Today I hit one of my annual 30 Questions staples.
How’s recruiting going for the East Bay’s biggest talents?
From the start of the 2011 season, it was easy to toss around the label “year of the quarterback” when we had guys like Zach Kline, Bart Houston and Jeff Lockie ready to wreck shop.
This year, the quarterback pool is a little tougher to identify.
The East Bay’s most recruitable athletes don’t play under center this time around. That’s not to say there aren’t good quarterbacks to be had. San Ramon Valley’s Cameron Birse, Freedom’s Dante Mayes and Bishop O’Dowd’s Dominic Miroglio are the three that stand out in my mind as the ones that will get the most interest. Campolindo’s Brett Stephens might be one of the best dual-threat QBs in Northern California, but he’s heading to UCLA for baseball.
So, where are the recruits? Well, a bunch play defense at De La Salle. LB Michael Hutchings is committed to USC, and you can expect DE Austin Hooper, LB Victor Egu and LB David Moffitt to all land with high-Division I schools by the time things are all said and done. All four made the Rivals.com California Preseason Top 100.
There are other high-profile commits around the East Bay, which leads me to think this could be one of the deeper classes in recent memory. Freedom WR Darrell Daniels is headed to Washington, Logan RB/LB Warren Miles Long is going to Northwestern, Foothill TE Ray Hudson is going to Cal, San Ramon Valley LB Ryan Dunn is committed to Arizona and Concord RB Olito Thompson is shipping north to Washington State. SRV kicker Matt Anderson is also headed to Cal.
Who’s next? Let’s start in West Contra Costa County. Pinole Valley defensive lineman Deonte Reynolds is drawing a ton of attention, and I expect him to land with a pretty big name school. El Cerrito DB Marcellus Pippins is also receiving a ton of interest, making the Rivals list as well and holding six offers, including Pac-12 schools UCLA, Utah and Washington State.
Not to be forgotten is Bishop O’Dowd DB Kevin King, who holds offers from schools as close as Cal and as far away as West Virginia. He’s a 3-star recruit according to Rivals, and is also on the California Top 100. And, add St. Mary’s WR Caleb Coleman to the list of guys I think probably just missed that Top 100, because he has offers from Cal and Fresno State, along with a few Ivy League schools and all three service academies.
So, who are the sleepers? I think Pittsburg has a pair of linemen that will get looks. OL Antonio Huey and DL Motekiai Maile should both get more interest once the season begins. Maile actually appears in the Rivals database twice, once for being at Pittsburg and once for his previous school, Euless-Trinity (TX).
Rivals doesn’t list Foothill’s Griffith Gates as having an offer yet, but rest assured, he’ll get his share. Whether schools look at him as an undersized defensive end or a big outside linebacker, he’s been a good player for a long time on the varsity level. Same goes for Las Lomas lineman Derrick Stom, who I think will have some good choices as the season progresses.
Finally, I’ll mention a couple guys I’ve seen play a bunch and who I think deserve a bit more attention. Monte Vista TE Mason Melin and California TE Shane Haley both seem to me to fit the prototypical tight end mold. Big, strong, tough kids that can catch. Both offenses use their tight end well, and I think they’re both going to have a good year.