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Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Eddie Vanderdoes builds local legend

By Blair Angulo

Eddie Vanderdoes
Auburn (Calif.) Placer defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes, a USC commit, led his team to its first league title since 1981.
The legend of Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer) continued to grow on Friday night.

With a massive cheeseburger already bearing his name at a local diner, it seemed nearly impossible for the USC defensive line commit to become more adored in his hometown. But Vanderdoes left perhaps his greatest mark by guiding Placer (10-0) to its first outright league football title since 1981.

Big things were expected from Vanderdoes before the season, and the four-star recruit delivered.

“He's one of the main guys that we’ve looked to all year,” Placer coach Joey Montoya said. “Obviously, he's a phenomenal talent. I wish he was coming back. He's a once-in-a-lifetime type of talent for us. We're going to make the best of it while we have him, that’s for sure.”

From a recruiting standpoint, Vanderdoes remains solidly committed to USC, he said in a text message Sunday night. He has scheduled official visits to Washington (Nov. 9), UCLA (Nov. 23) and USC (Jan. 17) and has been in contact with Cal and LSU about potential trips, but his interest in other schools is only a precautionary measure in case Trojans defensive line coach Ed Orgeron takes a different job.

For now, though, his concentration rests on building off the school’s historic victory. Placer had played for the Pioneer Valley League championship the last four years, but finally got it on its fifth try.

On Saturday, Placer received a No. 1 seed in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoff bracket.

“I'm so proud of our kids,” said Montoya. “Our schedule has been tough. We've had some great football games this season. We've faced a lot of adversity and I’m very proud of the way we’ve persevered. We were down 14-3 at the half (Friday night), we came back and stopped them on a 4th-and-3 from our own 23 with around two minutes remaining. The resolve from these kids, their work ethic, it’s been great to see these guys come together as a team."

Top quarterback target makes it to the Coliseum
One of the more important visitors in the stands for Saturday’s 62-51 loss to Oregon was Northern California quarterback Keller Chryst (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto), the only Class of 2014 signal-caller with an offer from the Trojans. According to a source, Chryst was accompanied to Los Angeles by his parents.

“They seemed to love USC,” the source said. “They bought a ton of Trojans gear. It’s probably going to come down between USC and Stanford for him.”

If USC offered, talented 2015 athlete would commit
With USC receiver commit Steven Mitchell on his team, Class of 2015 athlete Desean Holmes (Mission Hills, Calif./Alemany) is very familiar with Trojans recruiting. Holmes has been a lifelong USC fan and planned to tag along with Mitchell for the Oregon game but was unable to.

“I talked to Coach (Kennedy) Polamalu on Friday night,” he said. “He wants me to call him and, most likely, I’ll make it out to the Coliseum for the Arizona State game this week.”

Holmes has been receiving letters from Penn State recently and has early offers from Houston and Utah. If USC were to offer, Holmes would jump on it immediately.

“Honestly, if USC offered me now, I’d take it,” Holmes said. “It’s close to home, and it’s always been my dream school.”

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Holmes knows he faces an important offseason in his development. The main focus will be on building strength and perfecting ball skills, he said. And having Mitchell, perhaps the top receiver in the state, as a guide surely won’t be an impediment.

“Steven is always on me,” Holmes said. “He tells me to keep working hard and tells me one day I’ll get where he is. The main things he says to me is to work hard in the classroom and work hard on my routes.”

Fresno (Calif.) Central teammates take in USC-Oregon
Cornerbacks Devon Brewer and Michiah Quick and defensive lineman Tashon Smallwood -- all members of the 2014 class and teammates at Fresno (Calif.) Central -- made the trip south Saturday. Quick is part of the ESPN Watch List for next year's class, and Brewer is a rising prospect with early offers from Houston, Nevada and UNLV.

“The thing we liked about it the most was the atmosphere,” Brewer said. “It was intense. The game was back and forth. Overall, it was a good experience for us. Oregon was impressive. They have a high-powered offense and USC couldn’t stop them at all. It was a horrible defensive game overall, but it’s hard because both teams have a good offense. Both teams were hard to stop.”