Loyola running back David Cooper breaks through the Harvard-Westlake… (John Quinn )
College football recruiters have their GPS devices powered on as they begin visiting high schools to evaluate players over the next month. Let me provide a few suggestions on players who have been overlooked so far.
Maybe they don't fit a height-weight requirement. Maybe they were injured last season. Maybe they don't participate in seven-on-seven all-star passing tournaments. Maybe they play multiple sports.
Whatever the reason for not receiving early buzz, these players will be standouts in the fall, and it's far more relevant how someone performs in a real game compared with how they look running around a red cone.
David Cooper, Los Angeles Loyola, 5-10, 192 pounds. Cooper was the backup running back to Nico Evans last season. "There won't be a better player," Coach Marvin Sanders said. Cooper has a 34-inch vertical leap and has run a 4.58 40 meters. "He's the real deal," Sanders said.
Aaron Haigler, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 6-7, 230. Haigler also plays basketball and runs track. He's a tight end and defensive end just beginning to reach his potential. Humble, hard working and a good listener, he'll start to get noticed soon.
Malik McMorris, Santa Ana Mater Dei, 6-0, 276. There wasn't a better defensive lineman in the Trinity League in stopping the run last season. McMorris also had 10 sacks. Ivy League schools love him. He also plays basketball and runs track, and he who fears no one and produces results.
Maurice Davison, Anaheim Servite, 5-8, 170. Another player who doesn't fit the height mold, but will someone please raise their hand if you've beaten him one-on-one in a real game? He had seven interceptions as a junior cornerback.
Kevin Summers, Mission Hills Alemany, 6-5, 210. Summers also plays basketball, but he can't be missed when he's rushing from his defensive end position. He was injured last season. Wait to see what he does when he's healthy and focused for an entire season.
Sadique Hayward, Dorsey, 6-2, 210. Hayward should be another Dorsey player who goes on to produce at the college level. He's being tried out at safety this spring. He was slowed by an ankle injury last season, but he's running track and can hit.
T.J. Brumfield, Encino Crespi, 5-8, 168. Injuries slowed him last season, but he rushed for 187 yards in a game against Bishop Amat. He has great hands and can return punts and kickoffs.
Jake Favreau, Huntington Beach Edison, 6-0, 180. The Chargers produce receivers with terrific hands, and Favreau should be another. He missed games with an injury, but he'll be a player to watch in passing competitions.
Kyle Sweet, Santa Margarita, 6-0 180. Show me a receiver in Orange County with better hands. He's athletic and makes tough catches. Sweet's brother, Logan, walked on at UCLA and earned a scholarship. Surely the recruiters aren't going to make another mistake, right?
Jordan Anderson, Oaks Christian, 6-1, 200. He missed all of last season with a knee injury. He moved from Concord De La Salle as a junior and is seeking a fifth year of eligibility after missing school while recovering. "I think he's fantastic," said Coach Bill Redell.
Alec Simpson, Palisades, 6-3, 200. As a sophomore linebacker last season, he had 30 tackles. His coach, Tim Hyde, expects him to get stronger and faster and be a standout by his senior season.