So much can change between now and December. Players could come out of nowhere and make a big splash.

Names are always debated. Not everyone agrees. But here is my 2018 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Arizona preseason high school football team.



Spencer Rattler, Phoenix Pinnacle, 6-2, 180, Sr.

Oklahoma commit will go over 10,000 career yards and 100 touchdowns passing, and probably do so in the first three games.

Running back

DeCarlos Brooks, Chandler, 5-11, 195, Sr.

Could double his production from last season when he ran for 1,352 yards and 14 TDs.

Running back

Bijan Robinson, Tucson Salpointe Catholic, 6-0, 200, Jr.

He has gained an inch and 10 pounds since rushing for 2,023 yards and 31 touchdowns as a sophomore.

Tight end

Brayden Liebrock, Chandler, 6-5, 220, Sr.

Texas commit can put his hand on the ground and he can flex out and make big catches.

Wide receiver

Ricky Pearsall Jr., Tempe Corona del Sol, 6-2, 195, Sr.

Arizona State commit has the frame, speed, hand and fearlessness to do even better than last season when he caught 74 passes for 1,153 and 13 TDs.

Wide receiver

Brenden Rice, Chandler Hamilton, 6-2, 190, Jr.

He has lost some weight and is even sleeker, a freak athlete with Hall of Fame genetics and the ability to turn short catches into long touchdowns.

All purpose

Jake Smith, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep, 6-0, 185, Sr.

All-Arizona last season when he had more than 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards for 13-1 Saints.


Carson Keltner, Peoria Centennial, 6-2, 285, Sr.

Maybe the heart and soul of this 5A team, he leads on and off the field.

Offensive line

Brayden Rohme, Gilbert Perry, 6-6, 267, Sr.

New starting QB Chubba Purdy is happy to have this guy protecting him.

Offensive line

Cade Bennett, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep, 6-4, 290, Jr.

For Jake Smith to have another electrifying season with the ball in his hands, it starts with this guy up front.

Offensive line

Jacob Golden, Peoria, 6-6, 285, Sr.

This guys has grown into a powerful, athletic force in three years.

Offensive line

Noah Nelson, Gilbert Williams Field, 6-7, 295, Jr.

Asserts big frame with authority.


Defensive end

Jason Harris, Gilbert Higley, 6-8, 220, Jr.

After missing all of his sophomore season because of shoulder surgery, he has something to prove.

Defensive end

Damian Sellers, Scottsdale Saguaro, 6-4, 225, Jr.

Now he’ll have a full season to show what he did in half a season last year, when he had 11 ½ sacks.

Defensive tackle

Ty Robinson, Gilbert Higley, 6-6, 284, Sr.

A monster in the middle, Robinson is moving from end to tackle after he destroyed it with 13 sacks last season.

Defensive tackle

Matthew Pola-Mao, Chandler, 6-2, 308, Sr.

Even if he has to miss the first five games for transferring from Mountain Pointe, he will likely still play 10 games when all is done.


Zach Bowers, Chandler, 6-0, 220, Sr.

This middle linebacker will take on anybody anytime and he usually wins every battle on the field.


Ryan Puskas, Peoria Liberty, 6-3, 220, Sr.

Moving from safety, Puskas is just that much closer to making stops.


Connor Soelle, Scottsdale Saguaro, 6-1, 199, Sr.

This hybrid safety/linebacker is excellent in the box. He was a force in the 4A state championship win against Salpointe.

Defensive back

Kelee Ringo, Scottsdale Saguaro, 6-3, 195, Jr.

Moved from wide receiver to cornerback last year when he moved from Washington state, and has seen his star risen to five status.

Defensive back

Noa Pola-Gates, Gilbert Williams Field, 6-2, 180, Sr.

One of the more dynamic athletes you will find on any high school football field in the nation.

Defensive back

Lathan Ransom, Tucson Salpointe Catholic, 6-1, 195, Jr.

Had 48 tackles and five interceptions on last year’s 4A runnerup team.

Defensive back

Jaydin Young, Peoria Centennial, 5-10, 165, Jr.

A major factor on last year’s 5A championship team, especially in the upset of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas. Finished with 95 tackles and four interceptions at safety.



Parker Lewis, Scottsdale Saguaro, 6-3, 195, Jr.

His presence will be felt immediately with kickoffs blasted into the end zone. The USC commit should have a chance to show off long-distance field goals — if those are needed — for one of the state’s best offenses.


Cameron Weinberg, Mesa Desert Ridge, 6-0, 168, Sr.

He recently picked up a fifth star from Kohl’s Kicking Camps as a punter in the 2019 class. Was first-team all-region last year in a region filled with talented punters.

Kick returner

Terrell Hayward, Vail Cienega, 5-10, 160, Sr.

A great slot receiver, Hayward may be the state’s most feared returner, coming off a season in which he averaged 46 yards on 11 kickoff returns, including three that went for at least 80 yards.

Punt returner

Gunner Maldonado, Chandler, 5-11, 180, Jr.

One of the state’s best safeties, he turns on the jets when he gets his hands on the ball. He’ll be a threat to take it to the end zone every time he drops back to return punts. That’s if punters are willing to risk kicking to him. He will also be returning kickoffs.

Long snapper

Jaden Green, Mesa, 5-10, 180, Jr.

Green finished third nationally for the 2020 class and fifth for all classes in an invitation-only Kohl’s Kicking Camp recently in Wisconsin.


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