Fall is closing in fast, and it is time to start breaking down the Beehive State and the best prospects at each position. These rankings are solely based off of my evaluations from spring and last year's game tape. Evaluations are fluid and things will be reevaluated dozens of times between now and the end of the 2014 football season.
The Breakdown: James being the top dog should come as no surprise. The Herriman offensive tackle possesses speed, strength, and smarts. He is athletic to the point where he can neutralize top edge rushers, but he also has the power to pave the way on the ground. Empey is the most polished offensive player in Utah. His technique is off the charts and his IQ is up there too. Togiai at 3 is going to surprise some people. I think Togiai has the opportunity to be a great college tight end. He has the passion for both football and basketball right now. If he does decide to commit to playing football, I think he is going to become a phenomenal college tight end.
Kafentzis is the best high school football player on this list. There is no guarantee his game translates to the next level, but after seeing the college football landscape evolve, I see him making it. He is too athletic, too competitive, and too smart. As for Heimuli-Lund, there is a good chance he ends up playing linebacker in college, but if he stays at running back, look out. There are similarities between Lund and Matt Asiata. The Brighton sophomore had a few moments as a freshman, but he should become a main cog of Brighton's team this year.
The Breakdown: Fehoko has a lot of upside. The 2016 receiver is still growing into his body, but once everything clicks, he will be scary good. Fehoko could end up at multiple positions on either side of the ball. Bowen is the most impressive prospect on this list, in person. Based off appearances alone, Bowen looks like he could be going into his junior year of college as an all-conference candidate. He has a good chance to move up this list by the end of the fall.
Katoa is another name that could surprise some. I have seen the do-it-all athlete numerous times this spring and he is consistently one of the best on the field. The All Poly Camp was mainly dominated by linebackers and defensive linemen, Katoa wasn't having that. He sliced and diced the defense throughout the weekend. Wilstead's upside is undeniable. He is 6'6 with a cannon of an arm. He is a good athlete (led Utah in rebounding twice) and is a good leader on the football field. BYU got a steal in the Pine View QB. Hall is a dynamic dual-threat quarterback. He has the arm to make all throws, but his legs are what set him apart. The 2016 QB is going to be a lot of fun to watch this fall.
The Breakdown: Kaufusi may end up at defensive end, but wherever he plays at the next level he could be special. The 2016 East HS prospect is extremely young for his grade, but is already a man amongst boys on the football field. He has size and a nice athletic skillset brought over from his basketball background. Bills could also be a defensive end, but if he stays at tackle he will be very good. He had some dominate showings at camps this spring. He is Corner Canyon's left tackle over Branden Bowen, which speaks volumes to his ability.
Covey is a dynamic play maker that is too gritty and smart not to find success in college. He is small, but incredibly crafty. Covey will be a good slot and punt returner. Neves may have the most upside out of all the QBs in Utah. He is closing in on 6-5 240 pounds and he has a strong arm with good athletic ability. Neves may have to wait a year before he can start lighting up the scoreboard at Bingham. If he doesn't win the starting job, I am deeming him "the best back-up QB in high school football". Heaps is a football player. He does everything you'd want your tight end to do. He should have a productive senior season, which will intensify his recruiting.
The Breakdown: Artist can fly. He had a tremendous track season and is looking to carry his momentum into this fall. Artist has the ability to climb up this list if that track speed translates like I think it could. Burt is similar to Artist. The junior film is decent, but based off his off-season, Burt could be primed for a breakout senior year. Cornerback may be Burt's calling, but for now, I am penciling him in as a running back.
6-6 305 pounds is no joke, and that is the size of Wilkinson heading into this fall. He has good junior tape, but needs to take his game to the next level this year. Baker is a relative unknown, but had an impressive spring. Utah State may have found a hidden gem in Payson. Heimuli is a true fullback. He is a good athlete and a violent football player. Somebody is going to see his value and roll the dice on him. He will be a special team's ace in college with the ability to cause damage in goal line situations.