Cal football's defensive recruits led the way last week, but the offense stepped to the forefront this week as touchdown were the order of the day Friday night.
Zion Echols: RB, Covina (Ca.) Charter Oak (4-1)
Echols helped Charter Oak notch their fourth win of the season against Glendora (Ca.) Glendora with 28 rushes for 172 yards and one receiving touchdown. Echols is a supreme playmaker and I think we are going to enjoy watching him in the Cal backfield over the next few years.
Jordan Duncan: WR, Hattiesburg (Ms.) Oak Grove (4-1)
Duncan made seven catches for 100 yards and one touchdown during Oak Grove's 35-21 victory against Jackson (Ms.) Forest Hill . Duncan also made some plays on the defensive side of the ball with an interception and eight tackles. His highlights can be found here.
Duncan's touchdown was all too easy for a player of his caliber. Duncan was open over the middle of the field, which made it an easy catch, but then he juked the onrushing defensive back before accelerating into the endzone past two more defenders.
Duncan's most impressive catch was the second one from the video. He was pinned against the sideline with a cornerback draped all over him with nice coverage. The ball was well thrown and Duncan watches it in over the shoulder before leaping for it and hauling it in while getting his foot down inbounds. Duncan also displays an impressive catch radius on the other throws from the video.
He also showed off his hands as a defensive back when he made a diving interception off a deflection from the Forest Hill receiver.
Derrick Clark: RB, San Diego (Ca.) Mission Bay (5-0)
Clark played quarterback for Mission Bay last season before switching to running back this season and he showed off a bit of his passing ability during their 44-14 victory against San Diego (Ca.) Kearny. Check out the highlights of Clark's touchdown run and pass here.
Clark is a bit of a do-it-all type of player. He throws bone-crunching blocks on special teams and pass protection, including a pancake block on big number 57 for Kearny. When running the ball Clark displays quick feet and shows off a nice spin move during his first run of the highlight. On his touchdown run, and a few others, he shows his decisiveness when identifying the running lanes at the line of scrimmage. He looks like a very capable one-cut running back.
He can also return kicks and punt for touchdowns, which is always a good thing.
Max Gilliam: QB, Thousand Oaks (Ca.) Thousand Oaks (5-0)
Mark this one down as a slightly pedestrian performance compared to Gilliam's other performances this season. The future Golden Bears' quarterback went 13-23 for 199 yards passing and two touchdowns. The statistical dip can be explained by Thousand Oaks' ridiculous rushing attack against Simi Valley (Ca.) Simi Valley during their 48-33 victory.
One of Gilliam's touchdowns is on a perfectly thrown go route to his receiver. Gilliam lays it straight into the path of the receiver in stride and over the shoulder. There is also a clip of a nice scramble and big pickup on the ground for Gilliam, but he needs to learn that sometimes you have to slide. Gilliam can get away with the Staubach-like crazy legs when trying to evade defenders at this level, but the talent and athleticism goes way up when you are in the Pac-12.
All in all, though, he looks very talented. I am sure Sonny Dykes and Tony Franklin can mold him into a great quarterback in our system.
Here are the highlights of Gilliam's performance.
Jake Curhan: OL, Larkspur (Ca.) Redwood (2-2)
Curhan's Redwood team defeated San Francisco (Ca.) Mission 47-20. The highlights can be found here. Most of his highlights from the video are on the defensive side of the ball, but there is one pancake block included. The poor defensive end did not stand a chance against Curhan.
Logan Gamble: WR, Long Beach (Ca.) St. Anthony (2-2)
Gamble caught a receiving touchdown during St. Anthony's 55-28 victory against Huntington Beach (Ca.) Marina. Here are the highlights.
Much like Curhan, most of Gamble's highlights are of him knifing into the backfield as a defensive end. Gamble was too much to handle for the Marina offensive tackles. The clip also includes his touchdown catch, which came on a go route which was woefully underthrown by the quarterback and horribly misplayed by the defensive back.
Matt Laris: WR, Sammamish (Wa.) Eastside Catholic (4-0)
Laris had six receptions and 73 receiving yards during Eastside Catholic's 56-7 victory against Seattle (Wa.) Lakeside.
We'll transition to the defensive side of the ball as there were some good performances there as well.
Josh Drayden: CB, Dallas (Tx.) Bishop Dunne (4-0)
Bishop Dunne defeated Plano (Tx.) John Paul 61-14 and Drayden did more Drayden things.
Drayden forced a fumble with a backside hit after a receiver caught a seam pass in the middle of the field. Drayden also broke up a pass by raking the receiver's arms over the top after he caught a short slant.
On the last play of the highlight video it looks like Drayden injures his shoulder when he pops a receiver attempting to catch a high pass.
Markus Wright: LB, Columbus (Ga.) Jordan (1-4)
Jordan lost 37-14 to Jackson (Ga.) Jackson in Wright's second game since returning from injury. Wright played well in registering a forced fumble, fumble recovery, a sack and several downfield tackles as a result of his relentless pursuit.
Jordan's highlights are available here.
Evan Weaver: DE, Spokane (Wa.) Gonzaga Prep (4-0)
Weaver notched a couple of quarterback sacks, but truly shined in his ability to shed blocks in run support. Weaver added a rushing touchdown to round out his great all-around performance in a 49-21 win against Mead (Wa.) Mt. Spokane. Check out the highlights here.
Check back next week to see how the Cal football commits followed up on their performances.