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Everyone knows the most important position on a team, the one that can make the difference between a winning season and losing season, is the quarterback and one of the top returning starters the Cali JC ranks next year is L.A. Harbor's Andrew Trudnowski (6-3, 220). JCFootball.com caught up with the gun-slinger from southern California and he updated us on his offseason and on recruiting as well.
"My offseason's going well," Trudnowski told JCFootball.com recently. "I weighed 200 last year during the season and so far I've put on 20 pounds and that isn't from McDonald's or sitting around playing video games, I've been working on my speed and my legs and on putting on muscle."
Trudnowski prepped at Palos Verdes High School in California and had some schools looking at him, but he decided to go the JC route when he didn't get a D-1 scholarship offer.
"I had some schools looking at me and I had a couple D-2 offers, but I said to myself that I wasn't going to go to college unless I had a scholarship for football," Trudnowski said. "When those scholarships didn't come about, I started looking around and I had planned to go to El Camino, but my coaches told me I should take a look at Harbor so I checked it out and I just fell in love with the place.
"They run the spread here and that means the quarterback has a lot on his shoulders and I threw the ball a lot last year, so it's really a quarterback friendly offense. I also really liked the coaches and the players and it just fit me the best."
Last year for Harbor, Trudnowski put up solid numbers in his first season of college football. He completed 50% of his passes for over 2,500 yards and had 22 touchdowns and 16 interceptions and for his efforts he was named 2nd Team All-Conference
This year, he noted he's focused on the finer points of the quarterback position.
"I really want to get better at reading defenses," Trudnowski admitted. "I'm getting in the film room and looking at tape of defenses so I can recognize them better and be able to exploit their weaknesses.
"I also am getting faster so I can hurt teams with my running. I'm pretty fast, but it takes me a while to get started, so I'm working on my agility and my quickness. I'm more of a drop-back guy, but I can hurt teams with my legs if they forget about me."
On the recruiting front, Trudnowski has heard from two schools who run the spread and seem to be interested in taking a longer look at him.
"Hawaii has been the main one," Trudnowski said. "They seemed pretty interested and I think they'll be looking at me this spring and evaluating me.
"Kansas also called and they are a school that runs the spread offense really well. They had a good year and I think they'll be another school that will be recruiting me."
While Trudnowski feels comfortable in the spread offense, don't be fooled, he can run a conventional/well-balance team as well.
"I like running the spread, because it's so quarterback friendly, but balanced offenses are fun too," Trudnowski said. "I ran a balanced offense in high school and I like having a strong running game, because that takes the pressure off the passing game and really makes defenses wonder what you are going to do."
Because Trudnowski is a 4.0 student and was a full-qualifier out of high school, he can leave at any time, but he plans to sign a scholarship in December and when he arrives on campus with a four-year school, he'll have three years to play two.
We'll continue to follow Trudnowski's progress during the spring evaluation period and update things as they change.
A squad with some excellent returning talent on both sides of the ball this fall will be L.A. Harbor and JCFootball.com was lucky enough to have their offensive coordinator, Brett Peabody, tell us about some of the top players on both sides of the ball and he started with his signal-caller and worked his way down the roster.
QB Andrew Trudnowski - "I expect some really big things from Andrew this fall. He's a full-qualifier and, frankly, I'm surprised no one gave him a shot this year and it wouldn't surprise me if someone snapped him up before this fall.
"He's a great leader, he can make all the throws, he's smart and he's a pretty good athlete. We really like him a lot and he's well-respected by his teammates and we put a lot of faith in him and his abilities."
WR Chris Matthews - "Chris is an impossible cover man-to-man. He's huge (6-5, 205) and he came to us pretty raw because he played tight end in high school.
"We love his abilities and he's just ready to explode this fall. We're really excited about him and what he brings to the table. He put up 12 receptions for almost 200 yards against College of the Canyons last year and they have a great defense, so that was pretty much his breakout game."
"He's got great speed. He probably runs in the low 4.4's and he's probably the fastest guy on our team. One thing that really separates him from the rest of the receivers is that he really understands coverages and how to find soft spots and to exploit them."
WR Kevin Avery - "He's got a big body and we love his skills. He's already got quite a few schools looking at him. LSU and Michigan were both looking at him last year, so the kid has the skills necessary to be a big-time player.
"He's a full-qualifier so schools will be all over him this year."
RB Earl Ford - "Earl is an outstanding talent and he just flat-out makes plays and he's a very tough runner with deceptive speed. He runs a 4.5, but he's always running past guys and away from guys so, I think he's one of those guys that's faster in pads.
"Last year he had 725 yards and eight touchdowns and he's also a pretty good receiver as well. He caught 19 passes for us, so you could use him a number of ways at the next level."
RB Donald Matthews - "This kid is really tough and nasty. He's got a real physical style and he's got great vision too. He can pretty much do it all. He can run, he can catch and he's a great blocker.
"An ankle injury slowed him down last year, but so far he's been our best looking back and we think he's going to have a great spring."
DE DeQuin Evans - "Evans is going to go Pac 10 or to another BCS school. He's an amazingly talented kid who just has that ability to get to the quarterback that you love. He only had five sacks last year as our strongside defensive end, but this year we're probably going to move him around a little and I expect him to play on the weakside this year
"He's so talented and really strong. He's also super-intense and he's got a motor so he's going to be really successful and he should be one of our top guys."
Phil Tonga - "Phil was in our rotation last year at defensive end and he's versatile enough to play inside or outside with his athleticism. We're really excited about him."
DE/LB Richard Evans - "He's a hybrid-guy. He could play defensive end in a 4-3 or be a linebacker in a 3-4. He's really athletic. Even with his size, he could probably play safety for us and be really successful."
LB Randy Tavu'i - "We have some questions at linebacker this year, but Randy is our staple. He's a guy that will play outside and he can really run and get after it. We love him and what he brings to the table."
S Genesis Fonoimoana - "He's one of my favorite guys. He's a human-highlight film. He just jumps out at you when you watch film of him. His abilities are limitless.
"We want to get him more involved in everything. He's strong, he's athletic, he's physical and he just 'gets it' out there. He's everywhere and we love his intensity and leadership."
S/CB Ronald Bogan - "He reminds me of Bob Sanders from Indianapolis. He doesn't have the ideal size for a player who plays safety, but he can run, he can hit and he's got incredible instincts. He just always seems to be around the ball."
CB Donte Wright - "Donte just got here so I haven't seen a lot of him yet, but from the way people are talking about him, he sounds like he could be a really great player for us.
"He was at Fresno City last year and he signed with Fresno State out of high school, so the kid can play ball. He's a great looking athlete and it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up being as good as or better than the two corner we had last year that signed last year -- Billy McClellan and Jeramy Bryant."