It's all about the linemen in the West.
In eight states, an offensive or defensive linemen tops the list, with an offensive linemen
heading the charts in six of them and defensive ends in the other
two. Only the Big Sky state rankings (which includes Alaska, Idaho and Montana)
and New Mexico State rankings
have a skill position player at the top, in both cases a quarterback.
California Top 100
is led by the nation's premier prospect in the 2012 class, Elk Grove Pleasant
Grove tackle Arik Armstead, the #1 player in the country by Scout.com.
The Sacramento area is also home to the region's top skill position player,
Shaquille Thompson, the nation's top safety, from Sacramento Grant, who could
also be a five-star running back. San Clemente tackle Kyle Murphy is
Southern California's top prospect, coming in at third in the state rankings.
Monrovia defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy, Bellflower St. John Bosco receiver
Bryce Treggs and Fresno Central cornerback Tee Shepard round out the group of
Scout Top 50 members from the Golden State.
Arizona Top 100,
Andrus Peat from Tempe Corona del Sol is the top prospect, and the number three
prospect nationally by Scout.com. A close second is Scottsdale Chaparral's
Davonte' Neal, a two-way threat in the Scout 100.
"Peat is massive, standing 6-7 and 305, but is light on his feet. He is
as good as an offensive lineman as you will find in the entire country," said
Jason Jewell, Southwest Recruiting Analyst. "Neal could play either wide
receiver or corner at the next level and has offers on both sides of the ball. A
varsity starter since his freshman year, Neal is looking to help the Firebirds
win their second straight state title.
Washington Top 50
has two members of the Scout Top 50, both offensive linemen, in the nation's top
offensive guard, Puyallup's Joshua Garnett and five-star offensive tackle Zach Banner from Lakewood Lakes.
"Garnett might be the most college ready lineman in the country," said Jake Worthen, Northwest Recruiting Analyst.
Colorado Top 40
features six members of the Scout 300, including four offensive lineman, topped
by Nebraska verbal Paul Thurston from Arvada West.
"Thurston picked the Cornhuskers over
offers from Arkansas, Notre Dame, Michigan and Colorado amongst about 20
other schools and Nebraska is getting a very sound player that has the ability to
play multiple positions along the offensive line," said Jewell.
Utah Top 25 is filled
with BYU and Utah commits, but BYU got the gem of the class in Kaysville Davis
defensive end Troy Hinds, a Scout 300 member who just recently pledged to the
"Three players sit just outside the Scout 300 and have a chance to earn a fourth star over the season. Pleasant Grove (Utah) lineman Brandon Fanaika is one of the best guards in the West. South Jordan (Utah) Bingham linebacker Jared Afalava is
a freak of an athlete and an ideal outside linebacker. And Hinds' teammate at Davis, offensive tackle Zach Lindsay, had also been committed to BYU before opening things up to take a look at Utah," said Worthen.
Oregon Top 25 is
led by an Oregon State verbal, and one of the top interior offensive linemen in
the country in Corvallis' Isaac Seumalo, ranked fourth nationally among
offensive guards. Portland Central Catholic defensive end Alex Balducci
comes in behind Seumalo and he's a commit to the Beavers' rival, Oregon.
"Seumalo is an intense player with immaculate technique. His father coaches at Oregon State and Seumalo
has already committed to staying home and playing for the Beavers," said Worthen.
"Balducci is the next prospect in a string of talented defensive lineman Central
Catholic has produced."
Nevada Top 20
doesn't have the depth that it has had in years past, but the top two are as
good a 1-2 punch as the state has produced in some time, and they're both
offensive tackles, Las Vegas Bishop Gorman's Ronnie Stanley and Las Vegas Desert
Pines' Jeremiah Poutasi, both members of the Scout 300.
national level prospects and both are still very open in their
recruitment," said Jewell. "Stanley is very athletic and could play either tackle spot while the
massive Poutasi looks like a right tackle or guard."
Hawaii Top 15 has a
pair of Scout 300 prospects in defensive ends DeForest Buckner and Luke Kaumatule.
"The two 6-7 bookends from the same high school, Honolulu Punahou are two of the top defensive linemen in the
West and have their choice of Pac-12 programs," said Worthen.
New Mexico Top 15
features a quarterback at the top, one of only two states in the West not led by
a lineman, but one who could end up playing different positions in college in Rio Rancho Cleveland's Cole Gautsche.
"Gautsche is an amazing athlete
and at 6-4 220, one could see him possibly playing tight end or linebacker at
the next level," said Jewell. "Gautsche committed to New Mexico State very early on because the
Aggies said they will let him play quarterback."
Big Sky Top 5 which
combines Alaska, Idaho and Montana, is topped by one of the nation's best
passers, Eagle (Idaho) quarterback Tanner Mangum (a BYU commit) and followed by
Butte (Mont.) defensive end Cody Carriger (an Oregon verbal).
"No prospect in the country raised his stock over the summer as much as Mangum,"
said Worthen. "Mangum was named co-MVP of the Elite 11 and showed very well at The Opening."