Week 8 Hog Blog: Let The Jousting Begin
Friday, October 26th, the Prep Pigskin Report Player of the Year Committee will gather in a smoke-filled room immediately after the Week 11 program, armed with a box of day-old donuts and a case of diet soda. When the clock strikes 12:15 AM, we will begin the gut wrenching process of finalizing the five names for the 2018 Silver Pigskin Podium.
Once those five names are determined, we will select 20 more to be include in the 2018 Fan Vote. You the viewers of the Prep Pigskin Report will decided who sits in the 6th and final chair on the podium. Why twenty? Simple – we want to commemorate our 20 years of PPR existence. It will also cast the widest possible net in hopes of securing the best cross section of San Diego high school football.
Last Friday, the 11 members of our committee were asked to compile a list of players they want considered in 2018. That process alone causes great consternation. In less than 90 minutes we had two angry email chains going and one “hang up” on the phone. Trust me: we take this selection process extremely seriously.
Below is the list I submitted to the group. I’ve watched most these kids in person, and like every other wannabe recruiting expert, have surfed all their HUDL tape. I do have one advantage over the rest of the “recruiting experts” – a dozen of my selections will be featured in Carroll’s Corner. Nobody has taught me more about watching game tape than John Carroll. When you have 13 rings in your jewelry box, you tend to see things that other folks don’t.
That said, I’m sure I missed on some important names; that’s why we have 11 folks contributing. My cohorts on the committee will surely catch my omissions. But in case they don’t I’m sending out this Hog Blog in hopes that you will. Do you have a suggestion? Suggest. The best emails or texts don’t start with “Hey moron,” but instead make a point backed by statistics. “Joey Backhair is averaging 165 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns per game against D1 opponents. Why isn’t he on the watch list?”
Picking the podium is the hardest thing we do. No matter who we choose, there will be a handful of deserving athletes left off the stage. We get to know most of these kids and their families. Try telling somebody’s mom we don’t have room for their son on our podium. It’s not fun or easy. The one solution always offered is “just add another chair.” The Gala is a live TV event that can’t run past 7:00 pm. If we start adding a 7th or 8th chair we’d be forced to join The Big Bang Theory in progress. That wouldn’t sit well with the bean counters! So as imperfect as our process is, it’s not going to change.
Over the years, our selection parameters have evolved. Every year, character becomes an increasingly bigger part of our evaluation. We are less concerned about projecting who will make it to “the show” and more attracted to the young men that will represent The Prestigious Silver Pigskin with honor and distinction.
My list contains three underclassman and two linemen. Keep in mind, we haven’t had a junior on the podium since Reggie Bush. That is a trend that likely won’t change…unless it does. And next week I will release the candidates for the 2018 Iron Hog Award, the trophy that goes to our county’s top interior lineman. Isaac Anderson and Brian Driscoll will be on that list too!
So have at it. Where am I wrong? Send all complaints, critiques, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I read the ones that start with “have you lost weight?” first.
Rudy’s 2018 Silver Pigskin Watch-list:
1-Isaac Anderson/Mission Hills HS
2-Nathan Barnett/Steele Canyon HS
3-Kyrin Beachem/Oceanside HS
4-Mac Bingham/Torrey Pines HS
5-Don Chapman/Lincoln HS
6-Kenan Christon/Madison HS
7-Derek Diamond/Ramona HS
8-Brian Driscoll/Torrey Pines HS
9-Owen Easley/Christian HS
10-Casey Granfors/University City HS
11-Gunner Gray (JR)/University City HS
12-Miles Hastings/San Marcos HS
13-Raiden Hunter/San Diego HS
14-Casey Kline/Brawley HS
15-Austin ‘Ozzie’ Nicholas (JR)/La Costa Canyon HS
16-Elelyon Noa (JR)/Helix Charter HS
17-Shamar Martin/Morse HS
18-Jahmon McClendon/Monte Vista HS
19-Josh McCurty/Eastlake HS
20-Jamahd ‘Peanut’ Monroe/Lincoln HS
21-Shawn Poma/Cathedral Catholic HS
22-Dorian Richardson/Rancho Bueno Vista HS
23-Michael Shawcroft/Helix Charter HS
24-Mateo Sinohui/Valley Center HS
25-JL Skinner/Point Loma HS
26-Noah Tumblin/Mira Mesa HS
27-Jacob ‘Asa’ Turner/Carlsbad HS
28-Jayden Wickware/San Diego HS