Is your head still spinning from Signing Day 2016? Just me? Cool.
Arizona’s top talent made the jump to the next level with Arizona State being able to keep N’Keal Harry, Chase Lucas, and Marshal Nathe in The Valley, the Trojan-faithful are hoping Connor Murphy can rush the passer like big brother Trent did at Stanford, and plenty of prospects paired up at the next level.
As we catch our collective breath, here are a few players to keep an eye on from the 2017 class.
Austin Jackson, North Canyon OL/DL
We haven’t seen a player in the trenches like Jackson in quite some time. Scout.com’s Jason Jewell compared Jackson’s potential to the likes of NFL picks Andrus Peat and Everson Griffen. He has the size, standing at 6’5″, 255 pounds, and has shown off his athleticism when he gets the ball in his hands on the field and the basketball court. Jackson is a top-ten prospect nationally with 20+ offers from most of the Pac-12, as well as Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M.
Ryan Kelley, Basha Quarterback
The Grand Canyon State has been able to watch and develop some quarterback quality over the years. In 2014, Desert Mountain signal-caller Kyle Allen was the top pocket passer in the country and is now at Houston by way of Texas A&M. 2015 brought us Bryce Perkins and Brian Lewerke, who are at ASU and Michigan State respectively. The following year was no different when Perkins’ successor and eventual Oregon State commit Mason Moran took over and the Chandler offense didn’t miss a beat. Saguaro’s Kare Lyles made the most of his two years under center and is already at Wisconsin. Basha QB Ryan Kelley is no different. Dubbed the top quarterback in the state as a junior, the Oregon commit showed off his big arm and ability to extend plays.
K.J. Jarrell, Saguaro Safety
On Sports360AZ’s AZ Audibles Signing Day Primer, I talked about how Saguaro has become a factory of Division I talent. From Luke Rubenzer to Christian Kirk to Byron Murphy, Coach Mohns has developed some of the best players this state has ever seen. The next in line is safety K.J. Jarrell, who has been picking up offers in bunches over the past few weeks. Jarrell holds offers from both Arizona and Arizona State, Utah, Washington, Texas A&M, UCLA among others.
Isaiah Pola-Moa, Mountain Pointe Safety
Speaking of safeties, Mountain Pointe playmaker Isaiah Pola-Moa has been a rangy, dynamic athlete for Mountain Pointe for the past few years. Pola-Moa stands at 6’4″, 195 pounds and has 11 interceptions and seven touchdown receptions in his career. The two-way star for Norris Vaughn and cousin of Troy Polamalu has offers that include Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, Washington State, Cal and Oregon State.
Tyler Johnson, Highland Tight End/Defensive End
Highland TE/DE Tyler Johnson is a freak. I first saw him as a sophomore, and he was physically dominant. As a senior, he is about to blow up. The four-star recruit is bigger than most defensive backs and has the speed of a receiver. The son of a former NFL player, Johnson has offers including Arizona, Arizona State, USC, Washington, Michigan, and Michigan State.
Roshaun Johnson, Desert Edge Running Back/Linebacker
Human Mack Truck Roshaun Johnson was one of the key players in Desert Edge’s state title run. He is a powerful, downhill runner that has been a varsity contributor to the rushing attack and defense since his freshman year. He doesn’t hold any offers now, but that should change.
The offers are only going to continue to roll in, announcements will become more frequent and Signing Day 2017 will be here before we know it.