- Blair Angulo, Reporter, WeAreSC.com
Here are this week's top five high school football games featuring USC recruits:
Lakewood (Calif.) at Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, Fri., 7 p.m.: It will be a battle of USC offensive line commits Toa Lobendahn (Lakewood) and Nico Falah (St. John Bosco), but this showdown between neighboring schools has some intriguing subplots as well. Only five miles separate the two campuses, and locality has paid off for Bosco as a number of standouts -- including class of 2014 prospects Jaleel Wadood and Naijiel Hale -- have transferred in from Lakewood. Lobendahn, a 2014 recruit, plays on both sides of the ball so he could line up opposite of Falah, the state's only tackle with a scholarship offer from USC. Lakewood is coming off an easy 38-13 win against Cerritos (Calif.) Gahr, while St. John Bosco routed Compton (Calif.) Dominguez, 57-7.
Bothell (Wash.) at Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline, Fri., 7 p.m.: USC quarterback commit Max Browne of Skyline was a sophomore the last time these two teams met, though he hardly showed any jitters. The gunslinger had a monster showing, passing for 358 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-21 victory against Bothell two years ago. Yes, Browne had current Washington receiver Kasen Williams to throw to back then, but he figures to do just fine the second time around.
Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton vs. Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame in Dublin, Ireland: The Emerald Isle Classic, which showcases American high school teams on Friday night ahead of Saturday's highly anticipated matchup between Navy and Notre Dame, includes this doozy at Parnell Park on Dublin's north side. After suffering their only loss of 2011 in the state championship game, USC offensive line commit Casey Tucker and his Hamilton teammates will try to bounce back from last week's three-point loss to Phoenix Mountain Pointe. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame also stumbled in its opener, meaning both squads will try to avoid a disappointing 0-2 start. Participants will attend the Navy-Notre Dame game Saturday, which should be a treat for Hamilton coach Steve Belles, who was a part of Notre Dame's last national championship team in 1988.
Concord (Calif.) De La Salle vs. San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep at S.J. Community College, Fri., 7 p.m.: Though USC linebacker commit Michael Hutchings and perennial power De La Salle needed overtime to dispose of Bellarmine last year, it probably won't be that close this time around. Hutchings spearheads a Spartans defense that also includes defensive end Austin Hooper and linebackers Victor Egu and D.J. Moffitt.
Long Beach (Calif.) Poly at Gardena (Calif.) Serra, Fri., 7 p.m.: The future will be on display in this matchup. Poly, which opened its season with a 42-26 win against CIF Los Angeles City Section power Carson last week, has 2015 standout Iman Marshall. Serra, which eked out a tough 26-23 victory at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, has 2014 prospects Adoree' Jackson and Dwight Williams.
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