Presented by Blast Athletics, we are proud to present these 11 players plus a kicker and three of six multi-purpose players that have been selected to headline the 39th annual 2017 Cal-Hi Sports All-State Football Team. This is the elite group without school size or year in school limitations. For this year, we went with two running backs and three receivers to go with Mr. Football State Player of the Year JT Daniels of Santa Ana Mater Dei as the quarterback. The Monarchs also make state history by getting five first team all-state elite selections. Blast Athletics is a new partner of Cal-Hi Sports and is about to become one of the hottest fundraising options for high school activities & athletics programs in the state. For details, CLICK HERE.
For this year’s First Team Defense plus three more multi-purpose players, CLICK HERE.
For this year’s Second & Third Team (Gold Club post), CLICK HERE.
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To order a commemorative, official All-State Football patch for those who’ve been named to one of our all-state teams for the 2017 season, go to this link from our friends at Billy Tees, which has been the official merchandiser of the CIF for many years.
FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE OFFENSE (ELITE)
WR – Joe Ngata (Folsom) 6-4, 210, Jr.
The Sacramento Bee Player of the Year, the NorCalPreps.com Player of the Year and already named as our State Junior of the Year was pretty much a lock for this slot on this year’s first team. There are other junior receivers showing up higher than him on recruiting lists for the Class of 2019, but we’ve seen them all too and respectively disagree. Ngata is as close to a player like Julio Jones in the state as there’s ever been. He was the most impressive player on a Folsom team that went 16-0 and won the CIF D1-AA state title. Ngata caught 81 passes for 1,777 yards and 26 TDs, added 150 yards rushing (one TD), scored on a 99-yard kickoff return and averaged 38 yards as a punter. His recruiting action, as expected, has accelerated with many D1 offers, including those from Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, Penn State and Washington. Older brother Ariel Ngata is a linebacker at Washington.
WR – Amon-Ra St. Brown (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-1, 190, Sr.
While teammate JT Daniels has captured the lion’s share of state and national honors, it was St. Brown who was selected as the Trinity League Player of the Year. Amon-Ra also was generally considered the state’s No. 1 college prospect at the start of the season. He missed a couple of early games with a finger injury, but came on strong after that and ended with 72 catches for 1,320 yards and 20 TDs. St. Brown also set an Orange County record with 44 career TD receptions. He will play next at USC and probably at some point soon will again be latching on to balls thrown by Daniels.
WR – Marquis Spiker (Murrieta Valley, Murrieta) 6-3, 190, Sr.
At the start of the season, it looked like Marquis could threaten some state career records. And he got it for career TD catches, finishing with 72 to top the previous mark (according to our own lists, which don’t exist anywhere else) of 66 set in 2000 by Earvin Johnson of L.A. Cathedral. For the season, the University of Washington signer had 83 catches for 1,490 yards and 28 TDs. He also ended with 244 career catches for 4,461 yards.
OL – Tommy Brown (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-7, 315, Sr.
Two years ago, the state’s No. 1 offensive lineman was Jonah Williams of Folsom, who is now an All-American at Alabama. Brown probably could be called No. 1 for this year among this group and is headed to play for the Crimson Tide as well. The son of longtime Orange County baseball coach Vince Brown (now at Foothill of Tustin) has been on several All-American teams that have been released previously and has been All-Orange County and All-CIF Southern Section Division I.
OL – Will Craig (Granite Bay) 6-5, 275, Sr.
Two-time All-Metro pick by the Sacramento Bee was one of the top two OLs we saw all season and is one of the best we’ve ever seen from the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section. Craig, who was MVP for the offensive linemen at last spring’s Nike camp for Northern California (they change the name of that event every year so we’ll just call it the same as we have for many years), will play next at Cal.
OL – Justin Dedich (Chaparral, Temecula) 6-2, 290, Sr.
The decision not to include Chaparral as a medium school even though it was in the CIFSS D5 playoffs didn’t matter for Justin making it on first team overall. Dedich was already a US Army All-American before the season began and played center for a Pumas’ squad that averaged 26.8 points and 206 rushing yards per season. He had a lot of offers over the summer, but committed to USC and last month signed a letter of intent with the Trojans.
OL – Blake McDonald (San Ramon Valley, Danville) 6-5, 295, Sr.
He would be the top all-state candidate off of a team that was 9-0 and at No. 10 in the overall state rankings until a matchup with De La Salle. McDonald also won a city of Danville player of the year honor and was All-Bay Area by both the San Francisco Chronicle and Bay Area News Group. As these teams were going out, Blake was considering several D1 college offers, including Nebraska, Washington State, Arizona State and Cal.
OL – Jarrett Patterson (Mission Viejo) 6-5, 285, Sr.
In the same week that this all-state team has been released, Patterson has had home visits from both head coach Chip Kelly (UCLA) and Brian Kelly (Notre Dame) regarding his college decision. His stock generally has risen quite a bit as a prospect since the start of the 2017 season. Since then, he’s been first team All-Orange County and first team All-CIFSS D1. Patterson has shown he might be one of those versatile linemen who might be able to play any position at the next level.
QB – JT Daniels (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-2, 210, Sr.
He might be one of the best QBs to ever come from the state so we weren’t going to get cute and list JT as a multi-purpose player even though his rushing prowess was so vital for the 15-0 Monarchs this season. Already named as Mr. Football State Player of the Year, Daniels completed 71 percent of his passes as a junior for 4,123 yards with 52 TDs and just four interceptions. Shortly after the season, he reclassified as a senior so he’s listed as a senior for this team and then became ineligible to be on the all-state junior team. JT, who is going to USC in the fall, also ended with 12,014 yards and 152 TDs for his career. He is currently No. 3 in state history for career yards and is No. 2 for career TDs. He broke the previous CIF Southern Section career TD pass record of 145 set in 2006 by Jimmy Clausen of Westlake Village Oaks Christian.
RB – Kazmeir Allen (Tulare) 5-10, 180, Sr.
There wasn’t much a debate about Mr. Football, but the one player who did make a strong enough statement to be considered the runner-up to JT Daniels was this guy. Allen blew up for 3,336 yards rushing and scored 72 touchdowns for a team that went 14-1, won a CIF Central Section title and then lost to Serra of San Mateo in the D2-AA NorCal final. Allen easily led the state in rushing and set a new state and national record with his 72 TDs. He broke the old state mark of 64 set in 2000 by Tyler Ebell of Ventura. We recently interview Kazmeier for a chapter in our upcoming “High School Football in California” book. He told us he plans to run track this spring (he was sixth in the CIF state meet 100 final as a junior) and then on June 24 will report to UCLA.
RB – Branden Rankins (Aquinas, San Bernardino) 5-11, 200, Sr.
We knew going into this year’s first team overall selections that it was almost impossible not to have three receivers and two running backs and that new national single-season touchdown record holder Kazmeier Allen was going to be one of them. The hard part was then picking what other running back should be first team. The only hesitation with Rankins being the other one is that his D1 college offers aren’t the same as a couple of others who could have been in this slot. In this case, though, Rankins’ season and career totals were too much to overcome. The San Bernardino Sun/Inland Valley Offensive Player of the Year and already on our all-state medium school squad was the only other running back in the state besides Allen to rush for more than 3,000 yards with 3,032 to go with 43 TDs. For his career, Rankins ended with a total (8,745) that not only is higher than any other back in the state for this year but is No. 2 in state history. The only one higher is former NFL player Toby Gerhart, who rushed for 9,662 yards from 2002 to 2005 at Norco.
PK – Matt Araiza (Rancho Bernardo, San Diego) 6-2, 185, Sr.
It’s always hard to choose first and second team kicker, but the slight difference for Araiza were his career totals. He broke the CIF San Diego Section record for career field goals with 37 (he ended 37-of-48 for his three years), which also puts him in the top five for state history. It’s not like he was bad as a senior, either. The San Diego State-bound recruit made 12-of-16 field goals and 26-of-27 PATs and had a longest field goal of 53 yards.
FIRST TEAM MULTI-PURPOSE
(Three more first team multi-purpose choices listed with first team defense)
RB/DB – Tariq Bracy (Milpitas) 6-1, 170, Sr.
He’s similar to Olaijah Griffin of Mission Viejo, but in Tariq’s case it made more sense to put him on multi-purpose. Already selected as the Bay Area News Group Player of the Year, Bracy led Milpitas to the CIF D4-AA state title and an unbeaten regular season. He rushed for 2,042 yards, added nearly 300 yards receiving and had 2,653 all-purpose yards. On defense, he locked down opposing receivers and all three of the interceptions he had were returned for TDs. Bracy recently signed his letter of intent on Dec. 20 with Notre Dame. He had other offers from top programs from throughout the country.
QB/RB – Jalen Chatman (Narbonne, Harbor City) 6-1, 180, Sr.
Although he wasn’t the Daily Breeze Player of the Year (teammate Jermar Jefferson was), Chatman fit better onto this team as a multi-purpose player. He also had a career that will land him high in the state record book in several categories. Chatman, who was State Junior of the Year for 2016 with more than 4,000 yards passing, capped his career with 8,325 yards and 95 TDs with another 1,538 yards of rushing (18 scores). This season for the CIF D1-A state champions, Chatman passed for 3,309 yards and 33 TDs and he rushed for 452 yards and five scores. He had already spent his last day as a student at Narbonne prior to the state final in Sacramento and only a few days later already was attending classes at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
QB/RB – Jayden Daniels (Cajon, San Bernardino) 6-3, 180, Jr.
With the historically significant season he had, Daniels pretty much had to be a first-team all-state pick despite still being a junior. He was the Riverside Press-Enterprise Offensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year by the San Bernardino Sun/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Daniels led Cajon to the CIF D2-AA state final with 5,139 yards passing and 62 TDs in 16 games (with just five interceptions). He also rushed for 1,292 yards and 15 TDs and went over 6,000 yards of total offense. Daniels, whose D1 recruiting stock also has soared in the weeks following the season, ended with 6,431 total offense yards. No one else in state history, according to our own state records, had ever gone over 6,000 before.