A look at top SoCal Class of 2017 high school football recruits

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With National Signing Day nearly a week in the rearview mirror, it’s time to take a look at the top seniors-to-be in the Class of 2017 in Southern California.

Leading the way, according to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings, is Calabasas cornerback Darnay Holmes.  The 5-star prospect is ranked #7 overall in 247sports.com’s composite ranking

Holmes says he will make his college decision on his birthday June 23rd.  He’s narrowed his list of colleges to Alabama, Arizona, Nebraska, Ohio State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington.

Last season, Calabasas went 13-2, winning the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division championship.  In the Coyotes’ 42-3 win over Palos Verdes in the title game, Holmes scored five touchdowns — two on punt returns, an interception return, a pass reception and a touchdown run.

Many expect Calabasas to have another fine season in 2016 thanks to the return of Holmes and quarterback Tristan Gebbia, who had an outstanding junior season with over 4,400 yards passing and 45 touchdowns with only nine interceptions.

Gebbia is a 4-star recruit, who according to the 247sports.com composite rankings is the eleventh best prospect in SoCal.  He’s ranked #123 overall in the Class of 2017 composite rankings.

Over the last two seasons, Gebbia has completed 63.9 percent of his throws for 7,771 yards with 80 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

Not only will Gebbia have Holmes back, Keyshawn Johnson, Jr. will be back.  The son of USC legend Keyshawn Johnson, the younger Johnson is a 4-star prospect who led Calabasas in receptions last season.  He’s expected to make his college choice in March from his five finalists — Alabama, Clemson, Nebraska, Ohio State and his dad’s alma mater USC.

Calabasas isn’t the only team with a couple of highly-regarded recruits.  Hawkins from LA’s City Section has two players — Joseph Lewis and Greg Johnson — ranked highly on 247Sports.com’s Class of 2017 composite rankings.  Both are considered 4-star prospects.

Lewis, who is ranked #21 overall by 247Sports.com, caught 51 balls for 852 yards and eight touchdowns.  Johnson, ranked #42 overall, was the Hawks’ leading rusher with over 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Hawkins, which finished 8-1-1 last year, but was ineligible for the playoffs because of being placed on probation by CIF-LA City Section officials, also has wide receiver Jalen Hall, who is currently ranked as the #6 prospect in the Class of 2018 247Sports.com composite rankings.  Hall led the team in receptions last year with 60 catches.

Maybe the most interesting player on the list wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey, who announced earlier this month that he was leaving one national power for another.  Lindsey transferred from Bishop Gorman (Nevada) to Corona Centennial.

Lindsey began his career at Poway High School in the CIF-San Diego Section and transferred to Gorman for his junior season.  Last year, Lindsey, who is now the #2 ranked SoCal prospect, led the Gaels in receptions with 45, averaging 24.8 yards per catch with 14 touchdowns.

Lindsey says that he moved back to Southern California to be closer to his family.  Lindsey will be a perfect replacement for Javon McKinley, who signed last week with Notre Dame.

Below is the list of top SoCal players (CIF-SS and LA City Section) according to the latest 247Sports.com Class of 2017 composite rankings.

  1. Darnay Holmes, CB, Calabasas – 5-star, Undecided – #7 overall
  2. Tyjon Lindsey, WR, Corona Centennial, 5-star, Undecided – #13 overall
  3. Joseph Lewis, WR, Hawkins, 4-star, Undecided – #21 overall
  4. Wyatt Davis, OT, St. John Bosco, 4-star, Undecided – #34 overall
  5. Chuck Filiaga, OT, Vista Murrieta, 4-star, Undecided – #38 overall
  6. Greg Johnson, ATH, Hawkins, 4-star, Undecided – #42 overall
  7. Osiris St. Brown, WR, Mater Dei, 4-star, Undecided – #56 overall
  8. Stephen Carr, RB, Summit, 4-star, Undecided – #79 overall
  9. Thomas Graham, CB, Rancho Cucamonga, 4-star, Undecided – #82 overall
  10. Deommodore Lenior, CB, Salesian, 4-star, Undecided – #111 overall
  11. Tristan Gebbia, QB, Calabasas, 4-star, Undecided -#123 overall
  12. Martin Andrus, DE, Los Angeles, 4-star, Undecided – #146 overall
  13. Colby Parkinson, TE, Oaks Christian, 4-star, Stanford – #151 overall
  14. Brandon McKinney, S, Orange Lutheran, 4-star, Undecided – #161 overall
  15. Nathan Tilford, ATH, Upland, 4-star, Undecided – #191
  16. Keith Taylor, CB, Servite, 4-star, Undecided – #218
  17. Jeremiah Hawkins, ATH, Buena Park, 4-star, Undecided – #221
  18. Taariq Johnson, WR, Buena Park, 4-star, Undecided – #241

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.

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