It’s Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei- Bellflower (CA) St. John Bosco Week, and as we do every year, we’ll take a close look at each group of positions. On Monday, we broke down quarterbacks and running backs, and now let’s look at the broader group of receivers.
For our earlier breakdown of quarterbacks and runners, check them out here:
Defender Preview – Mater Dei – St. John Bosco QBs
Running back preview – Mater Dei – St. John Bosco RBs
The Braves and Monarchs meeting as the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country is becoming quite common, but still causing a lot of buzz. The fact that the two teams will most likely meet again in the CIF final at the end of November is fairly well received, but did not dampen the enthusiasm for it, and tickets sold out in less than five minutes after going on sale.
It’s a great rivalry and the two teams are always roughly equal across the board. The two teams have met twice since 2016, once in the league, the other in the CIF final, every year except 2020, when the Covid spring season was just five games, and last year, when Servite upset the Braves in the semi-finals. .
Bosco beat Mater Dei in the ’16 and ’19 finals, and Mater Dei returned the favor in ’17 and ’18, with the ’17 Monarch team being the only one to win both the league match and the final.
So, I’m mentioning all this to say that whoever wins on Friday doesn’t necessarily mean he can win the rematch when it really matters.
Each group of receivers is loaded, but Bosco has a certain advantage. Their top four wide receivers are older players, and their top five are if you’re throwing a tight end. Matio Huiagalelei.
Mater Dei has a group that is talented yet young, so we’ll see how battle-tested they are after a tough out-of-league schedule. Here are two groups closer:
– Jordan Onowuhe, ’23- Looking at Onowuga this year, it’s hard to believe that this is his first season at university. He took on the role of receiver and took a huge step forward in the Monarchs’ big win over a very good team from Las Vegas, Nevada, Bishop Gorman.
He leads the team with 32 catches for 398 yards and three touchdowns. In Gorman’s game alone, he had eight catches, and several of them were acrobatic. He has shown no fear of big moments and will be needed against busy minor Braves.
He has a well-built 6-1 weight, 195 pounds, strong arms and a physical receiver. He runs well after the catch and is a strong blocker. He recently made an official visit to Stanford and received scholarship offers from Colorado and Utah.
– Marcus Brown, ’24. Like Onowuge, this is Brown’s first year at the university. Brown caught a clutch touchdown in Gorman’s game and then threw a weekend party against another national ranking power, Corona (Calif.) Centennial.
He caught six balls for 187 yards and three touchdowns in that one and went deep at will. He can lay out and make a spectacular trainer and is very good in the slot. He is elusive after the catch and gets off the line very well.
– Marcus Harris, 25- Harris is another standout wide receiver who had never played in college snaps before this year. However, he has been well known in recruiting circles since his freshman year and already has scholarship offers from schools such as Arizona, Arizona State, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon, Texas, and Utah, just to name a few.
When you talk about clutch coming in, Harris only had one catch in the Gorman game, but it was game of the night when he went all out in the corner of the end zone for touchdowns at 31 yards, on 3rd and 21st, which gave the Monarchs the lead. . . In a year, he has 13 catches for 329 yards and five touchdowns, and he has a lot of growth potential.
– Jack Ressler, 24 years old – Ressler is the only player who played an important role in last year’s team. As a sophomore, he caught 33 balls for 310 yards and three touchdowns and was expected to be one of the teams to go to receivers this season.
Unfortunately, he failed in the game with Gorman and missed a couple of weeks. Now he’s back and looked good last weekend. He is a reliable receiver that can be moved around and loves to play on the big stage. He caught a touchdown against Bosco last year and is one of those players who always wants to get the ball in tight situations.
– Spencer Shannon, 23, T. E. Shannon is a Texas-born committer who has been one of the most coveted tight end prospects in the West. In the last two seasons, he was used mainly as a blocking tight end, but during the summer in 7-on-7 games, he showed that he is a very capable pass catcher.
At 6-7 and 240 pounds, he is a huge target and can carve a lead with his body. When Monarchs get heavy, Shannon is a very strong inline blocker and
Others to watch:
Senior Derrick Drayton entered the rotation both as a receiver and in the return game. He proved to be very reliable, opening up and catching the ball.
Jewells Parm as well as Kayden Dixon-Wyatt a couple of freshmen who have a chance to be very good in the future. Parm is an explosive slot machine player, Dixon-Wyatt is a strong, physical outboard receiver with a very high ceiling.
Saint John Bosco
– Deandre Moore, 23 years old. Moore is one of the best prospects in the country and a very solid cover. He is healthy after a tough junior season and shows why he was one of the most coveted prospects when he was just a sophomore. He has 17 catches for 403 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging nearly 24 yards per catch.
This autumn it is noticeably more explosive and is a serious threat and is very good after the catch. He has strong arms and is also one of the best runners in the country. His out-of-line releases are as good as you’ll see, and he’s hard to jam due to his strength, and if you miss him, he’ll blast right past you.
Mater Dei historically likes to leave its corners on the island and rarely even doubles. Cheers Macmillan (Servite/Arizona) a year ago. The Louisville Commit might be a different animal, and how Mater Dei plots against him will be one of the storylines to keep an eye on.
– Jalil McClain. ’23 – McClain is another Louisville stalwart and could be a breakout on Friday, depending on how much attention Moore pays. He has only played three games this year due to injury, but is back this week and looks ready to play.
He had a very good off-season and shone at numerous events. He is very fast and can turn corners. He can change direction, stop and start in the blink of an eye and has always been a natural pass catcher. He’s sturdy, can play a slot, and doesn’t shy away from contact.
– Eric Denham23 years old – Denham moved from the Corona (California) Centennial and is one of the most versatile players on the team. He can play as a running back or receiver, as well as responding to punts and kicks.
He has 10 catches for 155 yards and a touchdown that came on a 90-yard bomb. He’s tough, highly competitive baby with a strong physique and excellent contact balance. You can use him in a wide variety of situations and he is a player to be reckoned with whether he is in the back of the field or playing in the slot.
– Israel Polk, 23 years old. Polk comes from Pittsburgh, California and is a player who has been on our radar since he was a rookie. He is one of those players who is good at a little bit of everything and plays almost every game.
At 6-2 and weighing in at 170 pounds, he has a long, athletic build, is good at catching the ball, running after the ball, has great body control, has the speed to get past the defense, and is ready to block. He has 11 catches for 218 yards and four touchdowns, averaging nearly 20 yards per catch. He made an official visit to Colorado during the summer and is one of the most unemployed recipients in the state.
– Matio Huiagalelei, 23, TE-Uiagalelei didn’t see much action in the tight end this fall, but that’s mostly because the Braves didn’t need to use him as much. At 6-5, 260 pounds, the Huiagalels are virtually unstoppable in the red zone and jump ball situations.
He’s not just big, he’s an athlete who can jump, has great hands, body control and accurate timing on jump balls. He can block an opposing linebacker or defenseman like a rebounding basketball player, and he’s so powerful that you basically have to intervene in the pass to stop him. He’ll play defense in college against Ohio, Oregon and USC, but he’s also a gifted hitter.
Others to watch:
– We don’t know how many other players will rotate this week, but there are juniors among other players who could see the field. Tommy Maher as well as Hayden Eligon maybe even a freshman Daniel Odom.
Mayer runs the route well in the slot, Eligon is a long, athletic 6-3 receiver who has made several plays on the field, and Odom leads a very strong 26 WR corporation and will end up being the best guy on the team.