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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bulldogs draw their lines with Stevens brothers

HEMET ---- rates Hemet senior lineman Hamani Stevens as the No. 1 high school center in the country, though that's slightly peculiar considering the 6-foot-4, 290-pound two-way starter actually plays strong-side tackle for the Bulldogs' offense.

Rivals rates high school recruits based on projected college positions, not their current high school positions. Nevertheless, the point is made. It will be all about Stevens this year at Hemet, which is looking to improve upon its 8-3 record in 2006.

Last season, Hemet tied Elsinore and Paloma Valley atop the Sunbelt League before falling to Moreno Valley Canyon Springs in the first round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Stevens will anchor the line on both side of the ball. Offensively, he will be the Bulldogs' most fearsome blocker. Defensively, he plans to make life miserable for the opposition from his nose-guard position.

Stevens hasn't yet made his college decision, but he's a sure-fire NCAA Division I player. Hemet coach Andy Boynton said Stevens has been offered scholarships so far to San Diego State, BYU, Colorado, Michigan State and all but three PAC-10 schools.

"It's hard to practice against him," said Boynton, who is entering his 12th season with the Bulldogs. "When he's on defense, we don't have anybody that can block him. When he's on offense, we don't have anybody that he can't just absolutely crush.

"I've been a high school coach going on 15, 16 years, and he's the best I've ever seen. He is absolutely dominant on both sides of the ball."

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