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What I learned this weekend

12/5/2011

Monster OL battle coming up

If you remove Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove) from the equation, since he wants to be recruited as a defensive end and that’s where everyone is telling him he can play, the Pac 5 Championship game could answer the question of who’s the best offensive lineman in the Golden State.

San Clemente (Calif.) tackle Kyle Murphy is rated the No. 26 player in the nation and No. 3 player in the state. Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita tackle Max Tuerk is rated the No. 54 player nationally and No. 6 player in the state. Both players have had incredible years and have more than lived up to the lofty hype they received in the preseason.

The two teams will square off in the Pac 5 Championship game this weekend and it will be tough to take your eyes off the battle in the trenches featuring the two major prospects. Tuerk has already committed to USC and Murphy is currently leaning towards Stanford, USC, Oregon and Cal.

Williams is a major player

In a highly-anticipated Los Angeles City section semi-final game last Friday, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne dominated a very good Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey team 41-7 in a game that was over at halftime.

Junior quarterback Troy Williams completed 15-of-23 passes for 286 yards and four touchdowns, all in the first half. If there was any debate about who should win city player of the year honors, Williams left little doubt following his outstanding performance.

The signal-caller has had a big season and is also a high FBS recruit. In fact, Williams has a chance to be the top quarterback in the region next fall.

Cravens looks like state’s top junior

In a game filled with high-level BCS prospects, it was junior athlete Su'a Cravens (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) who was easily the best player on the field. The Broncos beat previously-undefeated Upland 39-18 and as usual, Cravens was a monster on both sides of the ball.

On defense, the linebacker had 12 tackles and four sacks in the game and made several big plays running and catching the ball as well. On the year, Cravens has rushed for 657 yards and 14 touchdowns, has 15 catches for 307 yards and three more scores and has 87 tackles, 10 sacks and three interceptions

Who will lead Fresno State?

When word broke Sunday that Fresno State had fired long-time head coach Pat Hill, it was an amazing turnaround for a coach who was a hot commodity nationally just a few years ago. Hill coached at Fresno State for 15 years and one of his biggest claims to fame might have come in a losing effort in 2005.

Fresno State came incredibly close to ending USC’s 32-game winning streak losing 50-42 in a contest many called the game of the year that season. Unfortunately, for Hill, the last few seasons have been rough and the Bulldogs finished this year at 4-9.

Offensive lineman David Keller (Fresno, Calif./San Joaquin Memorial) was the lone Bulldog commit at this time so the new Bulldogs coach had better hire staff and hit the recruiting trail hard to salvage this year’s class.

Thompson looks solid for Cal

Defensive back Shaq Thompson (Sacramento, Calif./Grant) won’t announce anything publicly until most likely the Army All-American game but word is the safety is back in the fold for Cal.

Thompson gave an early verbal to the Bears last spring but quickly backed off saying he wanted to do his visits. Thomson visited Washington, Oregon, Arizona State and Notre Dame but the Bears always looked like the team to beat. The safety recently had a home visit with USC that went well and reportedly, some in the Thompson family wanted him to look around a bit more and expand his options but it now looks very promising that the Bears will sign the top skill player in the west region.