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Valley Area Rakes in Blue Chips : High school football: Six members of the 1993 Terrific 22 squad play in the region.

September 09, 1993|MITCH POLIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Rick Kimbrel, editor of the Woodland Hills-based Blue Chip Illustrated magazine, hasn't had to travel far this year to evaluate several of the top college football prospects.

Six of the players on The Times' 1993 Terrific 22 play football in the Valley area.

"Right now, (1993) may not be as solid as last year with all of the quarterbacks and wide receivers, but it could get better," Kimbrel said.

Running back Tyrone Crenshaw of Sylmar High ranks with the top prospects on the list, while Newbury Park landed its passing combination of quarterback Keith Smith and wide receiver Leodes Van Buren.

Other regional players on the squad are tight end Dorrick Roy of Montclair Prep, tackle Jason Rempel of Calabasas and defensive back Rommel Butler of Royal.

Quarterback appears to be the weakest position on the Terrific 22, but there is plenty of depth at tight end, linebacker and running back.

The best prospects on the team are tight end Tony Gonzalez of Huntington Beach and running backs Rodney Sermons of Bishop Amat and Crenshaw.

Blue Chip and other national recruiting services such as Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report of Illinois, the National Recruiting Advisor of Texas, G&W Recruiting Report of Pennsylvania, SuperPrep magazine of Costa Mesa and observations from Dick Lascola of the Fallbrook, Calif.-based Scouting Evaluation Assn. were used in determining which greater Los Angeles and Orange County seniors earned distinction on the Terrific 22. Players from San Diego and Santa Barbara counties were not included.

Newbury Park, which never had a player on the Terrific 22, and Long Beach Poly each took two spots.

The entire list:

Steve Campbell (Norco, quarterback)--In a down year for quarterbacks, Campbell literally stands above the crowd. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound Campbell has a good release, a knack for making the big play and a grasp of fundamentals. Campbell, whose father, Gary, is the Norco coach, also plays on the basketball team.

Keith Smith (Newbury Park, quarterback)--Although he is only 6-foot, 175 pounds, scouts covet Smith because of his arm strength and accuracy. A dangerous rollout passer, Smith completed 59.9% of his passes for 3,318 yards and 30 touchdowns in 1992.

Rodney Sermons (Bishop Amat, running back)--The 6-foot, 185-pound Sermons is expected to rank with former Bishop Amat runners Eric Bieniemy and Scott Fields. His speed, strength and moves helped him rush for 1,475 yards and 21 touchdowns in 1992. He also caught 25 passes for 400 yards and four touchdowns and returned kicks.

Tyrone Crenshaw (Sylmar, running back)--In 1992, Crenshaw rushed for 1,875 yards and 22 touchdowns in 235 attempts and was named City Section 4-A Division player of the year. "He is a threat to take the ball the distance every time he gets his hands on it," Lemming said. Crenshaw may become a defensive back in college.

Ramod Lee (Valley View, running back)--Lee is the most powerful of the running backs, having bench-pressed 300 pounds. In 1992, the durable Lee rushed for 2,463 yards and 27 touchdowns in 354 attempts.

Justin Stallings (Hawthorne, wide receiver)--The National Recruiting Advisor and Tom Lemming list Stallings as a defensive back in college, and SuperPrep and Dick Lascola project him as a wide receiver. The 6-2, 195-pound Stallings, who reportedly has a vertical leap of 36 inches, caught 28 passes for 378 yards and two touchdowns in 1992.

Leodes Van Buren (Newbury Park, wide receiver)--Smith and Van Buren give the Panthers perhaps the best passing combination in the Southland. The 6-1, 180-pound Van Buren caught 79 passes for 1,331 yards and 14 touchdowns in 1992.

Tony Gonzalez (Huntington Beach, tight end)--Several scouting services rate Gonzalez as the nation's top tight end prospect. The 6-6, 225-pounder also excels as a linebacker, and he plays forward on the basketball team. He may play both sports in college.

Michael Jackson (Santa Monica, tight end)--As a junior, he caught 29 passes for 714 yards and four touchdowns. He also returned two kicks for scores. The 6-2, 250-pounder is also expected to play running back and outside linebacker. Jackson is a center on the basketball team.

Rome Douglas (Claremont, tight end)--Douglas has played football for only about a year, but scouts see tremendous potential in this 6-7, 245-pounder. He has good body control, soft hands and ample speed for his size. He is listed as a defensive end by the National Recruiting Advisor and some scouts believe he will eventually become an offensive lineman.

Dorrick Roy (Montclair Prep, tight end)--Roy's brother, Donovan, was a Terrific 22 selection in 1990 and is an offensive lineman at USC. The 6-4, 220-pound Dorrick also plays on the defensive line, although his future appears to be at tight end. "The bottom line here is he's big, runs well and can catch," SuperPrep said. Roy has a 34-inch vertical leap.

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