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.
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Now, without further ado:
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.
11. Drew Batchelor, Dixie. Receiver.
10. Kavika Fonua, Syracuse. Defensive back; running back.
9. Bryan Mone, Highland. Defensive line, offensive line.
8. Chase Christiansen, Stansbury. Quarterback; linebacker.
7. Tani Lehauli, Granger. Running back.
6. Trent Roberts, Duchesne. Quarterback
5. Breckin Gunter, Box Elder. Linebacker; running back.
4. Taylor Compton, Logan. Receiver; cornerback.
Nitty-gritty: 5-foot-9, 165-pounds; undeclared.
Qualifications: It’s essentially an unwritten law that anytime a receiver sets the all-time high mark for single-season receptions that they’re automatically listed on any preseason list. Logan’s Taylor Compton fits into that rule.
Compton terrorized opposing defenses on a nightly basis, and eventually produced 107 catches — surpassing the state record of 100 set in 2009 by West Jordan’s C.J. O’Neal — for 1,088 yards and 11 touchdowns. Now, with 116 career receptions, Compton is entering sacred ground. He’s now only 14 grabs shy of moving into the top 10 all-time.
Compton, who added 33 tackles and three interceptions on defense, will be newly appointed quarterback, Chase Nelson’s security blanket as the Grizzlies prepare to move forward without Washington State commit Luke Falk behind center.
Logan invests in the passing game as much or more than any team in the state. Dating back to 2003, every Grizzly quarterback has been recognized with postseason honors — five times reaching First-Team All-State heights — along with one Mr. Football and 4A MVP. During that time period seven gunslingers have combined for 37,182 yards of offensive production and 470 touchdowns. In other words — Nelson should be just fine.
The reason Compton’s presence is invaluable extends to his ability to calm the waves. The offense will appear similar, but certainly have a different feel with Riley Nelson stepping into the offensive coordinator role. Then, considering the sibling relationship between quarterback and OC coupled with the expectations of the Nelson name, it’s important for Compton to make life simple with middle screens and quick-hit routes.
Improving upon his junior season is a daunting task, but with several receivers graduating, Compton very well could equal or potentially exceed his production in 2013.