Area Recruits Pat Hill Can't Pass Up
The "V" on the Fresno State helmet symbolizes Central Valley Pride for the Bulldogs.
That region has been the bread and butter for Pat Hill in terms of getting football talent, with the likes of James Sanders, Bear Pascoe and David Carr all being valley residents.
That same area, however, has also had talent slip away from Hill during his tenure.
There have been a number of notable players that have left Pat Hill's backyard, with names like Ricky Manning Jr. (Edison High, UCLA), Zach Diles (Tulare Union, Kansas State), Kevin Robinson (Hoover High, Utah State), and most recently Wesley Flowers (Edison High, UCLA) and Tevin McDonald (Edison High, UCLA).
The Central Valley class of 2010 has loads of talent and lots of offers. If Pat Hill wants to keep the valley pride going, he should consider keeping these guys in his backyard and get them in a red and white uniform:
Marquess Wilson, Wide Receiver, Tulare Union
Ht/Wt: 6'3", 170 lbs.
40-yard dash: 4.6
National Position Ranking: No. 100
Offers: Arizona State, Washington State, Fresno State, Nevada, San Diego State, UNLV
Other school of interest: California
Wilson is considered one of the top prospects in the valley this upcoming season. His combination of size, speed and hands have gotten the attention of a couple of PAC-10 schools and Fresno State WAC rival Nevada.
Wilson has some Randy Moss potential in him with his deep threat ability, which includes out-jumping defenders for the ball. However, like Moss in the past, he's been accused of taking plays off.
This was evident at the College of Sequoias football camp in Visalia recently. The coaches came down hard on Wilson and the Tulare Union star admitted afterwards that he needs to work on completing his routes.
Still, with Seyi Ajirotutu, Chastin West and Marlon Moore all playing their final seasons this upcoming year, Hill needs to restock at wide receiver. By getting Wilson to come to Bulldog Stadium, Hill will be off and running with reloading at wideout.
Edward Dillihunt, Safety, Tulare Union
Ht/Wt: 5'10", 194 lbs.
40-yard dash: 4.85
National Position Ranking: No. 69
Offers: Fresno State, UNLV, Washington State, Nevada
Other schools of interest: Boise State, Utah, UCLA
Much like his teammate Wilson, Dillihunt also has interest from the PAC-10 and the WAC.
Pat Hill has coached some All-WAC performers at safety over the years (Cameron Worrell, James Sanders, Tyrone Culver, Vernon Fox). All of whom went on to play in the NFL.
Hill needs to also find a replacement for current starter Moses Harris after this season. With Dillihunt, he'll get his future quarterback of the secondary and get a versatile athlete who's also played receiver and quarterback.
Titus Grayson, Wide Receiver, Mount Whitney (Visalia)
Ht/Wt: 5'11", 165 lbs.
40-yard dash: 4.5
Offers: Fresno State, UNLV, San Diego State
Grayson is considered to be the No. 2 wideout in the valley next to Wilson. However, he impressed the scouts and coaches at the College of Sequoias combine recently. With a huge senior year, he could become a hot commodity for a number of schools before national signing day, and could become the top wideout in the valley.
Grayson hauled in literally every pass thrown his way at the C.O.S camp. He even made some one-handed receptions and had enough speed to gain separation of opposing defenders.
Last season, Grayson caught 66 passes for 854 yards and scored 13 touchdowns for the Pioneers.
In the event Hill can't get Wilson, he should settle for Grayson as his top wide receiver recruit.
Rakeem Yates, Defensive End, Edison (Fresno)
Ht/Wt: 6'2", 237 lbs.
40-yard dash: n/a
Short Shuttle: 4.82
Offers: Fresno State
Other schools of interest: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon, UCLA, USC
Yates plays for Fresno area powerhouse Edison, who is coached by former NFL star Tim McDonald.
McDonald's son, Tevin, most recently committed to UCLA. Fellow defensive lineman Wesley Flowers will also join McDonald with the Bruins. This may cause Yates to consider playing at the Rose Bowl next season.
If that doesn't happen though, Hill can jump on a golden opportunity to land the versatile Yates, who is utilized up and down the defensive line and is considered one of the top defensive line prospects in the valley.
New Bulldog defensive coordinator Randy Stewart is calling for versatility from his defenders, especially on the line. This could play up to Yates' strength and may get him to stay in Fresno.
Taylor George, Middle Linebacker, Redwood (Visalia)
Ht/Wt: 6'4", 240 lbs.
40-yard dash: n/a
Schools of interest: Fresno State, Nebraska, San Diego State, UCLA
Taylor carries a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. He also carries the tackling load for the Rangers.
Last season, he set school records for tackles. He also led the West Yosemite League in that category in 2008. He earned First team All-League and All-County honors.
With his size, Taylor can play both linebacker and defensive end. Much like Yates, he too can impress coaches and scouts with his versatility.
The Bulldogs are pretty set at middle linebacker with Ben Jacobs for the time being. However, if Hill lands George, he can challenge Nico Herron and Kyle Knox on the outside. Or he can line up on the defensive line alongside another linebacker/defensive linemen, All-WAC performer Chris Carter.
Isaiah Burse, Corner Back, Modesto Christian
Ht/Wt: 5'11", 180 lbs.
40-yard dash: n/a
National Position Ranking: No. 90
Offers: Arizona, Fresno State, Kansas State
Other schools of interest: Alabama, Georgia, California, Oregon
Burse is a versatile playmaker who scored a combined 23 touchdowns last season. He threw 12 touchdown passes, scored nine times on the ground, and added two more as a receiver.
However, he has received his most interest as a corner back. He had 60 tackles, two interceptions, a sack and four fumble recoveries on the defensive side.
His size should make him a top corner back prospect and allow Hill to replace the likes of A.J Jefferson, Damion Owens and Sharrod Davis after this upcoming season.
Dylan Swartz, Quarterback, Centeral Catholic (Modesto)
Ht/Wt: 6'3", 220 lbs.
40-yard dash: 4.9
Schools of interest: Boise State, Fresno State, Idaho, Nevada
Even without offers, Swartz already has the size to play quarterback on Saturdays. He started in the state championship game for Central Catholic last season and the first pass he threw was a touchdown.
The Bulldogs will likely play three quarterbacks this upcoming season with Ebahn Feathers, Ryan Colburn and Derek Carr. However, quarterback depth might need to be addressed after the '09 season. Hill should take a look at this Modesto standout.
Eric Pietrowski, Offensive Tackle, San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno)
Ht/Wt: 6'5", 287 lbs.
40-yard dash: n/a
Schools of interest: Fresno State, Nevada, UNLV, Washington State, UC Davis, Cal-Poly
The Bulldogs are pretty young at the tackle spots, with Bryce Harris, Devan Cunningham and Kenny Wiggins all eligible to come back for the 2010 season.
However, Pietrowski may convince the coaches to move one of those three around the line. Cunningham has split time at both tackle and guard during the spring and could move to guard because he's more of a mauler than pass blocker.
Pietrowski can also be convinced to play at Fresno State because of the success the Bulldogs have had on the offensive line. Logan Mankins, Ryan Wendell, Chris Denman and most recently Bobby Lepori have all joined the pro ranks after having stellar careers with the Bulldogs.
If Pietrowski signs with Fresno State, Pat Hill will land one of the top offensive line prospects in the valley.
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