San Diego Football Preseason Top 10

  1. Helix Highlanders — Helix is coming off an Open Division title in the 2015 season, but they must replace several key losses. QB Michael Austin (Cal Poly), RB Nate Stinson (Northern Arizona), WR Mekhi Stevenson (UNLV), LB Jihad Woods (Washington State), and defensive ends Forrest Hanlon (San Diego State) and Mason Vinyard (Washington State) have all moved on. Luckily for the Highlanders, they just seem to reload. The reigning CIF Defensive Player of the Year, Ezekiel Noa, returns at linebacker, with Arizona-commit Scott Young and Evan Perkins patrolling the secondary. Long time coach Troy Starr has been replaced with Robbie Owens. Owens brings with him the “No-huddle power pistol” offense, which should lead to a huge year for junior quarterback Carson Baker and a very explosive offensive unit.
  2. Madison Warhawks — Rick Jackson has several returning experienced players for this year’s squad, led by linebacker Sampson Niu (Oregon commit). The offense will feature Terrell Carter at QB with Erick BuchananIsaiah McDaniels, and Brandon Lewis (Air Force commit) at the skill positions. An appearance in the Open Division Title Game is certainly within sight for the Warhawks this season.
  3. Cathedral Catholic — QB Tate Haynes, committed to play defensive back at Boston College, returns for his second season as the signal caller and is surrounded by several weapons. Adam Eastwood returns at running back with Patrick Brown (Boston College commit) at tight end, and Jack Thompson and Je’Von Figaro at the receiver positions. The defense will be led up front by Jack Cavellier.
  4. St. Augustine — Despite losing Michael Alves (UCLA) and Elijah Preston (SDSU), the Saints return a solid core of experienced talent led by quarterback Rodney Thompson and athlete Tariq Thompson (SDSU commit). Defensive back Isaac Taylor-Stuart and athlete JR Justice are two of the best junior prospects in the county.
  5. Rancho Bernardo — The Broncos are coming off a D3-A State Title a season ago. QB Mark Salazar (Fresno State commit) leads the offensive attack alongside RB Milan Grice. Grice ran for 1,872 yards and 23 TD’s last year. Nine of the eleven leading tacklers from last seasons campaign are graduated, so the Broncos must find replacements on defense.
  6. Oceanside — The Pirates lose a handful of starters from last season, but they’ll have a big, physical line like always. QB Max Shuffer is a key to the Pirates having success. I expect Azizi Hearn and Jake Gerardi to have big seasons as two-way players.
  7. La Costa Canyon — The Mavericks, led by dual-threat QB Tanner Clark, return ten starters from last seasons team. Clark and RB Zach Goodkin will be relied on heavily to carry the load for LCC.
  8. El Camino — QB Jaden Casey and RB Chris Brown will be relied on to have big junior seasons as well as Dhante Hill who returns as the leading receiver. Jerry Ralph will begin his first season as the head coach of the Wildcats after rebuilding the Hoover HS program for several seasons.
  9. Mission Hills — Halfway through his high school career, QB Jack Tuttle has already received offers from some of the biggest football powers in the country. The Grizzlies lose a lot on both sides of the ball, but the addition of Eastlake transfers Josh and Chris Olave should make for a big impact.
  10. Mater Dei Catholic –The Crusaders are in good hands with Oregon commit, CJ Verdell, the most explosive player in San Diego coming out of the backfield. QB Chris Jones also returns from last years team that won a CIF State Title in Open Division – Small Schools. Their thirteen game winning streak has a good chance ton continue, leading up to their battle with Mission Hills in week six.

 

Transfer notes–

  • Mission Hills has had a very successful offseason so far, adding two transfers each in  football and basketball. Josh Olave (2017) and his brother Chris Olave (2018) have transferred in from Eastlake. They’ll add some much needed talent at the skill positions for Grizzlies QB Jack Tuttle. On the hoops side, they’ve added senior guard Ed Fenzi from Army-Navy Academy and junior forward Warren Washington from Escondido.

Recruiting notes–

  • 2018 St. Augustine Forward Taeshon Cherry has been on a roll lately, picking up offers from California, USC, Kansas, and Florida State in the last month.
  • 2017 UCLA commit Jaylen Hands was named MVP of the Adidas Global Nations Camp in Long Beach in early August. Hands played his junior season at Balboa City School.
  • 2018 Mission Hills QB Jack Tuttle used his time during the dead period to unofficially visit a couple of schools on his list; LSU, Wisconsin, and Missouri.