Offensive lineman Christian Westerman is a standout among his peers, whether they're the players he lines up with at Arizona's Hamilton High School or other top players in the West.
I only get one of these kids in 20 years -- a player of this ability, Hamilton coach Steve Belles said about the 6-foot-5, 288-pound Westerman. A senior this season for the Huskies, Westerman committed early to Texas, currently ranked No. 5 in the AP's preseason poll.
He is among six offensive linemen included on The Associated Press' list of the 25 best players in the West who will be part of the 2011 recruiting class. The AP's West Region list includes six athletes who play at wide receiver, but some are being looked at as defensive backs in college.
Among the best receivers is George Farmer from powerhouse Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, Calif. He follows in the footsteps of talented Serra receiver Robert Woods, who has been named a starter as a freshman this season at USC.
At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Farmer is also a track star at Serra and clocked the 100 meters in a fast 10.40 seconds at the state championship meet earlier this year.
Farmer has yet to decide where he'll end up, but he's considering the Trojans despite recent NCAA sanctions against the program stemming from illegal benefits given to Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Reggie Bush. Southern California, ranked No. 14 in the AP's preseason poll, is banned from the postseason for the next two seasons and loses scholarships.
The sanctions did not deter wide receiver Victor Blackwell of Mater Dei High School, which produced current Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley and Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart.
Blackwell, at 6-foot-1 and 186 pounds, is considered one of the best receivers in California. He had 52 catches for 1,033 yards and 11 touchdowns last season for the Monarchs of Santa Ana.
There are seven defensive lineman among the West Region list, including Todd Barr, a 6-foot-3, 265-pound strongside defensive end out of California's Lakewood High school. He had 80 tackles and 9.5 sacks to go with three forced fumbles and three deflected passes.
I've been around long enough that you know when some guys have something, Lancers coach Thadd MacNeal said.
Two quarterbacks make the list in the West, Arizona's Brett Hundley and California's Cody Kessler.
Hundley, at 6-foot-4 and 218 pounds, is a dual-threat quarterback at Chandler High School and has drawn comparison to Donovan McNabb. Hundley is expected to make his decision known on Labor Day.
The 6-foot-1, 208-pound Kessler, who plays for Centennial High School in Bakersfield, has already committed to the Trojans and hopes to enroll early to play spring ball at USC.
The complete list of the 25 best players in the West who will be part of the 2011 recruiting class:
Pauley Asiata, offensive lineman, St. Louis School, Honolulu, Hawaii; Todd Barr, defensive lineman, Lakewood (Calif.) HS; Devon Blackmon, quarterback/safety, Summit HS, Fontana, Calif.; Victor Blackwell, wide receiver, Mater Dei HS, Santa Ana, Calif.; KaDeem Carey, running back, Canyon del Oro HS, Tucson, Ariz.; Aubrey Coleman, wide receiver/safety, Walnut (Calif.) HS; George Farmer, WR, Junipero Serra HS, Gardena, Calif.; Kelvin Fisher, tailback/safety, Higley HS, Gilbert, Ariz.; Jason Gibson, linebacker, Junipero Serra HS, Gardena, Calif.; Matthew Hegarty, offensive lineman, Aztec (N.M.) HS; Christian Heyward, defensive lineman, Point Loma HS, San Diego. Cyrus Hobbi, offensive lineman, Saguaro HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Brett Hundley, quarterback, Chandler (Ariz.) HS; Colt Lyerla, linebacker, Hillsboro (Ore.) HS; Cody Kessler, quarterback, Centennial HS, Bakersfield, Calif.; Marqise Lee, wide receiver/DB, Junipero Serra HS, Gardena, Calif.; Viliami Moala, defensive lineman, Grant Union HS, Sacramento, Calif.; Todd Peat, defensive lineman, Corona Del Sol HS, Tempe, Ariz. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, tight end, Gig Harbor HS, Gig Harbor, Wash.; DeAthony Thomas, cornerback, Crenshaw HS, Los Angeles; Greg Townsend, defensive back, Beverly Hills (Calif.) HS; Christian Westerman, offensive lineman, Hamilton HS, Chandler, Ariz.; Kasen Williams, wide receiver, Skyline HS, Sammamish, Wash; Antwaun Woods, defensive lineman, William Howard Taft HS, Woodland Hills, Calif.; Andre Yruretagoyena, offensive lineman, Chaparral HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.