Top 20 prep football players countdown: Logan’s Taylor Compton

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:


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.

Logan's Taylor Compton makes a move in the open field.

Logan’s Taylor Compton makes a move in the open field.

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.

Email: tphibbs@deseretnews.com

5 comments

  1. Puzzled

    Though these boys are certainly good players, why is this list virtually devoid of offensive and defensive linemen? Most of the boys on this list will be lucky to play JUCO ball, whereas the state of Utah always produces a good amount of D1 linemen, more so than any other position. Why aren’t the big boys on this list?

    • Trevor Phibbs

      @Puzzled

      I wouldn’t say that the list is void of defensive lineman. Yes, there could have been more offensive lineman, and I went back and forth on several, but I ended up coming to the conclusion that out of all the positions the OL is the most group-oriented on the field. I know it’s an 11-man game, but the five up front have to work so cohesively that it’s hard to single out one particular offensive lineman as one of the most influential players. They’re all the most influential is what I’m trying to say.

      The defensive linemen are sufficiently represented with three players listed. Of the 17 players: four are quarterbacks, three are defensive linemen, three are wide receivers, three are defensive backs, two are linebackers and two are running backs.

      Last, in the early paragraphs I’ve reiterated that the list isn’t based strictly on recruiting or perception of how the players will do at the next level. The list, in no particular order, highlights the top 20 influential players in high school. I didn’t even take into account whether any of the players will play in college or not.

    • Luke Castleberry

      I definitely agree! Zac Dawe from Pleasant Grove is commited to a full ride scholarship from BYU last year as a junior and was recruited by many other schools. His brother Parker is a walk-on at BYU.

  2. PigskinFan

    Am I the only one that total understands and agrees with Trevor Phibbs top 20 list. These are Friday night production, impact, statistic football players that their team would probably lose games without them. Some OL/DL guys even “top national recruits” typically a team will still win games without them in High School. A goog example will be Jordan this year, missing the OL from last year, but with their stud still guys (QB/RB) will win a back-to-back championship. Skill guy rule in High School football, they make the all the touch downs. Trevor your list has been spot on, their individual teams will rely on them to make a huge differents in the outcome on Friday nights.

    Logan will do great this year mostly because of the skill guys and a new OC.

    • Trevor Phibbs

      @PigskinFan
      I think that a lot of people understand the purpose of the list, but some are accidently glancing over the opening description. I really didn’t think it would be that difficult to simply list the top-rated recruits in the state. For those who follow high school football, that’s pretty common knowledge, at least I think. So, I’m glad that you’re enjoying the list and agree with it.

      I’m right there with you on Logan. Anytime there’s a Nelson behind center it’s time to pay attention. The Jordan prediction is pretty bold. I’m not as confident in the ‘Diggers at this point. The five upfront really were in the top three the state has ever seen.

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