Los Angeles Preps: A.J. Richardson

L.A. South: Thirteen for '13

February, 7, 2012
2/07/12
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With national signing day behind us, we take an early look at 13 rising senior football recruits from south Los Angeles County to keep tabs on for the 2012 prep season:

QB Troy Williams, Harbor City Narbonne -- At this point, any given prospect list is incomplete without Williams, the dual-threat signal caller who already holds offers from UCLA, Arizona State, Nevada, Southern Methodist and Washington. He was the CIF Los Angeles City Section player of the year last season, guiding Narbonne to the Division I championship by passing for 3,247 yards and 34 touchdowns, and running for 11 more scores. Depending on how the summer goes, Williams can become a national-level prospect.

QB Hayden Rettig, Los Angeles Cathedral - The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Rettig had a spectacular start to the 2011 season, passing for 508 yards and six touchdowns in Cathedral's opener, and another 294 yards the next week. But that was it for the highly touted quarterback, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and was forced to sit out the remainder of his junior season. Rettig, the younger brother of Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig, holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boston College, Purdue and Vanderbilt, but will have to prove that his right knee has fully recovered.

WR John Ross, Long Beach Jordan -- The 5-foot-10 Ross was named the Moore League co-player of the year last season after accumulating 994 receiving yards and returning six kickoffs for touchdowns. On defense he intercepted five passes, returning two for scores. Ross has offers from UCLA and Washington, but many more are expected to follow suit.

ATH Sebastian Larue, Santa Monica -- On film, Larue looks like the Bryce Treggs of the 2013 class. Fast and shifty -- the 5-foot-11 receiver/cornerback/returner boasts a 4.42 time in the 40-yard dash -- Larue is lethal in open space. He had 17 total touchdowns as a junior, and already has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Idaho and nearby UCLA.

RB DaVonte Young, Bellflower St. John Bosco -- Young rushed for at least 100 yards in five games last season and, really, would have had more had he not shared carries with departing senior Royce Moore. With Bosco losing standout receivers Bryce Treggs (Cal), Justin Johnson (Fresno State) and Dalis Bruce (Eastern Washington) to graduation, Young will be counted on to supply the offensive firepower.

RB Anterio Bateman, Gardena Serra -- Bateman, an early ESPNU 150 watch list member, figures to be Serra's top weapon next season. An ankle injury forced him to miss action late in 2011, yet he still surpassed the 900-yard plateau and averaged more than nine yards per carry. Health will be key for a successful campaign this fall.

OL Nico Falah, Bellflower St. John Bosco -- The Braves averaged more than 400 yards of offense per game and the 6-foot-4 Falah was in the middle of it. He has scholarship offers from UCLA, Oregon State, Utah State and San Jose State, but it surely won't end there. The Trinity League will be loaded with a bevy of premier offensive lineman next season, and Falah is among that group.

QB Brandon Cox, Pasadena -- Cox passed for nearly 2,700 yards and 26 touchdowns, and rushed for over 500 yards -- stellar stats that helped him punch a ticket to the prestigious U.S. Army All-American underclassmen combine in San Antonio. He has reportedly garnered interest from the likes of Auburn and Oregon, as well as other Pac-12 schools.

RB Gerard Wicks, Long Beach Poly -- Wicks shares the carries with Manusamoa Luuga, so his numbers may not be as flashy as those of other running backs. He could emerge as the go-to guy for the Jackrabbits, especially with the departures of Arizona State-bound receivers Richard Smith and Josiah Blandin. UCLA appears to be the early front-runner in Wicks' recruitment.

DT R.J. Coleman, Mira Costa -- Last season Coleman had the task of filling the void left by the graduation of J.R. Tavai (USC) and he didn't disappoint. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Coleman is on the ESPNU 150 early watch list, and promises to be one of the top players in the South Bay.

LB George Frazier, Monrovia -- Much of the publicity surrounding Monrovia's back-to-back CIF championship run centered on mammoth defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy (UCLA), but Frazier deserves his share of credit. The ESPNU 150 early watch list member was the perfect complement to McCarthy's havoc up front, making play after play for the Wildcats. Frazier is an intriguing prospect who should garner plenty of attention.

DB David Price, Long Beach Poly -- The 6-foot-1 safety is expected to spearhead a solid Poly defense that loses lineman Alonzo Williams (Texas A&M) and linebackers Salamo Fiso (ASU) and Matthew Rowe (ASU) to graduation. Price, an ESPNU 150 early watch list member, holds an offer from Southern Methodist.

WR A.J. Richardson, Harbor City Narbonne -- As the favorite target of Troy Williams, Richardson should get his share of opportunities every week. Gauchos coach Manual Douglas also finds other ways to get the ball in Richardson's hands -- and for good reason. He averaged more than 15 yards per reception last season.

No. 17 Narbonne 41, No. 14 Dorsey 7

December, 3, 2011
12/03/11
12:00
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HARBOR CITY -- Say no more, Narbonne. We hear you loud and clear.

The Gauchos made a resounding statement Friday night, crushing Dorsey, 41-7, to end the debate about which team rightfully deserved the No. 2 seeding in the City Section Division I playoffs. Second-seeded Narbonne will face fifth-seeded Carson in the all-Marine League championship game Dec. 9 at Weingart Stadium on the campus of East L.A. College. Carson stunned top-seeded San Pedro, 24-19, in the other semifinal.

Based on a past result, Narbonne (10-3) is the slight favorite to capture the crown. The Gauchos beat Carson 38-37 on Oct. 21 when the Colts botched a potential game-tying extra-point attempt in the final minute.

“It’s good to be in the final three of the last four years,” Narbonne coach Manual Douglas said.

The win was nearly devastating on two fronts. Quarterback Troy Williams, the leading passer in the City Section, did not play in the second half after suffering a left leg injury on what looked like a malicious hit by a Dorsey lineman. (Williams finished with 202 yards and three touchdowns on 12 of 18 passing, which propelled him past the 3,000-yard mark for the season. He also rushed for 46 yards and another score.

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No. 24 Narbonne 38, Carson 37

October, 22, 2011
10/22/11
12:09
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HARBOR CITY -- Troy Williams got on one knee and looked on, hoping he'd get his hands on the football at least one more time.

Turns out, he didn't have to.

Narbonne and its star junior quarterback earned a pivotal Marine League victory Friday night, 38-37, thanks to a bad snap by Carson's special teams unit on the potential game-tying extra-point attempt. With just over a minute remaining, quarterback Kevin McMahon had soared into the end zone from a yard out, pulling the Colts to within one. But, as fate would have it, the bad snap got away and Narbonne's sideline erupted.

The Gauchos snapped Carson's 15-game league winning streak.

"I had a feeling they'd miss," Williams said. "That was real fortunate for us right there."

Narbonne, No. 24 in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings, covered up the ensuing onside kick and Williams picked up a crucial first down with his legs to seal it. He scored the go-ahead touchdown on a three-yard sneak with 3:02 left in the game. Williams passed for 231 yards and two touchdowns, completing 15 of 27 attempts, and added 78 yards rushing.

"We've been talking about this since my freshman year," Williams said.

Carson coach Elijah Asante, one of the most rah-rah personalities in the area, defended his decision not to go for two points and the win.

"You kick the extra point and you go into overtime," Asante said. "That's what you do. That's the proper way to approach the game. You play in overtime and give yourself a chance to come back. If you miss [the extra point], you lose."

Narbonne (5-2) now appears to be the favorite in league and has a monster matchup against undefeated San Pedro (7-0) looming on Nov. 4 which will likely decide the champion.

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