With so many schools and so many top-ranked players, the massive CIF Southern Section gets a first team and a second team with player writeups and than a third team of those who just missed. If you want to say we saved the best for last, go ahead. Mater Dei leads the way with four on first or second team with St. John Bosco and Calabasas checking in with three each.
RELATED Preseason Teams: Sac-Joaquin Section| Central Section | San Diego Section| L.A. City Section | Northern Section | Central Coast Section | North Coast Section | ALL-STATE First & Second Teams (Gold Club)
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FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
WR Terrell Bynum (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) 6-1, 180, Sr.
We remember Terrell when he caught six passes for 115 yards in a game Servite of Anaheim played at De La Salle two seasons ago. He has transferred from Servite to Bosco since last season. Bynum has committed to Washington.
WR Osiris St. Brown (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-2, 175, Sr.
If there is one thing the St. Browns know how to do besides speaking multiple languages it’s catching footballs and finding the end zone. Osiris caught 43 passes for 884 yards and 12 touchdowns last year for the Monarchs. Taking the SAT in English, French and German, he announced his commitment to Stanford earlier this month.
TE Colby Parkinson (Oaks Christian, Westlake Village) 6-6, 225, Sr.
His stats aren’t as prolific as some other top-ranked TEs in the state, but Parkinson is one of the highest-ranked TEs in the nation. He seems primed for a huge season.
OL Wyatt Davis (St. John Bosco, Bellflower)
6-4, 310, Sr.
Already named to the preseason All-State first team and overall All-State as a junior, Davis is just about a no-brainer All-American. He’ll be talked about a lot when Bosco plays in its ESPN games this season.
OL Brett Nealon (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) 6-2, 280, Sr.
New Eagles’ head coach Rich Fisher has a gem to build his offensive line around in Nealon, who has committed to USC and already has been picked preseason All-State.
OL Kanan Ray (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) 6-4, 275, Sr.
UCLA-bound lineman was key cog for 14-1 squad from last season and should look even better with teammate Bobby Cole once again running behind him.
OL Casey Roddick (St. Bonaventure, Ventura) 6-4, 335, Sr.
Another all-state sophomore from two years ago, Roddick is the top prospect this season for the Seraphs.
OL Michael Saffell (Edison, Huntington Beach) 6-3, 290, Sr.
We don’t differentiate by position on these preseason all-section teams but Saffell would be our center on this squad. He’s also a great student and is getting significant D1 offers.
QB Matt Corral (Oaks Christian, Westlake Village) 6-2, 200, Jr.
Perhaps the top junior QB in the nation, we figured out the best ways to get Corral, Newbury Park’s Cameron Rising, Corona del Mar’s Chase Garbers and San Clemente’s Jack Sears also onto the All-CIFSS preseason first team. Corral passed for 3,282 yards and 36 TDs as a sophomore.
RB Stephen Carr (Summit, Fontana) 6-0, 195, Sr.
There’s not much doubt that Carr is the consensus No. 1 running back in SoCal to start the season if you look at all of the recruiting charts. He didn’t necessarily have big stats, but has shown he can run inside and out against anybody.
RB Tyler Nevens (Los Altos, Hacienda Heights) 5-11, 185, Sr.
Which back to choose along with Carr could have gone many ways. Nevens would be a career pick, at least as of now. He was all-state sophomore two seasons ago after he ran for 1,683 yards. He added 1,560 last season and could have a shot at 5,000 for his career. Nevens also averaged 10.6 yards per carry last seson and rushed for 21 scores.
PK Manny Berz (Citrus Hill, Perris) 5-10, 185, Sr.
He’s a kicker, but arguably there probably isn’t a more important returnee for the CIF Division II-A state champs from last season. Berz has a chance to break a number of career state records since he’s been kicking for the Citrus Hill varsity since he was a freshman.
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL Jacob Callier (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) 6-2, 255, Sr.
A player who was easy to notice even as a sophomore and even on a team like Bosco’s of 2014, Callier was on the all-state sophomore team after that season and hasn’t stopped dominating. He had 64 tackles and 12 sacks as a junior.
DL Hunter Echols (Cathedral, Los Angeles) 6-4, 235, Sr.
Watch out for him on the edges coming after the QB this season and beyond. Echols, who has committed to USC, had 17 sacks and nearly 100 tackles last year.
DL Jaelen Phillips (Redlands East Valley) 6-5, 230, Sr.
All three of the All-CIFSS preseason all-staters on the defensive line also were preseason first team all-state as well. Phillips had 76 tackles, 10.5 sacks and two interceptions as a junior, which was one year after he shined as a soph on a team from REV that won the CIF D2 state title.
LB Josh Brown (Long Beach Poly) 6-2, 220, Sr.
It’s probably lucky for Brown that he’s getting coached at Poly by former NFL linebacker Antonio Pierce, but it’s also lucky for Pierce that he has Brown. He has committed to Arizona.
LB Rahyne Johnson (Salesian, Los Angeles) 6-4, 210, Sr.
While his numbers don’t tell the whole story, Johnson had 52 total tackles in eight games last season for the Mustangs as this previously UCLA committed linebacker enters his senior season. Notre Dame, Nebraska and BYU are among the schools that have offered.
LB Colin Schooler (Mission Viejo) 6-1, 225, Sr.
One of the best attributes about Schooler, who was one of the top rushers and tacklers on Mission Viejo’s 16-0 squad from last season, is that he’s playing just as hard and just as effectively in the fourth quarter as in the beginning.
DB Thomas Graham (Rancho Cucamonga) 5-11, 170, Sr.
He’s not a DB with very many interceptions, but Graham is a demon against the run (103 tackles) and projects to do every well at the next level. He recently de-committed with USC.
DB Darnay Holmes (Calabasas) 5-11, 185, Sr.
The beauty of Darnay is that we can list him on defense or on multi-purpose, depending on the group of players we’re dealing with. He fit best on the preseason All-State team on multi-purpose, but fit best for the preseason All-CIFSS team on defense. He’s one of the nation’s most hotly recruited players.
DB Brandon McKinney (Lutheran, Orange) 6-1, 180, Sr.
One of the reasons a lot of SoCal writers and coaches think highly of Orange Lutheran for this season is the return of McKinney. The All-Orange County pick racked up 114 tackles last season and also can contribute on offense and special teams.
DB Keith Taylor (Servite, Anaheim) 6-2, 180, Sr.
He broke up seven passes in limited action last season since he was forced to sit out the first five games because of transfer rules. The Friars will have him for the whole season this year. He has committed to Washington.
DB Mekhi Ware (Culver City) 5-10, 165, Sr.
Yes, there are some instances where we’ll put a player that may not have as many stars next to his name higher than those with more stars. Ware forced his way onto this team as well as last year’s All-State Juniors Team by coming up with 11 interceptions, including three in a game twice. He happens to be a recruit too with a commitment to San Jose State.
P Daniel Whelan (Rancho Mirage) 6-5, 190, Sr.
With the look of a prototype punter, long and lean, Whelan shined last season with a 38.9-yard punting average. As a kicker, he also had 12 field goals.
FIRST TEAM MULTI-PURPOSE
WR/DB Brian Casteel (Charter Oak, Covina) 6-1, 200, Sr.
Catching passes on both sides of the ball, this Arizona commit had 46 tackles and three interceptions while catching 57 passes for 913 yards and nine touchdowns on offense. In his sophomore season, he caught 65 passes for 1,279 yards and 11 touchdowns and his senior season already off to a great start.
KR/DB Jalen Cole (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 5-9, 160, Sr.
Earlier this week, this first-team All-Orange County selection last season announced on twitter that he was committing to Montana State. His teammates in the MD secondary have better offers and commitments, but he’s been the more outstanding high school player based on interceptions, kick returns and more.
QB/RB Chase Garbers (Corona del Mar, Newport Beach) 6-3, 210, Sr.
After a junior year in which he doubled his passing yards from 1,356 as a soph to 2,715 and tripled his TD passes from 11 to 33, Garbers was a top recruiting target and has committed to Cal. He also rushed ro 457 yards and seven scores.
QB/RB Cameron Rising (Newbury Park) 6-3, 190, Jr.
If we were going to list Matt Corral on the first team, then we also were going to list Rising. It’s just that Rising fits better on multi-purpose because he also rushed for 756 yards and 11 TDs last season to go with 3,213 yards and 40 TDs through the air. Rising also threw just one interception.
QB/RB Jack Sears (San Clemente) 6-3, 205, Sr.
After enjoying a huge spring and summer, Sears seemed to move to the top of the state’s senior QBs. He threw for 2,697 yards and 37 TDs last season and added more than 800 yards on the ground. Sears recently committed to Duke.
RB/ATH Nathan Tilford (Colony, Ontario) 6-1, 200 Sr.
Tilford has transferred to Colony after playing for three seasons at Upland. When he was a freshman at Upland, he already was making a name for himself. Tilford rushed for nearly 900 yards last season and also has played linebacker.
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
WR Bryan Thompson (Rancho Verde, Moreno Valley) 6-3, 185, Sr.
When quarterback E.J. Stewart put the ball in the air last season, it was often to this standout. Thompson caught 58 passes for 1,259 yards and 13 touchdowns. Both are back this season.
TE Grant Calcaterra (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) 6-4, 205, Jr.
Last season, he caught 48 passes for 926 yards and nine touchdowns in 10 games for the Eagles, who went 5-5 on the year. Back in April, he gave a verbal commitment to Oklahoma.
OL Scott Brooks (Moorpark) 6-4, 275, Sr.
A three-year varsity player, he is one of the reasons the Musketeers have high hopes this season as they move from the Marmonte League to the Camino League. We wonder who is favorite head coach in the NBA might be?
OL Tommy Brown (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-7, 330, Jr.
Possibly the top-ranked junior lineman in the state, Brown will be counted on to provide protection on the blind side of Monarchs’ super sophomore QB J.T. Daniels.
OL Jesse Chamberlain (Burroughs, Burbank) 6-2, 285, Sr.
He’ll no doubt provide plenty of opportunities for teammate Chance Bell to break into the open on running plays. Chamberlain has committed to Fresno State.
OL Ryan Nelson (Buena Park) 6-6, 255, Sr.
With a long athletic frame that moves well, Nelson is considered one of the area’s top tackle prospects entering his senior season. He has official visits with Arizona and Virginia set for back-to-back weekends in September.
OL Solo Vaipulu (Centennial, Corona) 6-2, 285, Jr.
A transfer from Riverside Poly, Vaipulu was selected to last year’s all-state sophomore squad and should be a huge contributor on another high-scoring Husky offense.
QB Tristan Gebbia (Calabasas) 6-3, 180, Sr.
Passing for 7,771 yards the last two seasons, he passed for 4,435 yards with 45 touchdowns and just nine interceptions last year while also rushing for 146 yards and five touchdowns. He will join teammate Keyshawn Johnson Jr. in college at Nebraska after committing to the Cornhuskers back in April.
RB Chance Bell (Burroughs, Burbank) 5-9, 175, Sr.
Helping the Indians capture the Pacific League championship and earn a second-team All-Area selection last season, he rushed for 1,378 yards and 23 touchdowns. Last month, Bell announced on Twitter that he had committed to San Diego State.
RB Bobby Cole (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) 5-9, 190 Sr.
A returning all-state small schools pick, Cole rushed for more than 2,400 yards for last season’s 14-1 team at Sierra Canyon. The Trailblazers have already opened their season with a win and in that game Cole rushed for 158 yards.
RB T.J. Pledger (Chaminade, West Hills) 5-11, 185, Jr.
Following up a freshman year that saw him rush for 822 yards and 11 touchdowns, Pledger did not have a sophomore slump with 1,331 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns in 11 games last season. He also caught 33 passes for 381 yards and a touchdown.
PK Diego Cacho-Sousa (Loyola, Los Angeles) 6-0, 185, Sr.
He had a huge year for the Cubs as a junior with 10 field goals, including a school record 53-yarder. Sousa also boomed 80 percent of his kickoffs for touchbacks and averaged 39 yards per punt.
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL Seleti Fevaleaki (Centennial, Corona) 6-2, 250, Sr.
Last season, he made his presence known for the Huskies as a powerful tackler. He is one of three players on the team that holds an offer from BYU and it’s likely he will be headed to BYU but he has yet to commit.
DL Shane Irwin (Palos Verdes, PV Estates) 6-4, 230, Sr.
He’s the top returnee from team that reached last year’s CIFSS Western Division final. Irwin had five tackles for a loss in that game and had 27 for the season. He also had 14 sacks and 73 tackles overall.
DL Tucker Robertson (Grace Brethren, Simi Valley) 6-3, 265, Sr.
Rivals.com reports him with a commitment to Nevada, but others just say has offers from Fresno State and Hawaii in addition to Nevada. Regardless, he ranks with St. Bonaventure’s Casey Roddick as one of the top two returning linemen in Ventura County (based on last year’s All-County team).
LB Voi Fata (Redlands East Valley) 6-0, 220, Sr.
He was a tackling machine for the Wildcats last season as he recorded 146 total tackles in 10 games. We named him to our all-state juniors second team after last season and expect even bigger things from him this season.
LB Tysyn Parker (Serra, Gardena) 6-2, 195, Sr.
We have a hunch Tysyn is a great team player since he approached us at the NorCal Nike event last May and asked us to take a photo of him and three of his teammates. Parker, along with junior teammate Merlin Robertson, gives Serra one of the top linebacking combos in SoCal.
LB Lamin Touray (Alemany, Mission Hills) 6-1, 225, Sr.
Looking to bounce back from losing the final five games of the season last year, the Warriors’ defense will be led by this All-Area Nevada committed linebacker. Committing to Nevada earlier this month, he is coming off a solid summer that included him being named the linebacker MVP at The Opening Bay Area regional.
LB John Stamos (Villa Park) 6-2, 215, Sr.
He upped his tackle total from 100 to 139 last season and also rushed for nearly 500 yards as a fullback. Stamos recently committed to Navy over D1 offers from other colleges.
DB Quentin Lake (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-1, 175, Sr.
He emerged over the summer as one of the top DB recruits in Southern California and recently committed to UCLA. Lake, along with secondary mates Jalen Cole and Xavier Bell, will lead perhaps the top secondary in the state.
DB Deommodre Lenoir (Salesian, Los Angeles) 6-0, 170, Sr.
Committed to Oregon, he was the lone Ducks committed player at The Opening Finals earlier this summer in Beaverton. Lenoir also is a bit of multi-purpose player since he had more than 500 yards rushing and caught four TD passes as a junior.
DB Jaylen Redd (Rancho Cucamonga) 5-9, 180, Sr.
Not only did Redd’s defensive output improve last season but so did his offensive numbers. He recorded 63 total tackles and intercepted three passes. On offense he rushed for 671 yards and nine touchdowns while catching 20 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns.
DB A.J. Stanley (Hart, Newhall) 6-1, 195, Sr.
Here is another returning DB that just had to get some preseason recognition after collecting nine interceptions last year. Stanley had five in one game and averaged nearly four tackles per game.
P Hunter White (Los Altos, Hacienda Heights) 5-11, 180, Sr.
Handling all the kicking duties for the Conquerors, he averaged 34.4 yards per punt with a long of 63 yards and 12 of his 48 pants were inside the 20-yard line. He also kicked 40 extra points and seven field goals with a long of 46 yards.
SECOND TEAM MULTI-PURPOSE
WR/ATH Chris Brooks (Newbury Park) 5-9, 175, Sr.
On a team with a quarterback (Cameron Rising) committed to Oklahoma, Brooks still got his share of touches as he rushed for 847 yards and five touchdowns on 127 carries. His carries may go down this season but that’s because he is expected to see more time at slot receiver while also still playing in the secondary on defense.
KR/WR Jamire Calvin (Cathedral, Los Angeles) 5-11, 170, Sr.
We almost got spots on these All-CIFSS teams for Calvin along with teammate WR Arex Flemings. Their receiving stats were similar and both will be high D1 recruits (Flemings already with a commitment to Oregon State) but went with Calvin on multi-purpose since his punt return average of 29.0 on 18 attempts is so impressive.
WR/DB Savai’i Cravens (Linfield Christian, Temecula) 6-1, 175, Sr.
The younger brother of Washington Redskins’ rookie LB Su’a Cravens, Savai’i helped the Saddleback Valley Christian (his former school) capture its first CIFSS divisional title in program history by catching 66 passes for 1,415 yards and 16 touchdowns. On defense, he added 68 tackles and was tied for the team lead with six interceptions.
WR/DB Elijah Gates (Buena Park) 5-11, 170, Sr.
Last season, he recorded 33 receptions for 747 yards and 10 touchdowns while also contributing on defense and special teams. It’s on the defensive side of the ball that has colleges the most excited with reported visits next month to Oregon and TCU.
WR/DB Olaijah Griffin (Mission Viejo) 6-0, 170, Jr.
One of the top juniors in the state, Griffin shined as both a receiver and a corner for the 16-0 Diablos last season. He was second team preseason All-State and almost was first team both for that and for the section.
WR/ATH Keyshawn Johnson Jr. (Calabasas) 6-0, 175, Sr.
The Coyotes captured the CIF Southern Section Western Division championship with an impressive aerial attack that saw Keyshawn catch a second-best 68 passes for 944 yards and six touchdowns. Back in March, he committed to Nebraska so he could try to carve his own path and not go to USC like his father, former No. 1 NFL draft pick Keyshawn Johnson Sr.
WR Maurice Bell (Murrieta Valley, Murrieta) Sr.
WR Arex Flemings (Cathedral, Los Angeles) Sr.
WR Jeremiah Hawkins (Buena Park) Sr.
WR Prince Ross (La Habra) Sr.
TE Taariq Johnson (Buena Park) Sr.
TE Moses Robinson-Carr
(Antelope Valley, Lancaster) Sr.
OL Masaman Bagayoko (Alemany, Mission Hills) Sr.
OL Ben Holmes (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) Sr.
OL Tyson Pauling (Silverado, Victorville) Sr.
OL Connor Pettek (Thousand Oaks) Sr.
OL Zelan Tupuola (JSerra, SJ Capistrano) Sr.
QB J.T. Daniels (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Soph.
QB Tyger Goslin (Moorpark) Sr.
QB Tyler Lytle (Servite, Anaheim) Sr.
QB Tanner McKee (Centennial, Corona) Jr.
QB Nick Sipe (Villa Park) Sr.
QB Andrew Tovar (Cathedral, Los Angeles) Sr.
RB Drake Beasley (La Canada) Sr.
RB Cole Dubots (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta) Sr.
RB Christian Erickson (Paso Robles) Sr.
RB Gianni Hurd (Valley Christian, Cerritos) Sr.
Rb Connor McBride (Woodbridge, Irvine) Sr.
RB Aaron Shampklin (Long Beach Poly) Sr.
RB Jarell Sykes (San Dimas) Sr.
DL Brandon Gooding (Ventura) Sr.
DL Mykee Irving (Chaminade, West Hills) Jr.
DL Javoris Steward (Pomona) Sr.
DL Kobe Toa (La Mirada) Sr.
DL Logan Zylstra (Bonita, La Verne) Sr.
LB Adrian Alfaro (Chino) Sr.
LB Scott Arnold (Eastside, Lancaster) Sr.
LB Bo Calvert (Oaks Christian, Westlake Village) Jr.
LB Marcus Carrasco (La Habra) Sr.
LB Ryan Dominick (Harvard-Weslake, N. Hollywood) Sr.
LB Faavae Faavae (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Sr.
LB Merlin Robertson (Serra, Gardena) Jr.
LB James Townsend (Crespi, Encino) Jr.
LB Dylan Tucker (Chino Hills) Sr.
LB Solomon Tuliapupu (Claremont) Jr.
DB Xavier Bell (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Sr.
DB Elijah Blades (Muir, Pasadena) Sr.
DB Elijah Hicks (La Mirada) Sr.
DB Tayler Hill (Crescenta Valley, La Crescenta) Sr.
DB R.J. Lan (La Mirada) Sr.
DB Rhedi Short (Cathedral, Los Angeles) Sr.
DB Josh Talbott (Long Beach Poly) Sr.
DB Khalid Taylor (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks) Sr.
DB Jaiden Woodbey (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) Jr.
QB/RB Tanner Darling (Simi Valley) Sr.
QB/RB Re-al Mitchell (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) Jr.
RB/DB Richard Newton (Palmdale) Jr.
WR/DB Michael Oyemaobi (Chaparral, Temecula) Sr.
RB/ATH Anthony Reyes (Elsinore, Lake Elsinore) Sr.
RB/ATH Taz Tauese (El Segundo) Sr.
DL/PK Grant Trueman (Chino Hills) Sr.
RB/DB Ian Zamudio (Notre Dame, Riverside) Sr.
Note: These preseason all-section teams are done in the same 30-player format as the annual Cal-Hi Sports All-State Football Teams. They are based on a combination of what the players did last season and college recruiting. Not every all-section team will have writeups of every player. Some will have an intro, then lists.
Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens also contributed to this post. 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 on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports