I am as excited as anyone for the start of High School football in the state of Arizona. The level of talent has grown tremendously over the last decade and every year, the competition gets more and more exciting.
I have compiled a list of offensive players who I believe could have monster seasons in 2012. This list isn’t necessarily the most recruited players but some of the young men I believe will take their game and their team to another level this season.
QB: Tyler Bruggman, Senior, Brophy – Bruggman has been touted as the top quarterback in the state and for good reason. He is a special talent and is also a student of the game. Bruggman has been the leader under center since he was a sophomore. He took his licks as an underclassman but is now looking to take the Broncos to the promise land before taking his talents up to Pullman in the fall of 2013.
*QB honorable mention: Senior Tyler Rogers of Liberty and Junior Kyle Allen of Desert Mountain will take perspective teams to success they have not reached in years past.
RB: Kani Benoit, Senior, Thunderbird – Beniot may not be the highest recruited running back in the state now, but he could reach that level by the end of the season. He too has been a star on the varsity field since his sophomore season. Thunderbird’s running attack brought the Chiefs back to state prominence and now as a senior, he will be the lone work horse in this run heavy attack.
*RB honorable mention: Senior Jalen Ortiz of Centennial has had a special career with the Coyotes. This year will be no different. Senior Maurice Lee of Marcos de Niza is one of many very talented players for the Padres and will make U of A fans excited for 2013.
WR: Devon Allen, Senior, Brophy: Allen became a super star in the track world last summer placing first in international meets and representing the country in the World juniors. But football is still he first true love and he intends to show it this season along with his partner in crime, Bruggman.
WR: Jalen Brown, Junior, Mountain Pointe: The Pride are going to be very talented across the board this season and Brown will be at the forefront. Amazing combination of speed and athleticism is Brown and he will look to maintain the success Mountain Pointe has had since Norris Vaughn took over as head coach.
*WR honorable mention: All Scottsdale. Senior Jake Roh of Chaparral will be the leader for the Firebirds this season and keep an eye on Roh’s rival at Saguaro, sophomore Christian Kirk who bursted onto the scene as a freshman last season and could be the second coming of DJ Foster for the Sabercats. Junior Mark Andrews of Desert Mountain has only played football for two years and you would never know it. He is a giant.
TE: Grant Martinez, Senior, Notre Dame: Martinez is a prototypical player who leads by example and lets his play do the talking. ASU has seen great tight ends like Todd Heap and Zack Miller in the past. Martinez will be the first great tight end of the Todd Graham era once he officially becomes a Sun Devil in the fall of 2013.
*TE honorable mention: Junior Trevor Wood of Chaparral could take over the ranks as the states top tight end after Martinez graduates. The Success of Wood and Roh will be largely based on how new Firebird quarterback, sophomore Sean Paul Brophy, takes over under center this season.
OL: Kenny Lacy, Senior, Mountain Pointe: One of the top division I prospects in the state. Blocked Dillon Johnson to almost 1300 yards last season. Will be more dominant this season.
OL: Patrick Joseph, Senior, Hamilton: Joseph is one of the most impressive individuals I have seen. Carries himself with great pride, the first to start every drill at Steve Bellas’ practice and an outstanding leader. Oh yea, he can sure block as well. Army will be getting a special player in 2013.
OL: Casey Tucker, Junior, Hamilton: The Huskies are always tough to beat because of how they dominate in the trenches. Tucker has amazing strength and I truly feel bad for the defensive players that get in his way. He recently became the first major commitment of the 2014 class as he gave a verbal to USC.
*OL honorable mention: Senior Billy Nichols of Pinnacle will look to help the Pinnacle three-headed monster at running back that rushed for 2000 yards last season. Senior Hayden Johnson of Centennial will be a force yet again and Senior Dylan Fischer of Desert Vista will look to pave the way for a repeat state title for Desert Vista.
For more Arizona High School football, follow Jared Cohen on Twitter at @JaredPros2Preps.