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.
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."