Local class of recruits lacks star power - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Local class of recruits lacks star power

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Posted: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 9:23 pm | Updated: 3:25 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The 'can’t-miss’ star is missing from this year’s group of East Valley football prospects. While dozens of local football standouts will sign their national letters of intent today to the college of their choice, various recruiting services have pegged this a down year for recruiting in Arizona.

ASU recruiting class focuses on offense

There isn’t a Devon Kennard — a top recruit nationally and USC commit last season — among them.

Instead, there seems to be a core group of players expected to be solid Pac-10 contributors, but then a drop-off after that.

“The state is an interesting state, because it’s not extremely strong year in and year out,” said ESPN recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill. “And what I mean by that is depth. It doesn’t mean that at the top end, there’s not quality players across the board, because there is. But what you generally have in the state of Arizona is you have a significant drop-off from the top, maybe six to seven guys, to the next group and to the group below that.”

That seems to be holding true this year.

The elite group includes Hamilton safety Devon Carrington, Saguaro lineman Kody Innes and St. Mary’s tight end Josh Fulton.

Carrington committed to Stanford in June and proved why he was a highly sought-after prospect by finishing the year with 93 tackles and nine interceptions.

“Devon Carrington ... really has an opportunity to be a great player,” Luginbill said. “I’m not convinced he’s going to stay at the safety position. He may be a guy that ends up developing into an outside linebacker.”

Innes has committed to UCLA and Fulton to Arizona State.

In addition to Fulton, the Sun Devils have solid commitments from local players Ramon Abreu (Marcos de Niza) and Taylor Walstad (Chandler). Abreu was the Tribune’s Player of the Year after leading the Padres to the 5A-II state title game, but experts think he lacks the size to be a difference-maker at the college level.

Saguaro’s Jordan McDonald has also committed to Arizona State, but he may end up switching his commitment to Fresno State.

“I’m going to talk about that (Tuesday night) with my parents and then make a decision,” he said.

Chaparral offensive lineman Andrew Gustafson and Desert Mountain defensive lineman Tyeler Davison have both committed to Fresno State, and McDonald is friends with both players. His family is also from the area.

Corona del Sol linebacker Kyle Benson and Chaparral long snapper Chase Gorham will sign with Arizona.

Hamilton running back Zach Bauman, Corona del Sol quarterback Chase Cartwright, Desert Vista defensive back Anders Battle, Red Mountain defensive end Jake Phipps, Red Mountain linebacker Craig Frum and Marcos de Niza defensive end Roy Garcia have committed to Northern Arizona.

Approximately 14 Arizona high school players are expected to sign with Pac-10 colleges, something that coincides with Luginbill’s view on the state’s recruiting picture.

“It’s one of those states where the top end’s going to always look pretty good, but then you’re going to start seeing a pretty significant drop-off,” Luginbuill said. “It’s just from pure numbers.”


Name    Position    Ht.    Wt.    High school    College

Kody Innes    OL    6-5     280    Saguaro    UCLA

Josh Fulton    TE    6-4    235    St. Mary’s    Arizona State

Taylor Walstad    RB    5-11    206    Chandler    Arizona State

Devon Carrington    DB    6-0    184    Hamilton    Stanford

Ramon Abreu    DB    5-10    170    Marcos de Niza    Arizona State

Kevin Spain    QB    6-3    190    Paradise Valley    Hawaii

Alex Lewis    OL    6-6    255    Mountain Pointe    Colorado

Dwayne Garrett    RB    6-0    180    Chaparral    San Diego State

Kyle Benson    LB    6-2    212    Corona del Sol    Arizona

Jordan McDonald    DE    6-4    225    Saguaro    Arizona St./Fresno St.

Blair Tushaus    OL    6-3    273    Notre Dame Prep    Brigham Young

Zach Bauman    RB    5-9    200    Hamilton    Northern Arizona

Tyeler Davison    DT    6-2    275    Desert Mountain    Fresno State

Jacob Ehm    OL    6-6    250    Chaparral    Air Force

Andrew Gustafson    OL    6-6    270    Chaparral    Fresno State

Chase Cartwright    QB    6-3    205    Corona del Sol    Northern Arizona

R.J. McGill    ATH    5-8    160    St. Mary’s    North Dakota

Michael Allen    RB    5-10    170    Hamilton    North Dakota State

Alex Garoutte    K    6-1    190     Brophy Prep    ASU

Brendan Murphy    DB    5-9    160    Chaparral    Air Force

Anders Battle    DB    5-11    165    Desert Vista    Northern Arizona

Ben DeMarr    TE    6-4    210    Mountain Pointe    Air Force

Chase Gorham    OL    6-2    225    Chaparral    Arizona

Tevin Hood    DT    6-1    280    Hamilton    Duke

Keegan Merrigan    LB    6-4    220    Hamilton    Army

Chris Fox    LB    6-3    215    Chaparral    Utah State

Brandon Bialkowski    QB    6-0    165    Gilbert    Lehigh

Hayden Tippett    LB    5-10    215    McClintock    Army

Ben Peters    LB    5-11    210    Hamilton    North Dakota

Connor McClain    LB    5-11    195    Arcadia    Elon

Jake Phipps    DE    6-2    225    Red Mountain     Northern Arizona

Craig Frum    LB    6-1    210    Red Mountain    Northern Arizona

Roy Garcia    DE    6-2    230    Marcos de Niza    Northern Arizona

William Poehls    OL    6-8    290    Chandler    Montana

Logan Spears    WR    5-11    190    Chandler     Peru State

Branden Zavala    LB    6-1    215    Chandler    Northern State Univ.

C.J. Dickerson     OL    6-3    240    Chandler    Colo. School of Mines

Jon McDonald      LB     6-0    235    SCC/Seton Catholic  Colo. School of Mines

Ian McFadden       DB   5-11  175     Red Mountain H.S.   Colo. School of Mines

De'andre Currie     RB   5-9    155    Mountain Pointe  Adams State

Joey Leal        OL/LB     6-1    220    Mountain Pointe   Adams State

Drew Emanuel        TE/LB     6-4    225    Highland   Northern Arizona

Women’s soccer

Name    School    College

Melissa Pestalozzi    Corona del Sol     Nicholls State

Julie VandeBerg    Corona del Sol    Wyoming

Jessica Johnson    Corona del Sol    Western Carolina

Danielle DeLaVina    Mequite    New Mexico State

Megan Striedel    Red Mountain    Fort Lewis College

Men's soccer

Name   School    College

Ryan Duran    Basha    Metro State (Denver)

Track and Field

Name    School      College

Bryanna Smythe    Chandler     Northern Arizona

Steffanie Jordan    Chandler     Boise State

McKenzie Flannigan    Chandler     Boise State

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