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September 19, 2011

Weekend wrap: West Coast prospects

MORE GORNEY: Notes | Uniforms matter | Whispers

Rivals.com West analyst Adam Gorney ranks his top performers along with analysis of other Division I prospects from games he covered over the weekend.

Gorney's Top Performers
1. Alonzo Williams, DT, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
The Louisiana native who's committed to Texas A&M but is looking around at other schools moved to Poly for his senior season to get more exposure and it should definitely pay off. Williams played defensive tackle for almost the entire game and was effective by knocking down multiple passes and using his speed and strength to break into the backfield multiple times to pressure Narbonne's quarterback. He also finished with 1.5 sacks and was disruptive all game by using his speed and strength to be a nuisance in the middle of Poly's defensive line.

2. Richard Smith, WR, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
Smith is a diminutive receiver who doesn't look like much of a threat but he can be lethal in the slot because he has great hands and sneaks around the field until he gets open. Once he has the ball in his hands, he kicks it into another gear and is simply faster than a lot of others on the field. The Arizona State commit finished with seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. He was a threat all night in Poly's attack.

3. Alex Jackson, WR, Culver City (Calif.)
Jackson can turn on the jets and simply outclassed the Palos Verdes (Calif.) Palisades defensive backs on Friday afternoon, finishing with three touchdown receptions of 9, 62 and 38 yards. His 62-yarder was the nicest because he caught a short pass, ran to the sideline, patiently followed his blockers downfield and then wisely cut back across and outran the defense into the end zone. He has great hands and knows how to set up cornerbacks. His speed isn't top-end but Jackson knows how to play the position and get open.

4. Khalil Pettway, ILB, Culver City (Calif.)
Pettway was impressive because he plays the game as if he's always running downhill. Even before the snap, the three-star is inching toward the line and if he blitzes it's tough to pick up. Or he has the footwork and balance to stay in his position and play the ballcarrier. He finished with about seven tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery. Sometimes he got stuck watching the play develop and got blocked out of the way but usually he was right there and involved with sticking the running back for a minimal gain.

5. Troy Williams, PQB, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne (2013)
Williams did not put up big statistics against a stifling Poly defense but the junior showed he can orchestrate an offense and it was easy to see he had complete control of what Narbonne wanted to do. He clearly has one of the strongest arms of any quarterback in California and almost always throws a tight spiral with lots of zip on his passes. Williams is most comfortable sitting in the pocket and picking apart defenses but he was forced to throw a lot on the run and still looked good doing it. He ran for a 1-yard score as well.

Other Division I prospects
Here is Gorney's analysis of other Division I prospects, listed alphabetically, scouted over the weekend.

Josiah Blandin, WR, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly: Blandin went up and caught a 19-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone and uses his size to his advantage. He also caught a few other passes by getting great separation.

Salamo Fiso, ILB, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly: Fiso has the patience to stick in the middle and engage the ballcarrier at the line and the speed to track down opponents when the play is run outside.

Randall Goforth, CB, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly: Goforth played only cornerback for Poly - no offense as he has in the past. He was aggressive, tough and hard-nosed like always, never letting anything easy come to his side.

David Price, S, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly (2013): Price knows how to play with aggression and how to come up and unload on a receiver. His timing could sometimes be better but his size and speed are impressive for a junior.

Matthew Rowe, OLB, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly: Rowe finished with 1.5 sacks and he almost had an interception early on but dropped the ball. Tough and fearless, Rowe loves hitting people hard and flying all over the field to make plays.

Gerard Wicks, RB, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly (2013): This 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back is a bruiser who loves to slam into opponents, bounce off and gain extra yards. He's not the fastest but he's tough, strong and has powerful legs.

Julius Wilson, WR, Culver City (Calif.) (2013): Wilson was Culver City's most productive receiver early on with touchdown catches of 58 and 63 yards. He dropped some passes late probably due to lack of concentration.



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