Oaks Christian School senior lineman Cassius Marsh made a verbal commitment this morning to play football at LSU.
Marsh chose LSU over USC, Cal and Oklahoma. The 6-foot-5, 288-pound Marsh originally committed to Cal, but changed his mind after taking other visits.
"I think he was a little too excited when he was up at Cal and a little too fired up," Oaks Christian head coach Bill Redell said. "It was one of his first trips and they do a great job recruiting. But he wanted to see a few other places, and really liked LSU. He is elated to be going there."
Marsh is the first Oaks Christian football player to ever commit to LSU, and is the final playing in this season's big six to make his college choice. Zac Stout and Alani Fua have committed to Brigham Young University, Nick Montana and Erik Kohler are heading to Washington and Malcolm Jones will be signing with UCLA.
Oaks Christian senior running back Malcolm Jones has verbally committed to play football at UCLA.
The 6-foot, 215-pound Jones selected the Bruins over Stanford today.
"When I got to the school, it felt most comfortable to me," Jones told MaxPreps.com. "My gut instinct was it felt right there."
Jones' selection will also create another sibling rivalry between UCLA and USC. His older brother, Marshall, is a defensive back for the Trojans.
"It will be fun to see what happens," Malcolm said. "When we get older, we can talk about it. It will be fun."
In four games this season, Jones has rushed for an area-leading 870 yards and nine touchdowns. The two-way player has been a key player for Oaks Christian since his freshman season. He rushed for 1,505 yards and 26 touchdowns last season while leading the Lions to a 14-0 record.
Three plays after Venice pulls within one score, Jones bursts through the line and slashes through the secondary for a 70-yard touchdown run and a 27-13 Oaks Christian lead with 9:03 to play.
Jones adds a 29-yard touchdown run to make it a 33-13 game with 4:08 left.
Jones has 332 yards and four touchdowns, including three in the fourth quarter, on 28 carries.
A 1-yard touchdown run by Venice running back Aaron Jones, set up by Teondray Caldwell's 97-yard kickoff return, pulls the host Gondos within 20-13 with 9:25 to play.
Oaks Christian had just taken a 20-6 lead on a 39-yard touchdown run by Malcolm Jones with 9:46 left.
That came six plays after Connor Gil's 30-yard field goal with 37 seconds left in the third quarter, which pulled Venice within 13-6 after three quarters.
Two plays after Venice failed on fourth and 2 from the Oaks Christian 40, Lions running back Malcolm Jones breaks free for a 61-yard touchdown romp, which included a hurdle over the last Gondo defender.
Oaks Christian took a 13-3 lead with 1:07 lead in the half.
The game is now at the half with the same score.
Down 3-0 at Venice, Oaks Christian responded with a 11-play, 80-yard scoring drive behind plenty of Malcolm Jones.
The senior running back 49 yards on five straight carries, which included a 32-yard burst of left tackle.
Jones' efforts set up Nick Montana's 5-yard touchdown pass to Alani Fua, which gave the Lions a 6-3 lead with 9:43 left in the second quarter.
The Lions' conversion try failed.
Oaks Christian trails, 3-0, after one quarter at Venice High.
After stopping the Lions on downs on the Venice 27, the Gondos drove 58 yards midway through the quarter to set up Connor Gil's 20-yard field goal.
Venice tailback Aaron Jones had 42 yards from scrimmage in the first quarter
Nick Montana completed his first five passes before a pair of incompletions that ended the first drive. Malcolm Jones gained 50 yards on eight carries.
Marc Tyler is not convinced this year's Oaks Christian football team is better than the 2006 version.
Tyler, a USC redshirt sophomore tailback, recently read an article in the L.A. Daily News that questioned if this year's Oaks squad would overtake the 2006 team as "the best in region history."
The 2006 team went undefeated and won the inaugural CIF-State Division III bowl title. Nine seniors earned Division I scholarships, including Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame), Marshall Jones (USC), Duke Lemmens (Florida) and Tyler (USC).
This year's Oaks team features Nick Montana (Washington), Malcolm Jones (UCLA or Stanford), Erik Kohler (Washington), Cassius Marsh (LSU, Oklahoma or Cal) and Zac Stout (BYU).
"I read the paper yesterday so I watched their game last night," Tyler said after USC's win over San Jose State on Saturday. "I think Kohler said this offense is more explosive, but I didn't see that. I didn't see that. Our line was bigger and our backfield was better. They might have us at the receiver spot because they have some good, young receivers. But other than that - nah. I didn't see that explosive offense."
It's likely the jury will be out and arguments will be made for both sides until the end of the year. Even then, there could be some questions about a final verdict.
As the football season gets under way on Friday with week zero games, here is a look at some of the area players on the national radar. Many of the names are very familiar. First we will look at who Rivals ranks as among the top 250 prospects in the nation:
- No. 70 - Malcolm Jones, Oaks Christian, ATH, 6-1, 210. College: Undecided (finalists are Stanford and UCLA)
What they said: "Scouting Report: He could project as a big back or speedy outside 'backer at the next level. He is not afraid to lower the boom as a ballcarrier or a defender. Jones, like Lattimore, can really wear out a defense in the second half, leaving many hands on hips. Look for him to lead his school to a state championship in the fall."
- No. 192, Giovanni Di Poalo, St. Bonaventure, OL, 6-4, 260. College: USC
What they said: "Has help lead team to back-to-back CIF state titles."
- No. 193, Erik Kohler, Oaks Christian, OL, 6-4, 264. College: Washington
What they said: "Kohler played baseball before making football his primary sport."
Host Morro Bay did an excellent job of keeping the football out of the
hands of Oaks Christian playmakers like Nick Montana, Malcolm Jones and
Chris Owusu Friday night in the CIF-SS Northwest Division semifinals.
Morro Bay ran the ball on 62 of 64 plays from scrimmage.
Oaks Christian had possession for just 11 minutes, in which it ran 35 plays... and scored 29 points.
"It's crazy," Oaks Christian head coach Bill Redell told the Star's
David Lassen. "You feel like, 'Geez, we just didn't seem to get going.
Then you see we only had 35 plays, and we scored 29 points."
Jones returned from a shoulder injury to rush for 82 yards and three touchdowns.
Malcolm Jones has powered Oaks Christian to a 21-0 halftime lead over Morro Bay in the CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division semifinal at Morro Bay High.
Oaks Christian has 239 yards of total offense. Quarterback Nick Montana has completed 6 of 9 passes for 75 yards and one interception while Jones, who has returned from a shoulder injury, has 10 carries for 82 yards and all three of Oaks Christian's touchdowns.
Morro Bay has 161 total yards of offense with every yard coming on the ground. Morro Bay is 0 for 1 passing. Sam Crizer is the leading rusher with 68 yards on 11 carries.
Malcolm Jones' return to the Oaks Christian School backfield paid immediate dividends for the Lions, who took a 7-0 lead in its CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division semifinal at Morro Bay High on a 9-yard Jones touchdown run with 8:23 left in the first quarter.