What I learned from this weekend


Big weekend for Cal

Cal hosted over 20 players this past weekend and hit a home run with several of the recruits on hand. Not only did the Bears pick up a public verbal commitment from receiver Darius Powe (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood) but also landed a few ‘silent’ commitments that will leak out soon or at one of the post-season All-American games.

The only problem for the Bears -- and it’s a very good problem to have -- is will they have room enough for everyone who wants to come. Powe committing gives Cal four receiver commitments and don’t be surprised to see Chris Harper (Encino, Calif./Crespi) pull the trigger soon as well. Does that take the Bears out of the running for Jordan Payton (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian), who visited and had a great trip as well?

Armstead narrowing list

He hasn’t done it publicly yet but if you read between the lines, it’s apparent Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove) is starting to narrow down his list of schools a bit. The lineman visited Cal over the weekend and the Bears are doing very well with him.

Alabama, Oregon and Notre Dame also received visits and of those, don’t look for the Tide to make the final cut. Somewhat surprisingly, don’t look for USC to make the final cut either. Armstead committed early to the Trojans but it now appears the athlete has decided to go in a different direction.

Tuerk wins battle of the trenches

We previewed the Pac 5 Championship game between Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita and San Clemente (Calif.) as a battle between two of the best offensive lines in the state. Each team had a headliner, USC commit Max Tuerk for the Eagles and Kyle Murphy for the Tritons.

Both players showed why they’re so highly touted and and had exceptional games but Tuerk was the most dominant player on the field, for either team, on this night and helped the Eagles win the Pac 5 title. He may not have the same physical upside as Murphy but right now, Tuerk is the better player. He may be the strongest lineman in the state and is so powerful in his lower body and has been so well coached at the high school level, he’s able to out leverage every player he goes up against and drive them five to 10 yards down the field before dumping them wherever he feels like it.

UCLA hires Jim Mora

At least the Bruins announced their new head coach and it will be former Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks head coach Jim Mora. Mora has a ton of NFL experience but has never coached in the college ranks. It will be crucial to hire a top-flight staff that can not only coach, but recruit aggressively and the first name on his list should be SMU OL coach Adrian Klemm.

Klemm has made an incredible impact at SMU recruiting in Southern California. Five players from the area have committed to the Mustangs headlined by receiver Gabe Marks (Los Angeles, Calif./Venice) and running back Robert Lewis (Los Angeles, Calif./Southeast). Put Klemm at UCLA and allow him to recruit the Los Angles city section and the Bruins would finally have their own version of what USC and Cal have with Ed Orgeron and Tosh Lupoi respectively.

Tough call for CIF Southern Section

The committee assigned to select the participants for the California State Championship games next weekend did a solid job overall. There were a few controversial decisions with the one drawing the most public scrutiny being the Southern CA representative in the Div I title game.

It came down to Santa Margarita, which finished as the Pac 5 champion but had two losses and Vista Murrieta (Calif.), who finished 14-0 on the field but had five forfeit losses on their record due to a paperwork error on a transfer student from Georgia. Both teams played very tough schedules and both teams were deserving but in the end, the Eagles were chose for the slot.

It would have been nice to see Vista Murrieta have the opportunity to rep the SoCal region as no one played better football over the last month of the season. The paperwork error was the fault of no one associated with the team but took place three time zones away and had the forfeit losses not occurred, there’s no doubt the Broncos would have been selected for that slot.