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Golden Recruiting Wire: Bay Area Kid Kenny Walker Likes Everything About Cal

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Verbal commits are marked w/ (Cal)

August 31, 2011

CGB Recruiting Thread | Golden Recruiting Board


Tedford & Company

  • Kenny Walker, WR (Cal) Kennedy (Richmond, CA) verbal commitment quotables:

    "I really liked everything about Cal," Walker said. "I like the offense a lot, it's receiver friendly and you can make a lot of plays there. I like the coaches a lot and especially Coach [Jeff] Tedford. The depth chart is great and Cal really needs receivers right now [$1]."

    "Kenny is very highly into academics," Bobino [Michael, Kennedy Eagles' Head Coach] said. "He chose Cal not only because of their football program, but he also likes what they offer education-wise with the business program. He wants to be a business and accounting major [2]."

    Walker has also starred on the track. He's reached the California Interscholastic Federation state track and field championships three straight years in the 110-meter hurdles, placing sixth the past two years. He finished one spot ahead of De La Salle's Michael Barton, also a Cal football commit and a former Pop Warner teammate, this past June. He said he would consider running track at Cal if the football coaching staff approved [3].

     "That was very nice beating Barton," said Walker, with a laugh. "We've been kickin' it since we were kids and played Pop Warner together when we were little. It was nice to run against him. He's actually gotten a lot faster. He didn't used to be so fast. He's been trying to get me to Cal for a while. We just talk about me, him, Shaq Thompson and Zach (Kline) playing together.

    "I've been talking with Byron Marshall, trying to get him to Cal, too. I know he's really interested but he's still kind of undecided right now [4]."

  • Byron Marshall, RBValley Christian (San Jose, CA), Freddie Tagaloa, OT Salesian (Richmond, CA) are two of the Chronicles' players to watch for the 2011-2012 prep season [5]. Marshall appears to have Washington, Oregon, Notre Dame, Cal, USC, and Arizona State as leaders [6].

    The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Marshall, ranked No. 48 by CBS/ recruiting expert Tom Lemming, relies on 10.60-second 100-meter speed, elusiveness and surprising strength to avoid would-be tacklers.

    His 40-yard time is 4.4 seconds, vertical jump 33 inches, and he has bench-pressed 325 pounds. Those numbers - and his career 2,900 rushing yards and 46 touchdowns - are impressive. But not compared to his flashy assortment of highlight-reel touchdown runs and returns for one of Northern California's most recognized programs [7].

    ...Marshall's passion come out when he's hanging out with Andrew Watson, the Warriors' longtime team manager who has Down Syndrome. Machado runs a camp for athletes with Down Syndrome every summer, and Watson has requested to be paired with Marshall two years in a row.

    Marshall turns serious when talking about his relationship with Watson, saying the two have become very close and their friendship will stay that way. But his lively side is never far away, and it's something he's not going to apologize for.

    "I'm not a bad guy," he said when asked about his reputation as a talker on the field. "I have fun as I play ... referees are a little bit more strict with me than they are with other players, but I've put that on myself.

    "I talk more than I should, (but) if I'm talking to someone I've got to back it up. It motivates me to play that much better [8]."

    Tagaloa, ranked No. 69, overwhelms opponents and wows recruiters with his size and power. At 6-6 1/2 and 312 pounds of muscle - "There's no fat on that kid whatsoever," says Salesian coach Chad Nightingale - Tagaloa flattens foes regularly, but in relative obscurity for a small but successful program.

    Despite that, Tagaloa, who just turned 17, had 25 full-scholarship offers by the end of his sophomore year and now, according to Nightingale, "has offers from every Division I school in the country (and is considering Stanford, Cal, Oregon and USC). If you have that kind of size and speed and power, recruiters will find you [9]."

  • Ishmael Adams, CB Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, CA) is known as the lockdown corner and has NFL ambitions [10].
    At 5 feet 10 and 182 pounds, Adams uses speed, technique and physical play to take on top receivers. He was a member of the state championship 400-meter relay team for Oaks Christian last spring. When he goes up to receivers at the line of scrimmage and stares them in the eyes, they know they're about to face a focused, determined competitor.

    "It's a great feeling if you're up to the challenge," he said. "You just have to come out and play your best. You can't control that many things. You control how you transition, how you play the ball, your effort. It's the hardest position on the field, because you're guarding the fastest player on offense."

    Oaks Christian defensive coordinator Mark Bates has come to appreciate Adams' competitiveness and ability to react.

    "He likes to go against the best," Bates said. "In the most competitive games or the closest games, he wants to play his best."
    • KeiVarae Russell, RB Mariner (Everett, WA) had a brilliant summer and is ready to capture to Washington State Western Conference 4A title [11].
      Russell said he is bombarded with recruiting-related friend requests on Facebook. At first he had trouble saying no to the apparent football junkies, and his friend list swelled to around 1,500.

      Despite all the hoopla, Russell is focused on what he wants: A top-notch education, a great football experience and a supportive community. Russell knows college coaches will try to wow him, but he said he will stay true to his priorities.

      Russell plans to take five official recruiting trips and will likely wait until after the high school season to verbally commit. So far, he has scheduled only one visit: Notre Dame on Oct. 22, when the Irish play USC.

      Russell said he will probably also visit USC and Cal, and possibly UW and Boise State.
    • Josh Garnett, OL Pullyaup (Pullyaup, WA), Zach Banner, OT Lakes (Lakewood, WA) and the State of Washington are deep the Class of 2012 recruits [12]:

      Mariner High School's standout running back, KeiVarae Russell, was asked what it would be like to run behind an offensive line that included Washington's top five prospects at the position, some of the most highly sought recruits in the country.

      "Oh, my gosh!" Russell said. "That's like a running back's dream right there. I'm pretty sure I would break every rushing record there is."

      While Russell thought about what it would be like to sprint untouched for 15 to 20 yards each carry, with Joshua Garnett (Puyallup), Zach Banner (Lakes), Walker Williams (Tacoma Baptist), Nathan Dean (Juanita) and Cory English (Auburn) blocking for him, Mercer Island quarterback Jeff Lindquist was asked the same thing.

      "It would be incredible," the Washington recruit said. "That's a pretty solid top five. I don't think it matters where you go, you're not going to find talent like that. Those guys are studs."

    • Eddie Goldman, DT Friendship Academy (Washington, DC) has Cal, Clemson, Auburn, Alabama Florida State, Miami, and Maryland leading his recruiting [13]. Goldman may be ready to discuss his five official visits soon [14]. Clemson, Maryland, Miami, and Florida State may be the front-runners. The size of Goldman makes other players look tiny [photo: 15].

      Goldman has spent a lot of time in the South, which would seem to limit California and Maryland's chances. Miami, as has been well documented, is a mess and is losing prospects almost as fast as credibility.

      The SEC seems a likely destination for Goldman, but don't rule out Clemson or Florida State. Both schools, especially the Tigers, have only to put the finishing touches on their 2012 classes so they can focus on the few prospects, including Golden, who remain on their board.

    • Aziz Shittu, DT Buhach (Atwater, CA) has Cal, Texas A&M, Nevada as his top 3 [16]. Shittu was a dominant force on the open field for the Thunder, racking up 8 tackles and 1 sack Friday night [17].
      Aziz Shittu was the toughest one for me. He was so extraordinarily good at the Los Angeles NIKE Camp that we thought for sure he was a five-star talent, a real gem that we found on the camp circuit. But then he was mediocre at The Opening and surprisingly didn't even show up at the Stanford NIKE Camp. We look for five-star recruits to dominate all the time and Shittu just wasn't doing it. Should we move him out of the five-star rankings? How far should he drop? Those are questions that plagued me during the evaluation meetings because I still think he is very talented but his summer showings were not great. Although this doesn't matter for this round of rankings, I saw Shittu this past weekend and he was really good at nose guard. Strong, powerful and also athletic, Shittu definitely dominated the competition [18].
    • Jordan Simmons, OL Crespi (Encino, CA) goes to the gym at 5am in order to step up and help his Celts [19]:

      Encino Crespi senior Jordan Simmons has been working on getting quicker and stronger this summer, whittling his size a bit (at 325, he's aiming for an even 300 pounds). Linebackers who are set to run into Simmons this fall might wish he'd spend more time at the buffet line, because a faster but still mighty Simmons means big problems.

      "He's a terrific athlete and moves his feet well," Crespi Coach Jon Mack said.

      Simmons, at 6 feet 5, with coordination, maneuverability and growing strength, is an offensive lineman with a bright future. And that potential to be a blocker in college and beyond is what motivates Simmons to take the extra steps to keep getting better.

    • Freddie Tagaloa, OT Salesian (Richmond, CA) is appreciated by coaches and players for his presence on the offensive line [20]:

      For Tagaloa, the situation is a little different. He's been lauded as a potential NFL prospect and has found his way into headlines. But he still takes pride in the role of enhancing the play of his teammates.

      "It's like a prize seeing my running back's name in the paper," Tagaloa said. "If his name is in the paper, that means the offensive line is doing something really good."

    • Ellis McCarthy, DT Monrovia (Monrovia, CA) enjoys going through his opponents' double and sometimes triple-team for a sack is his favorite thing to do [21]. Photo gallery [22].

      Whether walking around campus wearing a tank top or shoulder pads, McCarthy gets respect.

      "He's built like a man," Coach Ryan Maddox said.

      And yet he turned 17 in July, which makes him a teenager much in demand by college recruiters. He can run a 4.9-second 40-yard dash. He bench-presses 335 pounds, and when you see him push around people in practice as if they were pieces of paper, it makes you wonder whether he could duplicate the feat from the movie "Blind Side" in which the star offensive tackle blocks his man all way into the bleachers.

    • Zach Kline, QB (Cal) San Ramon Valley (Danville, CA) is willing the Wolves all the way to an 11-0 season [23]:

      "We're going to try and (go) 10-0 and win NCS, that's our goal," said quarterback Zach Kline, a Cal commit. "That's every team's goal. We got a long way to go, but this team has the talent and has the drive to get there."

      "This team just is so much further ahead," Kline said. "They really know what they're doing. There's less guys asking me what to do or asking the coaches what to do. We know our assignments. It's good to know."

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