All-State Football: First Team

Posted on January 29, 2013 by

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First team all-state multi-purpose player John "JuJu" Smith grabs a touchdown pass for Long Beach Poly in team's loss to Granite Bay in CIF Division I state bowl game. Photo by Scott Kurtz.

First team all-state multi-purpose player John “JuJu” Smith grabs a touchdown pass for Long Beach Poly in team’s loss to Granite Bay in CIF Division I state bowl game. Photo by Scott Kurtz.

De La Salle and Narbonne both pocket two choices with Gauchos’ Troy Williams getting coveted quarterback position. We also go with Mater Dei’s Thomas Duarte as a receiver to free up extra slot for multi-purpose player.

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Note: Congratulations to these 30 players who have been selected all-state football first team overall. This is without any school size or year in school qualifications, which means juniors and others can make it. This is the 34th year of Cal-Hi Sports all-state teams in football and all first-team overall all-state honorees get special mention in the state record book.

FIRST TEAM OVERALL OFFENSE

WR Thomas Duarte (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-3, 230, Sr.
One of eight finalists for our Mr. Football State Player of the Year, this talented two-way standout was named by the L.A. Times as its Player of the Year after the Monarchs reached the CIF Southern Section Pac-Five championship game. For this year’s all-state team, Duarte fit best as one of two wide receivers. Even at his size, he was a game breaker with 58 catches for 1,025 yards and 15 touchdowns. Duarte also saved his most productive pass catching games for the playoffs. On defense, he contributed 42 tackles, 10 sacks, three interceptions and fumble recovery.

WR Steven Mitchell (Alemany, Mission Hills) 5-10, 180, Sr.
If you are looking for a prototype slot receiver – like a Victor Cruz of the New York Giants – then Mitchell is for you. He moves in and out of his breaks with super quickness and makes defenders miss in the open field. Mitchell, who is headed to USC, led Alemany with 62 catches for 1,100 yards and 13 scores. He also rushed for 202 yards and scored an additional five times.

OL Aaron Cochran (Buhach Colony, Atwater) 6-8, 345, Sr.
After starting alongside his younger brother, Matt, as a junior and watching other, very large Buhach Colony linemen collect accolades, Cochran (who is the biggest lineman with upside potential we’ve seen from the Central Valley in a long time) can collect a big accolade for himself. Cochran already has been chosen to the Modesto Bee’s all-star team and ended a recruiting battle over his services last week with a commitment to Cal. His brother signed with the Golden Bears last February.

Placer's Eddie Vanderdoes rubbed off on his teammates because he so often commanded double and triple-team blocking from opposing teams.

Placer’s Eddie Vanderdoes rubbed off on his teammates because he so often commanded double and triple-team blocking from opposing teams.

OL Dane Crane (Santa Margarita, Rancho Santa Margarita) 6-3, 315, Sr.
This mammoth offensive lineman was one of the reasons the Eagles started the season by many as the No. 1 team in the nation (despite starting as our No. 2 team in the state) as he committed to Washington before the season started. On the season, the Eagles passed for over 1,900 yards and 17 touchdowns while his blocking helped lead the way for the team to rush for 2,456 yards and 31 touchdowns despite the injury of standout quarterback Johnny Stanton. Crane already has collected All-Orange County, All-L.A. Times and All-CIFSS Pac-Five Division honors on his resume.

OL Nico Falah (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) 6-5, 285, Sr.
It was a breakout season for Falah’s team as the Braves won the rugged Trinity League title and were unbeaten until they suffered a close loss to Long Beach Poly in the CIFSS Pac-Five Division semifinals. Falah would be Bosco’s top senior honors candidate and adds an all-state honor after already being the Co-Offensive Player of the Year in the league, All-CIFSS Pac-Five and All-L.A. Times. The rugged blocker, who began his athletic career for the Braves as a basketball player, is set to sign a letter of intent next week with USC.

OL Sean Harlow (San Clemente) 6-5, 260, Sr.
The son of former USC standout Pat Harlow (who also is San Clemente’s assistant head coach) had another outstanding season. He already has been chosen to the Orange County Register’s honors squad and was All-CIF Southern Section (Pac Five Division). Harlow had numerous major D1 colleges recruiting him and has committed to Oregon State. He originally had pledged to Washington.

OL Cameron Hunt (Centennial, Corona) 6-5, 275, Sr.
All it took was one game on the Centennial sidelines to see how intense Hunt plays his game and how much of a leader he was for the CIF Southern California Open Division champs. Hunt, who was one of the top offensive linemen at the Northern California Nike camp last spring, committed to Cal last summer but is still taking trips to other (mostly Pac 12) colleges.

QB Troy Williams (Narbonne, Harbor City) 6-3, 190, Sr.
The four-year varsity player and three-year standout was perhaps two wins away from being Mr. Football State Player of the Year as he led the Gauchos to the CIF Southern California Open Division regional final until they lost to Centennial of Corona. Leading one of the top teams in the state, he passed for 3,614 yards and 37 touchdowns while rushing for 692 yards and 12 scores. Already at the University of Washington after graduating early, he was named the CIF L.A. City Section Player of the Year for the second year in a row and was the L.A. Times’ Offensive Player of the Year.

RB Pierre Cormier (Madison, San Diego) 5-10, 185, Sr.
Putting on quite the performance down in Carson at The Home Depot Center, Cormier led the Warhawks to a 38-35 victory over Marin Catholic in the CIF Division III state bowl game to help him earn our Medium Schools Player of the Year honor. In the win, he rushed for 252 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries with his 79-yard run late in the game scoring the game’s winning points. Cormier, who is headed to the University of Arizona, rushed for 2,233 yards and 29 touchdowns this season.

RB Zach Green (St. Bonaventure, Ventura) 6-0, 200, Sr.
Sure, there were many running backs in the state with more than 1,700 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns. But it would be hard to find one who could have matched Green’s totals considering the competition the Seraphs faced. Green, who has been named the Ventura Star’s Offensive Player of the Year and is headed to Arizona, had 244 yards and four touchdowns in a win against Oaks Christian of Westlake Village. He also had three scores when St. Bonnie lost to Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita early in the season (when the Eagles were No. 1 in the nation according to some publications) and then went for four scores when the Seraphs beat Santa Margarita in the CIFSS Pac-Five Division playoffs. He has arguably the best package of size, speed, lower body strength and agility of any back in the state.

RB Terrell Newby (Chaminade, West Hills) 5-10, 185, Sr.
Already with his name headed for a spot in our state record book after rushing for 351 yards and eight touchdowns in one game this season, Newby’s name also will go into the book as a first-team overall all-state pick not to mention his career total of 105 touchdowns scored. For the season, in leading Chaminade to the CIFSS Western Division finals, Newby rushed for 2,305 yards and 45 touchdowns. He already has been chosen as the L.A. Daily News’ Player of the Year and was the Mission League player of the year (which included all of the top players from Gardena Serra).

PK Grif Amies (Corona del Mar, Newport Beach) 5-11, 180, Sr.
Yes, there were a few kickers around the state who made a higher percentage of their field goals and there are a few who are ranked higher as kickers on college recruiting lists. But at some point when someone like Amies ties an all-time state record by making 22 field goals (nine were from 40 yards or longer with a season-best of 52) that’s just too much. Amies, who only missed six times, tied the Cal-Hi Sports record book total of 22 set in 1994 by Chris Sailer from Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks.

FIRST TEAM OVERALL DEFENSE

DL Kenneth Clark (Carter, Rialto) 6-2, 300, Sr.
It’s rare for a defensive lineman to get player of the year recognition, but Clark did that for the CIFSS Eastern Division after being a major reason why Carter went 12-1 on the season. Clark, who has verbally committed to UCLA, racked up an amazing 25 tackles for loss on the season, including 11 sacks. He had 71 tackles in all and frequently beat double teams.

DL Austin Hooper (De La Salle, Concord) 6-5, 245, Sr.
The Spartans’ Stanford-bound defensive end, who had 17 Division I offers including Oregon and Cal, before committing to The Farm two weeks ago, could probably have been multi-purpose since he was almost as effective when called upon as a tight end. His speed on defense coming from the outside for a player his size is what made him so effective. Despite missing part of the season due to injury, and only playing in 10 games and one quarter of the game in which he was hurt, Hooper still had the second most tackles for loss on the team behind Mr. Football and fellow first-teamer Michael Hutchings. Hooper was especially dominating in De La Salle’s win over unbeaten Folsom in the CIF Northern California Open Division final with three sacks, a batted pass and two long receptions that set up offensive scores.

Mission Viejo's Max Redfield is headed to Notre Dame next season and could be the school's most promising prospect since Mark Sanchez quarterbacked at USC.

Mission Viejo’s Max Redfield is headed to Notre Dame next season and could be the school’s most promising prospect since Mark Sanchez quarterbacked at USC.

DL Paulo Lepua (Narbonne, Harbor City) 6-3, 255, Sr.
The Washington State-bound recruit was a sack machine for the Gauchos the last two seasons. He racked up 26 as a senior and had 40 counting his junior year. Lepua already has been chosen as the South Bay Daily Breeze Defensive Player of the Year (over others from Narbonne and Serra of Gardena) and was named the CIF L.A. City Section’s Defensive Lineman of the Year.

DL Eddie Vanderdoes (Placer, Auburn) 6-3, 300, Sr.
Even before the season began, this top recruit turned heads as he won defensive lineman MVP honors at Nike’s The Opening in Oregon. On his way to earning several All-American honors, Vanderdoes had 72 tackles, nine sacks and a safety for a Placer team that won its first 11 games of the season before a one-point loss to Escalon in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV quarterfinals. When watching him play, though, his value still was perhaps most important to the team for making so many opposing linemen double and triple block him. Vanderdoes previously committed to USC, but is now currently uncommitted with other schools like Alabama and Notre Dame hoping to get his signature and commitment next week.

DL Vita Vea (Milpitas) 6-4, 280, Sr.
Ranked as among the top 20 defensive ends in the country by many recruiting services and the San Jose Mercury News Defensive Player of the Year, Vea was literally a one-man wrecking crew in a 9-4 season for the Trojans. Although they haven’t offered him like Cal, Oregon State, San Diego State, San Jose State, UCLA, Tennessee, Utah and Washington, several other big-time powers like Alabama, Notre Dame, Florida, Georgia and Virginia have expressed more than just casual interest. Vea averaged 10 tackles per game and had 11 sacks, three fumble recoveries and a blocked field goal. Vea also rushed for over 600 yards and 13 touchdowns, including 247 yards and five scores in a win over Homestead of Cupertino.

LB William Gulley (Oceanside) 6-0, 225, Sr.
All you need to know about Gulley’s value to the Pirates, who won the CIF San Diego Section Division II title and were the section’s highest-ranked team, is that he didn’t play in their only loss, a 40-30 setback to Chaparral of Temecula that cost them a shot at the CIF Southern California Division II bowl game. Gulley was the team’s leading tackler and already has been chosen as the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Defensive Player of the Year. In addition to leading a defense that posted five shutouts, Gulley also was a devastating fullback on offense. He finished with 588 yards rushing, scored 21 touchdowns and even scored once on a touchdown pass.

LB Michael Hutchings (De La Salle, Concord) 6-2, 215, Sr.
His announcement as our Mr. Football State Player of the Year was delayed a week due to the head coaching retirement of Bob Ladouceur, but his selection as first team all-state is no surprise after an impressive high school career that finished with the Spartans as the No. 1 team in the state. On the year, he had 113 tackles, 3.5 sacks and three interceptions while even scoring on a 99-yard kickoff return. An impact starter on defense since he was a sophomore, Hutchings was also named a U.S. Army All-American and will be headed next season to play at USC.

LB Viliami Latu (Rancho Cucamonga) 6-2, 230, Sr.
After getting onto the all-state underclass team last year, Latu followed it up with a strong senior season. He led perhaps the state’s most talented defense outside of Concord De La Salle with 107 tackles and also had four sacks and three forced fumbles. Known as one of the fiercest hitters in the Inland Empire along with brother A.J., Latu and his brother will play next at Arizona State. One of the reasons that Rancho Cucamonga’s talented defensive backs didn’t have the numbers to get higher all-state consideration for themselves is that Latu was so good at roaming the field in front of them.

DB Su’a Cravens (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta) 6-3, 210, Sr.
Last year’s state junior of the year was a finalist for Mr. Football for the second year in a row despite having his numbers go down a little this season. He did rush for six touchdowns and caught eight touchdown passes. On defense, he recorded 95 tackles with five sacks and three interceptions. Headed to USC, Cravens was named by Gatorade as its state player of the year before the end of the state bowl games.

DB Dominique Hatfield (Crenshaw, Los Angeles) 5-11, 165, Sr.
He had a huge senior season and teamed with UCLA-bound Mossi Johnson (a second team all-state multi-purpose pick) to give The Shaw arguably the top cornerback duo in the state. Hatfield had two interceptions in a big 34-14 regular season win over rival Dorsey and made big plays in a dominant 56-6 quarterfinal playoff win over the Dons. The L.A. City Section Defensive Player of the Year, the Utah-bound Hatfield finished the season with eight interceptions for the L.A. City Section runner-up.

DB Max Redfield (Mission Viejo) 6-2, 200, Sr.
Big news was made by Redfield at the Under Armour All-American Game when he announced he was committing to Notre Dame, which reversed an earlier reported commitment to USC. Redfield is one of the nation’s top-ranked safety prospects and had a very strong season for the Diablos as both a receiver and defensive back. He had four interceptions, blocked four punts and caught 45 passes for nearly 800 yards and six scores.

P Jason Sanders (Villa Park) 5-10, 160, Jr.
Already named to the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register honors teams, this talented junior also earns all-state honors after averaging 45.89 yards per punt for the Spartans. Doing that for a team that went 12-2 and made it to the CIFSS Southwest Division final also helps. Sanders, who knocked the ball inside the 20-yard line a total of 20 times on the season, also had a punt of 77 yards. As a kicker, he also forced touchbacks on 54 of 81 kickoffs and made eight field goals.

FIRST TEAM OVERALL MULTI-PURPOSE

WR/DB Adoree’ Jackson (Serra, Gardena) 5-11, 170, Jr.
One of four juniors on first team, the explosive Jackson is one of the best all-around athletes in the state. As a sophomore, he won the state long jump title and emerged as one of the state’s best football players this post-season. His signature performance came in Serra’s Division II bowl game victory over Oakdale with three spectacular touchdowns, as he ended the season with 33 receptions for 546 yards with five touchdowns receiving and five more rushing. The L.A. Wave Player of the Year, South Bay Daily Breeze Player of the Year and Mission League Defensive Player of the Year had five interceptions, recovered two fumbles and racked up 56 tackles.

RB/LB Warren Miles-Long (James Logan, Union City) 6-0, 200, Sr.
The Contra Costa Times East Bay Player of the Year had scholarship offers on both sides of the ball. He’s going to take his 3.67 GPA and 4.42 time in the forty to Northwestern, where he was recruited as a running back. Prior to Miles-Long rushing for 122 yards and his team’s lone touchdown (a 38-yard run) in the CIF North Coast Section title game loss to De La Salle, no other running back or team had rushed for 100 yards against De La Salle, and neither a back or the next two opponents as a team did it in the Spartans’ run to the CIF Open Division title. Offensively, Miles-Long rushed for 1,706 yards (10.3 yards per carry) and 21 touchdowns, and had four receptions for 170 yards with three of the catches going for scores. On defense the outside linebacker recorded 86 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions, and he had one defensive score.

RB/DB Brandon Monroe (Del Oro, Loomis) 6-2, 195, Sr.
The Sacramento Bee’s Player of the Year over some very prolific competition, such as Folsom sophomore quarterback Jake Browning, Monroe racked up 1,545 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns against one of the toughest schedules in the state. He also did that despite missing three games with injury. Monroe, who also was among Del Oro’s leading tacklers and is viewed by many as a top-notch safety prospect for college, saved his best for last. He had 297 yards rushing in a playoff win over St. Mary’s of Stockton, then had 206 yards in a close loss to Elk Grove. Monroe also scored twice on kick returns. He’ll play next at San Jose State.

QB/RB Christian Rossi (Clovis North, Clovis) 6-2, 190, Sr.
He’d be our choice as the player of the year for the CIF Central Section and was one of the top quarterbacks we saw all season even though he isn’t high on many recruiting lists. Part of that could be because Rossi might be even better as a shortstop in baseball. He led Clovis North to the Division I section title and finished with 2,654 yards passing with 26 touchdowns. With excellent feet and toughness, Rossi was very difficult to sack and added more than 300 yards rushing in addition to keeping numerous busted plays alive. Rossi suffered an injured knee in the team’s loss to Long Beach Poly in the CIF Southern California Division I bowl game, but should be good to go for baseball this spring.

WR/DB John “JuJu” Smith (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) 6-1, 175, Jr.
A finalist for our Mr. Football State Player of the Year and the winner of our State Junior of the Year honor, JuJu contributed on both sides of the ball for the Jackrabbits during their run to the CIF Southern Section Pac-Five Division championship. On offense, he caught 49 passes for 752 yards and nine touchdowns while he also averaged 16 yards per punt return with a score. Leading the team with six interceptions, he also had 51 tackles on the defensive side of the ball.

QB/RB Robert Webber (Centennial, Corona) 5-11, 175, Jr.
A finalist for several honors, including Mr. Football State Player of the Year and Junior of the Year, Webber led the Huskies to a win over Narbonne and a trip to the CIF Open Division Bowl Game. The Huskies lost to De La Salle of Concord, but Webber did pass for 308 yards and three touchdowns against the talented Spartans’ defense. A threat to run or pass, he rushed for over 700 yards and eight scores while passing for 3,968 yards and 41 touchdowns with just five interceptions. His totals broke the school record for passing yards in a season at a school that has had quarterbacks such as Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez and Arizona State’s Michael Eubank.

Comments or corrections? Email markjtennis@gmail.com.