Los Angeles Preps: Kyle Hart

Lawler signs with Cal, ending big day for I.E.

February, 1, 2012
Upland wide receiver Kenny Lawler, the last major unsigned recruit from the Inland Empire, made it official Wednesday afternoon, announcing he will sign with California.

Lawler took a last-minute recruiting trip over the weekend to California after visiting Oregon State and Washington State the two prior weekends. Heading into Wednesday’s national signing day, he was reportedly down to California and Oregon State.

The Bears return leading receiver Keenan Allen, but second-leading receiver Marvin Jones has exhausted his eligibility. A spot opened up for Lawler in Cal's recruiting class after Oaks Christian wide receiver Jordan Payton, who had committed to the Golden Bears in early January, switched to Washington last week before ultimately signing with UCLA.

Lawler said on Fox Sports Prime Ticket that a major factor in his decision was California hiring one of his longtime coaches, Charlie Collins, as a staff member.

“I know he’s going to have my back up there,” Lawler said.

The 6-3, 185-pound senior committed to Arizona State shortly after last year’s national signing day, the first school to offer him a scholarship. He stuck by the commitment until late November, shortly after the Wildcats fired coach Dennis Erickson.

Lawler caught 53 passes for 1,267 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, including nine scores in the final four games. His size and reach allows him to out-jump most defensive backs.

Lawler is one of four Upland players to sign a letter of intent Wednesday. Running back Donte Abron, Jr., defensive back Marques Mosley and fullback Christian Powell signed with Colorado earlier in the day.

Here's a full list of signings from Wednesday:

(Read full post)

Powell switches from UCLA to Colorado

January, 31, 2012
Less than 24 hours before national signing day and high school football recruits from the Inland Empire continue to sway on their decisions, or learn that a previous offer is no longer on the table.

UCLA and Colorado are two schools in the middle of some down-to-the-wire movement involving I.E. recruits.

Christian Powell, the third-ranked fullback recruit in the nation, committed to UCLA earlier this month but switched to Colorado on Monday night, reports several outlets, including Greg Biggins of ESPN Recruiting Nation.

He would be the third player from Upland to be part of the Buffaloes' recruiting class, joining running back Donte Abron, Jr., and wide receiver/defensive back Marques Mosley. Powell, at 6 feet, 250 pounds, also played defensive line for the Highlanders, recording 15 sacks last season, but is expected to play fullback in coach Eric Bienemy's offense.

Corona Santiago offensive lineman Isaiah Folasa, also once a UCLA commit under former coach Rick Neuheisel, will reportedly sign with New Mexico State on Wednesday, according to Santiago coach Jeff Steinberg.

Folasa took a recruiting trip to Colorado the weekend of Jan. 21, but the Buffaloes were unable to accept his commitment because they had ran out of available scholarships for this class, Biggins reported. In addition to the Upland trio, Arlington defensive lineman Samson Kafovalu and Citrus Hill running back Davien Payne have also pledged to Colorado.

Here’s the latest list of recruits from the I.E.

(Read full post)

I.E.: Top football recruits for class of '12

December, 22, 2011
Now that the high football season has ended, the recruiting period is in full swing. The Inland Empire, which has stockpiled a number of collegiate conferences over the years, has its share of blue-chip recruits again this season. Here’s a list of seniors who have made non-binding verbal commitments to schools in advance of the national signing day in early February, followed by a list of those who are still undecided.


QB -- Matt Morin, Chaparral (San Diego State); Austin Decoud, Redlands East Valley (Idaho).

RB -- Donta Abron, Jr., Upland (Colorado); Davien Payne, Citrus Hill (Colorado).

ATHLETE -- Damontae Kazee, Cajon (San Diego State); Bryan Harper, Colony (Washington); Jamaal Williams, Summit (BYU).

OL -- Lio Lafaele, Corona Centennial (Utah); Dylan LaFrenz, Los Osos (Arizona State); Isaiah Folasa, Corona Santiago (UCLA); Kyle Hart, Ridgecrest Burroughs (San Jose State).

DL -- Jeremy Castro, Vista Murrieta (Oregon); Teddy Queen, Chaparral (San Diego State); Samson Kafovalu, Arlington (Colorado).

LB -- Scott Starr, Norco (USC); C.J. Dozier, Chaparral (Arizona State); Darnell Murray, Citrus Hill (UTEP).

DB -- Donte Deayon, Summit (Boise State); Corbin McCarthy, Norco (Duke); Marques Mosley, Upland (Colorado).


ATHLETE -- Reshawn Hooker, A.B. Miller (Boise State, UCLA).

WR -- Kenny Lawler, Upland (UCLA, Oregon State, California, Michigan State).

DL -- Milo Jordan, Corona Centennial (USC, UCLA, Arizona State, Nebraska, Washington); Christian Powell, Upland (Washington, Nebraska, Texas A&M).

LB -- Joe Robinson, Chaparral (Nebraska, Arizona); Robert Wagner, Colony (Arizona, San Diego State); Nolan Peralta, Elsinore (Fresno State, San Jose State).

I.E.: Eastern Division second-round previews

November, 23, 2011

Second round, Friday

No. 1 Summit (10-1) vs. Silverado (6-5) at Victor Valley HS, 7:30 p.m.

How they got here: Summit slipped by visiting Paloma Valley, 26-18, at A.B. Miller HS; Silverado beat Oak Hills in a rematch, 16-7, at Victor Valley.

Matchup to watch: Summit quarterback Bernard Porter (1,106 passing yards, 13 TDs) vs. Silverado’s pass rush (26 sacks).

Fast fact: Silverado posted one of the biggest upsets of the 2010 season when it traveled to A.B. Miller in Week 6 and stunned Summit, 20-18, then the top-ranked team in the Eastern Division.

Prediction: Summit 31, Silverado 10.

No. 4 Serrano (9-2) at Elsinore (8-3), 7:30 p.m.

How they got here: Serrano upended visiting Granite Hills, 45-7; Elsinore beat visiting West Valley, 60-39.

Matchup to watch: Serrano running back Adarius Hogan (1,356 rushing yards, 15 TDs) vs. Elsinore linebacker Nolan Peralta (11.6 tackles per game).

Fast fact: Elsinore was the surprise Eastern Division champion last season, winning the program’s only section title in the school’s 84-year history.

Prediction: Serrano 24, Elsinore 14.

No. 3 Heritage (10-1) at Kaiser (8-3), 7:30 p.m.

How they got here: Heritage knocked off visiting Sultana, 56-21; Kaiser beat visiting San Jacinto, 37-19.

Matchup to watch: Kaiser running backs Marquette Washington and Taleeb Isom (332 combined rushing yards last week, five TDs) vs. Heritage linebacker Tony Hifo (7.6 tackles per game).

Fast fact: Kaiser had its streak of 10 consecutive Sunkist League titles ended this season by Summit.

Prediction: Heritage 28, Kaiser 14.

No. 2 Citrus Hill (11-0) at Ridgecrest Burroughs (6-5), 7:30 p.m.

How they got here: Citrus Hill defeated visiting Norte Vista, 55-28; Burroughs won at Apple Valley, 27-14.

Matchup to watch: San Jose State-bound defensive end Kyle Hart of Burroughs (6-3, 240) vs. Colorado-bound running back Davien Payne of Citrus Hill (1,382 rushing yards, 26 TDs).

Fast fact: Citrus Hill opened the playoffs last season by hosting Burroughs and lost, 24-6. Now it’s the Hawks who have to make the 340-mile round trip to Ridgecrest.

Prediction: Citrus Hill 42, Burroughs 17.