Arizona's top high school football prospects: 2018 class

Arizona's top high school football prospects: 2018 class

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Arizona's top high school football prospects: 2018 class

Richard Obert will be ranking the top Class of 2018 Arizona high school football prospects weekly.

Richard Obert will be ranking the top Class of 2018 Arizona high school football prospects weekly.

This is an ongoing weekly series, looking at 10 top Arizona high school football prospects from the class of 2018 each week.

This list will top out at 150. These are the state’s most recruited players and has as much to do with college interest and projectability as last season’s performances.

Later, there will be position rankings, based on a combination of college recruiting, stats and how valuable they are for their team and the kind of impact they will have on the state.

Editor’s note: Last year, Obert unveiled his Top 100 prospects in the 2018 class before their junior seasons. This is a new list, with new rankings. He will unveil a new batch of ten each week. 

No. 50 Tyson Jones, Desert Edge, OL, 6-4, 290

Great athlete who is closing in on one of the toughest state track records ever to break – Dallas Long’s 59-year-old shot put mark of 69 feet, 3 inches. Jones’ tremendous lower and upper body strength makes him an attractive prospect. He will be a four-year varsity starter on the offensive line.

No. 49 Austin Young, Desert Edge, OL, 6-4, 330

A three-year starter, he was twice named all-region. He can squat lift more than 500 pounds. His recruiting likely takes off in May.

No. 48 Tre O’Guinn, North Canyon, SS, 6-1, 185

He projects as a nickel back in college, but he has been a standout at linebacker in high school. He has started since his sophomore year. Comes from athletic family. His father, Michael, is the school’s boys basketball coach. Tre had 117 tackles, 17 for losses, last season.

RELATED: Arizona’s best high school football programs – ranked by state titles

No. 47 Kaleb Seumanutafa, Glendale Apollo, DT, 6-3, 290

Strong, mobile, quick. Had five sacks last season. Has improved his strength and agility since then. Will get lots of eyes on him from college coaches in May.

No. 46 Tristan Rael, Chandler, OL, 6-4, 290

Had a tremendous junior season. With his size and strength, he’ll be popular among college coaches this spring. He was one of the anchors to last year’s state championship season that led to one of the more productive offenses in Arizona.

No. 45 Harrison Copoloff, Notre Dame Prep, TE/DE, 6-3, 225

Recently attended Washington’s Junior Dawg Day. He played his sophomore year at Bellevue High in the Seattle area. A broken wrist reduced his season to five games last season. He caught seven passes for 118 yards and had six tackles and half a sack. He projects as a tight end or H-back in college.

No. 44 Cade Matthews, Higley, LB, 6-1, 215

Great motor, great nose for the ball. He made first-team, all-region last year when he  had 109 tackles, 18 tackles for losses, six sacks, three caused fumbles, four fumble recoveries on a state semifinal team. With added size, speed and strength, watch for his recruiting to ramp up in May.

RELATED: Arizona’s best high school football coaches – ranked by state titles

No. 43 Ja’tai Jenkins, Buckeye Verrado, Athlete, 5-9, 190

This running back, slot receiver, kick returner is attractive to scouts because of his versatility and athleticism. He ran for nearly 900 yards and 14 TDs last season, while catching 34 passes for 278 yards and a score.

No. 42 Cole Fisher, Notre Dame Prep, RB, 5-11, 190

An injury derailed him in early October, but not before he ran for 866 yards and 14 touchdowns. Has 20 Division I colleges looking at him. Good speed and agility. Great instincts.

No. 41 Brayden Flynn, Chandler, OLB/DE, 6-3, 215

Had 80 tackles and 14.5 sacks as a junior at Hamilton. Transferred this spring to Chandler. Can add weight to frame. Great motor. Has Kentucky Christian offer.

No. 40 Zach Wilson, Saguaro, WR, 6-0, 190

Great acceleration, big-play receiver who had huge games last year, especially in Colorado against Valor Christian on ESPN. Made all-region as a junior at wide receiver.

No. 39 Jayden Hoyt, Phoenix Northwest Christian, OL, 6-4, 285

Getting looks from Montana, NAU, UNLV, Air Force and Ivy League schools. He has a 3.9 grade-point average. Runs well for his size. Made all-region last year on both offense and defense.

No. 38 Sean Anderson, Verrado, OL, 6-7, 295

Long arms, good feet, drives downfield well. Good motor. Drawing interest from Pac-12 schools. Could blow up the way by midway through his senior season with increased speed and size.

No. 37 Hunter Griggs, Pinnacle, OLB/RB, 6-2, 225

Started only half the season on defense last season and led the team in sacks. In his first game on defense against Mountain Pointe, he had eight solo tackles and two tackles for losses. Has strong interest from Navy and NAU.

No. 36 Josiah Bailey, Glendale Raymond S. Kellis, Athlete, 5-9, 175

A running back and receiver who can also play cornerback, Bailey ran for 594 yards and caught 33 passes for 722 yards last season for a nine-win 5A team.

No. 35 Jordan Stengel, Scottsdale Notre Dame, Athlete, 6-2, 190

One of the more versatile athletes in the state who excels on both side of the ball as a big-play wide receivers and a lock-down cornerback. Great agility and speed and gets to the ball in a hurry. Closes well. Also excels in soccer, lacrosse and has picked up the hurdles well in his first season in track and field.

No. 34 Michael Rogers, Laveen Cesar Chavez, Athlete, 6-3, 235

Great two-sport athlete who also has college attention on basketball. A tank on either side of the football. One of the more powerful running backs in the state who may be an even better fit in college as an outside linebacker or defensive end.

TICKETS: See how to get tickets for the azcentral.com Sports Awards show with Larry Fitzgerald

No. 33 Cameron Gardner, Casa Grande, WR/RB, 6-1, 215

He can also play running back, but his strengths are catching the ball and making plays after catches. Air Force taking serious look after he had nine rushing TDs and averaged 8.4 yards a carry and caught 49 passes for 813 yards and six TDs.

No. 32 Tristen D’Angelo, Anthem Boulder Creek, WR, 6-4, 190

Great size and speed and reliable hands. Coming off strong junior season in which he caught 36 passes for 453 yards and three TDs. He has interest from Vanderbilt, Cal, NAU, Montana, Air Force, and Ivy League schools.

No. 31 Chris Manoa, Chandler, DT, 6-0, 300

Might be strongest player on the team. A force in the middle of the defensive line, he had 41 tackles, four sacks and eight quarterback hurries during the Wolves’ state championship season.

No. 30 Josh Walker, Scottsdale Desert Mountain, Athlete, 6-1, 185

Fast, strong, tough with tremendous balance. He had 56 catches for 844 yards and 11 TDs last season, making first-team all-region. Runs sprints and long jumps in track. Has been part of the varsity since freshman year. Had a strong sophomore season with 31 catches for 328 yards.

No. 29 Vinnie Meloy, Gilbert Williams Field, OL, 6-5, 285

Multiple offers could come in during May. He has Colorado, Cal and LSU looking at him. Big, strong kid who will lead a talented offensive line. Had big impact during team’s first state championship.

ARIZONA NFL CONNECTIONS: NFL players from an Arizona college or high school

No. 28 Justin Segura, Horizon, OL, 6-3, 250

Has lots of room to grow and has yet to reach potential. Explosive offensive guard who is quick off the ball with great hands. Good pulling guard. Fierce competitor. California showing strong interest.

No. 27 Jayden Lee, Gilbert Campo Verde, OL, 6-3, 315

He has an NAU offer. Very strong, quick, good hands, good footwork. Leads a talented offensive line.

No. 26 James Stagg, Phoenix Desert Vista, DE/TE, 6-4, 241

Big impact player on both sides of the ball. He could play either defensive end or tight end at a major college.

No. 25 Isaiah Mursalat, Phoenix Horizon, OL, 6-5, 290

Long, great feet, leverage. He has an offer from Nevada. Will anchor a strong offensive line next season.

No. 24 Max Massingale, Saguaro, QB, 6-0, 185

Tremendous work ethic to go with ability to pass and run. He has offers from Air Force and Campbell.

MORE: See all high school sports coverage

No. 23 David Watson, Tucson Amphitheater, OL, 6-6, 300

Was offered scholarship from Arizona in February. Strong, physical tackle with great reach and hands. Very athletic. Should get more offers in May once college coaches take a look at him.

No. 22 Kai Golden, Marana Mountain View, DL, 6-2, 295

Strong, powerful defensive linemen who holds offers from Virginia and New Mexico State and has interest from Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and Texas Tech. He was first-team all-season last season when he had 40 tackles, nine for losses, 4.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

No. 21 Dominique Hampton, Centennial, DB, 6-2, 180

This cornerback is about to ramp up his recruiting after getting offers from Pac-12 Arizona and Colorado. Great lateral speed and vision, cover guy who can hit.

No. 20 Benjamin Fox, Phoenix Pinnacle, OL, 6-6, 285

Physical run blocker who has been getting interest from UNLV. Plans to take unofficial visits this spring to Washington, ASU, Montana, NAU, UA. After sitting out his sophomore year with a broken leg, he started all 12 games as a junior. Great feet for his size.

No. 19 Giovanni Miranda, Saguaro, Athlete, 6-4, 205

A big, long three-star athlete who has an offer from Hawaii. He could be found just about anywhere on the field next season at Saguaro. He is being recruited as a tight end, H-back, outside linebacker and safety.

No. 18 Ralph Frias, Safford, OL, 6-7, 305

Frias has started at tackle since his freshman year. He is an athletic tackles who has picked up an offer from New Mexico State. He plays at lower division but he is big-time recruiting out of eastern Arizona. He comes from an athletic family. His ceiling is high.

MORE: Arizona high school football recruiting coverage

No. 17 Donjae Logan, Mesa Desert  Ridge, DB, 6-0, 180

Tremendous athlete who has a 23-foot long jump. He is an honors student, so academics isn’t a question. Coach Jeremy Hathcock believes he is the best defensive back to come through since he has been there. He doesn’t have an offer yet, but Hathcock projects Logan to be a 15- to 20-offer guy.

No. 16 Kenny Churchwell, Phoenix Mountain Pointe, DB, 6-2, 180

He picked up an offer from Hawaii. He is a big, versatile cover guy with speed and quickness who likes to hit. His ability to cover ground makes him a must-see recruit for colleges in May when offers should start rolling in.

No. 15 Max Wilhite, Goodyear Desert Edge, C, 6-3, 300

He’ll be starting his fourth season on varsity. He has offers from NAU and New Mexico State. He’ll get more in May. He has tremendous work ethic and great technique. He was All-Arizona at center as a sophomore. Potential is sky high.

No. 14 Jarrik Caldwell, Chandler, WR, 6-3, 200

He was one of the standouts for Chandler in last season’s state championship game. His recruiting has heated up in March with offers from Fresno State, Nevada and NAU.

No. 13 Jamarye Joiner, Vail Cienega, QB, 6-2, 200

He committed before his junior season to Arizona. Great dual threat quarterback who could find himself breaking out at a different position at UA, much like  Drew Dixon  from Tucson Sabino. Joiner is so dynamic with the ball in his hands and his ability to read defenses with nice touch and strength on his passes keeps improving.

RELATED: Biggest impact football players from Arizona in past 10 recruiting classes

No. 12 Draycen Hall, Gilbert Higley, RB/SB, 5-8, 155

He was the 2016 Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year after leading the state in rushing. He was always a slot receiver, before last season, when, out of need, he was moved to running back. He took off. Elite speed and quickness. With wrestling and track background and a work ethic second to none, he is an attractive recruit. Columbia and Navy both have offered.

​No. 11 Gunner Romney, Chandler, WR, 6-2, 180

Led the state champion Wolves in yards per catch (18.7) and TD catches (9). He had 70 catches for 1,309 yards. That includes that big-time performance against national power Corona (Calif.) Centennial in August, when he had five catches for 220 yards and two scores. He has offers from Arizona, Iowa State, BYU and Utah among others. He could wind up with 20 offers by the time spring football ends.

No. 10 Lance Lawson, Mesa Red Mountain, Athlete, 5-9, 185

Shockingly, no offers. But he should  get attention after his strong performance at a Nike regional camp in Los Angeles, where he had better results than any Arizona kid. He can play slot receiver, running back and safety. He was the reason Red Mountain got to  the 6A semifinals last season. I can’t leave this kid out of the top 10 just because colleges haven’t caught on to him yet. He’s too valuable.

No. 9 Brock Purdy, Gilbert Perry, QB, 6-1, 190

He had the best season of any quarterback in Arizona last season, making azcentral sports’ All-Arizona team and becoming one of three finalists for Big Schools Player of the Year.  Great wheels and arm, quick release. He gave up baseball with football now in his blood after last season. He picked up a recent Northern Arizona offers, but coach Preston Jones said he has heard from more than 20 colleges coaches who want to see him throw in person this spring.

No. 8 Tyler Shough, Chandler Hamilton, QB, 6-5, 195

Like Plummer, Shough possesses the measurables, like size and arm strength. But he is more of a pro style quarterback with good accuracy and a high football IQ. He has seven offers, including four from the Ivy League to go with Western Kentucky, Hawaii and San Jose State.

MORE: Notable Arizona high school football recruiting misses

No. 7 Jawhar Jordan, Chandler Hamilton, RB, 5-11, 168

Once this kid fills out, he’ll have every college after him. But his speed and moves have major colleges on him. He has offers from UA, Iowa State, Missouri, Oklahoma State among the nine he already has received.

No. 6 Zidane Thomas, Peoria Centennial, RB, 5-10, 200

An academic qualifier, Iowa State jumped on board with an offer. He should get lots more heading into his senior year, after a tremendous junior season showing off speed and power on his way to 2,329 yards and 22 TDs rushing. It had coach Richard Taylor calling him the best running back to ever come through the running back-rich school.

No. 5 Jack Plummer, Gilbert, QB, 6-5, 215

He has the  size and arm strength that makes him the most attractive 2018 quarterback prospect in Arizona. In his first two varsity seasons, he has thrown for a total of 4,052 yards and 34 TDs. He is smart and accurate, a natural leader. And he’s a dual threat. He has offers from UA, Boise State, New Mexico State, UNLV and Hawaii with Indiana, Georgia and Cincinnati showing interest.

No. 4 Matteo Mele, Tucson Salpointe Catholic, OL, 6-6, 265

He already has 11 offers, including Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, California and Colorado. Great length, leverage and power. He could be as good as any offensive line to come out of Salpointe during the Dennis Bene coaching era and he has had some good ones. He recently picked up an offer from Oregon.

No. 3 Josiah Bradley, Scottsdale Saguaro, Athlete, 6-1, 208

Versatile athlete who is getting interest on both sides of the ball as a running back and safety. He has more than 10 FBS offers. He is rated is rated in the ESPN 300 as an athlete.

LOOK BACK: Arizona high school football commitments class of 2017

No. 2 Joey Ramos, Glendale Deer Valley, OL, 6-5, 285

Ramos’ recruiting just keeps ramping up with recent offers from UCLA, Washington State and Oregon.  He has 12 offers and counting. Included are Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington State, Nebraska, Utah, Central Florida, South Alabama, Fordham. His tremendous work ethic, strength and technique separates him from most.

No. 1 Solomon Enis, Phoenix North Canyon, WR, 6-4, 190

For the second year in a row, a North Canyon player occupies this spot. USC signee Austin Jackson, an offensive tackle, was the top 2017 prospect in Arizona. Enis has all the tools that make him highly sought after. And  he is just now starting to scratch his full potential. The son of former Penn State and NFL running back Curtis Enis, Solomon has speed, athleticism and a competitive streak that colleges love. He is cut in the mold of former Chandler receiver N’Keal Harry, who had a breakout freshman season last year at Arizona State. ASU and Arizona both have offered, along with USC, UCLA, Duke, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Utah and his dad’s alma mater. He recently picked up an offer from what he called his dream school, Oregon.

MORE: Arizonans on college football rosters | Arizonans on Pac-12 football rosters

Photo gallery: Top Arizona high school football prospects: 2017 class

Saguaro athlete Josiah Bradley's versatility attracts major college coaches

Saguaro athlete Josiah Bradley’s versatility attracts major college coaches

Deer Valley offensive lineman Joey Ramos has all the tools to be a big-time college player. He is No.2-rated 2018 football prospect in Arizona.

Deer Valley offensive lineman Joey Ramos has all the tools to be a big-time college player. He is No.2-rated 2018 football prospect in Arizona.

North Canyon wide receiver Solomon Enis is azcentral sports' No.1 2018 football prospect.

North Canyon wide receiver Solomon Enis is azcentral sports’ No.1 2018 football prospect.

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