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Golden Recruiting Wire: San Ramon Valley Quarterback Zach Kline Continues to Sizzle

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Verbal commits are marked w/ (Cal)

May 25th, 2011 | 18th | 11th | 4th


Tedford & Company

  • Zach Kline, QB (CAL) San Ramon Valley (Danville, CA) & Bart Houston of De La Salle will face off in the EBAL this season as two of the nation's top QB recruits [1]. Kline's stock continues to rise after Stanford NFTC. He's recruiting a trio of WRs: Jordan Payton of Oaks Christian, Malik Gilmore of Lakewood, and Bryce Treggs of St. John Bosco [video: 2].

    Future Bear Kline started a little slowly in the first few minutes but quickly picked up the pace, clearly flourishing under the guidance of qb coaches Trent Dilfer and Yogi Roth.

    "Just giving 100% focus on every throw is what I learned," said Kline. "In the beginning of camp, I wasn't playing my best and I wasn't focused enough and Coach Dilfer started getting on me. He's a Coach Tedford protoge. He just kept telling me, 'You're better than that.' And from then on, throughout the camp, I had 100% focus on every single throw [3]."

    Strengths: Kline has all the tools to be an elite quarterback. His arm strength is fantastic, he spins the ball well, has great timing on his throws and his presence on the field is also impressive. Kline can work with any receiver and always looks comfortable in the pocket or rolling out and throwing on the run.

    Weaknesses: Kline has shown the ability to fire the ball anywhere but how well can he put touch on passes? He slightly overthrew some passes early on during the workout especially ones where he had to put some loft on the ball.

    Conclusion: By National Signing Day, Kline could be in contention for the No. 1 quarterback spot in the 2012 class. He has that much ability on the field plus camp counselor Trent Dilfer said he has all the intangibles to lead a team and that's what makes Kline extra special [$4].

    Kline has really blossomed into one of the elite quarterbacks nationally, already holding a strong and accurate arm, but really improving in the other facets of the position- footwork, decision making and touch.  Kline also has a pretty magnetic personality and was overheard recruiting guys to Cal, where he's commited.  Receivers were cutting line and letting others go ahead, so they could do 1-on-1's with Kline.

    The debate for California's top quarterback could boil down to the debate for the East Bay Athletic League's top passer, with Kline and fellow EBAL quarterback Bart Houston from Concord (Calif.) De La Salle, both the clear top two quarterbacks in the Golden State.  While Kline had a better weekend with the Nike Camp and Elite 11, Houston wasn't that much farther behind him.  For Houston, he plays in a run-oriented offense, so in a camp setting, he gets to throw the ball a lot more than he normally does for the Spartans, and you get to see a very good, strong and accurate arm.  Houston is a little more reserved than Kline, but he too was making recruiting pitches for Wisconsin, where he verbaled to earlier this month [$5].

  • Max Tuerk, OT Santa Margarita (Santa Margarita, CA) has plans to visit Notre Dame and has already visited SMU, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, USC, UCLA [6][7].

    Tuerk, who was offered by Notre Dame last week, wants to know what is going on in the classroom.

    "The main thing is the academics," he said. "That’s my top priority, and then the football program, and my overall comfort level with the school, some off the coaches, and the people I’m going to be with for the next four or five years."

    When he visits schools, he is looking for several things.

    "The support staff, that’s a top thing," Tuerk said. "Some of the coaches, my overall comfortable level, if I can fit in there. Style in my opinion …I don’t have a preference. I just want to play ball."

  • Jaydon Mickens, WR Dorsey (Los Angeles, CA) is keeping his options open but USC is on top [8]. After Stanford NFTC, Mickens is gaining national attention.

    "I was impressed with Mickens' explosive burst out of his breaks and how controlled, sharp and balanced he was as a route runner," said Billy Tucker, a national director of scouting for "He was crafty too and really set up defensive backs well. He's obviously a dangerous space player after the catch and a guy who can make things happen underneath."

    "Jaydon loves football, he has a passion for the game," Dorsey coach Paul Knox said. "He is willing to work hard to take his game to the next level, put in the extra work. I think colleges from all around see that from him, that's why schools call me all the time and ask about him.

    "I know Jaydon wanted to do well at the camp up at Stanford, and from everything that I hear, he did a good job of that. He is taking care of things on the field, and off the field, in the classroom. He's taking care of business right now. It's all part of the process, he knows that."

  • Joshua Garnett, OL Puyallup (Puyallup, WA) has the ideal size for college coaches to build upon [9]. Garnett seems to have interest in Notre Dame [$10].

    Garnett is one of the top offensive line prospects in this year’s class. Has a good frame that college coaches could easily build off of their way. Shows solid power in the run game and can anchor against the bull rush. A pit bull! Plays like he’s on a mission to put his man on the ground. Needs to improve and get comfortable with a new stance. With a strong desire to finish his man, Garnett needs to be smart not to get his team in a bad position with any holding penalties. With some coaching at the next level Garnett would be a great addition to any team’s offensive line from day one.

    Garnett has been working out under his father Scott's supervision since 7th grade [11]. He trains at Competitive Edge for 20 hours a week w/ two other offensive linemen prospects from Washington, Walker Williams of Tacoma Baptist (6-7/320) and Zach Banner of Lakes (6-9/310).

    The group starts out with a stretch to open up their hips and get their bodies loosened up and pliable for the workout ahead. They use 'over/unders' on the squat rack to get hips extended and function movement screening. They will also do individual dumbbell press work for arm strength, jump pull ups for core strength, power clean work for explosion, lower body strength and back. The linemen will also focus on the front squat, which will help them work on balance and strength from the stance they normally use during games.

    While Garnett works with one set of weights - for example, his power clean progression on this day goes from 155 pounds, to 205, 240, and finally 265 pound repetitions, Banner and Williams work out at roughly 75 to 80 percent of what Garnett lifts. "He's done it for years, so there's a night and day difference," Petersen said. "It's not a knock on those guys at all; (Garnett) is about a million reps ahead of them."

    After their work in the weight room, the group will go out to the basketball court, where they engage in a series of footwork drills, including work with cones and steps to focus on foot speed, change of direction and explosion. Then finally finish their workout with an 18-pound medicine ball thrown roughly 15 feet straight up to a trainer positioned overhead.

    During the footwork part of the workout, it's not uncommon to see the Tacoma trio surrounded by basketball players, volleyball players, and other high school athletes looking to also gain an edge in their particular discipline. It's part of the allure of Competitive Edge, and one of the core reasons why Joe and Linda Albers started the business 10 years ago.

  • Kyle Murphy, OT San Clemente (San Clemente, CA) accepted his invitation to the US Army All-American Bowl [12]. Murphy was offered by Oklahoma & Alabama. Cal, Stanford, Oregon, USC remain in Murphy's Top 4 [13].

    Kyle definitely showed why he is one of the top offensive linemen in the country this year. Measuring in at 6’6 ½ and weighing 270 lbs he moved around the field better than most of the D-linemen. He displayed great footwork in the run and passing game. Had a solid 1-on-1 period. He showed great hip flexibility and hand placement. He does however need to show more desire to finish his man [14].

    The senior-to-be isn't ready to name a top five quite yet but he is pretty set in what he's looking for in a school.

    "Not really, I'm still staying pretty open in my recruitment," Murphy said. "I'm looking for a good football program where I can have success in and has good, solid academics. I want to get myself a good degree. Just the people that are around too, the coaches, the people, the players; just to make sure I fit in at the right place and enjoy myself for the next four or five years [15]."

    From Stanford NFTC [16]:

  • Tommy Schutt, DT Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, IL) accepted his invitation to the US Army All-American Bowl [17].
  • Ellis McCarthy, DT Monrovia (Monrovia, CA) shot putting [18]. McCarthy looks like he could crush me w/ his pinkies.

  • Andrus Peat, OT Corona Del Sol (Tempe, AZ) learned a lot from his dad Todd Peat Sr who played in the NFL for six year as an OL [video: 19].

    Andrus said he doesn’t know when he’ll make a decision.

    "Academics is really important," said Andrus, an outstanding student. "Also, I think I could come in and play early. That’s something I want to do, to be able to play my freshman or sophomore year. I just kind of listen to everything they have to say. My dad and I are doing research on all the schools and the coaches to get a better feel for them."

    When the feeling is right, Andrus will make a decision. Until then, he will keep on working, keep on talking to the coaches who come to sell their programs [20].

  • Shaq Thompson, ATH Grant Union (Sacramento, CA) showed off monster hits on D [video: 21].

  • Michael Barton, LB (CAL) De La Salle (Concord, CA) won 110m but got disqualifed at 300m hurdles @ Tri-Valley Area Track & Field Championships @ Granada High [22]. Barton will be @ Edwards Stadium this Saturday for CIF North Coast Section Track & Field Meet of Champions.
  • Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, TE Whitney (Rocklin, CA) offered by Miami [23][24]. Florida and Tennessee are visiting in the future. Cal, Washington, Colorado are standing out but JCF is waiting for an offer from USC [25]. Nebraska has offered and assistant offensive line and tight ends coach John Garrison visited JCF [26].

    Cope-Fitzpatrick, who has looked good at numerous camps and 7-on-7 events this spring, said he’s not going to rush a decision because he wants to see what USC will do and he wants to take some official visits.

    "I’m still very interested in USC," Cope-Fitzpatrick said. "I’m still waiting for their appeal in June and the whole deal with the offer. They haven’t offered so I can’t really put them in consideration yet.

    "I’m trying to wait. I’m going to cut my schools down to five around July after all the camps and after I get some more offers, I’ll get it down to five and then I’ll schedule some officials."

    Jalen heard plenty about the Cornhuskers before Garrison came calling. One of Whitney’s assistant coaches, Paul Hanks was born in Hemingford, Nebraska. "He’s a huge Husker fan."

    Like any other prospect, Cope-Fitzpatrick does have a list of necessities for a locale where he’ll be spending a good chunk of his life.

    "Academics are big. I want to try to get into pre-med, so that’s something that’s high on my list. Location is second thing. I want to be near a big city and see how close the airport is. It’s important to know if my family can fly in and take a taxi or if it’s going to take a couple of hours to get to my games. Tradition’s a factor for sure. I’d like to go to a school that has big-time football where everyone on campus is into it [27]."

  • Taylor McNamara, TE Westview (San Diego, CA) does not have leaders yet in his recruiting [28].

    The great thing about McNamara is his upside. He has a frame that can handle a lot more weight and muscle, so he’s only beginning to scratch the surface of his abilities—and the kid can catch and he’s very intelligent.

    The Pac-12 is all over the San Diego native—and the California schools are leading the charge. UCLA, USC, California and Stanford are some of the in-state schools after him, and national programs like Michigan, Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame and Ohio State want him, too.

    He told Sporting News he’s still wide open. "They like my toughness first, and then my ability to run and make plays and the ability to get dirty and block," McNamara said. "They have told me they love my receiving ability and the way I can create mismatches in the slot or from the three-point (stance). The position has become such a big part of the game because it’s a position that can be used in so many different ways, making it hard to game plan for."

  • Hardy Nickerson Jr., LB Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, CA) earned honorable mention at NFTC Stanford [29].

    Plays at the height of his stance every play – technically sound and very polished. When he fills out 100%, great things will unfold.

  • Aziz Shittu, DT Buhach (Atwater, CA) verbally committed to Stanford but will be taking all five official visits [30]. Michigan should receive one of Shittu's visits.
  • Jordan Simmons, OT Crespi (Encino, CA) has a continuous parade of visitors. This week Notre Dame, George, UCLA, Colorado State, Colgate, UNLV, Montana, Oregon all came to Crespi's campus [31][32][33].
  • Kenny Walker, ATH Kennedy (Richmond, CA) placed 2nd in 110m hurdles at Bayshore Athletic League Track & Field Championships [34].
  • Kevon Seymour, CB Muir (Pasadena, CA) offered by USC [35].
  • Scott Starr, OLB Norco (Norco, CA) offered by San Diego State [36].
  • Bryce Treggs, WR St John Bosco (Bellflower, CA) has Notre Dame in his top 5, but one recruitnik thinks Treggs will end up at Cal [37].
  • Nick Tompkins, ATH Brookwood (Snellville, GA) offered by Cal [38][39]
  • Isaac Seumalo, OL Corvallis (Corvallis, OR) offered by Cal [40]. Seumalo was Offensive Linemen MVP from Stanford NFTC.
  • KeiVarae Russell, RB Mariner (Everett, WA) nominated for the US Army All-American Bowl [41].
  • Arik Armstead, DE Pleasant Grove (Elk Ridge, CA) prefers to play college basketball rather than football  [42]. Armstead visited Nevada unofficially to see if there is a fit.
  • Erik Magnuson, OT La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, CA) offered by Arizona State [43].

    Showed good height and a frame that could easily but on 25-30 lbs. He did well in the 1-on1 drill. He needs to work on punching his man sooner and not exposing his chest. Would like to see better technique in the run drills [44]. 

  • Darius Hamilton, DE Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ) is looking for early playing time [45].

    The state university of New Jersey hopes to have an inside track on Darius, though it’s obvious that he may choose the school at which he can play with Yuri Wright, Leonte Carroo and Elijah Shumate, three of his Don Bosco teammates.

    "We have talked about it," Hamilton told the Herald-News. "If the opportunity presents itself and they have what we want academically and athletically, I am sure we will take it. At the same time, if it doesn’t work out, we will still be the best of friends and go our separate ways."

    What Hamilton wants is to be on the field, telling The Bergen Record that he wants to go to place where he has "a chance to play freshman year and can make the most of my opportunities."


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