Los Angeles Preps: Jabari Ruffin

Muir's Seymour commits to USC

January, 7, 2012
Pasadena Muir defensive back Kevon Seymour committed to USC on Saturday at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game in San Antonio, Texas.

The four-star prospect also considered Cal, Oregon and UCLA. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Seymour is the 19th-ranked player in California.

Seymour gives USC its 12th verbal commit, joining local standouts Jabari Ruffin (Downey), Max Tuerk (Santa Margarita), Jordan Simmons (Crespi), Scott Starr (Norco) and Darreus Rogers (Carson).

National signing day is Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.

L.A. South: List of bowl game participants

December, 30, 2011
Here's a list of the south Los Angeles County senior football players participating in All-American bowl games.

Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz.
Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 3 p.m. PT

LB Jeremiah Allison (Dorsey)
WR Malik Gilmore (Lakewood/verbal to Oregon State)
WR Jaydon Mickens (Dorsey)
WR Bryce Treggs (St. John Bosco/verbal to Cal)
K/P Conrad Ukropina (Loyola)

Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Thursday, Jan. 5 at 4:30 p.m. PT

WR Darius Powe (Lakewood/verbal to Cal)

The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas
Saturday, Jan. 7 at 10 a.m. PT

DB Brandon Beaver (Dominguez)
DT Ellis McCarthy (Monrovia)
LB Jabari Ruffin (Downey/verbal to USC)
DB Kevon Seymour (Muir)
WR Derrick Woods (Inglewood/verbal to Oklahoma)

L.A. South: All-region football teams

December, 20, 2011
Here’s an all-encompassing look at the top performers in south Los Angeles County for the 2011 prep football season.


Troy Williams, Narbonne, Junior -– Williams was superb in managing Narbonne's no-huddle spread attack. He did it with his arm (3,247 passing yards, 34 touchdowns), he did it with his legs (587 yards, 11 scores), and he made the right decisions with the football. The junior quarterback guided the Gauchos to the City Section Division I title.


Robert Lewis, South East, Senior -– Opposing coaches schemed to stop Lewis but the electrifying tailback still averaged 10 yards per carry and amassed 2,023 yards and 30 touchdowns for the City Section Division II champs. Coach Derwin Henderson pegged him as the city's best all-around talent. Lewis has verbally committed to Southern Methodist.


Ellis McCarthy, Monrovia, Senior -– The mind-boggling numbers aren't quite there because the big guy faced double- and triple-teams on a weekly basis. Coach Ryan Maddox built his defense around the 305-pound defensive tackle and it paid off with Monrovia capturing its second straight Mid-Valley Division championship. McCarthy has offers from all over, including Cal, USC, Florida, Oregon and Washington.


Jack Schneider, Charter Oak, Junior -– With 89 total points, Schneider was the region's top scorer among kickers. In 12 games he made 65 extra points for the Sierra League champions.


Manual Douglas, Narbonne –- By the end of the season, Douglas had his Gauchos playing as well as any team in the area. Narbonne finished 11-3 and reached its third City Section title game in the last four years. Douglas scheduled tough with games at Long Beach Poly and Tesoro, and the strategy paid dividends.


QB – Steven Rivera, Arroyo, Sr. –- Rivera capped his stellar four-year stay at Arroyo by passing for 3,408 yards and 38 touchdowns, leading the Knights to the Mission Valley League title.

RB – Tray Boone, Narbonne, Sr. –- The shifty back rushed for six touchdowns in the City Section Division I title game to finish with 1,400 yards and 22 touchdowns. He did all of this in an offense that primarily throws the ball.

RB – Marquise Bias, Monrovia, Sr. -– The powerful Bias pounded his way to 260 yards and three touchdowns in the Mid-Valley Division title game, and finished with more than 1,500 yards for the season.

WR – Bryce Treggs, St. John Bosco, Sr. –- The Cal commit made Trinity League defenses look foolish, hauling in 11 touchdowns to go along with 1,377 receiving yards.

WR – Darreus Rogers, Carson, Sr. –- Rogers, a USC commit, was the City Section's leading receiver with 1,251 yards. He had a monster performance in the title game but it wasn't enough for the Colts.

WR – Alex Villalobos, San Gabriel, Sr. -– The slot-type Villalobos was the state leader with 2,001 receiving yards. He added 21 touchdowns for the Mid-Valley Division runner-up Matadors.

OL - Beau Leati, Narbonne, Sr. -- City Section coaches selected Leati as the lineman of the year and for good reason. He anchored a line that opened gaping holes for Boone and protected Williams.

OL – Lacy Westbrook, Dominguez, Sr. -– The UCLA commit was out when the Dons started the season with two losses, but his added a major spark to their ground attack.

OL – Beau Boyster, St. John Bosco, Sr. -– The Braves averaged more than 400 yards of offense per game and the Arizona commit was in the middle of it, with his protection of strong-armed Rene Medina.

OL – Gerrad Kough, Pomona, Sr. -– The Colorado commit spearheaded a Pomona running game that averaged more than 215 yards per game.

OL – George Castro, West Covina, Sr. -– West Covina was 25th in the state in rushing yards per game (332) and Castro was a big reason why.

PK – Mason Bryant, Monrovia, Jr. -– Bryant did it all for the back-to-back champion Wildcats as a receiver, defensive back and kicker, totaling 117 total points.

P - Conrad Ukropina, Loyola, Sr. –- Six of Ukropina's 25 punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, and he averaged 43 yards per punt, the best in the Pac-5 Division.


QB – Travis Santiago, Charter Oak, Sr.
RB – Jimmy Frazier, West Covina, Sr.
RB – Kurt Scoby, Charter Oak, So.
WR – Richard Smith, Long Beach Poly, Sr.
WR - Antoine Anderson, Narbonne, Sr.
WR – Hunter Duran, Arroyo, Sr.
OL – Chase Eldredge, Palos Verdes, Sr.
OL – Chad Wheeler, Santa Monica, Sr.
OL – Justin Johnson, Dorsey, Sr.
OL – Alec Zenner, San Dimas, Sr.
OL – Nico Falah, St. John Bosco, Jr.
PK - Ret Tilman, Culver City, Sr.
P – Hayden Hunt, Long Beach Poly, Sr.


DL – Demetric McKinney, West Adams, Sr. -– McKinney recorded a state-leading 26 sacks in only 12 games.

DL – Jeremiah Allison, Dorsey, Sr. -– Allison will be used as a linebacker in college but he was fierce coming off the three-point stance for Dorsey. Allison had 14 sacks for the Coliseum League champions, giving him 34 over his last two seasons.

DL – Jesse Ojeda, San Dimas, Sr. -– He only measures 5-feet, 7-inches but Ojeda was a force for the Saints, getting to the quarterback 17 times.

LB – Brett Walsh, Monrovia, Jr. -– Walsh was second in the entire Southern Section with 192 tackles, thriving behind McCarthy's havoc up front. He added eight sacks, and figures to garner attention during the offseason.

LB – Sergio Gonzalez, Ganesha, Jr. -– The outside linebacker led the Mid-Valley Division with 17 sacks.

LB – Nuoye Clemmons III, West Adams, Sr. -– Clemmons ranked second in the City Section with 146 tackles.

LB – Salamo Fiso, Long Beach Poly, Sr. -– The Arizona State commit spearheaded a strong Jackrabbits defense with 117 tackles.

DB – Kevin Page, Dorsey, Sr. -– Page intercepted six passes, including a big one on the road to clinch a victory at Alemany.

DB – Tyrone Taylor, Torrance, Sr. -– The Cal State Fullerton baseball signee had 190 tackles from the safety position.

DB – Shane Baumann, St. John Bosco, Sr. -– Baumann was in the middle of every defensive play, it seemed. He ranked fifth in the Pac-5 Division with 126 tackles and also had five interceptions.

DB – Mark Wright, Rolling Hills Prep, Sr. –- Wright had 10 interceptions in nine games, good for a tie for second place in the state.


DL – Alonzo Williams, Long Beach Poly, Sr.
DL – Robbie Haines, Arcadia, Sr.
DL – Daniel Rios, Rosemead, Jr.
LB – Keishawn Haley, Culver City, Jr.
LB – Matt Rowe, Long Beach Poly, Sr.
LB – Jabari Ruffin, Downey, Sr.
LB – Thomas Brown, Gardena Serra, Sr.
DB – Trayvon Watson, West Adams, Sr.
DB – Gabriel Marks, Venice, Sr.
DB – Naijel Hale, Lakewood, So.
DB – Chris Solomon, West Covina, Sr.

L.A. South: Recruiting roundup

December, 19, 2011
With the high school football season completed, we give you a list of the top 50 prospects in south Los Angeles County for the class of 2012, according to ESPNU recruiting rankings. (Notes: player's verbal college commitment in parentheses, and the list is sorted by ESPNU grades).

ATH Jabari Ruffin, Downey (USC)
DT Ellis McCarthy, Monrovia
WR Darius Powe, Lakewood (Cal)
WR Derrick Woods, Inglewood (Oklahoma)
WR Bryce Treggs, St. John Bosco (Cal)

ATH Kevon Seymour, Muir
RB Robert Lewis, South East (Southern Methodist)
WR Richard Smith, Long Beach Poly (Arizona State)
WR Alex Jackson, Culver City
LB Salamo Fiso, Long Beach Poly (Arizona State)

CB Randall Goforth, Long Beach Poly (Arizona State)
CB Brandon Beaver, Dominguez
LB Matt Rowe, Long Beach Poly (Arizona State)
WR Cameron Countryman, Beverly Hills (Penn)
ATH Jaydon Mickens, Dorsey

WR Darreus Rogers, Carson (USC)
WR Malik Gilmore, Lakewood (Oregon State)
WR Josiah Blandin, Long Beach Poly (Arizona State)
OL Lacy Westbrook, Dominguez (UCLA)
DL Alonzo Williams, Long Beach Poly (Texas A&M)

WR Gabriel Marks, Venice (Southern Methodist)
LB Jeremiah Allison, Dorsey
LB Khalil Pettway, Culver City
WR Dwayne Washington, Gahr (Washington)
WR Delshawn McClellon, Gahr (Utah)

ATH Taylor LaGace, Arcadia (UCLA)
CB Alphonso Marsh, Dominguez
WR Kodi Whitfield, Loyola (Stanford)
DL Damion Turpin, Dominguez (Washington)
ATH Chris Miller, Diamond Ranch (Oregon State)

OL Gerrad Kough, Pomona (Colorado)
ATH Dalis Bruce, St. John Bosco
OL Chase Eldredge, Palos Verdes (Oregon State)
ATH Trayvon Watson, West Adams (UCLA)
DL Kristopher Cooper, Gardena Serra

RB Tairen Owens, Muir (Washington)
LB Thomas Brown, Gardena Serra (Nebraska)
OL Chad Wheeler, Santa Monica (USC)
FB Ryan McDaniel, North Torrance (Washington)
CB Raymond Ford, Gardena Serra (UCLA)

ATH Diamonte Wiggins, Lynwood
OL Justin Johnson, Dorsey
CB Chaz Anderson, Loyola (Boise State)
QB Myles Carr, Arcadia
S Devian Shelton, Inglewood

DL Dejon Allen, Dominguez (Arizona State)
S Patrick Wooten, Gardena Serra
ATH Chris Solomon, West Covina
DB Ajee Montes, Bishop Amat
DL Darien Barrett, Inglewood (San Diego State)

Porter emerges as a La Habra legend

November, 29, 2011
Aaron PorterCourtesy of Arnold LeosAaron Porter is a four-year varsity player for La Habra, which has won four section titles in a row.

LA HABRA -- Since his days as a wide-eyed youth, dating to well before age five, Aaron Porter has been closely associated with La Habra football.

Years later, little has changed. The senior linebacker is still a fixture in the grand scheme, and has successfully emerged this season as one of the Southland's premier prospects at his position.

The Highlanders, naturally, have followed suit in terms of on-field success.

Porter & Co. head into Friday night's CIF-Southern Section semifinal playoff game against Lake Forest El Toro with plenty of momentum as a result. A victory, in fact, is the only thing separating the Highlanders from an appearance in the Southwest Division championship game and the opportunity to secure a rather remarkable fifth consecutive section title.

“What can I say about Aaron Porter, tell me, how much time do you have? There is plenty to talk about with him, he is a special kid,'' La Habra coach Frank Mazzotta said. “He means everything to this team and school. Aaron is a leader through and through.''

To gain a better understanding of where Porter, a potential UCLA commit, is heading, perhaps it is best to take a quick look back at his Highlanders roots.

His father, Tony Porter, took a position on the coaching staff at La Habra close to 14 years ago, right around the time Mazzotta was hired. Not surprisingly, son Aaron tagged along for the ride while Dad attended to his defensive coordinator responsibilities.

“We always knew Aaron would end up at La Habra, that's all he knew growing up,'' Tony Porter said. “I like to think that I have seen a lot of good players come and go over the years. Aaron is a student of the game, so I'm sure he remembers all those guys too.''

(Read full post)

Kyle Murphy is a man among boys

November, 8, 2011
SAN CLEMENTE -- It's the same routine each and every time. Like clockwork.

Kyle Murphy makes his way toward the line of scrimmage and the highly-touted offensive tackle from San Clemente checks out the opposing defense shuffling directly in front of him.

Locating where the pass-rushing specialist on end is positioned is the first order of business. Glancing nearby in the direction of the nose guard follows. Getting an all-important read on what the linebacking corps have in store, accurate or not, essentially prepares him for what comes next.

Murphy proceeds to set up in his standard three-point stance.

The snap awaits, mere seconds way. He lives for these moments.

“It gets ugly out there on the football field sometimes, because if you get in the way of Kyle Murphy, you're just asking for trouble,'' San Clemente coach John Hamro said.

With the ball set in motion, Murphy explodes from his customary crouch. Anyone standing in his way at the point of attack is left irrelevant. A devastating pancake block at the second level brings the crowd to its feet and clears a wide-open path for a teammate's run to the end zone.

It's the same routine each and every time. Like clockwork. Murphy's preparation is key. The senior rarely, if ever, takes a play off. And his determination this season has enabled him to emerge as one of the most sought-after unsigned recruits in the country.

“I play the game at full speed, all the time, it's the only way to get things done,'' Murphy said. “I have worked to get to this point, and with my size and strength, I feel like I can do things other players can't. I want to prove that I can go hold my own every time I step out on the field.''

(Read full post)

Football: Defensive players to watch in the Southland

September, 20, 2011
Jabari RuffinWeAreSC.comJabari Ruffin, who has committed to USC, is ranked the No. 4 prospect overall in California.

Defense, as the old adage states, wins championships. We've all heard it before.

If that's the case, the Southland appears to have more than enough talented players residing on the defensive side of the ball to make a decided difference for their respective teams.

With so many different individuals making crucial plays all over the field in the first two weeks of the season thus far, we figured that it might be a good idea to take an in-depth look at some of the premier prospects residing on the defensive side of the ball in the greater Los Angeles area.

That said, consider this as a who's who list of the more high-profile prospects around.

Defensive line: Monrovia's Ellis McCarthy. When it comes to the top recruits from these parts, few are better than the 6-foot-4, 305-pound senior. McCarthy is a force to be reckoned with every time he lines up. He's a run-stopping force. That's not to say the big man can't put pressure on the quarterback. McCarthy does it all, plain and simple. His top choices for college include USC, Cal, Florida, Washington and Oregon.

Defensive line: Westlake's Justin Solis. The top players in Ventura County typically do not receive nearly as much recognition as they deserve. Solis, however, is the exception to the rule. The 6-3, 285-pound senior was recruited by a handful of Pac-12 Conference programs. Ultimately, Colorado proved to be the best fit. Boise State, Georgia Tech and Iowa State also offered.

Defensive line: Irvine Woodbridge's Kyle Kelly. The 6-3, 225-plus pound senior is a pass-rushing specialist, a load to deal with from the edge. Kelly committed to Arizona despite having offers from Florida and Vanderbilt. Vista Murrieta's Jeremy Castro and Long Beach Poly's Alonzo Williams were also considered for this spot. In the end though, Kelly offers far too much upside.

Linebacker: Downey's Jabari Ruffin. ESPNU ranks him as one of Southern California's top recruits. Only San Clemente's Kyle Murphy is ahead of Ruffin. After watching the 6-3, 225-pound senior in action, it's blatantly obvious he is far more advanced than most of his peers. His game is tailor-made for the next level. USC landed a prized prospect when he committed in early March.

Linebacker: La Habra's Aaron Porter. Don't run the ball up the middle against this guy. And don't think your running back or tight end is going to break free in the middle of the defense when the 6-1, 230-pound senior is in uniform. Porter, heading to UCLA, is a jack-of-all trades. Opponents best know where he is on the field, at all times. Avoiding his general direction is recommended.

(Read full post)

Top returning WRs in south L.A. County

August, 24, 2011
With the start of the high school football season just a little over a week away, we give you a list of the top 15 returning receivers in south Los Angeles County, sorted by last year’s yardage totals. Keep in mind that players from schools in the San Fernando Valley, Orange County and Inland Empire are not included.

Darreus Rogers (Carson), a USC pledge and first-team All-City Section member, headlines the list. Bryce Treggs (St. John Bosco), a Cal commit who checks in at No. 4, is perhaps the top playmaker I saw all of last season. He'll be a major force in the Trinity League this fall. The most glaring omission is senior Derrick Woods (Inglewood), who had a versatile role in the backfield last season but is projected as a receiver at the next level. He has offers from USC, Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma, among others. Jabari Ruffin (Downey) and Malik Gilmore (Lakewood) aren't on the list either but should make their quarterbacks very happy.

Rank / Name (Year, School) / Yards / Touchdowns

1. Darreus Rogers (Senior, Carson): 1,347 yards, 8 TD
2. Delshawn McClellon (Senior, Gahr): 1,116 yards, 9 TD
3. Vinny Venegas (Senior, Covina): 1,064 yards, 12 TD
4. Bryce Treggs (Senior, St. John Bosco): 1,010 yards, 12 TD
5. George Katrib (Senior, Diamond Bar): 984 yards, 11 TD

6. Adam Aguirre (Senior, Cantwell-Sacred Heart): 981 yards, 11 TD
7. Christian Mack (Senior, St. Bernard): 976 yards, 10 TD
8. Darius Powe (Senior, Lakewood): 822 yards, 6 TD
9. Alex Jackson (Senior, Culver City): 814 yards, 13 TD
10. Alex Villalobos (Senior, San Gabriel): 802 yards, 8 TD

11. Robert McCovery (Senior, L.A. Jordan): 736 yards, 10 TD
12. Harold Johnson (Junior, West Adams Prep): 733 yards, 5 TD
13. James Simmons (Senior, Chadwick): 707 yards, 9 TD
14. Chris Gilchrist (Senior, Charter Oak): 704 yards, 5 TD
15. Peter de la Cruz (Senior, Covina): 700 yards, 4 TD

Here is a highlight tape of Treggs' junior season:

Top seniors in south L.A. County

August, 18, 2011
With the start of the high school football season two weeks away, we give you a list of the top 45 senior prospects in south Los Angeles County, according to ESPNU recruiting rankings. (Notes: player's verbal college commitment in parentheses).


Jabari Ruffin, Downey (USC)
Kevon Seymour, Muir
Jaydon Mickens, Dorsey (USC)


Myles Carr, Arcadia


Robert Lewis, South East (Southern Methodist)
Tairen Owens, Muir (Washington)
Ryan McDaniel, North Torrance
Jeffrey Coprich, Palisades


Darius Powe, Lakewood
Derrick Woods, Inglewood
Bryce Treggs, St. John Bosco (California)
Richard Smith, Long Beach Poly (Arizona State)
Randall Goforth, Long Beach Poly (Arizona State)
Malik Gilmore, Lakewood (Oregon State)
Josiah Blandin, Long Beach Poly (Arizona State)
Gabriel Marks, Venice (Southern Methodist)
Dwayne Washington, Gahr (Washington)
Delshawn McClellon, Gahr (Utah)
Taylor LaGace, Arcadia (Washington)
Darreus Rogers, Carson (USC)


Lacy Westbrook, Dominguez
Gerrad Kough, Pomona (Colorado)
Chase Eldredge, Palos Verdes (Oregon State)
Chad Wheeler, Santa Monica (Arizona State)
Justin Johnson, Dorsey
Beau Boyster, St. John Bosco (Arizona)


Ellis McCarthy, Monrovia
Damion Turpin, Dominguez
Kristopher Cooper, Serra
Dejon Allen, Dominguez (Arizona State)


Salamo Fiso, Long Beach Poly (Arizona State)
Matt Rowe, Long Beach Poly (Arizona State)
Jeremiah Allison, Dorsey
Khalil Pettway, Culver City
C.J. Dozier, St. John Bosco (Arizona State)
Thomas Brown, Serra


Brandon Beaver, Dominguez
Alphonso Marsh, Dominguez
Raymond Ford, Serra (UCLA)
Dalis Bruce, St. John Bosco
Devian Shelton, Inglewood
Patrick Wooten, Serra
Chris Solomon, West Covina


Osborn Umeh, Mayfair
Alex Boy, Lakewood