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Prep football: 10 offensive, 10 defensive players to watch

Published August 17, 2013 6:08 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ten offensive players to watch

1. Austin Kafentzis, jr., QB, Jordan •The University of Wisconsin commit is tied for fourth all-time in the state for career TDs responsible for with 99. He could break the record (130) this season as a junior.

2. Chipper Lucero, sr., QB, Alta • He completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,414 yards and 37 scores last season. A talented passer who will lead the Hawks' offense.

3. Dalton Schultz, sr., TE, Bingham. •He's ranked as the nation's No. 1 tight end recruit by rivals.com. The 6-foot-6 rock caught 34 passes for 491 yards and three TDs last season.

4. Baron Gajkowksi, sr., QB, Lone Peak • He's a threat to run or throw the ball for the Knights. He ran for 1,214 yards and passed for 2,364 last season to help his team reach the state semifinals.

5. Chase Williams, sr., RB, Juan Diego • Part of the Soaring Eagle two-headed rushing attack with Jesse Springer. Williams rushed for 1,157 yards and 17 TDs last season.

6. Chase Christiansen, sr., QB, Stansbury • The Utah State commit helped the Stallions to an undefeated regular season last year. He can throw it but more of a threat on the ground, where he gained 953 yards last season to lead the team.

7. Nolan Gray, sr., WR, Orem • The 6-4 big man reeled in 83 passes for 1,514 yards and 17 scores last season and will be counted on again to gain yards in chunks.

8. Taylor Compton, sr., WR, Logan • He won't have Luke Falk throwing to him, but if the ball is close, Compton catches it. He caught 107 passes, a state record, last season.

9. Jesse McMullin, sr., RB, Beaver • He topped 1,000 yards last season and scored 16 times. He's expected to carry a heavier load this season for the Beavers.

10. Isaac Valles, sr., QB, East • He's a passer. He's a runner. He can do it all, and he's looking to lead the Leopards deeper into the playoffs this season.

Ten defensive players to watch

1. Osa Masina, jr., LB, Brighton • ESPN.com ranks him as the No. 1 recruit in the state. He's 6-4 and 208 pounds of power.

2. Bryan Mone, sr., DL, Highland • The University of Michigan recruit is 6-4 and 315 pounds, so he takes up a lot of room and demands special attention.

3. Korey Rush, sr., DL, East • The Arizona State recruit is ranked the sixth-ranked recruit in the state by rivals.com. He leads a talented Leopards defense.

4. Christian Folau, jr., LB, East • Another Leopard who is going to play Division I football. He already committed to Stanford.

5. Breckin Gunter, sr., LB, Box Elder • He averaged 12.7 tackles per game last season on a stingy defense. He added two sacks.

6. Pio Stowers, sr., LB, Timpview • He recorded 47 tackles for the state champion Thunderbirds last season. The 6-1 linebacker finished with nine sacks last season.

7. T.J. Fehoko, jr., DL, Cottonwood • He finished with double-digit sacks last season and creates headaches for opposing offensive lines.

8. Cooper Clark, so., DB, Jordan • He finished with 107 tackles during his freshman campaign for the Class 5A state champs. He picked off seven passes.

9. Kavika Fonua, sr., S, Syracuse • The BYU recruit is helped lead the Titans to the 5A state title game last season.

10. Thor Katoa, sr., LB, Pine View • He recorded three sacks and was second on the team with 90 tackles last season.