This is an ongoing weekly series, examining the top Arizona high school football players who will be seniors in 2017 and heading off to college as the Class of 2018.
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. 60 Dante’ Coleman, Queen Creek, Athlete, 6-0, 210
He could emerge this season as a running back, but Coleman is a proven tackler on defense at outside linebacker. Very quick and strong, he had 67 tackles, 15 for losses, last season on a 10-3 team that reached the 5A state semifinals. He also had nine sacks.
No. 59 Kylan Weisser, Notre Dame, QB, 6-3, 190
He could be listed as an athlete. He played some time at receiver the past two years when he wasn’t playing quarterback. He can also play defense. Great running skills. He has an Idaho offer. With no spring ball for Notre Dame, Weisser may have to hit camps and combines to show how much he has improved as a passer. He has interest from Division I schools.
No. 58 Brayden Narveson, Desert Mountain, K, 6-1, 185
He has committed to Iowa State. He rated by Chris Sailer Kicking as the No. 1 kicker in Arizona in the 2018 class. He is rated No. 6 nationally. Big, booming leg who also is a good punter. Big weapon for the Wolves.
No. 57 Braden Ford, Perry, DB, 6-0, 180
Excellent student who has offers from Columbia and Yale, Ford is a natural free safety who can also play corner. Like a coach on the field. Reads offenses well. Gets into positon to make plays. Good ball skills.
No. 56 James Reed, Boulder Creek, TE, 6-5, 225
He picked up his first offer from Ivy League Brown. He had 21 catches for 263 yards last season. He should have a breakout senior season with improved speed and size. He has reliable hands and an ability to make plays after catches.
No. 55 Gary Bragg, Mountain Pointe, RB, 5-9, 182
Coach Norris Vaughan felt Bragg was the state’s best running back last season before it was cut short by a knee injury. Fully recovered, Bragg has the explosiveness and quickness to make him an elite back that college will find interesting.
No. 54 Bryce Jackson, Chandler, DB, 5-10, 185
Jackson might be the Wolves’ best tackler, but he only recently picked up his first Division I offer. It came from Air Force. Jackson is versatile enough to play safety and cornerback. His stock should rise once spring ball begins May 1 for the Wolves.
No. 53 Donte Lindsey, Mountain Pointe, DB, 5-10, 181
This cornerback, who had to miss the first five games last season after transferring from Cesar Chavez, might be Mountain Pointe’s best cover guy. College coaches will get to see those ball skills during spring ball, which should lead to offers.
No. 52 Conlan Carey, Scottsdale Chaparral, 5-11, 195, RB
Expected to draw attention in May during spring workouts, showing off great burst and power. He averaged nine yards a carry last season in 26 carries. Expect a breakout senior season. He recently visited Washington.
No. 51 Sam To’oto’o, Mesa Skyline, DT, 6-2, 297
Big run stopper with quick feet. Agile and athletic. He will be counted on to help anchor a big, strong talented defensive line.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.