YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


These high school football standouts take a lot of people by surprise

At the midseason mark, several Southland players who were not originally hyped are making a name for themselves among recruiters.

October 10, 2013|Eric Sondheimer

After six weeks of high school football, the Internet recruiting experts are scrambling for quick makeovers. Some of their four-star recruits are playing like one stars. Others who seemingly didn't exist are suddenly on the rise.

Here's a look at some of the surprise standouts at midseason:

Lavan Alston, Ventura St. Bonaventure, Jr.: Former Coach Todd Therrien warned me about Alston more than a year ago, predicting he'd be a star. And sure enough, thanks to his blazing speed, he has become one of the best big-play weapons in Southern California as a receiver and punt returner.

Eric Prevost, Covina Charter Oak, Sr.: Mountain West Conference schools have paid attention to the 6-foot-2, 225-pound defensive end, but it's time Pac-12 schools started getting interested. He was a Southern Section wrestling champion and his technique shows by recording 12 sacks. Coach Lou Farrar said, "He's a game changer for his position. We call him a freak. Nobody can be that big, that strong, that fast."

Ty Gangi, La Canada St. Francis, Sr.: A year ago, the 6-foot-2 Gangi was stuck on the bench as a backup quarterback. "I was able to stay positive," he said. "I was always working on the weekend. Over the off season, I was able to pick up the offense well." He has led St. Francis to a 5-0 record, passing for 1,112 yards and 13 touchdowns with just one interception.

Cedric Muzik, Redondo, So.: Injured for much of his freshman year, the 6-2, 205-pound defensive end has been an impact player in his first year on varsity, recording nine sacks. "He's showing a lot of potential," Coach Matt Ballard said.

Matt Byer, Oak Park, Sr.: With 18 touchdown receptions, Byer has been a scoring machine at wide receiver. He's averaging 22.9 yards a reception.

Trey Tinsley, El Toro, Jr. : Who can image any high school quarterback attempting 75 passes in a single game? Tinsley did just that against Villa Park, setting a national record. He completed 50 of the passes for 512 yards. He has 2,111 yards passing and 24 touchdowns. Not bad for being a backup last season.

Blake Barnett, Corona Santiago, Jr. : Barnett is proof what can happen when you perform on the field. The 6-4 quarterback picked up a scholarship offer from UCLA because he's rushing and passing like few others. He has 1,210 yards passing and 569 yards rushing. He played in just four varsity games last season.

Dymond Lee, West Hills Chaminade, So.: Who knew Lee could become a standout at receiver? He was the quarterback for the freshman team a year ago. Now he's the big-play target for quarterback Brad Kaaya and earned a scholarship offer from Miami.

Alif Grayes, Mission Hills Alemany, Sr.: The former defensive back is completing 65% of his passes for 1,720 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Jacob Breeland, Mission Viejo Trabuco Hills, Jr.: The 6-6 receiver has caught five touchdown passes and is averaging 22 yards a reception.

Nico Evans, Loyola, Sr.: He has rushed for 912 yards and scored 13 touchdowns in six games. He was part of Loyola's school-record setting 400-meter relay team as a junior.

Maurice Davison, Anaheim Servite, Jr.: Bring 'em on. That's the attitude of Davison, a cornerback who keeps taking on top receivers and more than holding his own. "He's been a lockdown guy," Coach A.J. Gass said. He's putting together a highlight tape that no one will be able to ignore.

Twitter: @LATSondheimer

Los Angeles Times Articles