In the San Diego Section of the CIF, there have been great running backs, but Royce Freeman is now the most prolific high school runner in the region's history.
Area high school teams have produced Heisman winners and NFL Hall of Famers, prep legends like Marcus Allen, Ricky Williams, Terrell Davis, Rashaan Salaam and Reggie Bush.
In this video Freeman breaks the record for career yards and touchdowns, honored with a plaque in a sideline ceremony. Surrounded by his teammates, coaches and family, his modesty is evident (Imperial Valley Press photo).
Morgan Mahalak of the Marin Catholic Wildcats broke current Cal quarterback Jared Goff's all-time school record for touchdown passes in a season last week. His team is 9-0, headed for the North Coast Section Playoffs. Thus far in his superb senior year the Oregon verbal pledge is 94-155 passing for 1826 yards, 25 tds, 2 interceptions. He's rushed 40 times for 258 yards and two more scores. In league play he's thrown 20 tds with no interceptions. His updated highlight video can be found here.
Wide receiver Jalen Brown of Mountain Pointe High School in Arizona was recently named to the Army All-American team. Through 8 games Brown, 6-foot-1, 186 pounds, has 29 catches for 582 yards and seven touchdowns for the 8-0, #1-ranked Pride.
The senior started both ways at Mountain Pointe as a freshman. Coach Norris Vaughn told Richard Obert of azcentral.com, “He has matured with the process and he’s ready to go on with the next stage. He really is ready right now, academically, physically and emotionally. A lot of kids are not ready for that emotionally. He is ready.”
In this highlight clip, Brown pulls down a long touchdown catch, reaching out with one hand at the back of the end zone between two defenders.
The ESPN 300 has been revised, their listing of the top high school recruits in the country. It includes four Ducks:
30. Arrion Springs
99. Royce Freeman
163. Tony James
293. Jalen Brown
Highlight film on Springs, who has caught 15 passes for 295 yards and 6 tds, a five-star prospect at cornerback from Roosevelt High in San Antonio:
Other Duck targets on the big board include Adoree' Jackson (7th) Juju Smith (38th) and Bryce Dixon (126th). The site recently added a fourth star for Mahalak, an under-the-radar recruit who, like Marcus Mariota, didn't start until his senior year. Still uncommitted but highly sought after are dynamic talents like Joe Mixon, a versatile California running back, and Malik McDowell a 6-5, 260-lb. defensive lineman from Southfield, Michigan.
Here comes Morgan Mahalak with the potential to be the next Marcus Mariota. In my mind any way. These recruits all look awesome.
Success breeds success. If Oregon can win out, we'll surely get some of those coveted prospects. I agree, we need to be looking for some fast big'uns for the front lines.
@SonomaDuck It's shaping up to be an outstanding class. Some real leaders and achievers here.
@Duckbill So far Tyrell Crosby, a 290-lb offensive tackle, Tua Talia a sculpted junior college defensive lineman, and Jaylen Jelks, a workout warrior from Desert Vista High in Arizona have committed. Ducks are talking to several other big guys. Braden Eggert, a 305-lb. OT from Napa, CA, visited last week. Alfonso Hampton, 315, defensive tackle from Southwestern Community College is talking with coaches about a visit. They just offered Joe Keels, a defensive end from Highland CC.
Other players like Malik McDowell of Michigan and Lorenzo Charles from Georgia remain on the wish list, but they're not coming at this point, focusing their recruiting on schools in their home region.
Speaking of Mariota-ing, on a questionable hit out of bounds by Myles Jack of UCLA on Mariota, Mariota asked the referee to not throw the flag on the UCLA linebacker. He told the referee, "Don't throw the flag, it was a good hit". Jack later said he had a new level of respect for Mariota.
I'm not as thin-skinned as you think. It's just that I care a lot about the product and I want people to exchange ideas realizing that positions in sports arguments are subjective. We're a bunch of guys sitting around the tailgate talking football, girls, movies and beer. It ought to be cordial. It ought to be done with the constant recognition that our glory days are long behind us.
I want it to be fun. I'm not a journalist; I'm a guy who created a team fan site on Duck football. The blog has 350,000 page views since July 1, and that's how I measure myself as a writer. Diatribes about how wrong and ridiculous I am don't really bother me, except that they take energy and focus from what's really interesting: talking about one of the most amazing sports seasons in Oregon history, maybe in college football history. Whether it ends in misery or triumph, it's a hell of a ride. I want to take it with 5,000 of my closest friends, this audience, and I don't want to deteriorate into all-caps screeds, meanness and conversations where everyone takes a corner and says I'm right and you're an idiot.