MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Category: California Football

  • Video: Najee Harris - Antioch (CA) Early 2014 Highlights
    See Alabama's most recent big-name recruit

    And college scouts thought Antioch (Calif.) running back Najee Harris hit the hole fast. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound sophomore also needs little time to make up his mind as well.

    Photo by Ernie Abrea

    Najee Harris, Antioch

    Over the weekend, Harris became the first Class of 2017 recruit to commit to the University of Alabama.

    See feature on Najee Harris

    Considered a cross between current Alabama running back Derrick Henry (prep football's all-time rushing king) and Georgia's Todd Gurley, Harris rushed 271 times for 2,263 yards and 23 touchdowns in 11 games for the Panthers.

    He's been touted the 16th-best overall recruit in the country for his class by 247Sports and the No. 2 running back.

    The chief recruiter on the Alabama front is linebacker coach Tosh Lupoi, a graduate of nearby De La Salle (about 20 miles from Antioch), who had previous stops at Cal and Washington.

    According to reports, Harris made his commitment on an unofficial visit to Alabama during the program's A-Day game.

    Like Henry in high school, Harris was a workhorse for Antioch, with at least 25 carries in six different games. His biggest outing was a 30-carry, 371-yard, four-touchdown game in a 50-26 first-round playoff win over San Leandro.

    The win was significant because Antioch was 1-9 in 2013.

    Harris, born in Washington, had 20 offers, mostly on the west coast, including USC, UCLA, Washington and Arizona. Outside of the west, Michigan, Tennessee and Oklahoma State were among other hopefuls.
  • Video: Bryan Bennett highlights
    See Bryan Bennett in action at Crespi High in Southern California

    He left Oregon for Southeastern Louisiana State to stay clear of Marcus Mariota. Now Bryan Bennett is all on his own, ready to make his own name in the professional ranks.

    File photo by Jann Hendry

    Bryan Bennett, Crespi

    Bennett, a 2010 Crespi (Encino, Calif.) graduate, is one of the most intriguing quarterbacks in the 2015 NFL Draft and he's projected to be a late second-day pick. But he's also been compared to Johnny Manziel in terms of improvisational skills.

    In three seasons at Crespi, he completed 426 of 742 passes for 6,125 yards and 53 touchdowns with 30 interceptions. He also rushed for eight touchdowns.

    See the CBS Sports Draft Overview for Bryan Bennett

    After transferring from Oregon, he started all 14 games as a junior at Southeastern Louisiana State and led the team in passing yards (3,165) and rushing (1,046) while accounting for 37 touchdowns.

    He was first team All-Southland Conference as a junior and senior.

    The 6-foot-2, 211-pounder ran a 4.81-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, and had a vertical jump of 37 inches.
  • De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) defensive tackle Boss Tagaloa said yes to a prom date via Twitter, now will he say yes to Jim Harbaugh and his invitation to the University of Michigan?

    As first reported by Jasmine Watkins of the Sporting News, Harbaugh saw the exchange from a student in which Tagaloa apparently agreed, so the new Michigan coach followed suit.

    See Tagaloa's response below. The 6-foot-3, 295-pound junior is the nation's No. 60 recruit from the Class of 2016 according to 247Sports. Tagaloa has at least 15 offers, including from Alabama, Michigan, UCLA, Wisconsin and Cal. It's doubtful any of the other schools will be quite this "sweet."
    Screenshot from Twitter
    Screenshot from Twitter
  • Photo by Ted Walker

    Kiko Alonso compiled nearly 300 tackles in high school.

    Kiko Alonso is the newest member of the Philadelphia Eagles, departing Buffalo in exchange for LeSean McCoy.

    Alonso played at Oregon under current Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, but before that he was a standout linebacker at Los Gatos (Calif.).

    As a 6-foot-3, 235-pound senior in 2007, Alonso registered 150 tackles and five sacks. He was equally effective as a junior, picking up 143 tackles as well as an interception.

    Alonso was not limited to the defensive side of the ball, either. He grabbed 48 catches in his career, accounting for eight touchdowns.

    Eagles fans will be delighted if Alonso is anywhere near as dominant for Philadelphia as he was for Los Gatos.

  • Courtesy photo

    Trinity, besides being a perennial national power, is renowned for its pre- and post-game Haki dance.

    It's not in writing yet. Not all of it. In other words, it's not official.

    But it looks like the big boys of California — and Hollywood — De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) are going to play the big boys from Texas, Trinity (Euless, Texas), in a made-by-TV special in late August at a site to be determined, somewhere in the Lone Star State.

    Hurst-Euless-Bedford Athletic Director Mike Fielder told USA Today last week: "We don't have a contract and we don't have a venue yet, but we have agreed to play. Two great programs each with a history of success. It's a pretty exciting opportunity."

    De La Salle Athletic Director Leo Lopoz, who has negotiated more than a dozen of these national blockbusters over the years, won't even hint at the specifics until the contracts are signed. And he's instructed his coaches to do the same.

    "I'm hearing what you're hearing — Trinity," said De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh. "Believe me, I want to know so we can start preparing. But from everything I've heard nothing is official so we'll just wait."

    De La Salle got special permission from its North Coast Section to play a Week 0 in Texas, and it's written up that way on the Spartans' schedule.

    So if all goes according to what is aligned, the next big piece of news is where in Texas and what venue.

    We're pushing strongly for — where else? — the biggest stadium with the world's largest scoreboard on the planet: AT&T Stadium, home of the Cowboys in Arlington. That's where the UIL hosts the fantastic Texas high school football championships and draws upwards of 50,000 fans.

    Everything is bigger in Texas, so why not go all the way on this one? This will be De La Salle's first game in the Lone Star State and first game against a Texas squad.

    One thing the Spartans better be aware of is rules regarding blocking below the waist in Texas, which aligns itself with the college game.

    But first things first. Get the game under contract and find a venue. Check that, demand AT&T Stadium please.

    De La Salle's football program was at the heart of the book and motion picture "When the Game Stands Tall."

  • There might be some strife in the Broadus family today.

    Cordell Broadus, the 4-star receiver from Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) and son of Snoop Dogg, announced he'll be attending UCLA.

    There, he will be joined with the nation's top pro style quarterback Josh Rosen, whom Broadus has befriended over the years.

    Check out the MaxPreps National Signing Day page for video and information on all top recruits, and click here to see all of the commits and signees for UCLA

    The problem with Broadus' pick is that his father is an avid USC fan, which was one of Cordell's finalists along with Arizona State and Notre Dame.

    Broadus, who helped Bishop Gorman to a mythical national championship, helps along a big recruiting day for the Bruins, who have moved up 12 spots to No. 7 in the national recruiting rankings.

    The Broadus' have discussed Cordell's recruiting extensively on the ESPN five-part documentary entitled "Snoop and Son."

    On Wednesday, Snoop changed his tune quite a bit, telling a national television audience: "I'm backing him up 1,000 percent so I'm going to throw away all my USC drawers. I'm going UCLA 100,000 percent."

    Photo by Todd Shurtleff

    Snoop Dogg embraces his son Cordell Broadus after winning the Nevada 4A state title in December.

  • Iman Marshall, Long Beach Poly (Calif.)

    247Sports Composite Ranking: 4
    247Sports Ranking: 5
    Position: CB
    Height: 6-1
    Weight: 190
    Finalists: The 5-star recruit has a 98 percent chance of landing at USC, according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball. Next in line is Florida State at 2 percent. As Lloyd Christmas said in the original Dumb and Dumber: "So you're telling me there's a chance."

  • It was a bad day in court for the McClymonds (Oakland, Calif.) football team, as two attempts to obtain temporary restraining orders were denied Friday by an Alameda County Superior Court judge.

    Quarterback Kevin Davidson tried to overturn a CIF ruling that made him ineligible for what they deemed an illegal transfer, but was denied by Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo. Davidson played in the first four games but practiced with the team while an appeal was made to the CIF.

    The CIF denied that appeal recently and McClymonds, 12-0 on the field, had to forfeit the four games he played.

    Four of Davidson's teammates, with the help of the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) petitioned for a TRO (temporary restraining order) concerning the forfeits issued, but were also denied by Grillo. The proceedings took place back-to-back.

    The chances of being picked for a Division IV regional playoff game Sunday appear slim with four losses.

    "Life goes on," said McClymonds senior LaVance Warren, one of the four named on the TRO request. "It's out of our control now."

    Said NCYL attorney Leecia Welch: "We are proud of these students for standing up for themselves and their community. While we are disappointed in the judge's ruling, this is far from over."
  • File photo by John Downey

    Centennial linebacker Zach Brumbaugh made the game-winning stop against Bishop Amat Friday.

    You have to give Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.) football coach Steve Hagerty gumption points for going for the win. But you have to give Zach Brumbaugh more credit for stopping Christian Wiley on the 2-point try and giving Centennial (Corona, Calif.) a trip to the Pac 5 title game at Angel Stadium.

    According to Eric-Paul Johnson of the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Amat scored with 32.4 seconds left to cut Centennial's lead to 38-37.

    File photo by Larry Gasinski

    Javon McKinley, Centennial

    Rather than kick the extra point and send the game into overtime, Brumbaugh and a host of Centennial defenders stopped Wiley. After an onside kick went out of bounds, the host Huskies survived 38-37 in the Pac 5 semifinal on Friday night.

    Centennial (11-2) will take on defending champion and No. 6 St. John Bosco, a 33-21 winner over Long Beach Poly, Saturday at 8 p.m.

    Though Brumbaugh made the big defensive stop, wideout Javon Mckinley was the game's big star with eight catches and 190 yards in the first half alone as Centennial took a 20-10 lead.

    With 1,600-yard, 27-touchdown running back JJ Taylor out again while recovering from an emergency appendectomy, McKinley has been Centennial's go-to guy and he hauled in a 2-yard pass from Anthony Catalano to take a 7-0 lead.

    After a Nico Carillo 33-yard field goal, Nate Ketteringham, Centennial's other rotating quarterback, scored on a 25-yard touchdown keeper then hit McKinley on a simple 15-yard out. He turned that into a 79-yard score and Centennial led 20-3.

    Wiley cut the lead to 20-10 at the half on a 1-yard run, and after an Amat turnover led to a short Centennial field goal, Tyler Vaughns hauled in an 8-yard TD pass from Ryder Ruiz, cutting the Centennial lead to 23-17 with 8:30 in the third quarter.

    McKinley would hear nothing off it and took a short slant and turned it into a 73-yard TD run, making it 30-17. Brandon Arconado answered, however, for Amat with an 88-yard catch and run, making it 30-24.

    A bad punt snap led to a 10-yard scoring drive for Centennial, which cashed in on a 1-yard Sammonte Bonner TD run. The Huskies looked comfortably in front, 38-24, with 6:48 left.

    But Centennial, which has played some barnbuners over the years, watched as Ruiz made it 38-31 with a 5-yard TD with 3:27 to go. The Huskies thought they had the game clinched with Bonner apparently scoring on a TD run but the officials ruled he had fumbled before crossing the goal line, giving the ball back to Amat at its own 20.

    The Lancers (9-4) zipped right down the field to score a touchdown but the 2-point conversion failed. Centennial, which beat Serra (Gardena) 68-64 in earlier Pac 5 play, survived once more.

  • Photo by Terry Jack

    Trenton Irwin, Hart

    Hart (Newhall, Calif.) saw its season come to an end Friday with a 52-21 CIF Southern Section playoff loss to Upland, but that didn't stop Indians receiver Trenton (Trent) Irwin from setting a pair of California state receiving records.

    Irwin caught 15 passes for 165 yards in the loss to finish his career with 285 receptions for 5,272 yards in his career. He played varsity football from the first game of his freshman year, and it took him 51 games to reach the state record mark.

    According to The Santa Clarita Signal, Irwin surpassed fellow Santa Clarita area receiver Drew Wolitarsky of Canyon (Canyon Country), who held the state records of 281 catches and 5,148 yards.

    Irwin finishes his career in 15th place on the national all-time career receptions list. His career receiving yardage totals rank eighth all-time.