The Mater Dei Monarchs kicked off spring practices on Monday with their full array of talent on display.
We had seen them a few weeks ago when they won the Passing Down tournament so we knew there were a lot of big-time guys but there’s something different about seeing them on their own practice field with Bruce Rollinson running the show.
The two guys who stood out to me were Amon-Ra St. Brown and Solomon Tuliaupupu, and the good news for the Monarchs is that neither of those guys are the only ones at their position. The more I see Amon-Ra the more I continue to notice how strong he is and how that allows him such an advantage when you also consider his other skills, he’s just a really impressive player. Mater Dei also has Nikko Remigio, Bru McCoy and C.J. Parks at receiver (all of them have multiple major offers) and a second major transfer at linebacker in Mase Funa, who was at Santa Margarita. The aggressiveness of the defense went up a huge notch with the addition of Solomon and Funa, they are two difference-makers.
Of course, you also have the elite quarterback in J.T. Daniels and a 6-7 left tackle protecting him in Tommy Brown (who looked in great shape).
And if you want a sleeper name, remember Mike Martinez, a 6-6, 230 converted offensive lineman who is now at tight end (will be a junior next fall) and certainly looked the part on this day.
USC coach Johnny Nansen was in attendance with his camera focused a lot on Tuliaupupu.