California Football Hot News

A look around this weeks "Hot News" from around California. Our Tuesday Morning Inside Look...

California Football Hot News
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Four-star cornerback Omar Bolden (5-10, 197, 4.4) from Colony High School in Ontario (Calif.) took an unofficial visit to USC two weekends ago to see their game against Nebraska. "I liked everything I saw and certainly would be open to an offer from them. Actually, I am still open to anybody right now," Bolden said.

"At this point I still have not had an offer from Arizona State either," he added, following speculation that he might receive a Sun Devil offer in September.

"My six favorites right now -- but in no specific order-- are SC, Michigan, Washington, Miami, Arizona State and Arizona. And I mean no specific order," Bolden emphasized. Previously Bolden admitted favoring Michigan slightly.

"I'm not even sure on which side of the ball I want to be on (cornerback or running back). I just honestly want to play as a freshman--but if I have to redshirt, I will. So, I need to check the depth charts.

"I don't know when I'll have the time for official visits and I don't expect to make any decisions before November.

"Right now I've been averaging 100 yards rushing and five tackles per game," he said.

He reports a 2.0 GPA. "I've made up English and algebra so far and still need history and biology, which I hope to finish by November."


Nick Wood has helped lead Poway to a 3-1 record this fall and figures he has 5 1/2 sacks on the season.

The big, strong defensive tackle has a boatload of offers but is starting to narrow down his list. "I visited Boston College a couple weeks ago (9th), I am visiting Arizona State this week, then Colorado the next week," Wood explained. "I am looking at a few schools for my last visit. The ones I am looking at are Oregon, Washington, North Carolina State, and Wake Forest. I am still open if any other schools come in on me. I don't have a favorite and will make my decision after the visits."

Wood's dream school is USC, but it doesn't appear things will work out with the Trojans. "I am recruiting them more than they are recruiting me," he laughs.

The d-tackle prospect took a trip to Boulder over the summer and came away with the following impressions. "I loved my visit to Colorado. It was a great school and a great city. I really like Coach Hawkins and think he has the right mentality to bring Colorado back to winning. They seem like they have a lot of pride and tradition."

Tight Ends/Special Teams coach Kent Riddle is after Wood for the Buffs.

He carries a 3.2 core GPA and scored a 1750 on the SAT. Wood would like to major in Business.



Long Beach (Calif.) Poly defensive end Kenny Rowe (6-4, 220) is off to a strong start in 2006, helping the Jackrabbits bounce back from a season-opening loss to Santa Margarita and win their last three.

Poly has knocked off three highly touted teams from their respective sections: Birmingham from the City, Pittsburg from the North Coast and Mira Mesa from the San Diego section.

And Rowe has been a key cog in the Jackrabbits uprising.

With 11 offers to his credit, Rowe has six schools that he is closely looking at.

"Oregon, Cal, USC, Arizona, Nebraska and Mississippi," said Rowe. "That's pretty much it."

Rowe said no new offers have come in since the beginning of the season, and that he wasn't in a hurry to expedite the process.

"Nothing much has changed," said Rowe. "I haven't set any of my visits up yet."

This weekend, Rowe, a four-star prospect and 9th ranked defensive end in the nation by, went up against Nate Chandler, himself a four-star prospect and the 6th ranked tight end by The two matched up much of the game, as both played tight end and defensive end.

"It was fun," said Rowe. "It was a big win for us. We have a bye this weekend then we play Millikan next weekend."

Through four games, Rowe has 32 tackles and seven sacks as well as a blocked punt and a tip that led to an interception return for a touchdown. He had three sacks against Pittsburg.

Washington State is among the schools regularly calling the athletic lineman out of Palmdale, Calif. Hayworth Hicks, since Sept. 1, the date schools could first place phone calls to prospective recruits. The Cougars are at the top of Hicks' list, with d-line coach Mike Walker forging a tight relationship with Hicks since early February.

Most schools like Hicks on offense, but
Washington State is talking to him about playing on the defensive line.

Utah is Hicks' most recent offer, joining Washington State and Oregon in Hicks' top three. Ole Miss, the first school to offer Hicks and whom he placed in his top three last month, has not been in contact for the past several weeks.

"My top three?
Washington State, Oregon and Utah," said Hicks. "Coach Walker, he's actually going to call me a little later."

Hicks said he will in all likelihood wait until after the season to take his official visits, preferring to focus on his academics and senior season in the near term.

Washington State wants me to come out in December," said Hicks, who also noted Utah has greatly increased their recruitment efforts this month.

In addition to WSU, Hicks said he holds offers from
Oregon, Utah, Oregon State, UNLV, Ole Miss, Arizona, Arizona State, San Diego State and Washington.

HICKS, NOT UNEXPECTEDLY, is powerful with a penchant for going through opponents, as evidenced by his 73 pancake blocks last season. In 2005, Hicks and his o-line teammates were rewarded with a breakfast at IHOP after collectively logging more than 200 pancake blocks. He plans on pouring more syrup on a stack this season.

"I don't even know, its a lot," said Hicks, when asked his and his team's current number of pancake blocks. "We might beat last year's record."

Off the field, Hicks' sunny disposition is much like that of Cougar defensive tackle Fevaea'i Ahmu, another lineman whose ferocious play on the field is in direct contrast to a very likeable and personable manner in street clothes.

What has made Hicks the
Antelope Valley's most coveted line prospect is his great first step, a quick pair of feet and surprising athleticism. One area high school coach who has seen Hicks in action on Fridays told that seeing Hicks pull as an offensive guard, it's not difficult to envision him as a D-IA defensive tackle, crushing the pocket and chasing down quarterbacks. Some of that was on display earlier this month as Hicks moved over to fullback for a few turns.

"Coach says makes a hole. So hoo-boy, whoever is in the way..." said Hicks. "I hurt a guy last week on accident. I didn't mean to. Everyone else was pretty much moving out of the way but I guess he had the nerve to go head-up."

Hicks, all-league as a freshman and every year since, will be hoping to guide Palmdale to it's fifth straight Golden League title this season. Area newspaper scribes like their chances, seeing few teams with the chance in 2006 to get in the way of Hicks and Palmdale. Hoo-boy.

Athletic directors or coaches who would like to suggest a player, coach or game to be featured may contact football editor John Faulkner at or publisher Gary Trousdale at



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