Fall is closing in fast, and it is time to start breaking down the Beehive State and the best prospects at each position. These rankings are solely based off of my evaluations from spring and last year's game tape. Evaluations are fluid and things will be reevaluated dozens of times between now and the end of the 2014 football season.
My categories are defined as the following: "Top Tier" which means the prospects in that group are D1 bound. The next group is "Next Level Guys" which means the prospects in that group are not definite D1 scholarship guys, but have a shot and certainly belong at some level of college football. And lastly, is the "Keep An Eye On" which are the guys that have potential to play in college and are on the radar at some level.
1) Chaz Ah You- Ah You may only be a sophomore, but his future is as bright as any safety in Utah. The 2017 athlete from Westlake HS has everything you look for in a safety; length, speed, ball skills, and the ability to tackle in space. Ah You has some filling out to do (6-1 175), but based off of his family that should be no problem. He may end up growing into an outside backer, but for the time being he looks like he is going to be a tremendous safety. Despite being so young Ah You looks fluid and seasoned on the football field. He is going to draw national attention by the time it's all said and done.
2) Quinn Fabrizio- Fabrizio is a tweener at this point. As a junior he played safety for Alta HS and has impressive film. He is 6-3 1/2 210 pounds and could easily be converted to an OLB. His intrigue is at safety, after watching the Seattle Seahawks secondary impose their will on the NFL, everyone wants long and physical defensive backs. Fabrizio is a sure-tackler and he is no slouch in pass coverage. Fabrizio has nice foot work and is very capable of covering tight ends, running backs, and even some wide receivers one on on. Fabrizio is not only one of the best defensive backs in Utah, he is one of the most intriguing prospects on the West Coast. The size and skill of Fabrizio is drawing a lot of attention to Alta.
3) Drew Jensen- There's really not much the 2016 Brighton athlete can't do. He has played quarterback, running back, receiver, linebacker, safety, and just about every special teams role. Jensen projects best at safety. He has the size, athleticism, smarts, and toughness to become a good college safety. Osa Masina will be the center of attention for Brighton this fall, but next year it could be Jensen's team.
4) Zayne Anderson- Anderson may be one of the most underrated athletes in the Beehive State. The Utah State commit has good size, good speed, and he is a solid all around football player. Stansbury HS is going to miss Anderson when he is gone. He has been the anchor of their team for a few years now. Coach Wells and the Aggies have a nice prospect in Anderson, it wouldn't surprise me if he was an all-conference safety a few years down the road.
5) Lorenzo Manu- Manu only had 11 interceptions last year for East HS. Manu has tremendous ball skills, good length, and plays center field as well as any safety in Utah. Manu will also be starting QB for East this year, which speaks volumes for his athleticism and football IQ. Manu has a few early offers, but his straight line speed (40 time) is going to keep some programs away. His junior film shows a D1 football player, that's for sure.
Next Level Guys-
6) Jojo Henderson- This fall may be Henderson's coming out party. He looked great this spring during 7 on 7's. Henderson is a good athlete with a hungry to be great. He should be the best player for Olympus this fall, and could end up one of the best playmakers in Utah.
7) Braxton Gunther- Gunther is only going into his junior year, but his technique is probably the best on this list. Gunther shined at Mountain West Elite this year and has the ability to be a special football player. The Woods Cross safety may be a bit limited based off of his size, but he plays bigger than he is. His sophomore tape is good, and his junior year should be even better.
8) Isaiah Holloway- The Timpview senior primarily plays receiver and cornerback, but his calling in college may be free safety. Holloway has good ball skills and a good frame. He has been a good player for Timpview for a few years now. 2014 could be the year he takes his game to the next level.
9) To'a Maumau- Maumau is the heart and soul of Taylorsville this year. The Texas transplant will be playing quarterback and strong safety this fall. Maumau is a fantastic athlete and a fierce competitor, but his size (5-9 200 lbs) will potentially limit his impact at the next level.
Keep An Eye On