L.J. Reed is on the move, creating a ripple effect sure to impact the sporting fortunes of two high schools.
A Bee All-Metro player in football and basketball as a junior in the 2013-14 academic year, Reed transferred from Cosumnes Oaks in Elk Grove to Tokay in Lodi, where he now lives with family friends.
The 6-foot-4 and 215-pound Reed, who has given a verbal commitment to play wide receiver at UCLA, enrolled at Tokay on Wednesday. He met Tokay football coach Louis Franklin, who later said Looks like we won the Lotto.
Reed was dismissed from the Cosumnes Oaks program after a summer football trip to Oregon for what the school deemed conduct detrimental to the team. Reed disputes any trouble with the Wolfpack and said he was granted a return invitation.
But I had to move to Lodi due to family financial problems, Reed said. I cant be sad or mad or miss the guys in Elk Grove too much because I have to get a fresh start. I need a new experience.
Reed said he needs to buckle down academically to ensure that he can sign a national letter of intent in February. As one of Californias top two-sport stars, Reeds departure is a considerable loss for Cosumnes Oaks. Reed helped Cosumnes Oaks win the Sierra Valley Conference in football by catching nine touchdown passes; in basketball, he averaged 11.8 points and 8.8 rebounds. He led the Wolfpack to the NorCal Division II basketball finals.
Tokay went 8-3 last season in football and went 13-15 in basketball.
Per California Interscholastic Federation transfer rules, Reed must sit out the first month of the football season. The Sac-Joaquin Section office said Wednesday that it had not received any transfer paperwork from Reed.
Reeds departure adds to the football mystery at Cosumnes Oaks. Founding varsity coach Ryan Gomes was dismissed by school administrators after the team trip to Oregon, though Gomes said no one explained why. Cosumnes Oaks administrators havent returned emails and calls. Gomes is now an assistant coach at American River College.
I didnt do anything wrong (at Cosumnes Oaks), Reed said. I was leaving regardless. I almost moved to Washington with my mom, but that didnt work out. Now Im ready for a whole new life and Ill give Tokay some real life, too.
Player rankings Reed is rated the No. 5 prospect in Northern California by NorCalPreps.com. Clayton Valley Charter five-star lineman Kahlil McKenzie is the top prospect. The son of Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie who played at De La Salle last season, McKenzie has committed to Tennessee and opens his senior season in the Honor Bowl at Del Oro on Aug. 30 against Carson of Nevada.
Third on the NorCalPreps list is Granite Bay linebacker Cameron Smith, a USC commit, and No. 4 is Folsom quarterback Jake Browning, The Bees Player of the Year in 2013 who is headed to Washington.
More All-State Browning is the preseason California Player of the Year pick by Athlon Sports magazine after passing for a state-record 5,737 yards and 75 touchdowns for a 14-1 team last fall.
Other Athlon preseason All-State picks are Smith of Granite Bay and Folsom lineman Cody Creason. Second-team picks are Reed and Grant lineman Darrin Paulo. Third-team selections are Placer lineman Johnny Capra, Inderkum lineman N.J. Falo, Elk Grove defensive back Shaunard Harts, Capital Christian all-purpose Justice Shelton-Mosley, Sacramento linebacker Lonny Powell, Elk Grove kicker-punter Ryan Robards and Folsom defensive end Sam Whitney.
Preseason rankings Folsom is preseason nationally ranked No. 18 by MaxPreps and is state-ranked third by Athlon Sports and USA Today behind Bosco of Bellflower and De La Salle (the Cal-Hi state rankings that have for years helped decide state-bowl teams come out later this month, as do The Bees rankings).
Also in the USA Today State Top 25, Oak Ridge is No. 13 and Del Oro is No. 19.
Kickoff showcase The Honor Bowl on Aug. 29-30 at Del Oro will feature five NorCal powers playing out-of-state foes. On Aug. 29, Elk Grove plays Damonte Ranch of Nevada at 5 p.m., followed by Del Oro vs. Kamehameha of Hawaii, coached by former Dallas Cowboys tight end and Sac High coach Doug Cosbie. On Aug. 30, Clovis North plays Reed of Nevada at 2 p.m., followed by Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa against Churchill County of Nevada at 5 p.m. and Clayton Valley Charter against Carson at 8 p.m.
The Honor Bowl pays tribute to Wounded Warriors from military combat. For information: thehonorgroup.org
Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD.