“We have some really talented players but in a couple of spots we’re pretty young,” Jones said. “But we have some really good players and prospects that are, in my opinion, the best in the state at their positions.”
Below are Jones’ thoughts on some of his top players…
QB Mark Iddins – “He’s an absolute stud. He’s really athletic and he and Kasey Peters had a great competition last year.
“He’s bulked up a little bit and he’s all of 6-3 and about 200 pounds. He can run and throw and he’s really accurate. He’s got all the tools you could want in a quarterback. He’s got a great arm, good feet, enough speed to hurt defenses and he’s so smart and very accurate.
“We love him and I think he’ll be a highly recruited guy and have some really good choices on where he wants to go.”
WR R.J. Koch – “He’s a big receiver for us and he’ll have a good year. He’s had a great spring and I expect him to be a great player this fall for us.
“He’s 6-1, 225 and he runs really well and he’ll take a slant and he’s got good speed so he can split defenders and go all the way. He’s a great athlete and he’s just a beast in the weight room.”
WR Tyler Walker – “Tyler and R.J. are cousins and (Tyler) is not quite as big (6-1, 215) as R.J. but he’s a really physical wide receiver too and he just gets after it. The three of them (Iddins, Koch and Walker) will be a really good combination for us this fall.”
G/C Kamuran Ayas – “We’re going to be really young on the offensive line this year. We graduated our whole offensive line, but Kamuran is a guy who is coming back and we’re counting on him to be our leader.
“Kamuran is the only guy returning with significant playing time. He played a little center and a little guard for us. He’s big (6-1, 315) and physical. We like him a lot and I think he should be a D-1AA guy.”
RB Chris Washington – “We have two running backs and both are big and physical. We lost Brian Allen after last year so Chris is a guy we’re going to be counting on.
“He’s a big (5-10, 225), strong kid and we sort of run out of a two-back set but we don’t usually have a fullback out there. Chris and a redshirt freshman from last year, Jeff Quinn, they’ll line up together and they’ll give us a threat on either side.”
RB Jeremy Poole – “Jeremy has sat out a couple of years to take care of some things and he’s paying his own way so it can be tough at times for him. He played at Santa Rosa in 2001, so you can see he’s a guy that has had a tough time, but he’s a really good player.
“He won’t be able to go D-1 because of his clock, but I think D-2 would be a good move for him and he certainly has the talent to play at the next level.”
TE J.P. Hilsabeck – “We don’t use a tight end in a normal sense. We use them like sort of an H-back guy. Someone who can block and catch and just use him moving a lot more.
“J.P. is a tough guy and hard-nosed. He loves to play and I think, in the right program, he could be a D-1 guy definitely.”
TE Cameron Sprecker – “He’s a bounceback from Kansas and he’s big and runs really well. He’s 6-4, 280 and since he redshirted last year, he’ll have three to play three after this fall.”
DT Spencer Gasu – “He’s probably my best prospect. He’s so strong and he’s got great size (6-2, 315). He’s so quick for a man his size and he’s a bull against the run and he can get after the quarterback too.
“As far as recruiting is going for him, we need to get him his own mailbox. He’s hearing from pretty much everyone and Kansas State looks like they could be close to offering, but he doesn’t have any just yet.”
DE Sam Stewart – “He transferred to us from Nevada and he’ll have two to play two after this season. He’s quick and can get after the passer. He’s a great prospect and he can play D-1 ball. He’ll be out in December.”
DE Dimitri Majors – “He’s very athletic. He’s 6-3, 240 and he led the conference in sacks last year and was leading the state for a while.
“He’s quick and really fast off the edge. He may need to be a 3-4 outside linebacker, but I think he can get a little bit bigger and play with his hand on the ground and just be a terror as a pass-rusher and really that’s what a lot of programs are looking for.
“He’s a May 2008 guy.”
DT Ted Reed – “He’s a really strong kid. He benches 430 pounds and he’s just a self-made guy and he’s a workhorse. He never stops going. He’s a solid player for us.”
LB Derrick Hines – “He’s 6-0, 205 and he’ll play weakside linebacker for us. He’s a first-year player and when he finishes up this fall he’ll have three to play three. I could see him at outside linebacker in the right system or at a rover or strong safety spot. He’s a really good athlete.”
S Al Vargas – “We like him a lot. He’s probably a 1AA guy, but he’s a strong player for us and he’s really smart.”
CB Jeff Cross – “He’ll be a 21 year-old true freshman and he’s a solid cover-guy. He’s really smart. He’s a 3.8 GPA and he’s a great athlete.
“He’s about 5-10 and he weighs about 185 and he’s strong and quick. He runs a 4.45 and he just plays really hard. He’d be a great cover-two guy, but he could play in any defense really. His reactions are excellent.”
Other Santa Ana players to watch: TE Damien Stokes