Our high school recruiting guru Jeremy Crabtree is back and ready to break down Arizona’s Top 5 teams as we hopefully return to a somewhat normal season of football in the valley of the sun.
No. 5 CHANDLER BASHA
In Arizona there is a consensus top three, and spots five and four are definitely up for debate. On our list, we’re going to slot Chandler Basha at No. 5.
The Bears could have the state’s best secondary with Cole Martin – a four-star and the No. 2 recruit in the state in the Class of 2023 – coming over from Hamilton and four-star Jeremiah Vessel transferring in from Baton Rouge University Lab.
And Basha has one of the best young quarterbacks in the county in Demond Williams Jr., a sophomore than has offers from Arizona, Colorado and Iowa State. As a freshman, Williams threw for 1,814 yards and 16 touchdowns with only four interceptions.
No. 4 SCOTTSDALE CHAPARRAL
We’re going with the Chaparral Firebirds at No. 4 on the list largely because of the talent they return and the fact they’re coming off winning the Class 6A state championship this past season.
The Firebirds have the No. 1 recruit in the state of Arizona in four-star senior defensive end Anthony Lucas.
What’s so impressive about Lucas is that he’s so athletic that he plays tight end, but on the defensive side of the ball, he had 15.5 tackles for a loss and seven sacks in the COVID-shortened season.
Another name to keep an eye on is quarterback Brayten Silbor, who has scholarship offers from New Mexico, Northern Arizona and Penn.
If Silbor can repeat his performance of last season when he threw for 2,300 yards and 18 touchdown that offer list could grow.
NO. 3 SCOTTSDALE SAGUARO
At No. 3 on the list is Scottsdale Saguaro, who must be feeling like they have something to prove after the pandemic ended 2020 title hopes.
While two teams are ranked slightly ahead of them on this list, coach Jason Mohns is ready to get back out there with a roster that’s loaded with some of the most heavily recruited players in the entire country.
One of the big reasons to be excited is quarterback Devon Dampier, who transferred in this season from Phoenix Pinnacle.
He’ll have to sit out the first half of the season because of the transfer, but he started every game at quarterback at Pinnacle since the final regular-season game of his freshman year and he’s already drawn comparisons to Spencer Rattler – the former Arizona prep star who is now considered a Heisman candidate at Oklahoma.
Another name to keep an eye on is receiver Deric English, another transfer who starred last season at Glendale Mountain Ridge.
English is a four-star recruit in the 2023 class with an offer list featuring Arizona, Arizona State, Florida State, Michigan Staten and others.
Mohns also talks about a freshman class that might be the most talented group the school’s ever seen, including running back Jaedon Matthews.
NO. 2 CHANDLER HAMILTON HUSKIES
Stop us if you’ve heard this before – but once again Chandler Hamilton is loaded with top-level talent, ranked in the top 30 in the nation and one of the favorites to win it all in the Open Division.
The Huskies come in at No. 2 on this list largely because they have one of the best returning quarterbacks in the state in Nicco Marichol.
The three-star West Virginia commitment is an outstanding passer with excellent pocket mobility. He threw for 1,417 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, but he also rushed for 535 yards and six more touchdowns.
In the state championship loss to Chandler, he threw for 178 yards and rushed for 103 yards, so he’s not afraid of playing in the spotlight, and he says he’s focused on returning to the championship game in 2021.
Marichol has one of the West’s best linemen blocking for him in Arizona three-star commitment Grayson Stoval, and Michigan State three-star tight end commitment Michael Masunas (MA-SOON-NUS) is a great security blanket in clutch situations.
Throw in three-star defensive end and Arizona commit Russell Davis II, and the Huskies have all the ingredients for another special season.
No. 1 CHANDLER WOLVES
And finally, at the top of the preseason state football rankings in Arizona is a familiar name – the Chandler Wolves.
The defending state champions are ranked in the top 20 by most national observers, have won 36 games in a row and have captured the last two Open Division titles.
The Wolves are led by four-star and Ohio State receiver commitment Kyion Grayes.
As a junior, Grayes had 550 total yards and 10 touchdowns, and he was one of the most highly recruited receivers in the country with nearly 20 scholarship offers.
But he’s not the only offensive weapon for the Wolves, as Iowa State three-star do-it-all athlete Quaron Adams is back after averaging more than 11 yards a touch last season.
All this and more this week as we wrap up the fall version of high school season recruiting season.
Don’t miss this week’s GameTime matchups streaming live on Yurview.
PLUS – Don’t miss these recent Podcast episodes:
Arizona’s Cody Moore
Akron’s Oscar Rodriquez
Michigan Director of Recruiting Matt Dudek
K-State’s Taylor Braet
ESPN College Football Reporter Tom VanHarren