Here are this week’s top high school football games featuring USC recruits:
Upland (Calif.) vs. Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) at Los Osos High School: USC cornerback commit Chris Hawkins might finally get tested this week. Upland (5-0) has three players with double-digit receptions, and quarterback Nate Romine has averaged more than 20 pass attempts per game. Rancho Cucamonga (4-1) has one of the region’s better defenses, making this an intriguing matchup. Upland, of course, is led by four-star defensive end Joe Mathis. The winner of this one gets the upper hand in the Baseline League standings.
Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame at Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany: An argument can be made for Steven Mitchell of Alemany (5-1) as the most productive of the USC commits midway through this season. The four-star prospect already has 11 touchdowns, despite sitting out a lot during blowouts. This meeting might demand a higher involvement. Notre Dame (4-2) has averaged nearly 40 points per game and features four-star running back Khalfani Muhammad.
Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco vs. Orange (Calif.) Lutheran at Orange Coast College: Bosco would be a perfect 5-0 if not for its forfeit of four victories due to the use of ineligible player. Trojans offensive line commit Nico Falah has been a force in the running game, but Orange Lutheran (5-0) might have the size to pose some problems. Both sides have realistic Trinity League championship aspirations, so the stakes are as high as they can be for a league opener.
Lakewood (Calif.) vs. Long Beach (Calif.) Poly at Veterans Memorial Stadium: Class of 2014 offensive line commit Toa Lobendahn of Lakewood (5-1) made a great impression in this Moore League rivalry game as an inexperienced sophomore last year. Now he’s facing high expectations to duplicate that effort against a reeling Poly (3-3) team that is desperate to straighten things out before the playoffs. There are a few underclassmen of note here, including 2015 defensive back Iman Marshall of Poly.
Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista at Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton: Hamilton (4-2) and 2014 offensive line commit Casey Tucker are back on track after dropping their first two games of the season, highlighted by last week’s crucial victory against crosstown rival Chandler. For Tucker, a good measuring stick arrives this week in the form of athletic defensive end Lorenzo Melvin of Desert Vista (5-1).