By Jason Jewell
Sports360AZ was out in full effect at Saturday’s Nike 7-on-7 at the Scottsdale Sports Complex. Myself, Jordan Hamm and Andy Silvas were out there at various times of the day. Andy did his thing and took pictures, Jordan already published a piece on what he saw…now it is my turn.
Chaparral on the Rebound
The Firebirds are young but talented with underclassmen. Tommy Christakos was a stud last year as just a freshman, and he gives transfer quarterback Jack Miller a great target to throw to. Miller, despite being in the 2020 class, already sports nine division-one scholarship offers. RB Marqui Johnson was an all-region performer as a sophomore last year. The talent is there on offense but they will get a huge boost with the return of defensive guru Conrad Hamilton. He is one of the best defensive minds in the state and returns to Chaparral after spending time at Arizona State.
I Don't Remember Doing This .. pic.twitter.com/MSJYiywGVe
— Marqui Johnson🏈🏅 (@MarquiJohnson) May 28, 2017
Still on Top
You would think that after losing double-digit players that signed with college programs that Saguaro and Chandler would be in a rebuilding phase. Wrong.
These two programs are loaded!
Chandler head coach Shaun Aguano told me that he has 11 players with D1 offers currently. WRs Gunner Romney and Jarick Caldwell looked fantastic on Saturday, as did junior QB Jacob Conover. Athletes Bryce Jackson and Decarlos Brooks are dangerous.
These players have been talked about a lot and deservedly so. But one sleeper caught my eye and it was back up QB Billy Bolger. The kid is a big, good looking player, standing at 6’4, 220. I asked Coach Aguano if he had ever played tight end before and Coach responded that he will next year. He also mentioned to me that Bolger has a 4.7 GPA and scored a 33 on his ACT. Keep on eye on Bolger.
Saguaro showcases seniors Max Massingale, Zach Wilson, Giovanni Miranda and Josiah Bradley (he did not participate on Sat.) but they look loaded in the 2019 class. Nate Polk, Brandon Shivers and Seth Robinson have head coach Jason Mohns very excited.
I did not get to see Gilbert’s Jack Plummer or Hamilton’s Tyler Shough on Saturday, arguably the top two quarterbacks in the state but I was able to see plenty of other talented signal callers. I can’t remember another time where we had this many top notch guys in Arizona. I have already mentioned Jacob Conover, Jack Miller and Max Massingale, I was super impressed with Pinnacle’s Spencer Rattler, he continues to improve, which is amazing because he is already so talented. I also really liked Casteel junior Gunner Cruz. He looks to be about 6’4 and really can sling the ball. Casteel upset Mountain Pointe early on in the tournament.
Very talented group of QBs at Nike 7on7. I didn't get to see was Plummer. But Rattler, Miller, Conover and Cruz, Massingale are darn good
— Jason Jewell (@jason247scout) May 27, 2017
I saw former Millennium head coach James Carter on Basha’s sidelines. He has moved over as an assistant with Rich Wellbrock and will be the special teams coordinator.
I also saw former Corona del Sol/Mesa Mountain View head coach Tom Joseph. Word is that he has retired and is now coaching at Higley.
While at the tournament, former Verrado head coach Derek Wahlstrom tweeted that he was hired as the new head coach at Estrella Foothills.
— Derek Wahlstrom (@coachddub) May 27, 2017
If didn’t already know, North Canyon WR Solomon Enis is a stud.
So is Mountain Pointe safety Kenny Churchwell. But also keep an eye on corner Donte Lindsey, he is a very talented player as well that just recently got his first offer from South Dakota State.
Does anyone spend more time in the weightroom than Higley RB Draycen Hall? That kid is yoked! He is a fantastic player.
I also really liked how Higley junior Ty Robinson looks. He is all of 6’5 and is playing TE in 7on7. He may end up being an OT or DL. He will be one of the state’s most recruited players.
Desert Mountain’s Josh Walker is one of the state’s best kept secrets. He is a talented wide receiver.
I also got to see Mountain View junior Jacobby Dinwiddie on the same field, he has D1 talent.