Saguaro High School tight end Jared Poplawski signs with Colorado, February 1, 2017, at Saguaro High School.
Jared Poplawski, agonizing over his college decision, became so ill the past two weeks that he was missing school, Scottsdale Saguaro coach Jason Mohns said.
Once firmly committed to Arizona State, that changed for the tight end in the last month when his would-be position coach, DelVaughn Alexander, left to become the wide receivers coach at Notre Dame, and offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey left for Auburn.
“Outside of the connection to his teammates, he really didn’t feel a huge connection,” Mohns said. “He kind of felt like everything he had established was gone.”
Phoenix North Canyon’s Austin Jackson, the state’s No. 1 recruit, announces he will attend USC, February 1, 2017, at North Canyon High School.
National Signing Day – Arizona recruits on where they will be playing college football
Arizona football recruits Andrew Nichols of Centennial High, Adam Bay of Desert Ridge High, Bryce Gilbert of Higley High, and Tyler Johnson of Highland High on where they will be playing college football next year. David Wallace/azcentral sports
Jared Poplawski discusses switch from ASU to Colorado
Saguaro High School tight end Jared Poplawski talks about attending Colorado.
Saguaro’s Wacaser, Seawards discuss UCLA
Saguaro High School defensive guard Sean Seawards and lineman Jax Wacaser talk about attending UCLA.
Chandler dominates Mountain Pointe to win the 6A state championship
Behind a powerful TJ Green, Chandler held possession, forced turnovers and picked up a redemption win over the favorites. (Patrick Breen/azcentral sports)
Williams Field holds off Centennial to win 5A title
With a fumble return and interception from Williams Field’s Tre’ Bugg, the Williams Field football team took home the state championship trophy. (Patrick Breen/azcentral sports)
Dallin Edwards leads American Leadership Academy to 3A state title
Dallin Edwards accounted for four touchdowns as American Leadership Academy beat Sabino to win the 3A Conference state title. (Jake Rill/azcentral sports)
Centennial coach Richard Taylor reacts to loss in 5A title game
Centennial coach Richard Taylor reacts to his team’s 14-6 loss to Gilbert Williams Field in the 5A state championship on Saturday, Nov. 26 2016. (Alex Caprariello/azcentral sports)
Williams Field’s Tre’ Bugg on his role in 5A championship win
Senior cornerback Tre’ Bugg played a huge role in Williams Field’s 5A state championship win on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016. (Alex Caprariello/azcentral sports)
Williams Field’s Brandon Ruiz on 5A championship win
Williams Field’s 5A state championship is especially important for Brandon Ruiz and his 2017 senior class, Nov. 26, 2016. (Alex Caprariello/azcentral sports)
Thatcher’s Layton Alder talks about his blocked punt in the 2A Conference championship
Alder’s block helped Thatcher come from behind to beat Eagar Round Valley 33-28 in the Conference 2A state championship. (Nick Snow/azcentral sports)
Saguaro QB Max Massingale on 4A state championship win
Scottsdale Saguaro QB Max Massingale on his team’s 4A state championship win against Tucson Catalina Foothills, Nov. 26, 2016. (Scott Bordow/azcentral sports)
Saguaro coach Jason Mohns talks 4A state championship
Scottsdale Saguaro coach Jason Mohns discusses 4A title win against Tucson Catalina Foothills, Nov. 26, 2016. (Scott Bordow/azcentral sports)
Saguaro celebrates 42-14 win in 4A title game
Scottsdale Saguaro players rush the field after their 42-14 win against Tucson Catalina Foothills in the 4A high school football state championship, Nov. 26, 2016. (Scott Bordow/azcentral sports)
6A title game preview: Mountain Pointe vs. Chandler
Richard Obert and Scott Bordow dissect Saturday’s 6A football championship game between Mountain Pointe and Chandler. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
HS football 5A title game preview: Centennial-Williams Field
azcentral sports high school insiders Richard Obert and Scott Bordow dissect Saturday’s 5A football championship game between Centennial and Williams Field. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
HS football 4A title game preview: Saguaro-Catalina Foothills
azcentral sports high school insiders Richard Obert and Scott Bordow dissect Saturday’s 4A football championship game between Saguaro and Catalina Foothills. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
HS football 3A title game preview: Sabino-American Leadership
azcentral sports high school insiders Richard Obert and Scott Bordow dissect Saturday’s 3A football championship game between Sabino and American Leadership Academy. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
HS football 2A title game preview: Thatcher-Round Valley
azcentral sports high school insiders Richard Obert and Scott Bordow dissect Saturday’s 2A football championship game between Thatcher and Round Valley. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
Chandler teammates TJ Green, Johnny Johnson will be college rivals
Green has committed to Oregon State and Johnson to Oregon. First they will team up to try to beat Mountain Pointe for the 6A championship
Sabino athlete Drew Dixon wants state title
Sabino’s Drew Dixon has committed to the University of Arizona as a wide receiver.
American Leadership Academy ready to make history
Football team seeks school’s first state championship.
Centennial coach discusses 5A final
Peoria Centennial coach Richard Taylor previews 5A title game against Williams Field.
Mountain Pointe coach previews 6A final
Phoenix Mountain Pointe’s Norris Vaughan discusses his team’s state title game against Chandler.
Saguaro OL Corey Stephens shocked by region POY honor
Stephens ready for 4A championship after missing first meeting with Catalina Foothills,
Andrew Carlsen talks about his TD, INT as Sabino beats Show Low
Andrew Carlsen caught a 10-yard touchdown pass and had an interception as Sabino upset top-seeded Show Low 23-21 in the 3A Conference semifinals Saturday at Gilbert Williams Field High School. Nick Snow/azcentral sports
Round Valley quarterback Brian Hill on semifinal win
Eager Round Valley quarterback Brian Hill acknowledges the help he received from his defense and special teams in his team’s 2A conference semifinal win on Saturday. (Alex Caprariello/azcentral sports)
Goal-line stand to end regulation keys Thatcher 2A semifinal win
A goal-line stand by Thatcher to end regulation was key in defeating Santa Cruz 27-26 in OT in the 2A football semifinals. (Richard Obert/azcentral sports)
Chandler reacts to semifinal rout over Perry
azcentral sports Richard Obert takes you to the big win spurred by Chandler running back T.J. Green.
Game changers emerge in Arizona high school football
Football state semifinals is when the best players emerge in Arizona high school football. (Richard Obert/azcentral sports)
Bagdad wins 1A football title
Brothers Israel and Benjamin Loveall lead Bagdad to 60-6 win over Williams on Saturday. (Richard Obert/azcentral sports)
With ASU undergoing coaching changes, Poplawski visited Colorado, which recruited him from the beginning.
On Wednesday, Poplawski signed with Colorado.
“It was tearing him apart,” Mohns said. “The kid was physically ill the last two weeks. He missed a ton of school. He was sick as a dog. It really pulls these young men in a lot of different directions. He had to make a mature decision. He didn’t feel like ASU was the right spot for him. Even though he has teammates he’s been playing with since sixth grade going there, he felt like Colorado was a better fit for him.
“Most 17-year-old kids don’t have to make a decision like that, that’s going to send their life in a completely different direction. I’m proud of him for doing it. It’s not the ideal situation. You want kids to commit and stay locked in. But at the end of the day, kids have to follow their heart, and our job is to support them.”
In the summer, Poplawski, outside linebacker Soelle and offensive lineman Stephens committed to ASU at the same time. Jarrell, an All-Arizona safety, committed to ASU recently.
“I didn’t really feel pressure from them,” Poplawski said of his teammates. “I just had to do what was best for me.”
Stephens, a two-time All-Arizona player, grew up cheering for the Sun Devils, so “it was a dream come true to sign with them.”
He said it didn’t matter to him about the changes on coach Todd Graham’s staff in the past month.
“I committed to the university,” Stephens said. “Coaches are going to come and go. That’s the nature of the business. I loved the coaches who left. But I think they brought in good coaches to replace them. I can’t wait to work for them.”
No state does high school football quite like Texas.
Texas' high school football history is among the most storied in the United States, as the Lone Star state features some of high school football's most dominant programs. Aledo just took home its record-setting 10th UIL state championship, while other big-name programs have piled up their share of hardware over the years.
Let's take a look at which Texas high schools have won the most football state championships.
RELATED: Austin Westlake defeats Southlake Carroll to win Texas 6A Division I title