NUMBER 10: TY STEFANOFF – DELTA
Stefanoff is a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. He was a prominent bright spot for the Rabbits in an overall disappointing season. I am intrigued to see how Stefanoff can outdo what he accomplished last season. He had seven sacks as a sophomore…. as a SOPHOMORE! His future is bright, and although I am sure he hasn’t been looked at yet for collegiate play, I am hoping he gets the chance at some point to showcase his skills on a bigger stage.
NUMBER 9: MAILE FONUA – PROVIDENCE HALL
The Fonua brothers are the real deal! The combination has to be a nightmare for offensive linemen. They both have great size and are now starting to combine that with excellent technique. Maile is a great defensive lineman but is even better on the offensive end. Maile Fonua will be playing D1 Football when his high school career concludes. It is a rare and unique thing to have 2A athletes represented at the next level. The Fonua brothers are easy to root for.
NUMBER 8: NOAH GUNNERSON – SOUTH SUMMIT
Yet another South Summit defensive lineman to appear on this list. Gunnerson is a tremendous athlete that is underrated in the state. Not many people know his name because he plays with another star lineman. Gunnerson deserves some recognition. He is highly aggressive and will tire a line down throughout a game. You can place him anywhere on the line, and he will find a way to disrupt the play. He is smaller than some defensive linemen, but he is stout and fast off the ball. No offensive line in the state can stay in front of these guys.
NUMBER 7: ZACK CONWAY – SAN JUAN
Conway is one of many two-way players for the Broncos that are generational athletes. He is one of the best running backs in the state but has also mastered the art of getting to the quarterback. Conway played a hybrid position but mainly contributed to the pass rush. He is a Swiss Army knife that can be used in a myriad of ways. Conway is quick and fast and can hit with power for an edge rusher his size. He played an integral role in their title run last season, and due to his abilities, he will make them a favorite to three-peat next season.
NUMBER 6: ASHTON WHITE – RICHFIELD
White was a member of the ten-sack club last season and left quarterbacks squeamish. I would bet he returns bigger, stronger, and hungrier this next season. He is a bulldozer that can get to the quarterback with ease but can also attract double teams that leave wide-open holes for his backers. He is strong and can hold his own in any situation. The Richfield defense should be excellent next season, as they return stars on every level of their defense. Look for the Wildcats to make a deep postseason run in November.
NUMBER 5: JAKE EAST – BEN LOMOND
East is one of the most underrated players in the state. He was number 31 on our state list, which included the best players in the state. East is an overall phenomenal athlete that is not just a star on the football field but also on the basketball court. East has a lot of pressure on his shoulders as he leads the Scots to a make-or-break season. Luckily, he is accompanied, but other fantastic defensive linemen like the fore mentioned Luke Wharton and Manase Tuatagaloa. East will be an all-state player next season. He is powerful and too much for just one lineman to control. He has been training hard this off-season and will improve even more.
NUMBER 4: MARC RICHARDSON – CANYON VIEW
Richardson helped Canyon View achieve one of the best seasons in years. And the most remarkable aspect of all is that they are young. Many of their key players are returning to finish what they started. Richardson is strong and very athletic for his size. I have heard that he may even try his hand at linebacker, which I am confident he will also excel at. Scouts need to take a trip down to Cedar City to watch some snaps of Richardson. I am sure they will not be disappointed.
NUMBER 3: KEAGAN HALL – JUAB
These lists are very fluid. These lists are made weeks in advance, but these players’ stock can move in a matter of days. Hall’s stock seems to keep rising. What I am hearing from his peers and coaches is of the highest praise. Hall will turn some heads this next season and create a name for himself. My guess is he will become a highly sought-after D1 prospect by the season’s end. He will be a back-to-back all-state caliber player with some stars next to his name. Hall will have to play lights out every weekend for the Wasps to have a shot at the title. But he is certainly capable of doing so.
NUMBER 2: PESI FONUA – PROVIDENCE HALL
Much like Hall, Pesi is a D1 prospect with a stock that continues to rise. As a three-star recruit, he is being watched closely by college scouts. Pesi is 6’2 and over 300 pounds! Few 2A offensive linemen have the strength to stay in front of him. Even two linemen might not be able to move Fonua. I expect Fonua to play on Saturdays soon on a team we all know. If Fonua can continue to train and build muscle, he has the size to play at the professional level.
NUMBER 1: BRADY FREEMAN – SOUTH SUMMIT
Last but certainly not least, the one and only Brady Freeman. Freeman had one of the most incredible individual statistical performances in recent memory last season. He makes getting to the quarterback look easy; he is a cheat code for defensive coordinators. It helps that he has other stud defensive linemen playing alongside him, but nonetheless, it is jaw-dropping what he can do. He ended the year with 27 sacks…. 27! If you are a recruiter, come offer this kid ASAP, you will not regret it.