Greg Biggins, National Recruiting Analyst
La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat vs Long Beach Poly (Calif.)
Poly running back and Washington State commit Gerard Wicks was easily the star of the game rushing for 223 yards and two touchdowns on just 17 carries. Wicks showed explosive speed scoring on runs of 64 and 75 yards. He's a true home run threat that is not just fast, he's very quick hitting the hole and hits top speed after just a few strides. Wicks showed plenty of wiggle as well and is vastly underrated out west.
Poly linebacker and Jayon Brown was considered somewhat of a reach when he committed to UCLA early in the year but he had a fantastic game and a big senior season. Brown runs well, is a sure tackler and shows good football instincts. He's a bit of tweener size wise, he looked about 6-0, 205 pounds and plays linebacker for Poly. He has more of a safety frame but could fill a hybrid type linebacker/safety role at UCLA currently filled by former Jackrabbit Stan McKay.
Poly safety David Price played a lot of corner in this game and looked good. He's a big, physical safety who can really hit but showed solid cover skills matching up against some of Amat's bigger receivers. His future position is definitely at safety but he showed some nice versatility with his ability to cover in this one.
Amat's offense was mostly stifled but running back Dionza Blue was one of the lone bright spots. He showed good speed on a 58 yard score on a fake punt and ran hard against a physical Poly defense all night. Blue is a versatile player who shows good hands out of the backfield, can return punts and kicks and could play on the defensive side of the ball as well.
Amat two-way standout Darren Andrews wasn't featured as much as expected in the offense but he's a talent. Andrews has excellent speed and is a definite playmaker. He's being recruited as a slot receiver but could also play corner in college. He flashes good hands and the ability to run after the catch. Andrews clocked a 10.71-100m and could make an immediate impact in college in the return game.
Brandon Huffman, National Recruiting Analyst
Spokane (Wash.) Mead vs Bellevue (Wash.) Newport
Danny Mattingly (Spokane, Wash./Mead), is a four-star tight end, who at one point, was a four-star linebacker on Scout. A commit to Notre Dame, Mattingly plays on both sides of the ball, but after we saw him in the spring at the Oregon NFTC, and then again seeing him this weekend, we're more and more convinced that tight end is his position at the next level. Mattingly is a solid linebacker, but he's much more natural and comfortable as a tight end. He's got good size, good speed and is a precise route runner. He's got great body control, doing a great job of adjusting to underthrown and overthrown passes, and his best play was a touchdown he outjumped to defenders for, grabbing it at the one and getting both of his feet in bounds (though the refs overruled it). Still, it showed the athleticism he has. If there is one area he needs to work on, its finishing off his blocks. He did a good job of getting in the way of his defender, but instead of finishing off his block, a couple of times, after the ball carrier got past him, he let his man go, and twice his man was able to recover and pursue the running back. Still, when he wanted to, he was a real physical and punishing blocker.
Kevin Carden, West Recruiting Analyst
Westlake Village (CA) Oaks Christian vs Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
A game that featured several talented prospects on the offensive side of the ball turned into a defensive battle for much of the game. Notre Dame tailback Khalfani Muhammad, a three-star back with tremendous speed, was held in check by the Oaks Christian defense in the first half Friday night. But Muhammad responded in the second half with touchdown runs of 13 and 16 yards.
6-foot-6 and 220-pound quarterback Kelly Hilinski isn't known for his running ability but he showed good pocket awareness and agility against Notre Dame's tough pass rush. Hilinski used his feet a handful of times to escape the pocket and finished with an impressive 48 rushing yards. Other than a costly interception in the red zone early in the game, Hilinski had a solid night throwing the ball and looks much improved from earlier in the season.
Arguably the most impressive player on the field was 2014 DB/WR Koa Farmer. The Cal commit has made plays all over the field in the two games that I have seen him. Farmer was recruited as a safety by Cal and has very good size for a defensive back (6-1, 195) and good instincts.
2014 quarterback Brandon Dawkins had a solid but not spectacular game in the loss. Dawkins passed for over 300 yards and ran the ball well once again. The 6-4, 215-pound junior reminds me of UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley.
Stanford commit Francis Owusu displayed his big play ability, taking a short pass from Dawkins and racing by the defense for a 63-yard score. 2014 athletes Chris Davis and D.J. Riggins are two names to remember as well.
Jason Jewell, Southwest Recruiting Analyst
Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro vs Goodyear (Ariz.) Desert Edge
Second round of the Arizona State playoffs and what a great game. Desert Edge rallied from a 21-3 halftime deficit to win 38-35. Both teams have some solid senior prospects that will play at four-year and two-year schools but it was the underclassmen prospects that seemed to stand out the most.
Outside linebacker/ wide receiver Ismael Murphy-Richardson from Desert Edge is a physical freak. He is 6-4 and weighs 215 pounds. He was all over the field on Friday, registering 9 tackles, 1 sack and caught a touchdown pass. He looks like he will be a defensive player in college where he can use his length and speed to narrow the field on opposing offenses.
Junior wide receiver Elijah Marks had a huge night, catching four passes for 161 yards and two scores. The 6-1 175 pound Marks has plenty of speed and good size.
Saguaro's offense goes where junior quarterback Luke Rubenzer takes them. He is a dual-threat passer, having passed for nearly 3,000 yards this season and rushed for over 1,000 yards. Rubenzer is great at making plays when the pocket breaks down, has a nice arm and good speed. He doesn't throw many interceptions.
Sophomore wide receiver/corner Christian Kirk is special. Already holding verbal offers from UCLA and Arizona State, he is a true playmaker. On Friday and scored a touchdown on offense and had an interception on defense. He is a player that will be recruited on either side of the ball, similar to former Saguaro standout D.J. Foster, who is currently playing as a true freshman for the Sun Devils.
Jake Worthen, Northwest Recruiting Analyst
Bellevue (Wash.) Newport vs. Spokane (Wash.) Mead
Spokane (Wash.) Mead tight end and Notre Dame commit Danny Mattingly was spectacular in this opening round playoff matchup. Mead rolled, forcing double digit Newport fumbles and recovering three. Mattingly had his hand in a couple of the loose balls, but really made an impact on offense. Mattingly made multiple highlight reel catches including a 28-yard touchdown. Mattingly showed great body control running down the field and made adjustments to the ball while it was in the air. Most balls thrown to him were "jump ball" situations and he regularly beat the defense. Coming into the game there was debate as to whether Mattingly was better suited for offense or defense in college, after the game it was clear his highest ceiling is at tight end.
Spokane (Wash.) Mead defensive end and Harvard commit Langston Ward was impressive as well. Ward has a great frame at 6-foot-4, 230-pounds. If he had not committed to Harvard so early and was not set on that education, I believe he would have multiple Pac-12 offers. Ward also plays tight end and gives Mead a great double tight end set that can run the ball as well as attack the defense down the field.
This was not the best game for Bellevue (Wash.) Newport quarterback and Nevada commit Isaac Dotson. He was regularly under pressure and made a couple mistakes throwing the ball. Newport shot itself in the foot with fumbles, then was forced to thrown because of the score. Newport is a option team and wasn't prepared to come out and throw themselves back into the game. Dotson is still an impressive athlete and while at safety was responsible for some of the most vicious hits in the game.
Annabel Stephan, West Field Reporter
Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Boscov s Las Flores (Calif.) Tesoro
Friday night's playoff game between Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco and Las Flores (Calif.) Tesoro seemed unbalanced from the start: Bosco went 5-0 in league play, securing their spot in the first round of Pac-5 division playoffs. Tesoro went 1-3, though awarded the league's at-large bid, and had replaced their head coach (for undisclosed reason) a week earlier. Both the Braves and the Titans came out fighting the first half, with the score tied at 17 as each team headed into the locker room. However, Bosco returned to the field fighting in the third quarter, putting up 21 points to ensure a 38-17 while getting one step closer to the state championship.
The Braves' offensive line, anchored by USC commit Nico Falah and 2014 prospect Damien Mama, who holds an offer from Colorado, gave 2015 quarterback Josh Rosen plenty of time to make quite a statement on the field; Rosen threw for over 220 yards, including a game long 54-yarder to receiver Shay Fields in the second quarter. Rosen, who holds an early offer from Fresno State, displayed strong leadership on the field and an ability to command the offense, even as an underclassman. Running back Darren Walker had one of the game's strongest performances, rushing for over 100 yards and a touchdown.
Perhaps the most impressive player of the night was 2014 athlete Jaleel Wadood, who was playing running back and corner on Friday. Wadood, who holds early offers from Oregon State, Arizona State, and Colorado, had a few big plays at punt returner, but really stood out on defense with his coverage, picking off quarterback Matt Adam and breaking up a number of passes throughout the night. Wadood is hearing from the majority of the Pac-12.
2014 defensive end Malik Dorton was just one more example of the talent Bosco's underclassmen possess; Dorton holds offers from Utah and Utah State and was offered by Arizona State on Friday morning.
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