The top 20 blueprint wasn’t necessarily based strictly on recruiting interest, although it did play into account, but rather a collection of players that influence the outcome each Friday night in the realm of Utah high school football.
I’ll publish a blog post each day unveiling the top 20 impact players in the state — in no particular order — in my unabashed opinion. All selections are entirely my own. Submit your feedback in the comment section below and I’ll respond accordingly. Stay up to date with Utah high school football on Twitter by following me @TPhibbsDNews.
Now, without further adieu:
20. Korey Rush, East. Defensive End.
19. Baron Gajkowski, Lone Peak. Quarterback.
18. Gaje Ferguson, Mountain Crest. Running back; outside linebacker.
17. Cole Nelson, Juan Diego. Quarterback; safety.
16. Nolan Gray, Orem. Receiver.
15. Mori Savini, Taylorsville. Defensive tackle; fullback.
14. Koi Cook, Grand. Running back; defensive back.
13. Isaiah Holloway, Timpview. Defensive back.
12. Brandon Farmer, Herriman. Running back.
Nitty-gritty: 5-foot-8, 161-pounds; undeclared.
Qualifications: In the offseason Herriman lost the only quarterback its ever known, brought in a coach in adoration of the run game, and returns a feisty back who surpassed the century mark as a junior.
As Bane would say, “Time to go mobile.”
The Mustangs are making the highly anticipated jump to 5A, and if they want to continue the progress they’ve established over the past three years, running back Brandon Farmer needs to run wild and free.
And there’s every indication that’ll he’ll get an opportunity to do so.
Former Hunter coach Dustin Pearce, who surprisingly took the Wolverines to the semifinals in 2009, will pace the sidelines this season. In that semifinal season his team ran for 2,017 yards and 32 scores. Then, for the first time in the school’s existence, Herriman will be without Tueni Lupeamanu who started all three years.
Therefore, Farmer’s role expanded significantly in the offseason, and considering he rushed for 1,007 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior, Herriman could be the “Farmers’ Market” come seasons end.
At 5-foot-8 and 161-pounds, many would typically expect a shifty back who dances for yardage. That isn’t the case for Farmer, who also added 601 yards and two scores in the return game. He hits the hole as hard as anyone in the state, and once he finds an opening — sound the horn, fuel the boiler and release the steam.
The separation between 5A and 4A is incremental, but there is a subtle difference. Herriman will experience that in 2013; Bingham, Lone Peak, Jordan, Riverton and Pleasant Grove along with 4A powerhouse Highland all make appearances on the schedule. To say the least, the slate is treacherous. The Mustangs desperately need to install the same prowess on the ground this season or risk the possibility of getting ran out of their own game.
Farmer, however, is a pretty good piece to start with.