All week long, Scout is naming a handful of 2013 prospects from each region who will be early five-stars.
On Monday, three were named in the South, and
Tuesday, two from the Midwest joined them.
Today, the West has selected its first five-star prospect from the class of
2013, and he comes from the premier program in the West, if not the nation.
A year ago, there were three early five-stars from the West, Arik Armstead,
Andrus Peat and Shaquille Thompson, and in the 2012 class, they rank first,
third and 12th respectively in the nation.
While we anticipate a few more
prospects from the West joining the five-star ranks over the course of their
recruitment, the one prospect we feel the most confident in from the region is
Concord (Calif.) De La Salle linebacker Michael Hutchings (6-2, 208).
"Just to be named up there with other guys in the country, it's an honor
and it keeps me driving," said Hutchings. "And the best part is I've got other stars around me
at De La Salle."
is coming off a
memorable sophomore season in which he was named the California Sophomore of
the Year by GoldenStatePreps.com.
The Spartans enjoyed a 14-0 season and the CIF State Open Division title in
2010, and Hutchings was part of a defense that pitched three shutouts and held
seven teams to 10 points or less, included an absolute blowout in the state
championship game against Servite.
Hutchings started for the Spartans' vaunted
linebacker corps along with Boise State freshman Blake Renaud and Cal commit
Michael Barton and may have the best college future of any of them.
"Blake taught me a lot,
he and Dylan Wynn (now at Oregon State). Those guys and
Michael are some of the hardest workers around. Blake would always drive
me to be better. And he's also
a humble guy. He works hard at all times. He spent the year playing both
ways, so I just saw how hard he works."
Interestingly enough, despite De La Salle's success throughout the years,
Hutchings is only the third Spartan to ever be a five-star by Scout.com, joining
Derek Landri (2002) and Cameron Colvin (2004).
Kevin Simon was also a pretty highly touted Spartans linebacker, who was once
rated the #1 outside linebacker in the country before playing at Tennessee.
"I've talked a lot with Kevin, he's a mentor to me, and I've been talking with my schools' alumni,
and they're just telling me to work hard and stay focused. Talking with
the other great De La Salle alums keeps me grounded," said Hutchigns.
Hutchings played outside last year for the Spartans but with Renaud's departure,
will move inside. His preference, though, is to play outside in college.
"I want to play outside in college, but I moved in to inside this year," said
Hutchings, who patterns his game after another top linebacker, Manti Teo.
his versatility. I've been watching him play since his sophomore year."
Hutchings already has offers from Arizona, California, Miami, Michigan, Oregon State, Tennessee, UCLA, USC
and Washington to choose from, but has said he'll take his time.
Hutchings 2010 Highlights: Watch Video
Hutchings is well put together and has nice, long arms with a good base.
He can take on linemen and usually makes short work of backs trying to block
him. He can slip his blockers because he moves so well laterally.
His hits are big and almost always end up in a ball carrier or receiver on the
ground because he runs through them. Hutchings excels in coverage and does a great job on his pass drops.
He's got tremendous instincts in reading the passes and had some athletic
takeaways a season ago. He's also
got very good, quick hands, and can catch the ball (which he did on offense).
The big key is that Hutchings does it against arguably the toughest schedule of
any program in the West, so he's dominant against elite programs. He
didn't put up amazing stats as a sophomore, largely because De La Salle cruised
to so many easy victories (like in the state championship game) that he and the
rest of the Spartan starters are usually out shortly after the half. In fact,
the two times we saw De La Salle a year ago, against Amador Valley during the
regular season, and against Servite in the state championship game, they built
35-point leads in each of them by the half and Hutchings was done for the night
24 minutes into the contest.