Impact Players: Pac-10

April 28, 2006

By Tom Lemming

Special to


Tom is CSTV's college football recruiting analyst, and writes for regularly. E-mail here!


·          DE Jermaine Williams, Arizona State


The No. 1-ranked prospect from the state of Arizona heads from Phoenix down Route 202 to Tempe, where he'll line up at defensive end for the Sun Devils. Some schools were looking at Williams as a fullback prospect, but the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Maryvale High product is better-suited to play on the defensive line in college.


Williams is remarkably quick with a good burst, instincts and change of direction. A very gifted athlete who should gain 20 pounds by the start of the season, Williams can turn the corner in the blink of an eye, shows good leverage when getting up the field and can chase and pursue with the best of them. Look for this kid to contribute right away for head coach Dirk Koetter in the desert.


·          DB Darian Hagan, California


The Cal-bound son of former Colorado standout, Darian Hagan emerged as one of the most spectacular defensive backs in the nation during his senior season at Crenshaw in Los Angeles. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back is one of the best pass defenders around -- when the ball is in the air, he believes it's his. His ability to close on the ball, his reactions, anticipation and timing are all outstanding.


Hagan shows great awareness and coverage and is excellent in run support. This is a kid that does everything well, including showing very quick hands when jamming receivers. His 13 interceptions as a senior was the best total in the state of California. Hagan should make an immediate impact for the Golden Bears in the secondary.


·          FS Antwine Perez, Southern California


Perez is the hardest hitter in the country, really. USC has so much talent on its team already that it's hard to see where the Camden, N.J., product will play, but this is a big kid that can play either linebacker or safety and will tear your head off (as shown in the U.S. Army game).


The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Woodrow Wilson High alum was one of the great athletes in the East during his season and one of the top three prospects from New Jersey. The Trojans get a hard-hitting safety and a natural athlete with great speed to the ball and excellent pass-defending skills. He shows great ball skills, closing speed and a tough, aggressive style of play. Perez played a little quarterback in high school -- and excelled -- but expect for him to find a home on the defensive side of the ball in L.A.


·          RB C.J. Gable, Southern California


With Reggie Bush moved on to the next level, the Trojans welcome another electric-type running back. While he's not quite the talent of last year's Heisman Trophy winner, Gable is better than a lot of people think.


The 6-foot-1, 185-pound speedster can get the tough yards inside but also has the blazing agility to get to the outside, turn the corner and break the long one. Gable reads defenses very well, run with good body lean and shows great balance, vision and acceleration. He's very quick to reach top speed, does a good job of breaking tackles and shows outstanding moves. Gable should contribute immediately for Pete Carroll at USC.


·          S Taylor Mays, Southern California


That Mays was the best player in the Pacific Northwest was one of the most prominent no-brainers of last recruiting season. The Seattle O'Dea product, who joins the Trojans in the fall, is a difference-maker that can change the course of a game with one play. Everything Mays does, he does with ease and great success. He's more of a finesse 223-pounder than a punishing tackle -- but few offenses have a chance of completing a pass in Taylor's area due to his blazing speed, great instincts and anticipation.


Monte Kohlar, his high school coach, believes that he's an instant impact player along the lines of a Randy Moss or a Terrell Owens -- a unique ballplayer who can outrun and outthink most opponents. Mays, who may have been the best athlete in the nation as a prepster, is a definite instant starter as a true freshman at USC -- the Trojans will find somewhere to play him.



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