Sr. | OL-DL | 6-0, 300
Storyline: El Camino coach Pulu Poumele, an All-San Diego Section offensive lineman at Oceanside who went on to play at Arizona and for the Browns, Ravens and Chargers in the NFL, calls Taele “the best guard in the county.” Despite his massive size, Taele — a three-year varsity starter — has the ability to pull from his left guard slot, leading sweeps and hammering defensive backs on screens. Taele hasn’t played defense since his freshman year, but he’ll go both ways this season, playing on the defensive line. “This is my senior season, and I asked the coaches if I could be on the field as much as possible,” Taele said. “We have a new offense. And I think we have a chance to move the ball. I want to help get the ball back to the offense.”
Key stat: The Wildcats went 7-5 last season and scored 312 points, topping 30 six times. Fullback Justin Williams had an all-section year running behind Taele, who was honored as a first-team all-league selection. El Camino, which has seven home games this season, including the first four, opens the season hosting Granite Hills.
Quotable: “The backs get the credit on the field for the yards they gain, and I’m OK with that,” Taele said. “The linemen get credit in the film room, in front of the team, and that’s fine with me.”
Sr. | RB | 6-0, 230
Committed to play for Oregon, Freeman rushed for 2,482 yards and 34 TDs last season and was named first-team Preseason All-America by USA Today. Imperial opens the season at Yuma Cibola.
So. | RB | 5-5, 170
A dynamo wrapped in a small package, Preston rushed for 1,534 yards and 14 TDs last year. Ranked No. 5 in the preseason, the Saints open against top-ranked Oceanside.
Santa Fe Christian
Sr. | RB | 5-11, 210
A hard-nosed runner, Miro rushed for 1,137 yards and 14 TDs last season and caught eight passes for 117 yards. SFC opens at La Costa Canyon as the team steps up its schedule.
Sr. | DB | 5-10, 170
An all-section pick last year as a cornerback, Olave also rushed for 437 yards and caught passes for 221. He’ll need to be at his best on both sides of the ball in the Titans’ opener.