Power Ranking Top 10 Recruits from California for 2014
Recently, we've looked at and ranked the top prospects in hot bed states like Texas and Florida. Those two states produce football recruits as if they grow on trees. Another state that makes up the three major recruiting hot beds is the Golden State, also known as California.
The weather is great, recruits seem to have a lot of speed, and skill position talent is always good in California.There's a lot to do around the state, but football is important to a lot of people in California. The competition is really good, coaching and camps are available year-round and many top NFL players are natives.
So, continuing our theme of ranking prospects in top talent-producing states, today we arrive to the big state off the Pacific Ocean. Here are the best 10 recruits for 2014 from California.
10. Joe Mixon, RB
From Oakley, Joe Mixon ran for over 1,440 yards and scored 26 TDs as a junior. He's a longer RB who stands between 6'0" and 6'2", while weighing about 195 pounds.
Mixon has some wiggle and elusiveness in the open field. He can outrun defenders to pay dirt and can also use solid strength to get yards after contact.
He's this year's Justin Davis. Cal, Texas A&M, Oregon and Washington are the standouts for him, according to 247Sports.
9. Jordan Poland, OT
Jordan Poland is awesome on the hoof due to his 6'8", 335-pound frame. He just towers over people and I don't think I've seen a bigger OL prospect on the West Coast since Zach Banner.
Poland probably isn't as athletic as Banner was/is, but he moves adequately for his size. He's got some snap quickness, flashes good strength at the point of attack and sustains blocks well.
I don't think Poland is a LT, but with some seasoning and more development USC could be getting a pretty good RT prospect.
8. Nife Lealao, DT
You may see Nife Lealao listed as a DE on some lists, but this guy's really going to be a DT. He can play the 5-technique as a DE in a thirty-front scheme, but that spot is essentially a DT.
He's already 6'5" and weighs over 280 pounds. From Sacramento, Lealao has good strength, can anchor well at the point of attack and has above-average range in pursuit.
I think he'll end up at Stanford, but Cal and UCLA could make things interesting moving forward.
7. Dwight Williams, OLB
If you've followed my coverage here at B/R the past two years and change, you likely know I love comparing players to give you a better picture of the prospect I'm discussing at a present time.
For Dwight Williams, he's almost a Michael Hutchings clone to the perfect T. He's 6'1", 210 pounds just like Hutchings and has a similar style of play.
Williams has excellent athleticism, moves well in space, has speed to chase ball-carriers and can also be a dangerous blitzer. Florida, Michigan, UCLA, Miami and many other schools have offered, says 247Sports.
6. Damien Mama, OL
From a strong St. John Bosco program in Southern California, Damien Mama is another OL prospect who impresses you on the hoof immediately.
He stands 6'5" and is a very thick 340-350 pounds. He could probably stand to lose 20-30 pounds to improve his flexibility, quickness and conditioning, but there is a lot to like about Mama.
He's very strong and stout at the point of attack, is a powerful drive blocker in the ground game and finishes well. USC, Alabama and Notre Dame are just a few high-profile offers he already has, per 247Sports.
5. Tyler Luatua, TE
The 6'4", 230-pound Tyler Luatua is a solid pass catching TE with good hands, solid speed and also is an above-adequate in-line blocker.
He can flex out and work on cornerbacks, be used on fade routes to the back pylon in the end zone and also do damage as a great intermediate receiver. Luatua has a brother at Alabama so the Crimson Tide are in the picture, but USC will try to keep him home.
4. Keller Chryst, QB
Keller Chryst, who's 6'3" and 215 pounds, is the top QB in the state of California this year and it's obvious his father has coached him well. He's got solid pocket mechanics, good quickness in his drops and sets up quickly.
I see an over-the-top delivery from Chryst, which allows him to power balls down field and outside the numbers to targets. His accuracy is solid and he continues to make strides in tossing with touch.
It's probably going to be USC or Stanford for him.
3. Michiah Quick, WR
Michiah Quick could play DB in college, but I think the 6'0", 170-pounder may prefer WR. He can release well off the line to hustle into his routes, is quick in and out of his breaks and separates in good fashion.
Quick isn't a leverage WR, as he prefers to outmaneuver people. He can add some sizzle as a returner of both kicks and punts for a team too.
Scout.com reports Quick stated to them that Alabama, USC, Oregon, Oklahoma and Notre Dame are his top five.
2. JuJu Smith, WR/S
Juju Smith has drawn comparisons to Marqise Lee as a prospect due to his ability to play both WR and safety, as Lee could coming out of high school.
Smith, from powerhouse Long Beach Poly, is a 6'1" prospect who could weigh 200 pounds before he starts college ball. He shows easy movement skills, has good strength for a skill player and his speed allows him to make all kinds of plays.
Look for him to come down to USC and UCLA, with Michigan and Ohio State also making a strong push.
1. Adoree' Jackson, CB
The 5'10", 172-pound Adoree' Jackson is an elite cover corner prospect for the 2014 class. You think he's got a light frame, given his listed weight, but this guy has what I call "wiry" strength.
He can shock a WR at the line with a strong jam in press coverage, has lateral quickness to mirror and shows great recovery speed. He fights and battles against bigger receivers and has good leaping and ball skills.
Jackson seems fairly open right now, but keep an eye on LSU and USC.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report.
He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League.
He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.