A new measure, to be voted on in June, would create a three-day signing period in December after an athlete’s senior season. Video: azcentral sports
1 of 11
Spring football is time for Chandler’s talented additions to mesh with defending state champs. Richard Obert/azcentral sports
2 of 11
Coach Rich Wellbrock is keeping the pace quick for his new Basha football players at spring practice on Monday. Richard Obert/azcentral sports
3 of 11
When high school junior Troy Delgado was homeless, there were days that school meals were the only ones he could rely on. Now, he’s planning to go to college.
4 of 11
Zidane Thomas leads title contenders into new season.
5 of 11
McClintock coach Corbin Smith talks about having his players locked in during spring football as the new coaches try to bring back the school’s lost football glory on Wednesday. Richard Obert/azcentral sports
6 of 11
The start of spring football players helps team move forward after team rocked by arrests. Video: Richard Obert/azcentral sports
7 of 11
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.
8 of 11
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
9 of 11
Saguaro High School tight end Jared Poplawski talks about attending Colorado.
10 of 11
Saguaro High School defensive guard Sean Seawards and lineman Jax Wacaser talk about attending UCLA.
11 of 11
What an early high school football signing period would mean
Chandler football ready for another title run
Basha football getting used to fast pace set by new coach
High school athlete overcomes homelessness to be three-sport standout
Centennial preparing for another big football season
McClintock’s Smith: ‘What matters to me is the history of this school’
Hamilton High football opens spring football practice
Austin Jackson announces he will attend USC
National Signing Day – Arizona recruits on where they will be playing college football
Jared Poplawski discusses switch from ASU to Colorado
Saguaro’s Wacaser, Seawards discuss UCLA
Chandler had a guest for its second spring football practice on Tuesday – a 6-foot-5, 330-pound two-way lineman from Alaska.
“Wow, he’s huge,” one player said before going through a drill.
This is how it is at Chandler High after capturing its second 6A state championship in three years and giving an ESPN national audience in late December a glimpse of how it’s done in Arizona.
Players suddenly show up.
Chandler Hamilton, which once ruled Chandler, lost arguably its best defensive back in January, when sophomore free safety Avery Carrington transferred up Arizona Avenue.
After hazing incidents and arrests involving Hamilton football players made the crime news, two more top defenders – junior defensive end Brayden Flynn and junior defensive back Ezekiel Robbins – transferred in from Hamilton.
The Wolves lose Big Schools Player of the Year T.J. Green, who graduates this month before going to Utah to play running back. But they’ve added to what may be once again the most loaded high school football team in Arizona for the 2017 season.
Sophomore Decarlos Brooks, who figures to pick up some of the slack left by Green, received a verbal offer from Oregon State on Tuesday, as did sophomore quarterback Jacob Conover, who is coming off a 3,000-yard passing season.
Junior wide receiver Gunner Romney’s recruiting has heated up with his most recent offers from Boise State and Yale.
“I don’t think there’s a drop-off,” coach Shaun Aguano said. “Our defensive front is back.”
And that doesn’t include Flynn, who had 14 1/2 sacks at Hamilton last season and has added about 20 pounds to get to 225 on his 6-foot-3 frame.
Carrington, 6-3, 185, is the brother of former Stanford safety Devon Carrington, who starred at Hamilton.
Carrington and Robbins, 5-11, 175, give Chandler one of the state’s best secondaries, with excellent tackler Bryce Jackson returning.
Noseguard Chris Manoa, who welcomed the big guy from Alaska on Tuesday, will anchor maybe the team’s strength – the defensive front.
Add in an offense that may have just as strong a line and could be as dynamic with the return of Drake Anderson (missed all of his junior season because of hip surgery), Chandler should be ready in late August for a home game against powerhouse IMG Academy of Bradenton, Fla., which attracts players from all over the country to play a national schedule.
“A lot of these guys are filling up spaces left by the seniors,” Conover said. “We’ll take it one game at a time. We’re not overlooking Red Mountain, which is a good team. But we’re looking forward to IMG Academy. They’re No. 2 in the nation. It’s an awesome challenge.”
In the few months he has been here, Carrington said he has noticed the intensity greater at Chandler than Hamilton.
“A little bit more intense,” Carrington said. “We’re getting it together over here. We’re ready to go. We’re ready for a new season.”
Romney is ready to go.
“We’re going to be super talented, but super young,” Romney said. “So we’re going to need a lot of people to step up. But I think we’ll be good.”