX playoffs.

LB -- Marlin Simmons (Poly, Long Beach) 6-0, 205, Sr.

Following path of older brother and sister to athletic success and setting the stage for still more family members to come.

DB -- Willie Glasper (De La Salle, Concord) 5-11, 170, Sr.

Perhaps the best cover corner in the nation, Willie winds up as the lone rep from DLS on this squad, although there would be as many as four more if we did a second team.

DB -- Randy Estes (Los Alamitos) 6-1, 180, Sr.

He couldn't dial himself down if he wanted to, but you wonder if Randy is going to get injured with the way he hits on just about every defensive play. He's generally ranked as the state's No. 1 college prospect this year, regardless of position.

DB -- Jerome Boyd (Dorsey, Los Angeles) 6-2, 190, Sr.

Excellent safety and another prime-time performer from coach Paul Knox's program.

DB -- Terrail Lambert (St. Bonaventure, Ventura) 5-11, 175, Sr.

Maybe not quite as spectacular as Lorenzo Booker and Whitney Lewis but among nation's best at his position.

Multi-Purpose

WR/QB -- Lavelle Hawkins (Edison, Stockton) 5-11, 175, Sr.

He's had to overcome a lot to get this far, and we're admittedly rooting for Lavelle to acheive all of his dreams. One of the nation's top 50 college prospects according to the StudentSports/Sporting News High School Football annual.

WR/DB -- Marty Tadman (Mission Viejo) 5-11, 170, Sr.

Hopefully, nobody at QB for the Diablos this year will get hurt, so Marty can direct all of his considerable talents to being a defensive back/wideout.

WR/DB -- Michael Bumpus (Culver City) 6-0, 175, Sr.

It's a banner year for wideouts in the state as Jones, Morton, Hawkins and Bumpus lead a deep and extremely talented cast.

DL/TE -- Jimmy Miller (Westlake, Westlake Village) 6-5, 240, Sr.

When you are a returning All-State Underclassman as a DE and the colleges are loving you as a TE, the options for where to pick you are plentiful.

WR/DB -- Bryan Payton (South Hills, Covina) 6-1, 185, Sr.

Picked off 11 passes last season and ranked among top 10 DBs in the West by colleges.


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