2011 Prospect Watch: Hartnell

For several years, Hartnell College was an also-ran when it came to JUCO football programs in Northern California. However, after weathering the storm the past couple years, things have begun to pick up for the Panthers and head coach Matt Collins spoke with JCFootball.com to give us an update on the state of the program as well as some of his top prospects...

"When we first got here four years ago, we were down in numbers and it was rough," Collins told JCFootball.com. "We've done a good job of recruiting and developing our guys the past couple years and I feel like we're at a place where we can really start to play well against some of the top teams in the state.

"When I first got here, we were losing games by 35 points and now, we are losing games late and by seven points or less, so we're improving.

"We also had our first kid go to an SEC program (Kiero Small), so we're increasing the talent level and I think we have no where to go but up from here."

Collins also broke down his top prospects and players for fans and four-year schools to keep an eye on in the coming months...

OL Nick Nunez - "Nick is a really solid player all the way around and really versatile. He's smart and could play center or guard depending on where the school he signs with wants him. He just got offered by Montana and they wanted him for this year, but he's going to stay and see what else he can get. Montana's offer is good for next year too and I know that California really is high on him and schools like Nevada, Louisiana Tech and San Jose State really like him a lot too."

OL Mike Milovale - "Mike plays left tackle for us and with his size and quick feet, he'll be a great fit out there for a school. He's got great feet and he's really strong, so he's a perfect fit at tackle and he's 6'4" and 310 pounds of muscle - he's really a well-put-together kid. He was just offered by Louisiana Tech and he's got a bunch of other schools really interested in him."

RB Alvin Jelks - "Alvin is a really athletic kid who we love and he just glides, so you don't really realize that he's running as fast as he is. He's got a ton of upside. He's very lean and he doesn't look like he's 205 pounds. He runs with a lot of attitude and he's got great instincts on cut-backs and running the zone plays that we like to run. He also just got offered by Louisiana Tech and more schools like him too. We expect him to really blow up this year."

QB Austen Fales - "Austen is so consistent. He led the state in completion percentage last fall when he went 101-of-145 (for 1,098 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions). He's a really solid kid and he's a leader. We love him. He's going to suffer some due to his height (6'), but there's no question he can get it done at the next level."

CB DeAndre Green- "He was solid last year for us. He's a return-guy as well as a DB and we think this fall people will really start to see what he can do. He should be a someone that really starts to pop up on radars next fall."

Hartnell will kickoff the season against Mendocino College on September 11th.

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