Upstart Casteel High School is serving notice of its arrival in an already crowded Easy Valley football scene.
In its first varsity season last year, the Queen Creek school went 9-2, dominating most opponents in a 3A schedule.
Two weeks ago at the 32 team Nike 7 on 7 passing tournament, Casteel lost to Hamilton and star quarterback Tyler Shough in the semifinals on the final play of the game.
On Monday at Arizona State's passing league event, Casteel got its revenge. After beating Saguaro earlier in the day, the Colts scored on the game's final possession to beat the Huskies.
While Shough's talent level stood above the crowd, Casteel 2019 quarterback Gunner Cruz demonstrated that he too is a Division I caliber quarterback prospect.
Here's a look at some of the top prospects we observed on Monday:
Tyler Shough -- The Hamilton 2018 quarterback recently earned an Elite-11 finals invite just weeks after an Arizona State offer. Shough is one of the hottest quarterback names in the country in the class, and he didn't disappoint on Monday, even as his team didn't have its best outing. A deep, on-target throw that should have been a touchdown was dropped on the first play of the game against Casteel, an ominous sign which foreshadowed the team's loss. Shough is tall and long -- a bit narrow through the shoulders -- with a big arm, signature hair and classic throwing mechanics. He was accurate as well, even when on the move, and even with consistency when throwing the ball downfield. His decision making and ability to process the field was nearly impeccable in this setting. As a prospect, he was every bit as impressive at the event as former five-star quarterback Kyle Allen was several years ago.
Gunner Cruz -- Scholarship offers should start rolling in for Cruz in the year ahead. He's got ideal size, at 6-foot-4 and a broad shouldered 200 pounds, to match his potent arm. He can really muscle up on the football while still feathering it with good location and spin. He's the type of quarterback who can be difficult for receivers to catch in shorter throws that require a lot of velocity, but his teammates did a good job of managing this on Monday. The tools are there for Cruz to be a prominent recruit in the west in the 2019 class with a little more refinement. He showed good leadership and poise, even when Casteel beat Saguaro and Hamilton. He acted like he belongs, and I'm sure rightly believes that he does.
Solomon Enis -- On of the clear-cut best 2018 prospects in Arizona, Enis was offered a scholarship during his junior season at North Canyon. The son of former Penn State running back Curtis Enis is a big bodied wide receiver who was clearly a man among boys at ASU's event. With Sun Devil wide receivers coach Rob Likens watching his every move and offensive coordinator Billy Napier also looking on, Enis put on a show with multiple acrobatic catches including a contested touchdown grab in just one game. Enis just missed the Top-10 performer cut at the recent Nike Opening regional in Oakland, but was still invited to The Opening finals. The No. 170 overall prospect in the class has impressive body control and ball skills for a 6-foot-3, 200 pound receiver, with some attributes reminiscent of former ASU wide receiver Jaelen Strong, especially because he wears the number that Strong did in college.
Hunter Mayginnes -- Mayginnes had what was, in my estimation, the most unexpectedly impressive performance of the night. I hadn't studied his film from last season closely enough, and that was a mistake. Mayginnes has very good size, 6-foot-5 and a well constructed 315 pounds, and surprising initial quickness in his pass set. He sits into a three point stance with a lot of comfort and plenty of flexion. He showed good foot agility for his size coming off the snap, a body and movement type that somewhat resembles ASU right tackle Quinn Bailey. At times he gets a bit overzealous and reaches too much with an unbalanced upper body, but there were other, more patient reps and Mayginnes made some good in rep adjustments. He was going up against totally overmatched players, so that's a factor to consider. But while Mayginnes has a couple lower tier Division I offers, he's getting under-recruited based on what we've now seen. He's not a reach in the Pac-12 and might even be able to play right tackle.