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Prep football: 2015 All-Tribune Team (with video)

First Published      Last Updated Aug 13 2016 04:46 pm

Talmage Gunther

Lone Peak | Senior | Quarterback

Gunther completed 64 percent of his pass attempts for 2,327 yards, paired with a sparkling 34-to-5 touchdown-interception ratio. He also led the Knights in rushing, with 908 yards and nine touchdowns on 137 carries. "He was so effective because he was a true dual threat," said Lone Peak coach Mike Mower. "And then, too, he was a genuine leader. He had high expectations; he truly wanted to improve every week. He had that desire. He was a great student of the game."

Josh Davis

Alta | Junior | Running back

Davis was relatively unknown entering the season, but he earned headlines in Alta's new offensive scheme, leading the state in rushing with 2,077 yards and 26 touchdowns on 262 carries. He added 566 yards and seven touchdowns on 37 receptions. "He was just so reliable in all areas of the game," said Alta coach Alema Te'o. "He definitely made big plays for us. We saw early on that this kid was going to do some special things for us this year. There wasn't anything he couldn't do."

Jaylen Warren

East | Junior | Running back

Despite missing two games of action, Warren rushed for 1,974 yards and 19 touchdowns on 209 carries, equating to a hefty 9.44 yards-per-rush average to help East earn its first state title since 1996. "Jaylen has a low center of gravity. He's got really powerful legs," said East coach Brandon Matich. "His biggest asset is his first two steps are extremely explosive and he has extremely good balance, so he's awfully hard to bring to down. When contact is made, he'll lower his shoulder on you. He's probably the best junior running back I've ever had."

Simi Fehoko

Brighton | Senior | Wide receiver

Considered the top overall prospect for the Class of 2016 from the state of Utah, Fehoko, who is committed to Stanford, caught 59 targets for 1,495 yards and 16 touchdowns. He finished as the all-time UHSAA career leader in receiving yards (3,571), tied for first in receiving touchdowns (41), and No. 13 in career receptions (139). "His overall body of work — he started for me three years, played both sides of the ball — and showed up every week," said Brighton coach Ryan Bullet. "As a coach, you always feel like even if things aren't going well, you have a chance to get him the ball. Getting down to our third-string quarterback, I didn't ever envision that happening. If we could have gotten him the ball more — he would have really excelled. He was getting double-teamed. You can run with him, but you're not going to cover him. Nobody is going to cover him. We just couldn't get him the ball all the time."

Samson Nacua

Timpview | Senior | Wide receiver

Nacua led the Thunderbirds in receiving, with 1,359 yards and nine scores on 64 receptions. He also completed 6 of 9 pass attempts for 147 yards and two touchdowns. "He was our go-to option that we had if we needed to get that third-and-long or needed a clutch catch," said Timpview coach Cary Whittingham. "We relied heavily on him to keep our offense rolling. He comes down with most balls that are thrown his way. As far as receiver on our team, he was the premier guy."

Ty Jones

Provo | Junior | Wide receiver

Jones, who is committed to Utah, guided the Bulldogs to one of their best regular-season records in school history, including finishing second in the highly-competitive Region 7. He finished with 53 receptions for 989 yards and 14 touchdowns. "He's 6-4, 195 pounds, and runs real good and has great hands. He's a big target out there," said Provo coach Tony McGeary. "We're looking forward to his senior year. He's definitely a Division I talent, in my opinion. He'll continue to get bigger and stronger and better, too, we're hoping."

Stone Sagala

Herriman | Senior | Offensive line

The Mustangs captured their first state championship with an offense focused on establishing dominance in the trenches, and Sagala was the captain in that effort, helping his team accumulate 3,354 yards and 35 touchdowns on the ground. "In all honesty, he's like a 23-year-old in a 17-year-old's body. He's a really mature, level-headed, grounded young man," said Herriman coach Dustin Pearce. "Academically, he's off the charts. He's involved in community service. He's an atypical kid who doesn't come around all the time. He's like dealing with another coach on the field, being that he can handle adverse situations."

Walker Wolfgramm

Pleasant Grove | Senior | Offensive line

Pleasant Grove passed 433 times, and Wolfgramm was beat on less than five plays. He helped produce a 2,700-yard quarterback, a 1,000-yard rusher, and a 1,000-yard receiver. "He's our most consistent offensive lineman. We threw the ball 400 times, and he's one of the best blockers in the state," said Pleasant Grove coach Les Hamilton. "He almost never got beat. He's the leader of our offensive line, which did a pretty dang good job this year. He's got great feet — not good — great feet. I think he's one of the better offensive linemen in the state."

Cole Clemens

Bingham | Junior | Offensive line

In an offense predicated on dictating the line of scrimmage, Clemens provided a physical presence each and every Friday. "He was kind of the catalyst that made it go for us," said Bingham coach John Lambourne. "Part of that had to do with his ability to communicate with all of the guys. I didn't see anybody throughout the whole season that he didn't do a pretty decent job on. He was a real consistent, steady player, and he's got a lot of upside."

Kiko Faamausili

Kearns | Senior | Offensive line

The leader of the offensive line, Faamausili graded out at 85 percent for the season and recorded 44 pancake blocks. "He was, especially on offense, was outstanding. He takes a lot of pride in what he does and dominated players," said Kearns coach Matt Rickards. "He's out begging for plays where he pulls and gets an opportunity to lay a big hit on somebody. He's done a great job for us in this program."

Justin Cobbley

Jordan | Senior | Offensive line

Cobbley was the backbone up front for an offense that produced a near-4,000-yard passer, two 700-yard runners, and four 500-yard receivers. "Justin was a very physical presence for our football team. He was a good leader for our offensive line, especially with communication through the unit," wrote Jordan coach Eric Kjar. "He stood out for us in his pass protection against some of the best nose guards in the state. Justin is a very hard worker who had to work through an ACL tear last year to get back to an elite level."

Skyler Southam

Wasatch | Senior | Kicker

Southam, who is committed to BYU, has an honest argument to be in consideration as the best kicker in the history of Utah. He's definitely No. 1 in terms of production. He established the single-season record for made field goals, with 20. He is also the all-time leader in that category, with 34, and he averaged 45.2 yards per punt, which ranks 14th all-time. "From a coaching standpoint, the strategy in the game, it made it a lot different because we knew if we got inside the 35-yard line, we knew we didn't have to go get a touchdown," said Wasatch coach Steve Coburn. "We knew we had Skyler to get us points. It was so fun to watch him because he's such a technician. It was a fun experience for us."

Leki Fotu

Herriman | Senior | Defensive line

Fotu, who is committed to Utah, was the unquestioned leader on one of the stingiest defensive fronts in the state. He recorded 82 tackles, 19 behind the line of scrimmage, with 9.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and five passes defensed. "The sky is the limit with that kid. He's truly blessed with great athleticism for a guy that big," said Herriman coach Dustin Pearce. "The ultimate team guy, he didn't want any attention. Being a little bit raw the first of the year as a player, considering he didn't play football last year, but his awareness and athleticism are not coachable. He was outstanding."

Maxs Tupai

Murray | Senior | Defensive line

Highly-coveted on the recruiting trail, Tupai, who is a national finalist for the high school Butkus Award, recorded 116 tackles, including 32 tackles for a loss, with 23.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and five passes defensed. "Not only have I not coached a player like Maxs, there's very few, if any, players that I've coached against that I think are as talented and as athletic," said Murray coach Mike Richmond. "His combination of strength, speed, athleticism — outside of that, when he tackles people, it sounds like a car accident. He's an extremely fierce competitor. Hands down the most special player I've ever been around."

Max Christensen

Sky View | Senior | Defensive line

Operating in one of the top defensive units in the state, Christensen finished with 100 tackles, 13 for a loss, 13.5 sacks, and three fumble recoveries. "I've had multiple people tell me that our defensive line was the best they faced all year, and Max was really a big instrument in that," said Sky View coach Craig Anhder. "I think, No. 1: He's bought in and did the technique perfectly, No. 2: He had some great athleticism behind that, and No. 3: He worked very hard. He cares about doing good and being his best."

Adam Rodriguez

Springville | Senior | Defensive line

Rotating freely between the defensive line and linebacker, with the ability to drop back into coverage, Rodriguez recorded 81 tackles, 14 for a loss, with 24.5 sacks, 15 quarterback hurries, and caused three fumbles to help the Red Devils enjoy one of the most successful seasons in school history. "He was phenomenal," said Springville coach Willy Child. "He led the state in sacks. He was huge for us. He helped us on offense, as well — we ran some wildcat with him, and he played tight end. He's also our punter. He's one of the best punters in the state. We used him at D-end and linebacker. Pretty much anything you need — he can do that."

Sione Lund

Brighton | Junior | Linebacker

Lund, who is committed to Stanford, led Brighton in tackles for the second consecutive season, with 123, along with five sacks and 1,184 yards and 14 touchdowns on 113 carries on the offensive side of the ball. "He's been a three-year starter for me. He's been solid his whole career. He's got a real good feel now for what we're wanting to do," said Brighton coach Ryan Bullet. "He's coming along from where he was as a freshman to where he is now. His experience is pretty incredible. It's a nice luxury to have him back. It [will be] his senior year, so he's going to lay everything out on the line."

Connor Taylor

Davis | Senior | Linebacker

Taylor eclipsed the 100-tackle plateau for the second straight season, finishing with 147 takedowns, including 11 tackles for a loss. He added one sack and one interception. "Connor was a two-year starter for us at that middle linebacker position. He was the quarterback of our defense," said Davis coach Tyler Gladwell. "He was a kid that would get everybody lined up, help kids with their assignments — he had great leadership that went along with his ability and skills that he had."

Dustin Mathews

Viewmont | Senior | Linebacker

Mathews' statistics are staggering: 192 tackles, 67 solo, 13 pass breakups, three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, three blocked kicks, two sacks, one forced and one recovered fumble. "Specifically he was a three-year starter and two-year captain. His experience on the field was invaluable," said Viewmont coach Scott Ditty. "He was like a second coach on the field. We changed some things schematically to put Dustin in position to make more plays. He was prolific. I can say that I have maybe coached better athletes, but I've never coached a linebacker that was as productive. Every one of his 192 tackles were legitimate."

Noah Vaea

Herriman | Junior | Defensive back

Vaea led the state with 12 interceptions while recording 84 tackles in the secondary and contributing 329 yards and four touchdowns on only 56 carries on offense. "He understood route combinations. His football IQ is very high. He could bait quarterbacks into making throws so he could get interceptions," said Herriman coach Dustin Pearce. "Noah's strength also is being able to come up and play the run. He's a really good open-field tackler. The credit to Noah is the fact he works so hard in practice with his footwork and individual drills. There's a reason Noah had the season he did. He prepares himself everyday in practice."

Will Watanabe

Timpview | Senior | Defensive back

Watanabe covered the field with 84 tackles, five interceptions and three fumble recoveries from his safety position. He proved to be a valuable asset in both the kick and punt return games, with solid per-return averages in each category. "He was good in pass coverage," said Timpview coach Cary Whittingham. "He was our interception leader, and that's always helpful. He had a lot of good return yards, especially in punt returns. He was certainly in the right spot at the right times."

Max Tooley

Bountiful | Senior | Defensive back

Tooley, who is committed to BYU, is being recognized for his defensive effort this season, but he contributed in a multitude of ways for the Braves. He led the team in rushing, with 1,125 yards and 12 touchdowns, caught 16 targets for 109 yards, recorded 93 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, two sacks and one interception. "He was everything. He was our go-to running back. He was our big-play guy on D. He was named the MVP by the coaches in our region," said Bountiful coach Larry Wall. "He's just a playmaker. He's the guy when you need a big play. He scoops and scores, or he gets a pick. He'll hit you. He's our top tackler. He's kind of our lifeblood on both sides of the ball."

Chaz Ah You

Westlake | Junior | Defensive back

Considered one of the top prospects in the nation for the Class of 2017, Ah You's statistics are deceiving, after he missed time from injury paired with the fact the Thunder spread his services thinly, but his contributions to the program are enormous. "He's just so versatile. He played quarterback, running back, receiver, safety, outside linebacker, returned punts and kicks — if we put him at left tackle, he probably would have been pretty good 'cause he's so stinkin' athletic," said former Westlake coach Steve Clements. "I've been doing this a long time, and he's one of the top three high school players that I've ever been around."

Johnnie Lang

East | Senior | Specialist

No other player changed the fortunes of his team more than Lang, who was cleared to play with the Leopards after missing the first three games of the season. The Florida transfer rushed for 1,788 yards and 23 touchdowns on 141 carries — an average of 12.68 yards per attempt. He completed 15 of 32 passes for 382 yards and four scores, while recording 17 tackles and three interceptions on defense. "He's a unique individual. He's a special kid that we understand was a blessing. We were blessed to have this young man fall into our lap this year and be a part of this program," said East coach Brandon Matich. "It was meant to be on both sides. He did it all for us. He's a special athlete that comes around once in a blue moon. You've got to use him in the maximum capacity."




 

AT A GLANCE

How the All-Tribune Football Team was chosen

Tribune and TribPreps staff used personal observations, analysis of season statistics, and input from coaches throughout the state to select an All-Tribune MVP and an additional 24-member All-Tribune Team. These players were selected from throughout the state and regardless of classification.


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