Huffman's Notes From the Road: Sacramento

A look at the top prospects we saw in the five games we saw in Sacramento, from Grant-Burbank to the four games in the Honor Bowl...

With the season starting out West last week, we were in the Sacramento are at Loomis (Calif.) Del Oro for the Honor Bowl as well as a trip to see traditional power Grant take on Luther Burbank.

Here are notes from the road.

McKenzie Waits

Concord (Calif.) Clayton Valley defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie, the West's No. 1 prospect and Scout's top-ranked player in the 2015 class transferred to Clayton Valley from De La Salle in the spring.

Because of the transfer, McKenzie was ruled ineligible by the CIF-NCS just hours before Clayton Valley was to play Carson (Nev.) in the nightcap of the Honor Bowl.

McKenzie was dressed out with his team, along with his brother, 2017 offensive lineman Jalen McKenzie, but never saw the field.


Five-star DT Kahlil McKenzie

The five-star Tennessee commit and his family are expected to appeal the decision with the hopes of getting back on the field, but he was obviously disappointed he couldn't play in the season opener for the Ugly Eagles.

Physically, McKenzie looks even bigger than he did at The Opening, but not with bad weight. His brother Jalen is about 6-5, 6-6 and about 290-300, longer and leaner than Kahlil, and is one to watch in the 2017 class.

Daniel Getting Healthy

Fresno (Calif.) Clovis North defensive tackle Jacob Daniel is working his way all the way back from a knee injury that robbed him of the entire offseason.

The four-star and USC commit, though, has targeted October for his return.

"I feel good and plan to be back on Halloween," said Daniel.


Four-star DT Jacob Daniel

Daniel looks to be in the best shape he's been in the last year too and lost some of the bad weight he had as a sophomore and early junior year.

He'll play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the first player from his school ever selected and the first player from Fresno to be invited since Cliff Harris and T.J. McDonald were in the 2009 game out of Fresno (Calif.) Edison.

Paulo In Action

Sacramento (Calif.) Grant offensive tackle Darrin Paulo has also had his share of knee issues that have limited him at times, but he's fully healthy and started at left tackle for the Pacers in their shutout win over Sacramento (Calif.) Luther Burbank.

Paulo struggles a bit in space and needs to work on keeping his foot moving better. In pass protection, players were able to get around him with a quick speed rush.

It wouldn't be a surprise if he ended up at guard in college. He's big and decently flexible but plods a bit in his movement.


Three-star OL Darrin Paulo

However, Paulo is pretty solid in run blocking.

He told us he's still focusing on a top three of Washington State, where his brother, Darryl, plays, USC and UCLA.

Bolu Working His Way Back

Fresno (Calif.) Clovis North running back Bolu Olorunfunmi made his 2014 season debut last Saturday in a 19-16 win over Sparks (Nev.) Reed.

Olorunfunmi ran for 130 yards on 14 carries, a solid performance as he works his way back from a minor knee injury.


Three-star RB Bolu Olorunfunmi

He started a little slow but got stronger as the game went on. He's never going to wow anyone with his speed, but he ran more physically and with the strength that he has than we've ever seen him do on film and moved the pile consistently.

Olorunfunmi committed to UCLA in March, but then added offers from Stanford, Notre Dame, Louisville and Cal among others. However, Olorunfunmi said he's 100% solid to the Bruins.

Tafua's High Ceiling

One player we were most looking forward to watching was Honolulu (Hawaii) Kamehameha defensive end/outside linebacker Mika Tafua.

A very early commit to BYU, Tafua was the key to Kamehameha generating a pass rush.

Tafua is real athletic, but just needs to add more weight. He plays more of a standup pass-rusher role, but could drop in to coverage and looked fluid when doing so.


Three-star DE Mika Tafua

Tafua showed a real physical nature to his game and loves to hit, getting a couple licks in on the quarterback and did a good job of driving his blocker back to shed, then getting off the block to get into the backfield. He did have a couple of penalties for overaggression, a personal foul and at least two offsides penalties, but also drew the offensive tackle into a pair of false starts because of their need to try to get a jump on him.

The three-star continues to be a verbal to BYU while several other schools are still pursuing him, like Oregon, Oregon State, Vanderbilt, Washington and Wisconsin, and others plan to watch him this fall like UCLA and USC.

Others Of Note

Fresno (Calif.) Clovis North cornerback Noruwa Obanor was one of the more impressive players we saw in the Honor Bowl. He's long and lean with room for a lot of growth. He actually looked good this past weekend as a receiver but defensive back is definitely his calling card.

In fact, the Broncos have three DBs with offers, Bransin Johnson and Malachi Foote also having offers, and both are DBs that could see their stock grow this season. They'll get a big test this weekend when they face Folsom (Calif.) and their vaunted passing offense.

Fresno (Calif.) Clovis North linebacker Hayden Haupt is one of the more versatile linebackers in the West, able to play inside and outside. He's fluid enough to play outside, but looked more natural and comfortable playing inside. He's got a handful of offers as well.


Three-star CB Noruwa Obanor

Honolulu (Hawaii) Kamehameha defensive back Dylan Kane, a commit to Oregon, was in street clothes watching their comeback win over Del Oro. Kane has an undisclosed injury that sidelined him. He will be visiting Oregon officially next weekend when the Ducks host Wyoming.

Another player we were intrigued by was Concord (Calif.) Clayton Valley tight end/defensive end Sean Vaisimia. At about 6-4, 250, he moved extremely will, quick off the ball and playing low with leverage. He looks like he could put on more weight too and be a really effective 3-tech at the next level.

Honor Bowl- SoCal Version

The Honor Bowl continues this weekend with the Southern California version, taking place at Oceanside (Calif.) High School.

Scout's Greg Biggins and Scott Kennedy will be in Oceanside for the games this weekend.

Here is the five-game schedule:

Friday September 5
La Mesa (Calif.) Helix vs. Loomis (Calif.) Del Oro at 5 p.m.
Oceanside (Calif.) vs. Mission Viejo (Calif.) at 5 p.m.

Saturday September 6
Orange (Calif.) Lutheran vs. Corona (Calif.) Centennial at 12 p.m.
San Diego (Calif.) Cathedral Catholic vs. Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian at 4 p.m.
Gardena (Calif.) Serra vs. Bellevue (Wash.) at 7:30 p.m.

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