The 2011 class was loaded with linemen, maybe the biggest and most talented lot of linemen in Arizona preps history. But injuries for some of them derailed their careers.
Two are now out of football, another is making a comeback at another position.
Two among my top 10 football prospects for the 2011 class are in the NFL.
Some are making comebacks and still have chapters to finish.
Let’s take a look at where they are now:
No. 10 Tyler Johnstone, Chandler Hamilton, 6-6, 295, OL
After a frustrating junior season in which an injury slowed him down then sidelined him, the redshirt senior has added about 20 pounds and feels he can get back to the potential he showed when he was a freshman All-American for the Ducks. Johnstone was part of one of the most impressive offensive lines in state history his senior season at Hamilton, which featured Christian Westerman.
No. 9 Jordan Morgan, Lakeside Blue Ridge, 6-0, 210, Athlete
It’s been a long, winding road for one of the state’s more versatile football players, starting out at California, where he competed in just one season and never played a down. Last year, in an attempt to restart his football career, Morgan transferred to Northern Arizona, where the safety/punter played in eight games. He averaged 38.1 yards on 14 punts and recorded one pass breakup against New Mexico Highlands. Morgan had a great career playing for his father Bill at Chandler Valley Christian as a quarterback, punter and safety. But with Bill Morgan leaving and returning to the White Mountains, Jordan played his senior year at Lakeside Blue Ridge. He started out at Cal as a greyshirt. In 2012, he was a redshirt. In 2013 spring game, Morgan had a game-high-tying six tackles and combined on a sack. But he left the program before training camp that summer. Now 23, Morgan still has two years college eligibility remaining.
No. 8 Mo Latu, Gilbert Perry, 6-2, 370, DL
Now a redshirt senior at Arizona State, he is hoping to finish strong, to be a force on the run defense, clogging the middle of the line with his big body and great strength. But weight has kind of been an issue for Latu, who had surgery his sophomore year on his knee and has been trying to live up to the potential coming out of Perry, where he was a force. This is his last chance to show that he can be a future NFL defensive tackle.
No. 7 Ryan Nowicki, Glendale Cactus, 6-5, 300, OL
Nowicki was a dominant force his final two seasons at Cactus, helping pave the way for a state title his junior season. But injuries changed things in college. He had high hopes at Penn State, before it became Un-Happy Valley. He transferred to Illinois after a redshirt. Because of sanctions against Penn State, Nowicki was immediately eligible for the Illini in 2012, but he left there after a year for Northern Arizona. He is no longer on the NAU roster, as injured plagued him and never allowed him to fulfill his football dreams.
No. 6 Ka’Deem Carey, Oro Valley Canyon del Oro, 5-10, 207, RB
Carey was The Arizona Republic’s2009 Player of the Year as a junior, and fought through an injury-plagued senior season to still make All-Arizona. And that was just the launching pad to a tremendous University of Arizona career, during which he was a two-time All-American in just three seasons playing for the Wildcats. He was drafted last year in the fourth round of the NFL draft by the Chicago Bears, but he reports coming out of Chicago say he may need an impressive preseason camp to retain a roster spot this season.
Where are they now? Top Arizona high school football prospects of 2012
No. 5 Cyrus Hobbi, Scottsdale Saguaro, 6-3, 245, OL
Since leaving Scottsdale for the palm trees and bright lights of Southern California in 2011, the guy former Saguaro coach John Sanders called “Hollywood,” went to USC as a theater major and a can’t miss big-time offensive guard or center in the Pac-12. But he started only one game in his USC career and that game didn’t go too well, getting knocked back as the center against Stanford in a game that inspired him to write and a 30-minute, one-man play at USC as part of a class. Hobbi left USC’s program after the 2013 season. But he returned to the land of Troy this summer as a tight end, and is on USC’s current roster at a trimmed down 245 pounds.
No. 4 Andre Yruretagoyena, Scottsdale Chaparral, 6-5, 290, OL
He was slated to start this season for the Oregon Ducks but injuries and a need to get himself healthy led him to hang up the helmet. The guy known around Chaparral during his dominating football days as “Andre Y,” big things were expected in his last two years at Oregon after appearing in seven of the Ducks’ first eight games in 2013 as a reserve. Yruretagoyena simply stated to reporters that he wanted to get his body healthy this year before graduating.
No. 3 Todd Peat Jr., Tempe Corona del sol, 6-4, 325, DL
It’s been a long, crazy ride for the man who spotted a Nebraska license plate just before Signing Day in 2011 and felt it was sign to where he should sign. He signed with the Cornhuskers, but things never took off after a redshirt year. He played in just two games without ever getting a tackle for Nebraska. Injuries that plagued him in high school followed him to Lincoln. He transferred after the 2012 season and in 2013 he had 48 tackles at Eastern Arizona College. He is now on the Texas A&M-Commerce roster in Richardson, Texas.
No. 2 Brett Hundley, Chandler, 6-3, 226, QB
Hundley lived up to the hype after graduating from Chandler, where he was a two-time All-Arizona quarterback. In just three seasons at UCLA, Hundley, who was a redshirt his first year, set all-time Bruins records with 75 touchdown passes and 11,713 yards of total offense. He left a year early after his redshirt junior season to go pro. He was signed by the Green Bay Packers, who took him in in the fifth round of the NFL draft last spring. .
No. 1 Christian Westerman, Chandler Hamilton, 6-4, 300, OL
An All-American out of high school, Westerman took the long way home. He started his career at Auburn, but injuries limited his time on the field there, and he transferred to Arizona State and got into the Holiday Bowl during the 2013 season. That was his only appearance as he ran scout team all year. He now is expected to finish strong at ASU as a versatile offensive lineman with the ability to play either guard or tackle. He started at left guard last season for the Sun Devils and made All-Pac 12 honorable mention.
Reach Obert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-460-1710. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert.
Arizonans on Pac-12 football rosters – 2015 season