Johnny Johnson (Blair Angulo)

Evaluations: Chandler and Pinnacle players

SunDevilSource.com attended the Chandler vs Pinnacle game last week, which had many Division I prospects participating. Here's our evaluations on quite a few of these prospects.

Chandler evaluations

Johnny Johnson (2017) -- Chandler lost one of its top receiving options for the season to a leg injury, Kolby Taylor, but several others have really stepped up, nobody more so than senior Johnny Johnson, who looks like a steal for UNLV as a prospect. It's curious as to Johnson's decision to commit to the Rebels immediately before the start of the season, but wouldn't be surprising of UNLV pushed for it knowing that he might attract a lot more attention with an impressive senior season. That's starting to happen now, as Johnson has had 23 catches for 458 yards and three touchdowns in three games, leading the team in all categories. At 6-foot-0 and 185 pounds, Johnson has good start and stop athleticism and overall body control, can move from outside to inside seamlessly, is a natural catcher of the football and is elusive in the open field. He has clocked 4.58 seconds electronically in the 40-yard dash and has a very good case to be a Power-5 wideout. This is a recruit ASU will have to study closely this season because he's right on the fence of being offerable in our estimation. 

Gunner Romney  (2018) -- In addition to Johnny Johnson's jump into the spotlight, junior wideout Gunner Romney made a big impression on us in Chandler's win over Pinnacle last Friday. Romney was a go-to chain mover on the night, with 10 catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. An outside receiver with good size at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, Romney looks very comfortable in the Chandler system, runs the route concepts efficiently and makes competitive plays on the football. He's a highly skilled prospect who will likely end up borderline Power-5 level from an athleticism standpoint. With one of the state's best younger quarterbacks in the fold, Romney is going to put up huge numbers this year and next season at Chandler and as a result get a lot of looks. 

T.J. Green (2017) -- An Oregon State commit, Green is a hybrid offensive weapon who primarily aligns in the backfield but can also run routes. He's a flex player who can be motioned around the field, take the ball on sweeps and be a receiving threat at multiple levels of the defense. He's also a ball carrier to some degree. Green had just a decent showing on the night. He's got to finish runs much better by exploding through contracting holes and displaying better overall physicality. That edge was not on display and it's the difference between the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder being a Pac-12 player or a Mountain West type athlete. 

Jacob Conover (2019) -- Only a sophomore, Conover is great at improvising and an exciting player to watch. He makes plays where there appears to be nothing there and has poise, maturity and field awareness well beyond his years. He threw passes at times while being tackled that almost looked like they were half basketball plays and half football plays. At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Conover has decent size and a moderate arm. He's going to have to continue to work on pocket mechanics to match his feel, and being able to consistently deliver the football on time, but the tools are there for Conover to end up being recruited at the BCS level, which would continue a long uninterrupted streak at Chandler at the quarterback position. 

Sam Pepper (2017) -- One of a few really impressive efforts in Chandler's win over Pinnacle came from Pepper, who plays a hybrid rush end position for Chandler from a 2-point stance. Pepper physically wore out the left side of Pinnacle's offensive line, which really shouldn't be the case as Pinnacle has a FBS senior left tackle, Ben Thomas. Even so, Pepper showed great physicality with violent and well leveraged attacks and active feet. On a number of occasions he simply worked Thomas backwards until he had access to the quarterback, and did so while only weighing 215 pounds at 6-foot-2. There's something to be said about Pepper's potential to play as an inside linebacker at the next level because of how well he moves and takes on blocks, his physical edge and a smart approach to the game. Army, Navy and Cornell have offered Pepper and he's still getting under-recruited. 

Parker Henley (2017) -- A playmaking inside linebacker prospect with good instincts, Parker Henley is on the short side for the position, but is stocky with a low center of gravity and runs better than one might think on first glance. He's a good leverage tackler and has great feel for the position. He's probably deserving of consideration at the Division I level.  

Chris Manoa (2018) -- Huge and powerful, Chris Manoa is a nose guard who is going to dominate at the point of attack against most opponents in Arizona High School football. He is very densely constructed at 6-foot-0 and 300 pounds but is not immobile at that size. He plays with good pad and active hands level releasing off the snap and can control the A-gap pretty effectively against all but Division I caliber offensive centers. He's the type of player who will move opposing linemen around like a rag doll if their technique isn't perfect. 

Decarlos Brooks (2019) -- Late in the game Brooks had a tremendous interception, timing up his jump perfectly on a fade route in which he baited the throw, then retreated to position while physically composed and then leaped while acrobatically grabbing the ball well above his head. On one play alone Brooks let it be known that he's someone to keep a close eye on as a potential BCS level cornerback prospect.

Pinnacle evaluations

Spencer Rattler (2019) -- A quarterback well beyond his years, Spencer Rattler has the so-called "it factor" at the position in spades. He's very athletic with plenty of arm and great instinctual playmaking feel. He's in the Russell Wilson mode as a quarterback, someone with tremendous scheme versatility, elusiveness and an ability to extend plays to throw or run. He's accurate on the move outside of the pocket as long as he sets his feet. He's not tall at 6-foot-1, but well put together physically and that will only continue to be the case as he matures. His throwing mechanics and ability to get the ball out quickly are also there. He's got a chance to be among the most highly recruited quarterbacks nationally in the class and Arizona State offered Rattler a scholarship as a freshman.

Benjamin Thomas (2017) -- This game showed that Thomas should be viewed as an interior prospect more than an offensive tackle. He's 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds but doesn't have the athletic range to handle playing tackle at the higher college level at that size. He was physically beaten by a smaller player on too many reps as a percentage of his overall plays. But Thomas is had a good frame and enough flexibility to project to the Division I level as a guard prospect but probably in the Group of 5. He could be a reach at the Pac-12 level despite reportedly having an offer from Colorado. Air Force and Army have offered as well as Colombia and Dartmouth. Thomas is a high academic student and quality teammate, which gives him value intangibly. 

Dalton Cash (2017) -- Inexplicably, Pinnacle went away from Cash in the second half after a few really impressive catches earlier in the game. Cash is one of the most underrated players in the state in the 2017 class. He has six catches for 86 yards this season but that doesn't in any way convey the potential he has as a full service player with good Division I size at 6-foot-4 and 233 pounds. While he isn't a great athlete, he's more than good enough in that regard giving his skill level and overall approach to the position to warrant more scholarships than the two he reportedly has, Adams State and Idaho. 


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