Hale was a member of a Pleasant Grove squad that over delivered last season and proved many people wrong. You could make an argument the entire team was underrated. Hale was the most productive receiver on a high-octane offense. The Staffieri to Hale connection was one of the most electrifying duos in the state. I would assume he has been looked at to play ball at the next level, and if not, coaches are making an astronomical mistake.
When listing the best pass catchers in the state, you could put Baggett in the mix. He was not just a significant contributor to the Dart offense last season but multiple seasons in his high school career. Last year he was a vital piece in a deep postseason run with Davis. He was a proud member of the 1,000-yard club. I would imagine the reason he has been overlooked was due to the fact that Tyson Elkins, a star in his own right. joined him on the field every game.
Stucki could very well be the number-one pick if you were to do a draft of the most underrated receivers of last season. His quarterback, Easton Wight, made a huge jump last year due to the onslaught of weapons like Stucki. He was a problem for defensive back and will be remembered in Phoenix lore for years to come for his high-flying snag against Corner Canyon in the playoffs.
Roberts had a curious senior year. American Fork is a blue blood program every year, and you can never count them out as a contender for a championship. Last season, they managed to stay in the conversation while developing many young upcoming talents. The offense had its growing pains at times, which may have led to a downtick in his production. Talent-wise, he is becoming one of the most sought-after prospects in Utah. Could Trey follow in his brother’s footsteps and play at the next level in Provo?
Flores is one of the most riveting athletes around. He was recently recruited to Utah State and will be a crucial asset in their defensive backfield. His excellence on the defensive side of the ball overshadows his outstanding abilities as a route runner and his shifty, ankle-breaking skills in the open field. Casual fans outside of Alta do not realize that he accumulated over 1,000 yards receiving and may have been the Hawks’ most valuable player.
Like Baggett, Wall was accompanied on the field by another extraordinary pass catcher in Cooper Swasey. For a good reason, he attracted a lot of attention. But, it did lead to Wall’s contributions being swept under the rug. Dylan Wall is a fantastic receiver and would be number one on most of the teams in the state. I am intrigued to see if Payson can find a way to take their program to the next level and compete for a state championship with a seasoned squad and a lower classification. They should be a favorite, for sure.
I witnessed Wilson’s performance against Timpanogos last season in real-time, and I was awestruck after seeing Wilson score eight touchdowns; yes, you read that right, eight touchdowns in one game. Stansbury had one of the most excellent statistical seasons in recent memory on the offensive side of the ball. But the Stallions are losing a lot of key players to graduation. Wilson will have to take his game to yet another level next season.
Eldridge is the second Park City Miner to grace this list. This past Miner squad was a star-studded group but also had a myriad of players that fell through the cracks. Eldridge was one of those. He was a large percentage of the passing game and could make show-time catches when it mattered the most. He gradually improved throughout the season and created separation at a higher rate. His last two regular season games were statistical masterpieces. Watch for him to show up and show out at the next level.
Sky View has had some outstanding receiver talent in past years, and the buck did not stop with Bryton Williams. Williams has been overshadowed far too long, and it is time he gets his flowers. He ended the season with over 700 yards and 6 touchdowns and will most likely make an even grander leap in his senior year next season.
Labrum was a must-see for most of his time in a Union Cougar uniform. But, he seemed to leap in his senior year. He had the most receiving yards in 3A, and the ball practically stuck to his hands once it touched his mits. Most recently, he has committed to continue his gridiron career and is taking his talents to Ephraim, UT, to play for Snow College.
Ingram had the opportunity to play side by side with one of the remarkable talents at quarterback that rural Utah had had the pleasure of witnessing. Which is perhaps why Ingram has been overlooked. Although, Alex Jackson was a great quarterback. It takes two to make the connection work. Ingram was a utility player that could do it all on the field. And helped Juab build a near dynasty.
Much like Stansbury, San Juan had a potent offense. Parker Snyder at quarterback was dynamic and exciting, and Zack Conway slithered through defenses at tailback. Due to Snyder’s ability to spread the ball around, some of the Bronco receivers didn’t necessarily blow up the stat sheet. But, without the efforts of Young and others, the offense would not have been the success that it was.
Something about Milford football that brings out the mind-boggling skill positions phenom: Barnes is no different. The Barnes name is royalty in that town, and Colton seems cut from the same cloth. Their young quarterback had a few options, including the talented Trey Rose. But Barnes was beyond capable as well. He had nearly 500 yards as a sophomore and has a limitless future. Blessed to be able to watch for two more years.