This is the first in a series of reports that will run throughout the football season. As a part of my job as a scout I like to see prospects in person to check body type, confirm height and weight and get an overall feel for the player, how he carries himself, is he a tough kid, can he move his feet, etc. I consider myself another set of eyes, not the final word, but another man’s opinion.
Every week I attend anywhere from seven to ten games starting on Thursday with an early high school game and finishing up on Saturday watching several junior college games. I try to get to as many pre game warm ups as possible because that’s the best time to evaluate a player. That’s where you can see the kid’s individual skills, feet, quickness, athleticism, etc.
My notes on the top players from these games will be reported here for you to learn more about some of the special players in California.
Thursday, August 31, 2006 – Moorpark HS vs. Canyon HS
*Darrell Scott: Running Back, 6-0 205, Moorpark HS, Junior
Darrell jumps out at me when I arrive. He’s big, has long arms, is athletic and can run. He’s also the team’s punter, left footed by the way and not bad. His first punt had a 3.95 hang time which is pretty good. He’s in the mold of a big back like Eddie George or closer to home Manuel White from Valencia. Scott is an upright runner and a slasher; he runs hard, will block, competes and shows toughness. The kid’s a football player, not just a track kid. He needs to work on catching the ball as he didn’t look real natural.
Overall, this kid could be special on either side of the ball. Physically he looks like he could also be a big time safety or linebacker.
*George Halamandaris: Offensive Line, 6-6 315, Moorpark HS, Senior
This is one big old son of a gun. He’s listed at 6-7 but I didn’t see that, not that it really matters after you get to 6-5 or so, anyway he’s big enough. He moves his feet ok, and it takes awhile for the defender to get around him, he’s a got to bend his knees more to be more athletic and mobile. Committed to Stanford.
*JJ Di Luigi: Running Back, 5-9 188, Canyon HS, Senior
The son of a coach, dad, John is an assistant head coach for Canyon HS. I love coach’s sons as they have grown up around the game and usually have a passion for it. JJ fits the mold as I watch him play. He’s fun to watch! Now he’s not going to blow you away when you see him on the hoof, but once the helmet is strapped on it’s another story.
Di Luigi is quick, tough, competes and has great instincts on both sides of the ball. He’s very productive and always seems to make positive plays. Every team should have at least one player like JJ Di Luigi on the team. Committed to BYU.
Friday, September 1, 2006 – Roosevelt HS vs. Grant HS
*Fred Winborn: Running Back, 5-10 185, Grant HS, Senior
Fred has good feet, is quick and athletic. He has the tools to be a top back in the area. However, Winborn is a little bit of a glider; I’d like to see more burst out of him and play with more urgency.
Keep in mind; this was the first half of the first game of the year as I left to get to my next game. So I’ll give him a little bit of a pass and anticipate him being a good D1 prospect during the course of the season.
*Cordarol Scales: Wide Receiver, 6-3 185, Grant HS, Senior
A long armed, lean, good looking prospect, a long strider, covers more ground than you’d think. With his arm length he’s more like 6-7. Cordarol has been more of a basketball player in the past but has continued to develop as a football player. Scales is not a real smooth kid. He’s a long, lean and lanky player, catches the ball with his hands and has a pretty good upside.
This is a player to see later in the year on tape to see how much he’s developed, could be a sleeper.
Friday, September 1, 2006 – Centennial/Corona HS vs.Valencia HS
*Shane Vereen: Running Back/Defensive Back, 5-10 185, Valencia HS, Senior
Shane is a special player and should be able to play early in college. He’s a very good running back, has good instincts, runs well, and changes direction well, is quick and has a burst to get around the edge. However, he might be even better as a corner, he has good feet and can turn and run, he can force the run, tackles well, and he plays with a good base, bends his knees and is always in a good hitting position. Committed to CAL.
*Graham Wilbert: Quarterback, 6-4 190, Valencia HS, Junior
Graham won the starting job over another talented QB prospect, James Baughman. Has the physical tools, and displays a good presence on the field, ok arm strength and accuracy, but you can see the upside. By mid season I’d expect Graham to be making good decisions, getting rid of the ball on time and continuing to show good poise and becoming a leader for a good Valencia football team.
*Matt Scott: Quarterback, 6-2 185, Centennial HS, Junior
Matt is a good looking athlete, long arms, good arm strength, has some zip on his ball, makes all the throws, can spin it and has a quick release. Scott has to keep improving on his consistency and accuracy which should come with more snaps. He’s a very good prospect for the class of 2008. His brother was the starting quarterback on last year’s team and he also has a brother playing linebacker on this 2006 team.
*Ryan Bass: Running Back, 5-9 195, Centennial HS, Junior
Quick, has a burst, runs hard, good balance and good vision, check top end speed. Almost everything you want in a back. Ryan is already one of the top backs in the state and has a very bright future.
Friday, September 1, 2006 – St. Bonaventure HS vs. Hart HS
*Delano Howell: Running Back/Defensive Back, Hart HS, Junior
A tough, physical, competitive kid has some quickness and runs hard. Is a productive player who should be a good prospect especially on the defensive side of the ball. Brother is playing football for the University of Washington.
*Michael Williams: Defensive Back, St. Bonaventure HS, Senior
On a team with a lot of talent, Michael is the glue especially on defense. He’ll line up at linebacker, corner or safety. He is a good tackler, active, athletic, has good feet and is instinctive. Returns kicks as well.
Saturday, September 2, 2006 – Grossmont College vs. Mt. SAC
*Terry Mixon: Defensive Back, 6-0 195, Grossmont College, Sophomore
Mixon is one of the best players in California JC football this year. Terry is all over the field can play corner or safety but should be a very good safety at the next level. Will hit, cover, return kicks, blitz, force the run and fire the team up with his big plays. He has good feet and hips, can turn and run, is athletic, covers ground well and has good anticipation, is active and competitive. The former Dominguez star is a top D1 prospect if he takes care of business off the field.
*Bernard Afutiti: Defensive Tackle, 5-11 255, Mt. SAC, Freshman
You might remember this young man as a standout at Kaiser High School in Fontana. Well he’s continued playing at a high level. He’s only a freshman but made an impact in the first game of his college career and the first game for his team this year.
Bernard is quick, explosive and plays in the opponent’s backfield. He should be an anchor for the Mt. SAC defense this year and most likely next year as well.
Saturday, September 2, 2006 – Reedley College vs. Antelope Valley College
*Donald Green: Running Back, 5-11 200, Antelope Valley College, Sophomore
Green is a tough, physical guy, he runs downhill with good pad level, and he’s versatile as well. They use him as a running back, wingback and in the slot, he returns kicks as well. He doesn’t look track fast, but he gets positive yards and is steady.
*Drew Branch: Quarterback, 6-1.5 200, Reedley College, Sophomore
I’ve been watching Drew since he was at Exeter High School and I liked him back then. He is steadily improving and may turn into a solid prospect for some four year school. Branch is athletic, mobile and shows the ability to escape the rush, has a good presence on the field, doesn’t get too rattled, solid arm strength. He backed up a pretty good quarterback last year so he’s been off the radar but he has his shot now to show his talent.
Saturday, September 2, 2006 – Chaffey College vs. College of the Canyons
*Augustine Osuala: Wide Receiver, 6-0 200, Chaffey College, Sophomore
Has really put on some good weight, is a thick kid, does a nice job of getting off of bump coverage, uses his hands well, is quick, has good feet and uses his body well. Is a good prospect that will be able to go over the middle and make the catch.
*Joe Giulani: Safety, 6-0 200, College of the Canyons, Redshirt Freshman
Bounce back from Utah, showed up on campus a few days ago and became the starting safety. Joey is what he was at Oaks Christian High School, a smart, athletic, instinctual player, breaks on the ball fairly well and uses his ability to anticipate the action to his advantage. He’s put on good weight while at Utah and looks the part. What Giuliani brings to a defense is a steady force that can play the run and the pass. He’ll be back on a D1 roster soon.