The 35th annual Cal-Hi Sports All-State Football Teams are headlined by these 30 players, chosen regardless of school size or year in school. Three juniors are first team and four in all have made it from CIF Open Division champion St. John Bosco.
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RELATED All-State Football Content: Medium & Small Schools (First Teams) | Medium & Small Schools (2nd Team, Gold Club) | Juniors & Sophomores (First Team) | Juniors & Sophomores (2nd Team, Gold Club)| Freshman Watch List
WR Michiah Quick (Central, Fresno) 6-1, 175, Sr.
The highest-ranked receiver in the state by college recruiters caught 71 passes for a new school record and ended with 153 career receptions, ninth best in CIF Central Section history. Quick also ran back three kickoffs for scores and averaged 17.7 yards per punt return. His college choice is still undecided. He visited Oklahoma, USC, UCLA, Notre Dame and Alabama.
OL Kammy Delp (Diamond Ranch, Pomona) 6-4, 330, Sr.
He was the MVP among offensive lineman at the NFTC last spring and went on to have an outstanding season blocking for the Panthers. Delp has received All-CIFSS honors already and will be headed to a Pac-12 college to play next.
OL Toa Lobendahn (La Habra) 6-3, 295, Sr.
All-Orange County and All-CIFSS choice is already enrolled at USC. He has been projected to be a center in college, but could play guard and it’s that versatility which has new Trojans’ head coach Steve Sarkissian excited. “He a guy who has an opportunity to play early for us,” Sarkissian told the USCTrojans.com blog.
OL Damien Mama (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) 6-5, 355, Sr.
Helping Josh Rosen earn our state junior of the year award and create holes for sophomore running back Sean McGrew, Mama’s dominant play on the offensive line was a key reason the Braves ended the season as the top team in the state. With all of the big time schools hoping he will commit, he has already been named by the Los Angeles Times as its Lineman of the Year. He also played in the U.S. Army All-American Game.
OL Kolton Miller (Roseville) 6-8, 295, Sr.
Called by head coach Larry Cunha as the best prospect to come from Roseville since future Hall of Famer Teddy Bruschi, Miller had a strong senior season and gained a lot of respect playing against tough competition in the Sierra Foothill League. The Sacramento Bee All-Metro pick will play next at UCLA.
OL Viane Talamaivao (Centennial, Corona) 6-3, 335, Sr.
Considered one of the top recruits in the nation, Viane has changed his commitment from Alabama to USC. During the seasonm he was instrumental to create holes for Tre Watson, who rushed for a school record 3,734 yards. Talamaivao also has already been chosen as a first-team All-American by Student Sports.
QB Jake Browning (Folsom) 6-2, 180, Jr.
While not our Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Football State Player of the Year, Jake was a finalist after being named the Gatorade State Player of the Year. Browning led the Bulldogs to the CIF NorCal Open Division bowl game by passing for state records of 5,737 yards and 75 touchdowns while running for six touchdowns. He now has 10,985 passing yards and 138 touchdown passes over two years with his senior season still to come.
RB Royce Freeman (Imperial) 6-1, 220, Sr.
Another finalist for our Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Football State Player of the Year honor, this Oregon-bound standout rushed for 2,824 yards and 41 touchdowns in 12 games. A four-year varsity player, he finished his career with 7,606 yards and 111 touchdowns rushing the football while catching 33 passes for 416 yards and six touchdowns. Freeman also was named the top player from the CIF San Diego Section by multiple sources.
RB Joe Mixon (Freedom, Oakley) 6-2, 210, Sr.
It’s kind of difficult to leave off the MVP of the U.S. Army All-American Game from the first team. Although Mixon didn’t have monster stats like others, it’s not like he missed games or did nothing, either. He actually scored seven times in one CIF North Coast Section playoff game and finished with 1,909 all-purpose yards with 26 TDs. We also found room for the MVP of Mixon’s Bay Valley Athletic League, Nsimba Webster, on first team. Mixon was clearly the best running back at the NFTC last spring at Laney College and was possibly the best running back at The Opening last summer. He will play next at Oklahoma.
RB Rashaad Penny (Norwalk) 6-0, 195, Sr.
A preseason all-state choice, Penny lived up to that position with a sensational season in leading Norwalk to a 13-1 season with the only loss coming to La Serna in an overtime thriller that decided the CIFSS Southeast Division crown. He piled up 2,504 yards rushing with 41 TDs and also had 665 yards in receiving with 10 more scores. He scored 53 TDs in all. Penny has just committed to San Diego State and also was considering Fresno State and Washington.
RB Tre Watson (Centennial, Corona) 5-11, 200, Sr.
His commitment to Cal might be wavering, but there was no doubt that Watson deserved first team honors. He rushed for 3,734 yards and 50 touchdowns on 417 carries. Setting a school-record for rushing yards in a season, he ran for 466 yards and seven touchdowns against St. Bonaventure of Ventura and then ran for 519 yards and six scores against Upland. Among the honors he has received since the season ended include being named by the Los Angeles Times as its back of the year and offensive player of the year by the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
PK Daniel McManus (West Hills, Santee) 5-11, 175, Sr.
The All-San Diego Section kicker had an impressive combination of totals to gain this honor. Although his opportunities were limited since he wasn’t on a team that played deep into the playoffs, McManus was second in the state in field goals with 14. He only missed four field goal attempts and had one of the state’s longest as well from 55 yards out. He also went 29 of 30 on PATs and put 43 of 52 into the end zone on kickoffs.
DL Sumner Houston (De La Salle, Concord) 6-3, 265, Sr.
On a defensive side of the ball loaded with big-time talented linemen, it was this Oregon State-bound standout who was named as the East Bay Defensive Player of the Year. A starter on the Spartans’ defense for three years, he had eight sacks and 59 tackles which also helped him earn the East Bay Athletic League MVP award. Houston also started on offense and was De La Salle’s top honors candidate for the season.
DL Ainuu Taua (Lompoc) 6-0, 280, Sr.
One of the nation’s top-ranked defensive tackles, Taua does what a lot of outstanding interior linemen do and that’s take on double teams so others can get to the ball carriers. He did get seven sacks and 36 tackles as a senior and also was used as a fullback and punter. The U.S. Army All-American committed to UCLA just after Lompoc’s season ended.
DL Olajuwon Tucker (Serra, Gardena) 6-3, 235, Sr.
He played linebacker mostly at Serra, but is being recruited as a weakside defensive end so we’ll list him for that. The USC recruit was spectacular when we saw him early in the season in a Serra win over Oceanside with three interceptions, three sacks and eight tackles. He finished with seven interceptions, 12 sacks and had 117 tackles. He was the South Bay Daily Breeze Defensive Player of the Year.
LB Ben Burr-Kirven (Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton) 6-2, 205, Jr.
Yes, he’s from a small school and he’s a junior but Burr-Kirven simply forced his way to be first team all-state on the defensive side of the ball. He had 200 tackles on the season, including 16 in the D3 state bowl game against Corona del Mar and 17 in a big win over El Cerrito (featuring all-state pick Adarius Pickett). He also was the San Jose Mercury-News Player of the Year, which also was based on him averaging 9.2 yards per carry as a running back. He wasn’t Small Schools Player of the Year (Mendota’s Edgar Segura was) but it was a close call. We couldn’t put Segura first team among the running backs or multi-purpose (he is second team) but decided there was room for Ben on first team defense.
LB Chandler Leniu (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) 6-2, 225, Sr.
As the leader of the Braves’ defense, he had 230 tackles on the season and had nine tackles for a loss not to mention two interceptions during the team’s 20-14 win over De La Salle of Concord in the CIF Open Division State Championship game. He played in the Semper Fi All-American Game and will be headed to play next year at Cal after changing his commitment earlier this week.
LB Fred Warner (Mission Hills, San Marcos) 6-4, 220, Sr.
Committed to play for BYU, Warner was named the San Diego Section Defensive Player of the Year after having 90 tackles and 13 sacks for the Grizzlies, who won the San Diego Section Open Division title. Also playing on offense and special teams, he was named as the Defensive Player of the Year in the Avocado League as well.
DB Koa Farmer (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks) 6-2, 205, Sr.
It’ll be interesting to see if Koa grows into a linebacker when he gets to Colorado or becomes more of a hard-hitting strong safety. He was named the L.A. Daily News Defensive Player of the Year and on defense he had 62 tackles with four interceptions and three forced fumbles while often limiting the top player from the other team. Farmer also was extremely versatile with 34 catches as a receiver plus nearly 500 yards as a wildcat quarterback. He scored 18 touchdowns in all.
DB Adoree Jackson (Serra, Gardena) 5-10, 175, Sr.
What else is there to say about Adoree. He was already named as the Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Football State Player of the Year and was the South Bay Daily Breeze Player of the Year. He’s one of the most electrifying players we’ve ever seen. The big question is about college. He’ll announce on signing day on ESPNU between Florida, LSU, USC and UCLA. He has current teammates who’ve already committed to either the Trojans or Bruins.
DB Jonathan Lockett (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-0, 180, Sr.
For lockdown corner skills, it was hard to beat what Lockett did during the CIFSS Pac-Five playoffs when he didn’t allow a score, grabbed two interceptions against Mission Viejo and had an interception in the end zone to cap a 30-0 win by the Monarchs over Long Beach Poly. Lockett also was used by Mater Dei on kick returns and occasionally on offense. He was the Orange County Register Defensive Player of the Year, Co-Player of the Year in the Trinity League and has committed to USC.
DB Iman Marshall (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) 6-2, 190, Jr.
Get ready for all the comparisons with Marshall to some of the best DBs Long Beach Poly has ever had. He’s already been chosen as the Long Beach Press-Telegram Defensive Player of the Year (which includes St. John Bosco) and despite being a junior we haven’t heard any complaints. Marshall doesn’t have gaudy stats, but he shuts down everyone he’s ever lined up against. In fact, there was reportedly only one pass completed against him all season and that was for just two yards.
DB Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito) 5-11, 180, Sr.
With the nickname of “Pick-Six,” he had nine interceptions and returned three of them for scores as the star of the Gauchos’ secondary. Named by the Bay Area News Group as its East Bay Football Player of the Year, he also played on offense and special teams and recently graduated so he could enroll early at UCLA. In the NCS Division III championship game, he rushed for 251 yards and four touchdowns as the Gauchos defeated Marin Catholic of Kentfield 54-38.
P Jason Sanders (Villa Park) 5-11, 165, Sr.
Another preseason all-state pick who backed it up, Sanders rocketed punts for a 45-yard average with a long of 74. He was first-team All-Orange County and put eight of 26 punts inside the 20-yard line. For kicking, his leg strength also was shown with three 50-yard field goals and 38 of 57 kickoffs going for touchbacks.
RB/DB Donovan Lee (Chaminade, West Hills) 5-8, 170, Sr.
It’s debatable who was the MVP of Chaminade’s CIF Division II state title team. It could certainly have been QB Brad Kaaya, the L.A. Daily News Player of the Year. For two-way brilliance, though, it also could have been Lee and that ended up better for us. Kaaya is an all-state player as well on second team as the QB. Lee is first team multi-purpose. On offense, he rushed for 1,979 yards and 37 TDs, including 133 yards and four TDs in the big win over Serra of Gardena. On defense, he intercepted three passes in the D2 bowl game vs. Enterprise of Redding and was among the team leaders. In all, the Colorado-bound Lee scored 43 touchdowns.
QB/RB Josh Rosen (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) 6-4, 205, Jr.
Just as with the all-state junior team, we have Rosen listed in the multi-purpose category because he is more of a runner than first-team QB Jake Browning. And it’s not like we don’t agree with his five-star rating for the Class of 2015 or that some think he’s the No. 1 QB in the nation for next season. He was named the State Junior Player of the Year. Rosen completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards and 39 TDs for Bosco’s 16-0 squad. He also ran for 456 yards and eight other TDs. Against De La Salle, he went 12 of 17 for 200 yards and two TDs and rushed for 69 yards on seven carries.
QB/RB Asauni Rufus (Bakersfield) 6-0, 180, Sr.
Another finalist for our Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Football honor, he was named the Bakersfield California Football Player of the Year after leading the Drillers to a Division I state championship. On the year, he rushed for 1,831 yards and 31 touchdowns while passing for 1,575 yards and 12 touchdowns. Rufus also threw just one interception. He will be headed to play at Nevada next season.
WR/DB John “JuJu” Smith (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) 6-0, 200, Sr.
As the State Junior of the Year from last season, Smith had a head start toward a first team all-state honor for 2013. And while he missed some time with injuries, he was a dominating presence in Poly wins over Corona Centennial, Bakersfield and St. Bonaventure. Besides, in Poly’s insanely easy Moore League games, there wasn’t much opportunities for Smith to pile up many stats. He’s not a five-star national recruit for nothing and among this year’s seniors he’s clearly one of the five most exceptional players we’ve seen. He’ll decide next week where to go for college. His visits were to Ohio State, Alabama, USC, Oregon and Notre Dame.
WR/DB Jaleel Wadood (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) 5-11, 170, Sr.
The L.A. Times Player of the Year told Eric Sondheimer of that paper that he wanted to prove this season that he was one of the elite players in California. He did and then some. Known mostly for defense (where he seems to slated to play at UCLA), Wadood came through on offense with 78 catches for 1,293 yards and 21 TDs. He had three interceptions on defense, made 20 tackles for loss and also was dangerous on kickoff and punt returns.
QB/RB Nsimba Webster (Deer Valley, Antioch) 6-0, 180, Sr.
Our partners at SportStars Magazine selected Nsimba as their East Bay Athlete of the Year and he also was MVP in the Bay Valley Athletic League ahead of Freedom’s Joe Mixon. He led Deer Valley to an 11-2 record with 2,026 yards and 22 TDs as a passer. He was more electrifying as a runner with 1,544 yards and 28 TDs, including a 94-yarder. He scored twice on long runs against De La Salle (which is very hard to do). The college offers aren’t great, but San Jose State and other mid-majors seem interested.
Thanks to Ronnie Flores and Harold Abend for contributing to the selections. And thanks to all who sent in a player nomination.
Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow Mark, Ronnie Flores and Harold Abend on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports