After finishing 8-4 with a run to the Pac-5 quarterfinals in 2010, Crespi High hopes to build upon that success this season. The team returns 15 starters and gets a boost from several key transfers as well.
Offensive tackle Jordan Simmons has more than 30 scholarship offers and is already committed to playing in the Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando next January. According to Rivals.com, Simmons is the top-ranked offensive guard in the nation fielding offers from USC, UCLA, Norte Dame, Florida, Nebraska and Auburn among others.
Offensive lineman Richard Wolff returns with 30 more pounds of muscle after making first team All-Serra League as a sophomore. According to Wolff, the average weight of the starting offensive line is 280 pounds. The average height is slightly more than 6-foot-3.
“We’re a very big, powerful line,” said Wolff. “I think physically we’re going to be dominant.”
Transfers Jacob Speer (Granada Hills) and Colin Prestesater (Glendora) along with returner Stephen Hutchinson solidify the stellar line.
The offensive line will protect starting quarterback Cody Cordell, a transfer from Oaks Christian, who has quickly adjusted to a new home, learning a new playbook and leading a new team.
“I feel like it was God’s plan for me,” said Cordell. “My parents have been a great asset and have supported me. The coaches and players have helped me out with the playbooks, so it’s really been an easy transition.”
Senior Chris Harper (60 receptions, 940 yards and seven touchdowns) leads a talented and deep receiving core. Harper was named to the ESPN preseason All-California Team and has received FBS scholarship offers from Colorado, Georgia Tech, SMU and UTEP.
Receiver Mike Davison (56 receptions, 637 yards and six touchdowns) has overcome the adversity of being the shortest man on the field throughout his entire career. Davison is listed as 5-foot-4, but compensates with possibly the quickest feet in all of high school football. He, along with Harper, were part of Keyshawn Johnson’s 1925 7-on-7 team that travelled to Dallas, Texas during the offseason.
Other impact offensive players include receivers Jack Vonarb and Jabrian Blackwell, tight end Trevon Calahan and last year’s leading rusher, Terrence Williams (345 yards and five touchdowns).
On defense, linebacker Lawrence Wilkerson returns after recording a team-high 108 tackles in 2010. He made first team All-Serra League. Seniors Sebastian Edwards, Corey Peoples and Skyler Stone also will play key roles for the Celts this season.
The defensive line will be anchored by senior nose tackle Kourey Gabriel, who forced three fumbles last season. William Vasquez, Raymond Davison and Shawn Lemoto will also wreak havoc on opposing offenses in the trenches.
The secondary features seniors Noah Ciccel and Nathan Walker and juniors Brandon Arnold and Tyler Foreman. Foreman, who made 66 tackles in 2010, was named to the GoldenStatePreps.com “All-SuperSoph” team last year.
The Crespi High football team has received high praise from Maxpreps and ESPN Rise early this season, ranking ninth and 12th in the state respectively.
“Honestly, we don’t even think about it,” said Wilkerson. “We just try to do the best we can.”
The first game is set for 7 p.m. next Friday, Sept. 2 at Dominguez in Compton.
Crespi Hosts Scrimmage
The Celts challenged themselves Friday night with a four-team scrimmage against Westlake, Crenshaw and Santa Fe.
The scrimmage started with all four teams practicing kickoffs and punts against each other. The four teams split into two 1-on-1 scrimmages from the 40-yardline to the end zone at opposite ends of the field. The teams traded 10 plays from the 40-yardline, 10 from the 20-yardline and 10 from the 10-yardline in each scrimmage.
Crenshaw Scrimmage Highlights:
Cordell hit Harper in stride on a 40-yard touchdown pass. The defense made a goal-line stand. Patrick Cassley made a field goal. Williams powered his way for a goal-line score and Okalani Langi scored a rushing touchdown from five yards out.
Westlake Scrimmage Highlights:
Cordell connected with Harper for their second long touchdown of the night. Davison evaded three Westlake defenders on a seven-yard touchdown reception from Cordell. Williams and Langi each added touchdown runs.