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Each week, I roll out a new top-10 list, breaking down the positions for the 2017 Arizona high school football season.

The offensive linemen are becoming more and more coveted in Arizona. This is a tough list to keep to 10. There are so many deserving linemen who didn’t make this list but could make strong arguments for being on it.

Let’s look at my top 10 offensive linemen:

No. 10 – Jonathan Gianzero, Gilbert Higley, 6-0, 220, Sr.

There are offensive linemen not on this list who are being recruited more, but this guy was the key to one of the most potent offenses in the state last season when the Arizona Football Coaches’ Association made him an all-state center. Gatorade Arizona POY Draycen Hall ran wild with Gianzero leading the charge. Hall will be happy to have his center continuing to open more holes.

No. 9 – Hunter Mayginnes, Chandler Hamilton, 6-5, 305, Sr.

A national composite two-star, Mayginnes will go out to show he deserves more stars. He picked up an Arizona State offer and has the work ethic to become of the state’s top linemen. He’ll help cover QB Tyler Shough’s blind side and open holes for RB Jawhar Jordan.

No. 8 – Tristan Rael, Chandler, 6-4, 290, Sr.

Big fixture on the line after helping the Wolves roll to the 6A state championship. He’ll face his greatest challenge early in the season when he goes up against Clemson-bound defensive end Xavier Thomas of IMG Academy out of Bradenton, Fla. Thomas has a national composite ranking of No. 2 in the 2018 class.

No. 7 – Benjamin Fox, Phoenix Pinnacle, 6-6, 285, Sr.

Big part of what could be one of the more electrifying offenses in the state. Works hard and gets downfield fast.

No. 6 – DeAndre Henry, Phoenix Mountain Pointe, 6-6, 260, So.

His recruiting already is taking off with such a high ceiling. One of the most athletic offensive linemen in the state. Plays basketball. Very aggressive. Plays with a nasty streak. The Pride’s vaunted run game will rely heavily on Henry.

No. 5 – Ralph Frias, Safford, 6-7, 320, Sr.

A starter at tackle since his freshman year, Frias has always been huge for his class. Long arms and good motor. He comes from an athletic family. New Mexico, UNLV, Dartmouth and Central Florida have all offered him.

No. 4 – David Watson, Tucson Amphitheater, 6-6, 300, Sr.

This powerful tackle has committed to the University of Arizona, where both of his parents played sports. His father was an offensive lineman for the Wildcats. His mom is Laura Espinoza, one of the greatest softball players ever to play at UA.

No. 3 – Max Wilhite, Goodyear Desert Edge, 6-3, 300, Sr.

This center has started on varsity since his freshman year. He made All-Arizona two years ago when the Scorpions captured their first state championship. He is relentless with great feet and leverage.

No. 2 – Matteo Mele, Tucson Salpointe, 6-6, 275, Sr.

He recently committed to Washington. Kris O’Dowd is the best lineman to come through Dennis Bene’s program but Mele is taller, longer and just as athletic. Mele plays with a nasty streak, but needs to learn the finer nuances of the offensive line. That will come with time, Bene believes. He has added 20 pounds since last year. Has big-time ceiling. Every OL college coach who came through during the spring was impressed by him.

No. 1 – Joey Ramos, Glendale Deer Valley, 6-4, 290, Sr.

He is the No. 2-ranked overall prospect in the 2018 class. He leads what could be as talented as any offensive line in the state. Great work habits. Lives in the gym. Takes no days off. Strong commitment to being the best.

MORE RANKINGS: Top 10 hybrid tight ends

MORE RANKINGS: Top 10 running backs

MORE RANKINGS: Top 10 wide receivers

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at [email protected] or 602-316-8827. Follow him at


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