Tedford & Company
Michael Barton, LB (Cal) De La Salle (Concord, CA) and the Spartans are going after a National Championship:
De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) 14-0, CIF Open Division champion
Top Players: QB Bart Houston (6-4, 215, Sr.); LB Michael Barton (6-1, 215, Sr.); LB Michael Hutchings (6-3, 190, Jr.)
Outlook: Experienced quarterbacks have been a staple of some of the best teams in De La Salle's storied history, and Houston certainly fits that bill. The three-year starter, who has committed to Wisconsin, will be joined by 10 other returning starters from a team that cruised past Servite (Anaheim, Calif.), 48-8, in the Open Division bowl game. Barton has committed to Cal, while Hutchings is one of the nation's top junior linebackers .
In the storied history of De La Salle, Barton is the highest-rated linebacker since Rivals.com began rating players in the Class of 2001.
"The De La Salle feeling is just a sense of community," Barton said. "A sense of brotherhood or accountability."
As a junior he led the team with 72 tackles and added three sacks.
Barton said he learned from the now graduated senior captains. And while they will be missed, Barton said he is ready to up his game.
"It is going to be tough to replace guys like (Dylan) Wynn, (Blake) Renaud, and (Antoine) Pickett," he said. "Not only for their skills and domination on the field, but more importantly for the intangibles they had such as leadership, effort, and determination.
"But I believe that guys like Bart Houston, Justin Walker, and Jeff Houd along with me have adopted the mindsets of last year's captains and are ready to fill in their shoes and have another successful season."
A successful season that he already defined as another undefeated campaign.
"Our ultimate goal, which is to win a third straight state title," he said.
And perhaps another national title to go along with it .
Marshall said he will make the adjustment without changing who he is.
"I just have to be smart and it's time for me to grow up," he said. "The first (ejection) my sophomore year was me being competitive and stupid. It was a stupid immature penalty. The second (ejection) I still don't think I deserved but it happened. I let my team down. It was real selfish. I won't put the team or myself in that position again.
"I know a lot of refs are looking for me now. I just plan to shut up and play."
That won't be easy. Marshall admits he loves the banter. Always has while trying to compete with his 27-month older brother Cameron, the starting junior tailback at Arizona State, and his older athletic friends.
"(Talking) was kind of how you stood up for yourself," he said. "I had to back it up.
"I'm kind of a natural at it. I like it. It's what I do. It's fun. I try to conquer my opponent mentally and then physically. Get them out of their game. It's really why I do it. To gain an advantage. But obviously at points the last two years it hasn't worked. I need to adjust ."
Banner had a great summer and expects the Lakes Lancers to take the WA State 3A title :
Though he plays tackle, some recruiting services rank him as a guard – Scout.com pegged him as the top-rated guard in the country. Garnett said he wants the opportunity to prove he can play tackle.
"A lot of people think I’m a guard, but all the coaches tell that they’ve seen my highlight film as a tackle, they’ve seen me at the camps as a tackle," he said, "that’s what they offered me as."
No matter the position, Jeffers [Greg, Pullyaup Vikings' Head Coach] expects big things from Garnett this fall.
"I’ve seen a change in his physical dominance," Jeffers said. "He’s owning the fact that he’s a man amongst boys ."
Now a senior at Lakes High School, the offensive tackle’s [Banner] stature has reached mammoth proportions – he stands 6-9 and weighs 330 pounds. Blessed with athleticism rarely seen in players his size, Banner has received more than 40 football scholarship offers and another dozen for basketball.
But there’s more to Banner than his build. He oozes a larger-than-life charisma to match his size.
"His natural personality is outgoing," Lancers football coach Dave Miller said. "He loves people, cares about people. He likes to connect with them. He’s always been like that."
Banner is so engaging that earlier this year he was asked by the Clover Park and Tacoma school districts to speak to eighth-grade students and their parents about staying on top of academics and making the transition to high school .
KeiVarae Russell, RB Mariner (Everett, WA) will be officially visiting Notre Dame on October 22 against USC . Russell was blown away during summer going to Nike NFTC camp, The Opening, and Gridiron Kings. A well rounded person with high GPA and a leader in student government, Russell named Washington, Notre Dame, Cal, Boise State, and USC as his top five :
Zach Kline, QB (Cal) San Ramon Valley (Danville, CA) compared to Brett Favre after Elite 11 QB camp:
"I don't think there's any question Zach Kline has the strongest arm in America," Wiltfong said. "He's got a little Brett Favre in him with that gunslinger mentality. He believes he can complete any throw, and a lot of times he does. He's obviously not short on confidence and has all the things you look for in a leader for your football team ."
Ellis McCarthy, DT Monrovia (Monrovia, CA), Aziz Shittu, DT Buhach (Atwater, CA) both seem to have Cal in their top 2 . One of the top prized recruits in the State of CA , McCarthy is exploring official visits besides Cal & Oregon. Shittu has Cal and USC on top. Shittu visited Cal camp over the weekend .
I [Shittu] believe some of my strengths are my ability to find the football, also my first step is pretty good along with my get-off, but most importantly is my will to not be beaten and to not give up. Overall, I want to get better at all aspects of my game because there is never a perfect football player. But if I had to point out a few I would always like to stay low of contact, keep my feet moving and always use my hands and technique .
Jaydon Mickens, WR Dorsey (Los Angeles, CA) showed off his quickness and speed at Nike's The Opening :
- Kevon Seymour, CB Muir (Pasadena, CA) will see time at WR, DB, and Safety his Senior season. He will also see time under center in special packages . Seymour attended practice @ UCLA .
- Aziz Shittu, DT, Matt Cochran, C Buhach (Atwater, CA) are building strong relationships w/ Tosh .
- Bryce Treggs, WR (Cal) St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA) selected by Tom Lemming as one of the Top 25 WRs of 2012 .
- DJ Foster, ATH Saguaro (Scottsdale, AZ) has Arizona State in the lead over Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oregon, Auburn .
- Tommy Schutt, DT Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, IL) verbally committed to Penn State .
Visit CGB on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/GoldenBlogs