In 1992, Southern California regained its standing as a producer of blue-chip high school football players.
Running back Saladin McCullough of Muir, receiver Antonio Carrion of Dorsey and quarterbacks Tim Carey of Los Alamitos, Pat Barnes of Trabuco Hills and Stais Boseman of Morningside ranked with the nation’s best preps.
Although matching the luster of the 1992 team will be difficult, the 1993 Terrific 22 is not likely to tarnish the area’s image nationally.
“Right now, (1993) may not be as solid as last year with all of the quarterbacks and wide receivers, but it could get better,” said Rick Kimbrel, editor of the Woodland Hills-based Blue Chip Illustrated magazine.
Quarterback appears to be the weakest position, but there is plenty of depth at tight end, linebacker and running back.
The best prospects on the 1993 team are tight end Tony Gonzalez of Huntington Beach and running backs Rodney Sermons of Bishop Amat and Tyrone Crenshaw of Sylmar.
Blue Chip and other national recruiting services such as Tom Lemming’s Prep Football Report of Illinois; the National Recruiting Advisor of Texas; G & W Recruiting Report of Pennsylvania; SuperPrep magazine of Costa Mesa and observations from Dick Lascola of the Fallbrook, Calif.-based Scouting Evaluation Assn. were used in determining which Greater Los Angeles and Orange County seniors earned distinction on the Terrific 22. Players from San Diego and Santa Barbara counties were not included.
Newbury Park, which has never had a player on the Terrific 22, and Long Beach Poly each had two players honored.
Here are the players who have received the most preseason publicity nationally:
Steve Campbell (Norco, quarterback)--In a down year for quarterbacks, Campbell literally stands above the crowd. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound Campbell has a good release, a knack for making the big play and a grasp of fundamentals. Campbell, whose father, Gary, is the Norco coach, also plays center on the basketball team.
Keith Smith (Newbury Park, quarterback)--Although he is only 6-foot, 175 pounds, scouts covet Smith because of his arm strength and accuracy. A dangerous rollout passer, Smith completed 59.9% of his passes for 3,318 yards and 30 touchdowns in 1992.
Rodney Sermons (Bishop Amat, running back)--The 6-foot, 185-pound Sermons is expected rank with former Bishop Amat runners Eric Bieniemy and Scott Fields. His speed, strength and moves helped him rush for 1,475 yards and 21 TDs in 1992. He also caught 25 passes for 400 yards and four touchdowns and returned kicks.
Tyrone Crenshaw (Sylmar, running back)--In 1992, Crenshaw rushed for 1,875 yards and 22 TDs in 235 attempts and was named City Section 4-A Division player of the year. “He is a threat to take the ball the distance every time he gets his hands on it,” Lemming said. Crenshaw has excelled as a kick returner, but may become a defensive back in college.
Ramod Lee (Valley View, running back)--Lee is the most powerful of the running backs, having bench-pressed 300 pounds. In 1992, the durable Lee rushed for 2,463 yards and 27 TDs in 354 attempts.
Justin Stallings (Hawthorne, wide receiver)--The National Recruiting Advisor and Tom Lemming list Stallings as a defensive back in college and SuperPrep and Dick Lascola project him as a wide receiver. The 6-2, 195-pound Stallings, who reportedly has a vertical leap of 36 inches, caught 28 passes for 378 yards and two TDs in 1992.
Leodes Van Buren (Newbury Park, wide receiver)--With Smith and Van Buren, the Panthers may have the best passing combination in the Southland. The 6-3, 185-pound Van Buren caught 79 passes for 1,331 yards and 14 TDs in 1992. His grades could prevent him from playing at a Division I college.
Tony Gonzalez (Huntington Beach, tight end)--Several scouting services rate Gonzalez as the nation’s top tight end prospect. The 6-6, 225-pounder also excels as a linebacker and forward on the basketball team. He may play both sports in college.
Michael Jackson (Santa Monica, tight end)--As a junior, he caught 29 passes for 714 yards and four TDs. He also returned two kicks for TDs. The 6-2, 250-pounder is also expected to play running back and outside linebacker. Jackson is a center on the basketball team.
Rome Douglas (Claremont, tight end)--Douglas has only played football for about a year, but scouts see tremendous potential in this 6-7, 245-pounder. He has good body control, soft hands and ample speed for his size. He is listed as a defensive end by the National Recruiting Advisor and some scouts believe he will eventually become an offensive lineman. Douglas also plays basketball and would like to be a two-sport athlete in college.
Dorrick Roy (Montclair Prep, tight end)--Dorrick’s brother, Donovan, was a Terrific 22 selection in 1990 and is an offensive lineman at USC. The 6-4, 220-pound Dorrick also plays on the defensive line, although his future appears to be at tight end. “The bottom line here is he’s big, runs well and can catch,” SuperPrep said. Roy has a 34-inch vertical leap.
Rick Austin (Eisenhower, offensive lineman)--The 6-3, 300-pounder is adept at run and pass blocking and has good lateral movement. His size and strength--he has bench-pressed 315 pounds--create trouble for the best defensive lineman. “Exceptionally quick for a 300-pounder, he is awesome at impact,” Lemming said. Austin enjoys track, competing in the shotput and discus.
Coleman Johnson (Riverside Poly, offensive lineman)--As centers go, Blue Chip says Johnson is the “best in Southern California.” Other publications say he could be the best on the West Coast. The 6-3, 280-pound Johnson has a best of 405 pounds in the bench-press. His quickness helps make him an outstanding run and pass blocker. He also plays on the defensive line and competes for the track team. He has a best of 173-6 in the discus.
Jason Rempel (Calabasas, offensive lineman)--The 6-5, 250-pound Rempel is being recruited as a tackle. He is quick off the line, has excellent agility and can bench-press 330 pounds. Rempel is especially dominant as a run-blocker. “You know you can depend on Jason to be there and give you everything he’s got,” Lemming said.
Matt Redman (Peninsula, offensive lineman)--Scouts say there are not many better lineman in California than Redman. The 6-7, 285-pounder is not only quick off the line, but stays with his assignments. Scouts also like his long arms and strength: He can bench-press 355 pounds. Redman also competes in the weight events in track.
Brandon Whiting (Long Beach Poly, offensive lineman)--If Whiting sounds familiar, it might be because his father, Thomas, is co-coach of Long Beach Poly. The 6-3, 260-pound Brandon excelled as a defensive tackle in 1992 with 61 tackles and 12 quarterback sacks. Most scouts project him as a center because of his quickness off the line and blocking ability. He is superb in the classroom with a 3.8 grade-point average and a 1,200 score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test.
DanJuan Magee (Long Beach Poly, defensive lineman)--Whiting’s teammate has played defensive tackle, offensive tackle and linebacker, but scouts say his future is on the line. The 6-2, 255-pounder has bench-pressed 365 pounds.
George Perry (San Bernardino, linebacker)--Lascola says Perry is one of the best linebacker prospects in the nation. Although he also plays tight end, Perry is best chasing the ball. In 1992, the 6-6, 236-pounder had 10 quarterback sacks and 15 tackles for losses. He needs to improve academically.
Jason Reynolds (Tustin, linebacker)--Reynolds played mostly strong safety and quarterback in 1992, but will be a linebacker and fullback this season. He prepared for his new positions by adding muscle to his 6-2 frame. He now weighs 245 pounds. “Jason is a tremendous athlete who in high school competition is essentially a man among boys,” the National Recruiting Advisor said. Reynolds can bench-press 350 pounds.
Dennis Fomond (Crenshaw, linebacker)--Although Fomond is only 6-2 and 215 pounds, his athleticism is second to none. He also competes in basketball, baseball and track. Fomond is relentless in pursuit of the football. He combines quickness, lateral movement, strength and agility. As a running back, Fomond rushed for more than 800 yards in 1992.
Rommel Butler (Royal, defensive back)--Butler has the instincts and athleticism to excel as a safety or cornerback in college. The 6-1, 185-pounder’s forte is man-to-man coverage. Butler, who also competes in basketball and track, must improve academically.
Chris Draft (Valencia, defensive back)--Draft plays several positions, but scouts say he will be a strong safety in college. In 1992, the 6-1, 205-pounder rushed for over 1,600 yards and 18 TDs as a running back, a position he is expected to play this season. He will also play linebacker. Draft excels in baseball and would like to be a two-sport athlete in college.
The Terrific 22 Name: Steve Campbell School: Norco Ht.: 6-7 Wt.: 220 Pos.: quarterback *Name: Keith Smith School: Newbury Park Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 175 Pos.: quarterback *Name: Rodney Sermons School: Bishop Amat Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 185 Pos.: running back *Name: Tyrone Crenshaw School: Sylmar Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 180 Pos.: running back *Name: Ramod Lee School: Valley View Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 225 Pos.: running back *Name: Justin Stallings School: Hawthorne Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 195 Pos.: wide receiver *Name: Leodes Van Buren School: Newbury Park Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 185 Pos.: wide receiver *Name: Tony Gonzalez School: Huntington Beach Ht.: 6-6 Wt.: 225 Pos.: tight end *Name: Michael Jackson School: Santa Monica Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 250 Pos.: tight end *Name: Rome Douglas School: Claremont Ht.: 6-7 Wt.: 245 Pos.: tight end *Name: Dorrick Roy School: Montclair Prep Ht.: 6-4 Wt.: 220 Pos.: tight end) *Name: Rick Austin School: Eisenhower Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 300 Pos.: offensive lineman *Name: Coleman Johnson School: Riverside Poly Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 280 Pos.: offensive lineman *Name: Jason Rempel School: Calabasas Ht.: 6-5 Wt.: 250 Pos.: offensive lineman *Name: Matt Redman School: Peninsula Ht.: 6-7 Wt.: 285 Pos.: offensive lineman *Name: Brandon Whiting School: Long Beach Poly Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 260 Pos.: offensive lineman *Name: DanJuan Magee School: Long Beach Poly Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 255 Pos.: defensive lineman *Name: George Perry School: San Bernardino Ht.: 6-6 Wt.: 236 Pos.: linebacker *Name: Jason Reynolds School: Tustin Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 245 Pos.: linebacker *Name: Dennis Fomond School: Crenshaw Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 215 Pos.: linebacker *Name: Rommel Butler School: Royal Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 185 Pos.: defensive back *Name: Chris Draft School: Valencia Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 205 Pos.: defensive back