Rick Kimbrel, editor of the Woodland Hills-based Blue Chip Illustrated magazine, hasn’t had to travel far this year to evaluate several of the top college football prospects.
Six of the players on The Times’ 1993 Terrific 22 play football in the Valley area.
“Right now, (1993) may not be as solid as last year with all of the quarterbacks and wide receivers, but it could get better,” Kimbrel said.
Running back Tyrone Crenshaw of Sylmar High ranks with the top prospects on the list, while Newbury Park landed its passing combination of quarterback Keith Smith and wide receiver Leodes Van Buren.
Other regional players on the squad are tight end Dorrick Roy of Montclair Prep, tackle Jason Rempel of Calabasas and defensive back Rommel Butler of Royal.
Quarterback appears to be the weakest position on the Terrific 22, but there is plenty of depth at tight end, linebacker and running back.
The best prospects on the team are tight end Tony Gonzalez of Huntington Beach and running backs Rodney Sermons of Bishop Amat and Crenshaw.
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 never had a player on the Terrific 22, and Long Beach Poly each took two spots.
The entire list:
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 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 to 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 touchdowns 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 touchdowns 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 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 touchdowns 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 touchdowns in 1992.
Leodes Van Buren (Newbury Park, wide receiver)--Smith and Van Buren give the Panthers perhaps the best passing combination in the Southland. The 6-1, 180-pound Van Buren caught 79 passes for 1,331 yards and 14 touchdowns in 1992.
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 he plays 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 touchdowns. He also returned two kicks for scores. 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 played football for only 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.
Dorrick Roy (Montclair Prep, tight end)--Roy’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.
Coleman Johnson (Riverside Poly, offensive lineman)--Blue Chip says Johnson is the best center 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.
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 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 linemen 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.
Brandon Whiting (Long Beach Poly, offensive lineman)--Whiting’s 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 sacks. Most scouts project him as a center because of his quickness. He has 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.
Jason Reynolds (Tustin, linebacker)--Reynolds played mostly strong safety and quarterback in 1992, but he will be a linebacker and fullback this season. He prepared for his new positions by adding muscle to his 6-2 frame. He 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)--At 6-2 and 215 pounds, Fomond is second to none in athleticism. 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 more than 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns. He will also play linebacker.
The Terrific 22
NAME SCHOOL Ht. Wt. Pos. Steve Campbell Norco 6-7 220 QB Keith Smith Newbury Park 6-0 175 QB Rodney Sermons Bishop Amat 6-0 185 RB Tyrone Crenshaw Sylmar 6-0 180 RB Ramod Lee Valley View 6-3 225 RB Justin Stallings Hawthorne 6-2 195 WR Leodes Van Buren Newbury Park 6-3 185 WR Tony Gonzalez Huntington Beach 6-6 225 TE Michael Jackson Santa Monica 6-2 250 TE Rome Douglas Claremont 6-7 245 TE Dorrick Roy Montclair Prep 6-4 220 TE Rick Austin Eisenhower 6-3 300 OL Coleman Johnson Riverside Poly 6-3 280 OL Jason Rempel Calabasas 6-5 250 OL Matt Redman Peninsula 6-7 285 OL Brandon Whiting Long Beach Poly 6-3 260 OL DanJuan Magee Long Beach Poly 6-2 255 DL George Perry San Bernardino 6-6 236 LB Jason Reynolds Tustin 6-2 245 LB Dennis Fomond Crenshaw 6-2 215 LB Rommel Butler Royal 6-1 185 LB Chris Draft Valencia 6-1 205 LB