Daylon McCutcheon had to follow in the footsteps of his father.
Lawrence McCutcheon made five straight Pro Bowls in the 1970s during a 10-year NFL career. He set the since-broken Rams career rushing record with 6,186 yards. He also caught 198 passes for nearly 1,800 yards in his career. The Texas native scored 39 touchdowns.
Fast forward to the 1990s: Daylon scored 33 in his senior season at Bishop Amat High in La Puente. He ran for more than 100 yards in 13 of the 14 games he played that season in 1994.
But his future was on the defensive side as a cornerback. He was a four-year starter at USC and, like his father, was selected in the third round of the NFL draft. Daylon played all seven seasons and 103 games of his career with the Cleveland Browns, making 424 tackles and nabbing 12 interceptions.
Now his son, Dyson, has to follow in his footsteps.
He is expected to be one of Bishop Amat’s top weapons this season.
“Dyson is a talented kid,” Lancers coach Steve Hagerty said. “He’s going to offensively carry the ball and catch the ball and also backpedal and cover like his dad used to do. He does it pretty well.”
He will be a dynamic athlete on both sides of the ball for Bishop Amat the next two years, but his future at the college level is expected to be on the defensive side. Lawrence had a 6-foot-1 frame and played at 205 pounds while Daylon and Dyson are more wiry at 5-10.
“I’ve played corner the most and I’m the most comfortable there,” Dyson said, “I’m good at like zone coverage. I say I’m good at disguising my coverage and I watch a lot of film, so I will know the route combinations and all that. And if the ball is in the air, I’m going to compete for it.”
Daylon has been a mentor to Dyson, including providing him football tips as he’s grown up. Dyson sees his father every day at practice when the Lancers break into position groups. Daylon is the cornerbacks coach at Bishop Amat.
“Everything I know is from him,” Dyson said. “Since I was little, just little stuff, backpedaling. He’s taught me it the right away, and I’ve just perfected my craft. Through the years, I’ve gotten better at it and it’s going to help me a lot in the long run.”
Dyson has also picked up advice from his father on how the handle the recruiting process. Dyson has scholarship offers from three schools — Brigham Young, San Jose State and Southern Mississippi — and is talking to a handful of other schools. A strong junior season could cause his recruitment to really take off.
He will face off against a number of top Southland receivers, including Gardena Serra’s duo of LV Bunkley-Shelton and Ronald Powell, Paramount’s combination of Willie Cleveland and Darius Wallace and another NFL progeny, Chad Johnson Jr., at Los Angeles Cathedral.
If McCutcheon shows he can compete against the big-name receivers he will face, he is confident he’ll begin to receive offers from Power Five programs.
“I feel like a lot of schools are kind of on the edge and they’re kind of just seeing what else can I do,” he said.
Lawndale wide receiver-defensive back Elijah Jackson announced Friday morning the four schools he will choose from when he makes his commitment. He narrowed his list down to California, UCLA, Utah and Washington.
Jackson does not intend to take a bunch of time to sift through the four Pac-12 contenders, saying he will reveal his commitment Saturday.