St. Bonaventure High senior lineman Giovanni DiPoalo signed his letter of intent to play football at USC this morning.
DiPoalo had verbally committed to USC, but re-opened his recruitment after Pete Carroll left USC to take the head coaching job with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.
But new USC coach Lane Kiffin and his staff were able to do enough to convince DiPoalo the Trojan family was the best place for him to be.
DiPoalo was considering heading across town to UCLA, but will be donning a cardinal red and gold uniform after all.
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.
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."
It's now official.
Ventura's victory over San Marcos last night means Ventura and Buena will share the Channel League girls' basketball title with 7-1 league records.
Buena had already clinched a share with its victory over Ventura on Monday night
The rivals met four times this season and split the series 2-2. Buena beat Ventura on its home floor for its two wins while Ventura beat Buena at Buena and at Santa Barbara High in the Tournament of Champions.
To show just how tightly matched The Star's top two teams are, the cumulative score of their games added up to a 171-171 tie.
During their Monday night game at least nine college scouts were in attendance, including USC, Pepperdine, Northern Colorado, Cal State Stanislaus, Cal State Monterey Bay and of course Ventura College.
It was funny to see the scouts lingering outside the locker room making sure the players saw their institution names on their jackets/sweatshirts/polos. They can't talk to the players, but they did talk to the coaches.
The scouts were highest on Buena sophomore point guard Keani Albanez, who put on a show in the second half. Ventura junior Maddie Fahan is also on the radar
Buena senior Holly Holcomb hasn't received as much attention as Buena head coach Dave Guenther expected. But he said that has started to change in the last few weeks with more phone calls being made to his office and cell phone.
Just goes to show when you are one of the only games on the schedule in So Cal and have good players to watch, scouts will come.
The Cal State Stanislaus coach drove five hours down, watched the game and drove five hours back to Turlock.
- Thousand Oaks scored a big win and ended Newbury Park's hopes of an undefeated Marmonte League record with an overtime victory over the Panthers at Newbury Park High on Tuesday night. The Lancers are getting stronger as the season goes on, led by sophomore Karina Alofaituli and junior Jenna Bandy.