Football: They came by the hundreds to Nike combine
There were hundreds of high school football players who showed up at Long Beach Veterans Stadium Saturday morning for the Nike combine. They ran 40-yard dashes, were measured for height and weight and got a pep talk from NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez, a future Hall of Famer.
An invitation-only Nike camp is set for Sunday at USC.
I can say that my quick impression from Saturday is that the City Section and the Marine League will do quite well this fall. New Carson Coach Elijah Asante was working the camp and already pushing quarterback Junior Alo as a big-time player.
"He's the new City player of the year," Asante said.
Carson tight end Dominique Bierria, 6-4, 220 pounds, looked like a college prospect.
But league rival San Pedro was well represented by a trio of impressive prospects _ linebacker Kris Bass, 6-4 tight end Christian Diehm and 6-1, 230-pound lineman Edward Vasquez. I told Asante that San Pedro Coach Mike Walsh is going to run the ball down Carson's throat.
Mission Hills Alemany had a group of players show up, and let me say they pass the eyeball test. You would have thought they were from Long Beach Poly, so my thinking that Alemany deserves the favorite role from the Serra League this fall might be accurate.
Soon, the top 40-yard times will come out, but what's clear is that there are a lot of eager and well-conditioned football players ready to do battle this fall.
-- Eric Sondheimer