California is loaded with high school football talent and top college programs flock to the state every year to fill their rosters.
While there are a ton of Power 5 caliber players in the area, there are even more players who can excel at the FCS, Division 3 and NAIA levels.
The players listed below are talented players that vary in their college appeal. Some of them have Division 3 offers but are worthy of FCS offers. Some of them have FCS offers but could easily play for a Group of 5 school. Some of them have no offers at all, but should.
Here are a few sleepers in the Southern California area to watch when football starts in 2021.
Amir Abdelnassar, Defensive End, Long Beach Wilson, Long Beach
Weight: 235 pounds
Analysis: Abdelnassar was in an awkward spot last season where he had a hard time getting significant playing time on a loaded Wilson defense but was also over-qualified to be a JV player. He was very effective on special teams and as a defensive end he gets up the field quickly and does a good job attacking the quarterback’s outside shoulder and keeping him in the pocket. Opposing offensive lines will be focused on blocking Cole Henderson and Alama Collins which should open things up for other pass rushers like Abdelnassar. He has no offers yet but is capable of being a very good Division 3 player.
Michael Fesili, Offensive Line, Long Beach Poly, Long Beach
Weight: 290 pounds
Analysis: Fesili is a two-year starter at tackle for one of the top public school programs in the state. He was First Team All-Moore League last season at right tackle and could play any position on the offensive line. He gets a good push on defensive ends in the running game, sometimes even 4-6 yards down the field. He is athletic enough to pull or make plays on linebackers at the next level. Fesili has quick feet as a pass blocker. He holds offers from Weber State and Texas Southern and he will pile up FCS offers during and after his senior season.
Jordan Little, Defensive Back, Vista Murrieta, Murrieta
Weight: 170 pounds
Analysis: Little was First Team All-Southwestern League last season and after watching film it’s easy to see why. He is excellent in man coverage, sheds blockers well in the running game, has the agility to switch directions on a dime and break on shorter routes. He is undersized at 170 pounds but he more than makes up for that with his aggressiveness. He had three interceptions, 16 pass deflections and three forced fumbles for a very good Vista Murrieta team. With his speed, he is always a candidate to blow up a receiver screen pass, even if he is playing eight yards off the line of scrimmage. Little holds offers from Air Force, Lehigh, Penn and San Diego and will see more FCS offers during his senior year and possibly some from Group of 5 FBS schools.
— James H. Williams (@JHWreporter) September 14, 2019
Hayden McKenna, Quarterback, Laguna Hills, Laguna Hills
Weight: 195 pounds
Analysis: When I saw McKenna play as a sophomore for Laguna Hills, I thought he was a fine quarterback playing in a gimmick double-wing offense who could only make short throws within that system. He grew exponentially between his sophomore and junior season and made some big time college level throws. He is comfortable in the pocket when facing pressure, stands tall and has a clean throwing motion, and is athletic enough to make plays after the play breaks down. The knock on him is that he played poorly against the top three teams in his league: Trabuco Hills, Aliso Niguel and San Juan Hills. However, in those games his team was playing from behind and he had to take more unnecessary risks due to the score. The good news is, Laguna Hills is no longer in that league and now plays in the much weaker Pacific Coast League, where they are the likely favorites to win a championship. He plays alongside Stanford commitso college scouts have seen and will see his film. McKenna has offers from Lake Erie College, Whittier College, Rose-Hulman and Macalester.
Gary Morrison, Tight End, JSerra, San Juan Capistrano
Weight: 220 pounds
Analysis: Morrison transferred to JSerra last season after an outstanding sophomore year at Santa Margarita. As a sophomore, he averaged 10 yards per catch and had four touchdowns playing alongside now Mission Viejo quarterback and Utah commit. He only played in one game for JSerra last season, its season opener against East High of Salt Lake City, Utah. This season, he figures to be a focal point of the JSerra offense and will be a great safety net for sophomore quarterback . Morrison improved his speed a lot since his sophomore year and now runs a 10.93 100m for the track team. He is too fast for linebackers to cover in man coverage and he finds holes in zone coverage well. He is even too fast for some safeties and definitely too big for them to cover. Morrison has an offer to San Jose State, which he received prior to his junior season and will add some more Division 1 offers after a productive senior season.
Jump pass TD for Santa Margarita. Peter Costelli to Gary Morrison pic.twitter.com/u8DEOMynPi
— Football Recruit. (@FootballRecruit) October 12, 2018
Calvin Pitcher, Defensive Back, Centennial, Corona
Weight: 200 pounds
Analysis: Pitcher has the most tackles of any returning player for Centennial. He is perfectly fine in pass coverage as a safety but he really excels in stopping the run. He is not afraid to come up and lay a big hit on somebody and also is a fantastic tackler. Pitcher would probably play linebacker for a lot of high school programs but he fits nicely as a safety at Centennial. He plays in a secondary with 2022 top prospect Fifth Quarter that he wants a scholarship and has no desire to walk on at a bigger school.and when you play at Centennial, scouts are always visiting campus and watching your film. He had 61 tackles for the Huskies and played very well against Liberty of Nevada, Norco and a playoff loss to St. John Bosco. Pitcher has offers from Eastern New Mexico, Idaho State, Lake Erie College and Valparaiso. He will add many more FCS offers and will likely be an outstanding FCS player. He told