2011 Team Preview: Scottsdale

After last year's 6-4 record, Scottsdale head coach Doug Madoski and his staff have the Artichokes poised for a run at a bowl game with 11 starters returning (6 on offense, 5 on defense). Here's a look at the top prospects to keep an eye on and what contributions they are expected to make this fall...

Offensively, with six returning starters, the Artichokes have several top players who are getting a lot of recruiting attention.

TE Blake Jackson is the big name with offers from schools across the country.

As a freshman last season, Jackson used his soft hands, elite athleticism and route-running skills to finish second on the Chokes in receptions (33), yards receiving (540) and led the team with nine touchdowns.

The leading receiver in receptions and yardage last fall was WR Jesse Brantley and he returns for his sophomore season with several D-1 offers already in hand.

The young man getting Jackson and Brantley the ball will be Cody Sokol, a big, physically gifted quarterback who completed nearly 56% of his passes for over 2,000 yards with 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

OL Christian Williams returns after starting 10 games last year and he will lead a line of youngsters who have talent, but lack experience.

While the Chokes have some nice returning talent of offense, it's defense is where most of the top prospects lie.

Along the defensive line Mike Pennell already has five offers and posted 34 tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss and five sacks as a freshman last fall.

Joining Pennell inside is Chris Brown who started nine games last fall and was named to the All-Region team after posting 30 tackles and three sacks. Like Pennell, Brown also has a handful of offers from D-1 schools.

At linebacker, brothers Ridge Nelson and Riley Nelson man the outside spots and both can fly around and make plays.

The Scottsdale secondary is loaded with talented prospect including Justin Turner, a Michigan-signee, at safety and Courtney Thompson and Adam Dixon at the corners.

Scottsdale lit up their first opponent of the season, posting 77 points while shutting out the East Valley Ravens. This weekend the Chokes take on Phoenix College at home to begin league play.

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