Malik Hutchings making his own name
It’s hard to believe that Deer Valley (Antioch) senior linebacker and tight end Malik Hutchings, the younger brother of 2012 Mr. Football State Player of the Year Michael Hutchings, is only in his fifth game of organized football.
That’s right. Not his fifth varsity game, but his fifth game of any kind of football period.
Deer Valley quarterback Nsimba Webster ran for two touchdowns and passed for 250 yards and a third score, but it was the 6-4, 245-pound Hutchings that established himself as a top-notch Division I prospect in a 45-34 victory over a very talented host Vacaville .
On offense, his blocking opened up the Wolverines’ outside running game, but it was on defense where the cat-like quick Hutchings made his mark. Eight different running backs carried the ball for Vacaville and Malik laid some wood on all of them. He finished with 17 tackles, including three for loss, four forced fumbles and made two fumble recoveries.
“I took care of business,” said Hutchings after the game in response to my telling him before the game I made the trip to Vacaville partly to see him do just that.
It’s no wonder Hawaii, UC Davis and Texas El Paso offered Hutchings a scholarship, after the baseball and basketball player decided on a whim to test his skills on the gridiron, but before he played a down. Now, he’s a lot more than a mid-major. Hutchings might even be playing against, or possibly with, his brother at Southern California.
With the win, Deer Valley goes to 5-0 and will almost certainly be a force in tbe race to see who faces De La Salle in the CIF North Coast Section Division I playoffs, while Vacaville falls to 2-3, and will probably be looking at a low seeding come the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 playoffs.