Trinity League teams have won the last two Open Division State Championships, as St. John Bosco and Mater Dei scored 56 and 52 points respectively in beating De La Salle. The offensive firepower in the league shows no signs of slowing down, as both the Braves and Monarchs are loaded with skill position players. But they should be joined by Orange Lutheran, which has assembled a stellar cast of offensive skill.
This week, with the help of Randy Taylor—National Preps Director of California Scouting—we take a look at the four offensive skill positions for those three programs, as Taylor makes his selection as to who gets the edge.
Mater Dei welcomes standout junior Bryce Young, who transferred from Cathedral earlier this year. Young is the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and holds offers from virtually the entire country, including Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, USC, and Washington. Young threw for 3,431 yards and 41 touchdowns against just three interceptions last season. St. John Bosco brings back fellow star junior D.J. Uiagalelei, the nation’s No. 1 pro-style quarterback for his class. Uiagalelei’s offer sheet is similar to Young’s, and both quarterbacks are being chased hard by USC. Uiagalelei threw for 2,733 yards and 29 touchdowns against just two interceptions last year. At Orange Lutheran, Ryan Hilinski looks to pick up from where he left off last year, when he threw for 3,749 yards and 33 touchdowns. Hilinski is the nation’s No. 6 pro-style quarterback and committed to South Carolina in early April.
Taylor’s take: The three QBs are so different but all elite. Young is the most complete but his size is discussed in recruiting meetings. DJ has the physical attributes all are looking for but release is a bit long at times. Ryan is the steady game manager – not a negative in my mind. As a college coach my decision would be based on the offense I’m running and the personality of the team. Picking one today, I’d go with Bryce Young because he does more things to help a team win right now.
Mater Dei’s new offensive backfield also includes Sean Dollars, who transferred from Rancho Cucamonga this past offseason. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound back rushed for 919 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. He announced a top six of Florida State, Georgia, Nevada, Oregon, USC, and Washington and will commit on May 13, as the Ducks look to be the clear leader. At St. John Bosco, George Holani returns after running for 1,152 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. The four-star back holds offers from several Pac-12 programs, including Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, and Utah. Orange Lutheran has an interesting situation at running back, where Reggie Strong took over during the season last year and rushed for 645 yards and six touchdowns for a team that likes to throw the ball. Strong is a standout safety and will likely play defense in college, so it remains to be seen if Strong receives a full workload at running back, or if he gets some help there.
Taylor’s take: Sean Dollars is the most explosive and the most dangerous of the three. Holani and Strong bring a physicality to the position and versatility as football players. Take all three, they’ll help your football team.
There is enough talent at wide receiver for these three teams that we can compare the top trios. Mater Dei has returning star Bru McCoy, incoming transfer Braedin Huffman-Dixon, and junior Kody Epps. Mater Dei has to replace Amon-Ra St. Brown and McCoy could wind up playing defense at the next level, but he is a terrific wideout and Colorado commit Huffman-Dixon gives them a 6-foot-3 target on the outside. St. John Bosco’s trio starts with Stanford commit Colby Bowman and now has Notre Dame transfer Carrington Collins to go with Jake Bailey, the team’s leading returning receiver, who had 55 catches for 838 yards last year. The Braves have to replace Josh Delgado, who transferred to IMG Academy, but have the players to do it. Orange Lutheran might have the top two receivers in the conference, with Kyle Ford—the nation’s No. 43 prospect—and junior Logan Loya, who has been phenomenal this spring. That group also contains JoJo Hawkins, who will also play cornerback but will help form a talented trio at wide receiver.
Taylor’s take: All three units are talented and deep beyond the top three on each team. Their No. 1 receivers are elite but I’m not sure anyone can cover Logan Loya at Orange Lutheran. I’ll give the nod to OLU by the tiniest of margins.
There are potential NFL tight ends at all three programs, in Mater Dei’s Michael Martinez, St. John Bosco’s Jude Wolfe, and Orange Lutheran’s Ethan Rae. Wolfe and Rae are both top-10 tight end prospects, while Martinez has come on strong this spring. Rae missed his junior season with an injury, but should have a big senior year if he can pick up some of the targets that went to teammate and fellow tight end Elijah Mojarro, as the Cal commit put together the best junior season of all these tight ends, with 37 catches for 406 yards and three touchdowns. The Trojans are very much in need of a tight end in this class, so it’s a good year to have so many local options.
Taylor’s take: Martinez (photo above) is a freak in size and upside. Rae and Wolfe are the complete package as TEs with size and catching skill. The edge goes to Martinez because of what he’s becoming. He’s a cover nightmare and can be dominant at the line of scrimmage.