If you want to know what a high school All-American wide receiver looks like, go watch Darreus Rogers of Carson High.
Rogers, who has committed to USC, puts on a show whether he's in pads or playing in a seven-on-seven summer passing competition, as was the case Wednesday night at Los Angeles Loyola, where defensive backs from Crenshaw, Long Beach Jordan and the host Cubs struggled trying to keep up with Rogers.
Loyola's Chaz Anderson, committed to Boise State, did probably the best job staying with Rogers — for a while.
"That's my boy," Anderson said. "He got me a few times."
Rogers' hands are huge, and his physical nature at 6 feet 1 and 195 pounds separates him from the smaller defensive backs assigned to cover him.
"He's just a phenomenal athlete," Coach Elijah Asante said.
Rogers needs to be at his best, because Asante has put together a nonleague schedule this fall that has caused some people to question Asante's sanity.
Carson opens against Pac-5 semifinalist Santa Ana Mater Dei at home on its new all-weather turf field. Then comes a game against Long Beach Poly on the road, followed by Pac-5 finalist Mission Viejo at home, Pac-5 power Santa Margarita at home and a road game against San Diego Lincoln, a section finalist last season.
"They love that we're playing these teams," Asante said of his players' reaction.
Well, not quite.
"It's crazy," Rogers said. "I thought, 'Man, why are you getting us so many hard teams?' But it's going to get me better prepared for college. If we win all of them, we'll be noticed as a top team."
Said Asante: "Each one of these championship-caliber teams we're playing is going to make us stronger."
Last year, Asante's mantra was, "We're going to shock the world."
This year, he said, "We're in it to win it."
Said Rogers: "Whatever it takes to get to state, we're prepared to do it."
Headed to Oregon
De'Anthony Thomas, the Los Angeles Crenshaw running back who spurned USC to sign with Oregon, attended the passing competition at Loyola. He was wearing his two City Section Division I championship rings. He said he leaves for Oregon on Saturday.
As for why he seemingly disappeared this spring and didn't run track, Thomas said, "I just wanted to get away from everybody."
Jrue's little brother
"Amazing." That was the description used by Simi Valley basketball Coach Chris Printz to describe the performance this week by freshman guard Aaron Holiday of North Hollywood Campbell Hall. In his first varsity summer league game, Holiday scored 54 points against the Pioneers on Tuesday. He came back to score 28 points Wednesday against La Verne Damien. He is the younger brother of Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday.
"He's the real deal," Printz said.
The 5-foot-10 Holiday has been well prepared for high school playing against Jrue and his oldest brother, Justin, who just graduated from Washington, along with sister Lauren, a senior at Campbell Hall who is being recruited by UCLA.
When word spread about Holiday's first-game effort, college recruiters started to contact Campbell Hall Coach Steve Wachs by phone and email.
So ended Holiday's brief moment of anonymity.