High School Football

The News Tribune’s 2019 Western 100: The top high school football recruits in the West

Oaks Christian’s Kayvon Thibodeaux (8) celebrates with running back Zach Charbonnet (24) after Charbonnet’s long touchdown against Alemany, Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, at Oaks Christian High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, Contributing Photographer)
Oaks Christian’s Kayvon Thibodeaux (8) celebrates with running back Zach Charbonnet (24) after Charbonnet’s long touchdown against Alemany, Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, at Oaks Christian High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, Contributing Photographer) LA Daily News contributing photographer

The top 100 high school football recruits in the 2019 class from Alaska (0), Arizona (9), British Columbia (0), California (65), Colorado (4), Hawaii (6), Idaho (1), Montana (0), Nevada (3), New Mexico (0), Oregon (3), Utah (3), Washington (6) and Wyoming (0) as selected by The News Tribune after polling various media outlets.

PLAYER LIST: Searchable database and interactive map of the Western 100 in years past

QUARTERBACK (13)

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Quarterback Spencer Rattler (2) of the Pinnacle Pioneers runs the ball in for a touch-down against the Perry Pumas at Pinnacle High School on Friday, August 17, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. Billy Hardiman Special to The Arizona Republic

Hank Bachmeier, 6-3/205, Murrieta Valley, Calif. (Murrieta Valley)

Signed to: Boise State

Jacob Conover, 6-1/205, Chandler, Ariz. (Chandler)

Signed to: BYU

Jayden Daniels, 6-3/185, San Bernardino, Calif. (Cajon)

Enrolled at: Arizona State

Ty Evans, 6-3/190, Monument, Colo. (Palmer Ridge)

Signed to: N.C. State

Ryan Hilinski, 6-3/215, Orange, Calif. (Orange Lutheran)

Enrolled at: South Carolina

Michael Johnson Jr., 6-4/205, Eugene, Ore. (Sheldon)

Enrolled at: Penn State

Ethan Long, 6-2/210, West Linn, Ore. (West Linn)

Enrolled at: Arizona State

Luke McCaffrey, 6-3/190, Littleton, Colo. (Valor Christian)

Enrolled at: Nebraska

Cade McNamara, 6-1/205, Reno, Nev. (Damonte Ranch)

Enrolled at: Michigan

Cale Millen, 6-4/200, Snoqualmie, Wash. (Mount Si)

Enrolled at: Oregon

Dylan Morris, 6-1/195, Graham, Wash. (Graham-Kapowsin)

Enrolled at: Washington

Spencer Rattler, 6-2/180, Phoenix, Ariz. (Pinnacle)

Signed to: Oklahoma

Joey Yellen, 6-3/220, Mission Viejo, Calif. (Mission Viejo)

Enrolled at: Arizona State

Scouting report: Plenty of quality here, but is there a signature blue-chip quarterback recruit in the West? Rattler, the nation’s top pro-style prospect, has the best chance. The Elite 11 MVP became the state of Arizona’s first career 11,000-yard passer, and was thought to be the clear-cut heir apparent to Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray with the Sooners — that is, until Jalen Hurts transferred in from Alabama. … With Manny Wilkins gone at ASU, coach Herm Edwards brought in three top-40 quarterbacks (Conover, Daniels, Long) who have already enrolled in Tempe. Daniels is the headliner as the No. 2 dual-threat prospect behind USA Today All-American Bo Nix, of Pinson Valley, Ala. Daniels has a legitimate chance to earn the starting job as a true freshman. … Morris (UW) and Millen (Oregon) are the top two quarterbacks out of Washington — and will continue their rivalry in neighboring Pac-12 states. … The most heavily-recruited signal caller to ever come out of northern Nevada, McNamara was the state’s Gatorade player of the year in 2018.

RUNNING BACK (7)

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Zach Charbonnet carries the ball for Oaks Christian during their Marmonte League matchup against Westlake Friday night.(photo by Andy Holzman) Andy Holzman LA Daily News / Southern California News Group

Zach Charbonnet, 6-2/220, Westlake Village, Calif. (Oaks Christian)

Enrolled at: Michigan

Kenan Christon, 5-10/185, San Diego, Calif. (Madison)

Signed to: USC

Cameron Davis, 6-0/190, Upland, Calif. (Upland)

Signed to: Washington

Sean Dollars, 5-10/195, Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei)

Signed to: Oregon

George Holani, 6-0/195, Bellflower, Calif. (St. John Bosco)

Signed to: Boise State

Austin Jones, 5-11/200, Oakland, Calif. (Bishop O’Dowd)

Signed to: Stanford

Jordan Wilmore, 5-9/200, Lawndale, Calif. (Lawndale)

Considering: Arizona State, UCLA, Utah

Scouting report: The pickings were slim in the West, except for Charbonnet, who is easily the headliner. And “Big Blue” was able to grab this physical rusher to lead the way some day. He was the Los Angeles Times’ back of the year (1,770 rushing yards, 13 TDs) in 2018. … Stanford went right down the road to nab Jones, whose skill set is similar outgoing Cardinal star Bryce Love. Jones has the same home run burst, and catches passes, too. … Dollars joins an up-and-coming Ducks group of ball carriers as the nation’s top all-purpose running back recruit in the class.

WIDE RECEIVER (10)

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Mission Viejo defenders try to stop Orange Lutheran’s Kyle Ford during a nonleague game at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Friday, September 21, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer) Kyusung Gong Orange County Register contributing photographer

Colby Bowman, 6-3/190, Bellflower, Calif. (St. John Bosco)

Signed to: Stanford

Kyle Ford, 6-2/200, Orange, Calif. (Orange Lutheran)

Committed to: USC

Braedin Huffman-Dixon, 6-1/185, Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei)

Signed to: Colorado

Giles Jackson, 5-8/185, Oakley, Calif. (Freedom)

Signed to: Michigan

Darren Jones, 6-8/190, San Bernardino, Calif. (Cajon)

Committed to: Utah

Drake London, 6-5/205, Moorpark, Calif. (Moorpark)

Signed to: USC

Puka Nacua, 6-2/195, Orem, Utah (Orem)

Committed to: USC

Joe Ngata, 6-3/210, Folsom, Calif. (Folsom)

Enrolled at: Clemson

Mycah Pittman, 6-0/195, Calabasas, Calif. (Calabasas)

Signed to: Oregon

Chase Roberts, 6-4/195, American Fork, Utah (American Fork)

Signed to: BYU

Scouting report: USC keeps bulking up its supporting cast for budding star quarterback J.T. Daniels with three top-40 receivers nationally (Ford, London, Nacua). Ford is the West’s top blue-chipper, and picked the Trojans over Washington at the U.S. Army All-American game. However, he has not signed yet, and with former offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury leaving for the NFL, Ford is rumored to be looking at other options. … Nacua, the Gatorade state player of the year in Utah and all-USA Today first-team pick, set a number of in-state receiving records, including 103 receptions, 2,336 yards and 26 TDs his senior year. He was also the Polynesian Bowl MVP. … Clemson’s only 2019 signee west of the Mississippi River? It is the tall and explosive Ngata, who gave a verbal commitment after an official trip last summer. He and Florida native Frank Ladson give the reigning national champions a pair of top-10 wideouts in this class.

TIGHT END (6)

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Sheldon’s Patrick Herbert fights off Graham-Kapowsin defender Seth Olmos (14) during the first quarter on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018 at Sheldon High School. Andy Nelson The Register-Guard

Bradley Archer, 6-4/240, Livermore, Calif. (Livermore)

Signed to: Stanford

Patrick Herbert, 6-5/225, Eugene, Ore. (Sheldon)

Signed to: Oregon

Brayden Liebrock, 6-5/225, Chandler, Ariz. (Chandler)

Signed to: Texas

Michael Martinez, 6-6/240, Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei)

Committed to: UCLA

Ethan Rae, 6-4/240, Orange, Calif. (Orange Lutheran)

Signed to: USC

Jude Wolfe, 6-6/245, Bellflower, Calif. (St. John Bosco)

Enrolled at: USC

Scouting report: A small but intriguing group of versatile pass catchers in this region. Liebrock chose football over baseball and picked Texas last spring. That decision looks even better with the emergence of Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger — and the Arizona product could contribute early. … Wolfe and Rae give the Trojans a pair of four-star tight ends who fill an obvious deficiency. … Archer’s stock has risen greatly this fall, and Stanford — a tight end-to-the-NFL factory — got him to flip from California. … Herbert is the same natural athlete as his high-profile brother Justin, and the state’s top recruit can be an in-line or perimeter threat.

OFFENSIVE LINE (11)

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Narbonne RB Keyshawn Dupree is escorted to endzone by Jonah Tauanu’u on 20 yard TD scamper. Palos Verdes at Narbonne football game Thursday August 30, 2018 (Photo by Robert Casillas,Contributing Photographer) Robert Casillas Daily Breeze contributing photographer

Julius Buelow, 6-8/320, Kapolei, Hawaii (Kapolei)

Signed to: Washington

Troy Fautanu, 6-4/260, Henderson, Nev. (Liberty)

Signed to: Washington

Nathaniel Kalepo, 6-7/315, Seattle, Wash. (Rainier Beach)

Signed to: Washington

Sataoa Laumea, 6-4/310, Rialto, Calif. (Eisenhower)

Signed to: Utah

Barrett Miller, 6-5/260, Aurora, Colo. (Eaglecrest)

Signed to: Stanford

Sean Rhyan, 6-5/300, San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (San Juan Hills)

Signed to: UCLA

Jason Rodriguez, 6-7/330, Hesperia, Calif. (Oak Hills)

Signed to: USC

Jonah Tauanu’u, 6-6/315, Harbor City, Calif. (Narbonne)

Signed to: Oregon

Patrick Utschinksi, 6-7/270, Walla Walla, Wash. (Walla Walla)

Signed to: WSU

Enokk Vimahi, 6-4/250, Kahuku, Hawaii (Kahuku)

Considering: Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC

Dohnovan West, 6-4/285, Mission Hills, Calif. (Alemany)

Enrolled at: Arizona State

Scouting report: Much like the quarterback position, there isn’t a five-star, no-brainer prospect coming out of the West in this offensive line class. … Ducks coach Mario Cristobal certainly knows offensive-tackle quality when he sees it — he played the position at Miami. And he is hoping that the region’s top tackle — Tauanu’u — pans out much like 2018 top recruit Penei Sewell, who was a starter as a true freshman. … A former rugby standout, Rhyan is an intriguing recruit who might have the most upside of any lineman in the West. He can play either tackle or guard for the Bruins, and is their highest-rated lineman signee since Xavier Su’a-Filo in 2008. … If you want to stick with player upside — and program track record — look no further than Miller, who did not attend a lot of national combines, but has seen his stock rise before signing with the Cardinal. Once the all-Colorado tackle known as “Bear” fills out, watch out.

DEFENSIVE LINE (16)

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Oaks Christian’s Kayvon Thibodeaux (8) celebrates with running back Zach Charbonnet (24) after Charbonnet’s long touchdown against Alemany, Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, at Oaks Christian High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, Contributing Photographer) Michael Owen Baker LA Daily News contributing photographer

Jacob Bandes, 6-3/295, Pittsburg, Calif. (Pittsburg)

Signed to: Washington

Isaiah Foskey, 6-4/220, Concord, Calif. (De La Salle)

Considering: California, Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Washington

Siaki Ika, 6-4/350, Salt Lake City, Utah (East)

Enrolled at: LSU

Drake Jackson, 6-4/270, Corona, Calif. (Centennial)

Enrolled at: USC

Laiatu Latu, 6-5/240, Carmichael, Calif. (Jesuit)

Signed to: Washington

Treven Ma’ae, 6-4/240, Las Vegas, Nev. (Bishop Gorman)

Signed to: Oregon

Sama Paama, 6-4/340, Honolulu, Hawaii (Kaimuki)

Signed to: Washington

Joshua Pakola, 6-4/255, Mountain View, Calif. (St. Francis)

Signed to: Stanford

Matthew Pola-Mao, 6-1/310, Chandler, Ariz. (Chandler)

Considering: Kansas State, Nebraska

Ty Robinson, 6-6/280, Gilbert, Ariz. (Higley)

Signed to: Nebraska

Kayvon Thibodeaux, 6-5/230, Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Oaks Christian)

Enrolled at: Oregon

Isaac Townsend, 6-6/240, Arvada, Colo. (Ralston Valley)

Signed to: Oregon

Bralen Trice, 6-4/230, Glendale, Ariz. (Sandra Day O’Connor)

Signed to: Washington

Faatui Tuitele, 6-4/285, Honolulu, Hawaii (Saint Louis)

Signed to: Washington

Keyon Ware-Hudson, 6-2/300, Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei)

Signed to: Oregon

Stephon Wright, 6-4/280, Los Angeles, Calif. (Cathedral)

Signed to: Arizona State

Scouting report: The West’s deepest and most talented position group is paced by Thibodeaux, the USA Today defensive player of the year and top prospect out of California. In arguably the biggest recruiting victory for any school in the country, the Ducks landed the five-star pass-rushing terror over Alabama, Florida State and USC. Oregon grabbed three other top-50 defensive ends in this class, including Ma’ae and Townsend. … Whereas the Ducks recruited outside speed, Washington needed inside run-stoppers, especially with Vita Vea (NFL first-rounder in 2018) and Greg Gaines (possible NFL first-rounder in April) gone. The Huskies took three top-25 defensive tackle prospects nationally from the West. Two of them — Tuitele (No. 1) and Paama (No. 3) — hail from Hawaii, which sent along its best haul of recruits in years. … Ika, the top recruit from Utah, chose LSU over Florida, Oregon, USC and Utah in December. He recorded 89 tackles in just seven games, and was an all-USA Today first-team pick at defensive tackle.

LINEBACKER (11)

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De La Salle’s Henry To’oto’o (11) runs for a touchdown against Bishop Gorman in the second quarter of their game at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) Jose Carlos Fajardo Bay Area News Group

Travion Brown, 6-3/210, Temecula, Calif. (Linfield Christian)

Signed to: Washington State

Josh Calvert, 6-3/235, Westlake Village, Calif. (Oaks Christian)

Signed to: Washington

De’Gabriel Floyd, 6-2/230, Westlake Village, Calif. (Westlake)

Enrolled at: Texas

Mase Funa, 6-3/240, Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei)

Signed to: Oregon

Ralen Goforth, 6-2/225, Bellflower, Calif. (St. John Bosco)

Enrolled at: USC

Daniel Heimuli, 6-2/220, Menlo Park, Calif. (Menlo-Atherton)

Considering: Alabama, Oregon, Washington

Orin Patu, 6-4/210, Seattle, Wash. (Rainier Beach)

Signed to: California

Jonathan Perkins, 6-1/205, San Bernardino, Calif. (Cajon)

Signed to: Oklahoma

Tristan Sinclair, 6-2/205, Danville, Calif. (San Ramon Valley)

Signed to: Stanford

Henry To’oto’o, 6-2/225, Concord, Calif. (De La Salle)

Considering: Alabama, Tennessee, Washington

Maninoa Tufono, 6-3/220, Honolulu, Hawaii (Punahou)

Signed to: USC

Scouting report: Loaded with four-star recruits (Calvert, Floyd, Funa, Heimuli, To’oto’o, Tufono), the West was a good region to mine for inside-linebacker talent. The top prospect is To’oto’o, who has narrowed his choice to Alabama, Tennessee and Washington. The Bay Area News Group’s reigning player of the year, To’oto’o has the body type to play all linebacker spots. … Floyd, a MaxPreps All-American, has fascinating versatility. He played seven different positions at Westlake, and with his massive frame, could develop into an all-Big 12 middle linebacker in Todd Orlando’s aggressive scheme. … Calvert, the Los Angeles Daily News most valuable player, was both a quarterback and middle linebacker at Oaks Christian. The younger brother of UCLA linebacker Bo Calvert should be a tackling machine for the Huskies, much like Pac-12 defensive player of the year Ben Burr-Kirven was last season.

DEFENSIVE BACK (13)

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St. John Boscos Chris Steele (1) celebrates a tackle for a loss in Bellflower on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. St. John Bosco plays their first game on campus since the 2014 season in their new $7.2 million stadium against Timpview of Provo, Utah. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze/SCNG) Scott Varley Daily Breeze / Southern California News Group

Chris Adimora, 6-2/190, Lakewood, Calif. (Mayfair)

Signed to: Texas

Jeremiah Criddell, 6-0/195, Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei)

Signed to: Oklahoma

Kamren Fabiculanan, 6-2/185, Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Westlake)

Signed to: Washington

Kejuan Markham, 6-1/195, Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach Poly)

Signed to: Arizona State

Shamar Martin, 5-10/160, San Diego, Calif. (Morse)

Signed to: UCLA

Trent McDuffie, 5-10/170, Bellflower, Calif. (St. John Bosco)

Signed to: Washington

Noa Pola-Gates, 6-2/180, Gilbert, Ariz. (Williams Field)

Signed to: Nebraska

Isaiah Rutherford, 6-2/170, Carmichael, Calif. (Jesuit)

Signed to: Notre Dame

Chris Steele, 6-1/190, Bellflower, Calif. (St. John Bosco)

Enrolled at: Florida

Titus Toler, 6-1/200, Bellflower, Calif. (St. John Bosco)

Signed to: Wisconsin

Cameron Williams, 5-11/185, Bakersfield, Calif. (Bakersfield)

Signed to: Washington

Max Williams, 5-10/175, Gardena, Calif. (Junipero Serra)

Enrolled at: USC

Mykael Wright, 5-11/180, Lancaster, Calif. (Antelope Valley)

Signed to: Oregon

Scouting report: Much like the past couple of years, this class is loaded with impact defensive backs — but no five-star players. Steele headlines an acclaimed St. John Bosco secondary as an all-USA Today first-teamer and MaxPreps All-American. In fact, he and McDuffie form arguably the best senior cornerback tandem in the country. Steele flipped from USC to Florida in January. … It is Wright — and not Steele — who was ESPN.com’s top cornerback from the West. Wright missed his entire season because of a transfer rule, but did suit up in the Under Armour All-American Game. … Washington lost Byron Murphy and Taylor Rapp to the NFL, but fared well in the region by landing McDuffie and Fabiculanan, a pair of shutdown pass defenders, and Cameron Williams, who flipped from Oregon, at safety. … Flip a coin on who the best safety prospect is among Adimora, Pola-Gates or Criddell. All of them left the region for programs in the Midwest. … Markham is projected to play safety for the Sun Devils, and could be part of the same secondary as his twin brother, Keon, who is a receiver/cornerback. The siblings played for former NFL star Antonio Pierce at Poly. Pierce is now ASU’s linebackers coach.

ATHLETES (9)

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With Mission Viejo defenders giving chase, Mater Dei’s Bru McCoy (5) sprints toward the end zone to score a touchdown in Mission Viejo on Friday, November 9, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer) Paul Rodriguez Orange County Register contributing photographer

Darien Chase, 6-2/185, Vancouver, Wash. (Union)

Signed to: Nebraska

Jalen Cropper, 6-0/175, Clovis, Calif. (Buchanan)

Signed to: Fresno State

Keegan Duncan, 6-3/220, Declo, Idaho (Declo Senior)

Signed to: Boise State

Casey Kline, 6-4/210, Brawley, Calif. (Brawley)

Signed to: Boise State

Keon Markham, 6-1/195, Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach Poly)

Signed to: Arizona State

Bru McCoy, 6-3/215, Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei)

Enrolled at: Texas

Jake Smith, 6-0/185, Scottsdale, Ariz. (Notre Dame Prep)

Signed to: Texas

Asa Turner, 6-4/205, Carlsbad, Calif. (Carlsbad)

Committed to: Washington

Jayvaun Wilson, 6-2/210, Valencia, Calif. (Valencia)

Signed to: Oregon

Scouting report: This is a more dynamic group than in recent years, headlined by McCoy, the MaxPreps national player of the year and lone five-star prospect. Just last week, McCoy decided to transfer to Texas after signing with USC — a huge about-face after he pledged to the Trojans at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. McCoy, the CalHiSports.com in-state player of the year after a huge senior season (78 receptions, 1,428 yards, 17 TDs), will likely remain at wide receiver at Texas, though he could move to linebacker, too. … McCoy wasn’t the only athlete to receiver a national-player-of-the-year nod. Smith, who tallied 39 total touchdowns at Notre Dame Prep as a senior, was the Gatorade most valuable player. He is also headed to Texas. … Turner, a four-star recruit, recommitted to Washington late last week after opting not to sign with the Huskies during December’s early period. He chose the Huskies (who want him at safety) over Notre Dame (linebacker). … Boise State grabbed two of the West’s top athletes in Kline (linebacker) and Duncan (running back), who is the top recruit out of Idaho. … Chase projects as a receiver at Nebraska, but his best position could be at cornerback.

SPECIALISTS (4)

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evt-Highland #31 Austin Mcnamara - Sr. Kimberly Carrillo Kimberly Carrillo East Valley Tribune

Punter/kicker Ryan Sanborn, 6-3/195, San Diego, Calif. (Francis Parker)

Signed to: Stanford

Punter Austin McNamara, 6-4/170, Gilbert, Ariz. (Highland)

Committed to: Texas Tech

Kicker Timothy Horn, 6-3/200, Honolulu, Hawaii (Punahou)

Signed to: Washington

Long snapper Simon Samarzich, 6-0/210, Upland, Calif. (Upland)

Signed to: Washington State

Scouting report: One area that has to improve in Washington’s special-teams play in placekicking. Even though redshirt freshman Peyton Henry made 16 of 22 field goal attempts in 2018, his range is limited. That is why the Huskies grabbed the big-legged Horn, who is the second-ranked kicker in the country in this class by Chris Sailer Kicking. … Sanborn (No. 2 punting prospect by Chris Sailer) set 23 school records at Francis Parker, and could be a dual threat at punter and kicker for the Cardinal. … Samarzich is the No. 2 long-snapping recruit in the nation by Chris Rubio Long Snapping. His brother, Christian, snapped at Fresno State.

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Lauren Smith covers the Seattle Mariners for The News Tribune. She previously covered high school sports at TNT and The Olympian, beginning in 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and Emerald Ridge High School.


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