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Monday, August 26, 2013


2. John “JuJu” Smith (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) WR/KR/DB Sr.
With 49 catches for 752 yards and nine touchdowns on offense plus six interceptions on defense and some other eye-opening plays on special teams, Smith fits right in with some of the top players that Poly has ever had. To top the race for Mr. Football, he’ll likely need to shine from the first week on and Poly also may need to win or at least get to the final of the loaded CIFSS Pac-5 Division.

5. Damien Mama (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) OL Sr.
Dominating lineman have won Mr. Football before and there’s a scenario that could vault the massive 370-pound Mama that high. As managing editor Ronnie Flores points out, “How about if Bosco goes 16-0 and he dominates the open game and is clearly the best player on the team?” Damien could be that good and he definitely will be the one player on the field that may be most noticeable in just about every game the Braves will play.

9. Das Tautalatasi (De La Salle, Concord) RB/DB Sr.
Since the Spartans have won four straight CIF Open Division titles and have had a strong candidate for Mr. Football in each of those seasons (including 2012 winner Michael Hutchings), it looks like Tautalatasi could be that player coming up. He’ll likely be the No. 1 running back on offense where he’ll score a lot of touchdowns, but he also figures to be a feature player in the secondary as a safety. He’s the type of player who could score three times and come up with two picks in a CIF Open Division final and that type of outing could go far in determining post-season honors.

Other possible Mr. Football candidates
Ainuu Taua (Lompoc): The state’s No. 1 defensive lineman according to our own top 25 position rankings, Taua was sensational at The Opening in July. Also one of the top interior tackles in the nation.


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