This was one of the first games of the year and featured two of the most heavily recruited players in the nation. Byron Moore (USC Commitment) of Narbonne and Shaquelle Evans (Notre Dame Commitment) of Inglewood.
Those two players each had terrific games, but it was also a time to shine for their teammates.
#1 ATH Shaq Evans, 2009, Inglewood
In a two game stretch loaded with talented players, Notre Dame commitment Shaq Evans stood at the top amongst his peers. He plays both sides of the ball for his Inglewood team, and he has the physical ability to do the same at Notre Dame.
He has breakaway speed on offense, and hits like a
truck on defense. When I was watching him on the field, it conjured up images of
Eric Berry, athlete extraordinaire at Tennessee. My southern roots would steer
him towards defense on my team, but there's no doubt he's a "just sign him
and worry about position later" type of kid.
#3 ATH Byron Moore, 2009, Narbonne
Evans may have been the player that caught my eye the most, but Byron Moore's Narbonne team is flat out loaded. Like Evans, Moore plays both sides of the ball. He lines up at receiver, corner and safety.
He was good enough in coverage and natural enough as a wide receiver, that he could do the same on the college level. He has a good hip turn and excellent awareness on the field. He doesn't get caught looking at the receiver when the ball is in the air. Depending on the need for him, he could play corner or safety at USC.
#34 LB Tim Tucker, 2009, Narbonne
It didn't take long for big (6-2/240) linebacker Tim Tucker to announce his presence in the game. He made a nice open field tackle on Evans on the opening kickoff, then blew up a blocker to make a tackle on the first play from scrimmage.
Tucker plays the game like he knows he's the baddest man on the field, and it's that attitude and toughness that make him so valuable in the middle of Narbonne's defense. There's another big linebacker in Southern California that is getting a lot of press in Vontaze Burfict, but if I were looking for a run stopper in college, I could win a lot of games with Tucker manning my defense.
#5 RB Melvin Davis, 2010, Narbonne
Speaking of big, Melvin Davis is listed by Narbonne at 6-2 and 220 pounds. He is a jumbo athlete that plays both running back and defensive end. He has extremely quick feet, uses his off hand as a weapon when he's running the ball, and can make a tackler miss or punish him for not missing.
I featured Toney Williams and Jahron Brown earlier this week (Battle of Big Men), and Davis follows a similar path. He's so big that it's hard to picture him staying at running back, but the more I watched him, the more it seemed silly to move him.
#1 DB Sean Parker, 2010, Narbonne
There are playmakers, and there are playmakers. This game was a lot closer than the final score indicated, and one of the main reasons it looked like a blowout was Parker. Parker had three touchdowns in this game and didn't play a down of offense. Two pick sixes and a punt return for a touchdown will make any close game a rout.
Parker has an incredible knack for the ball. His timing and hand-eye are top notch. He's got the speed to be in the right spot, and the reactions to make the play. He's a member of the Class of 2010 that will be heavily recruited, if he's not already.
Give me Evans at strong safety, Moore at corner, and Parker at free, and I'd feel pretty good about my secondary for the next four years.
Game 2: Compton (White) @ Dominguez (Black)
First, let me put in a written request to the high school coaches of America: Please scrap the double wing. One team running it is bad enough, but trying to scout two teams running the double wing against each other was like watching football on a crowded sidewalk.
On a more serious note, I was fortunate enough to attend the Compton/Dominguez game earlier this year. The atmosphere was off the charts as the rivals met, and the game came down to the last minute as Compton won for the first time in ages.
Getting highlights of players in a double wing game is extremely difficult, but two players managed to stand out amongst their peers.
#1 LB James Randall, 2009, Compton
If I were going to the game without knowing who was who on the field, and someone told me that USC had a commitment on Compton, I would have said "That's him right there, #1 is the best player on the field tonight."
James Randall isn't committed to anyone, but it's not for a lack of ability. Randall plays outside linebacker for Compton, but he runs like a free safety. He'll take on blockers, chase down receivers, and even throw in a touchdown catch for good measure. Randall may go the JuCo route before hitting the big time, but he's a difference maker on the field.
#10 S Chris Metcalf, 2009, Compton
Chris Metcalf IS the USC commitment for Compton, and he didn't do anything to hurt his status while Pete Carroll was in attendance. A long, rangy safety, Metcalf had to be cursing double wing as well. Still, Metcalf managed two interceptions on the rare times that the ball went into the air.
Metcalf is slender, but physical. He'll attack the line of scrimmage, doesn't take plays off, and supports the run and the pass equally well.
All four of these teams have college prospects up and down the rosters, recruiting fans can expect to keep hearing from Narbonne, Inglewood, Dominguez and Compton.
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