Whenever the state rankings come out for the West, you can expect there to be several Californians that are worthy of their ranking.
But rarely has the West had a five-star player in five different states.
Yet this year, the #1-player in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington all have a five-star rating next to their name.
Heading the list is California’s top prospect, and Scout.com’s #1-ranked cornerback, DeAnthony Thomas, the do-everything player from Los Angeles Crenshaw.
We’ve been saying for years he would end up the top prospect in California and he’s done nothing but confirm that all spring and summer long.
“Thomas is one of those guys who, in all seriousness, could be a five-star at four positions,” said West Regional Manager, Brandon Huffman. “Myself and Scott Kennedy (Scout.com’s Director of Scouting), have been talking about that for a long time. What we do know is he’s the best prospect in the Golden State this year, and it’s not even close.”
Right behind him is where the debate heats up, where five-star prospects like defensive end Greg Townsend (Beverly Hills) and defensive tackle Viliami Moala (Sacramento Grant) are hot on Thomas’ heels.
That makes George Farmer, the receiver from Gardena Serra, the top offensive prospect in the state. Lakewood defensive tackle Todd Barr rounds out the top five in California.
Arizona is home to the top offensive guard in the country in Christian Westerman, but he’s not the only star in the trenches who calls the Grand Canyon State home.
Westerman is the headliner, but the Chandler Hamilton star is joined by Scottsdale natives Andre Yruretagoyena (Chaparral) and Cyrus Hobbi (Saguaro) up front. Defensive tackle Todd Peat from Tempe Corona Del Sol rounds out the vaunted line class.
“Westerman is clearly the class of the linemen in Arizona, and out West for that matter, and may be one of the best offensive lineman to come out of the region in the past decade,” said Huffman.
But it’s not just linemen who head the list in Arizona, as the West’s premier passer, Chandler’s Brett Hundley, comes in at number two.
Washington is having one of its best and most talented crops in a long time, and when you look at pass-catchers, the Evergreen State has them in a pair of five-stars.
The West’s top tight end, Austin Seferian-Jenkins from Gig Harbor, is the state’s top prospect, just recently overtaking longtime #1 player, Kasen Williams, the West’s top receiver from Sammamish Skyline.
Scott Kennedy, Scout.com
“In Seferian-Jenkins and Williams, you’re looking at two guys who want the ball in their hands, and can make special things happen when the ball is thrown their way,” said Huffman. “Seferian-Jenkins has soft hands, good agility and a big frame that makes him a matchup nightmare. Williams is as clutch a receiver as you’ll find in the country, and while people knock his perceived lack of speed, I’ve yet to see a defensive back catch him from behind in the four years I’ve watched him.”
The third and fourth ranked players in the state, running back Bishop Sankey and defensive end Charlie Hopkins, are teammates at Spokane Gonzaga Prep, and give the Eastside some bragging rights. Everett Archbishop Murphy defensive lineman Taniela Tupou completes the top five.
Down south in Oregon, the Beaver State is having a renaissance of their own. A year after hosting two five-stars in Curtis White and Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Oregon has another one in Colt Lyerla, a versatile jumbo athlete from Hillsboro.
Lyerla stands as Oregon’s best but Brennan Scarlett (defensive end from Portland Central Catholic) and Tyson Coleman (safety from Lake Oswego), are making a case of their own. Offensive guard Alex Mitchell (Portland Jefferson) and linebacker Logan Mayes (Eugene Marist) make out the remainder of Oregon’s Top Five.
In Nevada, there is a reason why Las Vegas Bishop Gorman is expected to win another state title, and it’s because of their talent on defense, led by five-star defensive end Jalen Grimble and safety Evan Zeger, ranked 1-2 respectively.
“It’s the second straight year we have a Grimble ranked #1 in Nevada, with last year, Jalen’s cousin Xavier, being the #1-player. And it’s the sixth time in the last seven years that Gorman has the top player in the state,” said Huffman.
Greg Powers, Scout.com
Receiver MarQuan Major from Las Vegas, defensive end Sam Tai from Henderson Liberty and Las Vegas Palo Verde running back Brandon Wright round up the top five in Nevada.
Utah is where the West’s top running back is from in South Jordan Bingham power back Harvey Langi. Every time we’ve seen Langi this spring and summer (and we saw him a lot, since he did numerous camps), we saw a smooth runner who can catch the ball. The best part of Langi’s game, though, is when the pads are on and he’s knocking defenders over, which is what he loves to do.
“Langi has the best blend of power and vision I’ve seen out of a running back this year, and he’s shown all spring and summer that he’s not just going to run over you when the pads are on but that he can outrun you too when he needs to,” said Huffman. “He just usually chooses to knock you over.”
Spanish Fork offensive guard Isaac Asiata is ranked #2 and his teammate, Travis Still, comes in at number five and the state’s best receiver. Two more offensive lineman make the Beehive State’s top five in Ryker Matthews from American Fork and Dan Kristensen from Salt Lake City Cottonwood.
Heading out to the islands in Hawaii, and as usual, it’s an offensive lineman who heads the list, this team finding Honolulu St. Louis tackle Paulay Asiata atop the charts.
Honolulu Kaimuki linebacker Chester Sua is still somewhat new to the game but that hasn’t stunted his development, where he stands as Hawaii’s top defensive prospect.
Honolulu Kamehameha defensive end Koa Ka’ai, Honolulu St. Louis quarterback Marcus Mariota and Kahuku safety Tigi Hill make up the remainder of Hawaii’s top five.