For Poly, the player that impressed me the most was John Smith. Just a junior, Smith could be an elite recruit at WR or safety but I love him on defense. I saw him over the summer at a 7 on 7 and he just looks the part, the kind of athlete you see in the SEC. Smith has a great frame, is very physical, has good ball skills, runs well and is a play maker. He definitely projects as one of the elite prospects in the West next fall. I asked him after the game what school he likes most right now and he said 'definitely UCLA.' Coach Tui was watching and I think Smith is definitely a guy they'll recruit very hard.
Sophomore corner Iman Marshall was matched up against Thomas Duarte for MD most of the night and more than held his own. At least four or five times, Poly had sacks on the QB, coverage sacks, because the QB was locked on Duarte and Marshall had him blanketed. He's a special talent for sure and is already an elite talent.
Jayon Brown played very well. He's very active, very athletic and is always around the ball. He's a big hitter who plays well in space and should do a nice job filling that Dalton Hilliard role that he was recruited for.
For MD, Duarte is a huge talent. He's such a tough cover and has the ability to get deep as well as being a dependable possession WR. Marshall was on him most of the night with John Smith offering help over the top and he still made plays. He's definitely one of my favorite players in this years class and should be a serious matchup problem for opposing defenses wherever he lines up.
MD corner Jonathan Locket is a junior I like that has a chance to be very good. He has good size and cover skills and improving athleticism. He doesn't show elite speed and that's probably the only thing holding him back from having several offers but he makes up for it with very good football instincts.
Long Beach Poly celebrates their CIF championship.