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RECRUITING / JEFF FELLENZER

Scout Praises County's Offensive Line Prospects

October 31, 1994|JEFF FELLENZER

Dick Lascola, a football talent scout who annually looks at more film than Siskel and Ebert, gives Orange County a "thumbs up" recommendation. He tells college football recruiters: If it's size you want, Orange County is a good place to start.

For 19 years, Lascola, a former high school and college coach, has operated the Scouting Evaluation Assn. out of his Fallbrook home. He supplies reports on California high school and community college players to more than 90 colleges, including every Pac-10 school.

Though his overall assessment of the California Class of 1995 is "above average--not great but not bad," he gives high marks on his midseason report card to offensive line prospects, especially in Orange County.

"You could say that Orange County kind of mirrors the overall picture in California," Lascola said. "One of the real strengths of the county this year is offensive linemen. The weaknesses are linebackers, defensive linemen and quarterbacks."

Among offensive linemen, Lascola likes Santa Margarita's Kris Farris (6 feet 8, 275) and Josh Beckett (6-5, 305), Mater Dei's Matt Motherway (6-4, 250), San Clemente's Brett Samperi (6-5, 275), Sunny Hills' Glen Giesen (6-6, 295) and Sonora's Jason Grain (6-5, 270).

"Farris really runs well for a kid his size, and he has the frame to put on more weight," Lascola said. "You have to look at Beckett because of his size.

"Giesen has stepped up a notch this season. I really like him. He's an aggressive blocker who gets good extension with his arms.

"Motherway is an aggressive kid. Samperi is a raw talent who'll get better. Grain has good feet and good size."

Lascola's favorite offensive line prospect in the Southland is Mark Manskar (6-7, 260) of Canyon Country Canyon. "He may be the best lineman in the state. He has great size, mobility and is a strong blocker."

*

USC receivers coach Mike Sanford was watching Thursday night's Los Alamitos-Esperanza game at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach. The Trojans are among the teams recruiting Los Alamitos' standout wide receiver-safety Brad Melsby (6-1, 180), who caught seven passes for 130 yards in the Griffins' 35-32 victory. Melsby is also considering Stanford (where former Los Alamitos teammate Tim Carey is a reserve quarterback), UCLA, Northwestern and Minnesota (where he has family ties).

"Melsby has a great set of hands," Lascola said. "I'm not sure if he's quick enough to play defensive back in college, but he can sure catch the ball."

Sanford, whose daughter, Lindsay, is a sophomore cheerleader at Los Alamitos, said USC plans to recruit three top Griffin juniors: quarterback Kevin Feterik, who passed for 369 yards and three touchdowns in the Esperanza game, and wide receivers Tony Hartley and Stan Guyness.

Of more immediate concern to the Trojans, however, is signing a senior quarterback. Their top choice is John Fox (6-3, 185) of Corona Centennial, who Lascola calls "probably the best passer in Southern California this year. He's a good athlete too." USC Coach John Robinson attended Fox's game two weeks ago. The Trojans and UCLA are considered the favorites to sign Fox.

Notes

Sonora's Jason Grain has four of his recruiting trips set: Arizona State (Dec. 10), Fresno State (Jan. 14), Oregon State (Jan. 21) and UCLA. For his fifth visit, he is considering Colorado State, California and San Diego State. Grain comes from a football family; his uncle, Jimmy DuBose, played at Florida and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Another uncle, Keith DuBose, played at Duke.

One of the top athletes among football prospects in the Southland is quarterback-free safety Chris McAlister (6-1, 180) of Pasadena High. McAlister is the son of former UCLA and NFL running back James McAlister, who now serves as a Pasadena assistant coach. His brother, James, is a sophomore point guard on the Pasadena City College basketball team. The younger McAlister is a spectacular open-field runner who might be good enough to return kicks as a college freshman. Surprisingly, only three teams--UCLA, Washington State and Brigham Young--have been recruiting him. Two others, Nebraska and Arizona, called early but their interest has since subsided. Apparently, most assume he will sign with UCLA. "My dad has been telling me to go wherever I feel the most comfortable," McAlister said. "I'm looking for the best opportunity."

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