Over the last few years, in particular the past two recruiting cycles, you’ll be able to notice that the Arizona Wildcats have been landing talent out of much stronger football programs. Going back to the 2015 recruiting class, over half of the commits had won state championships in high school.
More than ever, it’s evident that Arizona continues to pull talent out of some of the top high schools in their recruiting states, which include Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada mainly.
As we approach the end of the high school season for a lot of the Arizona commits, here’s a look to see how each of their teams stack up in the playoffs.
Jamarye Joiner leads Cienega to No. 1 in 5A playoffs
Jamarye Joiner is now a 4-star prospect according to 247Sports. Still a high school junior, he’s led the Bobcats to a 10-0 record and the No. 1 seed in the 5A Arizona state playoffs.
Drew Dixon, Sabino secures No. 5 seed in 4A playoffs
Drew Dixon is one of my favorite sleeper commits of this class just because of his versatility and size. He stands at 6-foot-4 and last told me he was weighing about 211 pounds entering the season.
Arizona wants him in as a wide receiver, which would likely mean he’ll have a redshirt season just to refine his skills a bit, since he’s played a little more quarterback and running back this season for Sabino. The option for quarterback still isn’t entirely out of the picture, as we’ve seen with the injuries this season.
Best triple threat in state? Sabino's Drew Dixon has passed for more than 900 yards, run for more than 800, and caught for more than 200— Richard Obert (@azc_obert) November 2, 2016
Jalen Harris and Desert Ridge land No. 8 seed in 6A bracket
One of Arizona’s most prized commits of the class, Jalen Harris, has secured a No. 8 seed in the 6A Arizona state playoffs, the top class for high school football. He’s been making plays on offense and defense lately. If Desert Ridge advances, they’ll take on the No. 1 seed Mountain Pointe Pride.
Catalina Foothills notches No. 6 seed in 4A
One of two quarterback commits of the 2017 class, Rhett Rodriguez, has fueled Catalina Foothills to a six-seed in the 4A bracket. Jason and I will be heading out to their playoff opener this Friday.
Higley High (Gilbert, AZ) secures No. 2 seed in 4A playoffs
Higley High has put up one of the most explosive offenses in the state this season, which was largely due to their receiving corps. Bryce Gilbert has been dealing with an ankle injury throughout the second half of the season, and the coaching staff tells me that he is out for the season.
Through four games this season, Gilbert ended with 15 receptions, 214 yards, and four touchdowns. As a junior he had 65 catches for 1,056 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Bryce Wolma, Saline enter playoffs undefeated
The Saline Hornets have worked their way to a 10-0 record, sitting as the No. 4 seed in the Michigan Class 1 state playoffs. There are still five other undefeated teams in that bracket.
Nathan Tilford fighting uphill battle in playoffs
Currently sitting at 6-3, Colony High is looking at a No. 10 seed in the Southern Section Division 4 bracket for California. This is the same bracket as Brian Casteel and Charter Oak.
Tilford will likely see time as a true freshman at Arizona. He currently has 169 carries for 1,491 yards and 26 rushing touchdowns.
Brian Casteel exploding for Charter Oak
Charter Oak is looking at a No. 2 seed in the Southern Section Division 4. Miguel Reveles locked down Casteel early this summer and he’s had a monstrous season, quickly becoming one of my favorite commits of the class.
Desert Pines duo Tony Fields and Edgar Burrola secure No. 2 seed
With a 9-1 record, Desert Pines will open up as the No. 2 seed in the Nevada Division 3A playoffs. Judging by Burrola’s twitter picture, it seems as if he did not play in a game recently. As for Tony Fields, he’ll be enrolling at Arizona early and could move to linebacker or safety.
Hawkins, Greg Johnson dominating Los Angeles
Hawkins is currently 9-0 and the clear No. 1 seed in the Los Angeles City Section Division II playoff bracket. Greg Johnson has made an impact on offense and defense, but will come in as a cornerback.
Hawkins has the potential to become a pipeline for Arizona, with tons of 5-star talent, including Joseph Lewis, Jalen Hall, and Marcus Johnson.
Cody Shear getting looks at fullback for 8-1 Sheldon High
Sheldon is looking at the No. 4 seed in the 6A Oregon state playoffs. 3-star OG commit Shear has been laying kids out all season and has now been moved to fullback in a specific jumbo package that has him extremely excited for the playoffs.
Rhedi Short and defense leads Cathedral to 9-0 start
Cathedral has probably the best defensive backfield in the nation with Rhedi Short, Darren Hall, and Jaylon Redd. They’re 9-0, looking at a No. 2 seed in the Southern Section Division 3 of California. While it’s still way too early to tell, I would expect that Short finds himself on the field early next season for Arizona.
Scott Young’s versatility leading Helix
Entering their 10th and final game, Helix is looking at a No. 4 or 5 seed in the San Diego Section Division I. Scott Young has been an integral part of the team’s success, being named as the third-best player in San Diego. No. 1? Braxton Burmeister.
La Jolla Country Day, Braxton Burmeister still holding onto No. 1 seed
People wonder about Braxton Burmeister’s competition. Someone had me compare it to the competition in the state of Arizona and I would like to say that La Jolla Country Day could hold their own in the 5A division of Arizona high school football.
With a record of 7-2 on the season, La Jolla Country Day is still looking at the one-seed for the San Diego Section Division 4 playoffs.
Wide receiver commit Darrian McNeal fighting in Florida
Armwood was preseason nationally ranked as a top 25 team. While the competition in Florida has been stiff this season, the Hawks haven’t exactly lived up to the hype. Still, they’ve only lost one game this season, and Armwood is projected be a five-seed in the 6A Florida playoffs.
Bishop Gorman overwhelming favorite to win Nevada state championship
Bishop Gorman is the No. 2 program in the nation, No. 1 in the 4A Nevada Playoffs. Most believe they are on their way to their 8th consecutive state championship. 3-star corner commit Malik Hausman has been dealing with an injury all season.
Warren Jackson entering playoffs despite losing record
Also in the bottom half of the Southern Section Division I playoffs, Warren Jackson’s 2-6 Alemany Warriors will be closing in on a playoff spot. It looks like the power points will favor them, as they played an extremely tough schedule and will finish with Gardena Serra next week.
Bryce Brand’s transfer lifts Clayton Valley
Bryce Brand has had himself a nice season for Clayton Valley after transferring from IMG Academy. Clayton Valley is in the North Coast Section 1, rocking an 8-1 record and looking at a No. 4 seed.
Mater Dei commits Xavier Bell & Austin Faoliu
The Monarchs are entering their 10th and final game, ranked No. 1 in the nation. They’re likely to be the No. 1 seed in the Southern Section Division I. Given the talent in California, it would be interesting to see if Mater Dei can finish the season as state champions.
Long Beach Poly fighting for playoff spot
3-star linebacker commit Joshua Brown has been doing it all for LBP on defense. They’re currently 6-3 and looking at a No. 14 seed in the Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. They’re in the same bracket as Mater Dei.
Elijah Watson’s transfer to IMG pays off
Watson had been at a high school in Georgia that wasn’t exactly a playoff contender while he was there. The early playing time that Arizona was selling led to his transfer to IMG Academy and it’s paid off, as IMG is currently ranked as the No. 3 program in the nation.
Troy Young likely a No. 4 seed in the 3A Alabama state playoffs
Mobile Christian is an extremely small school in Alabama, but Troy Young has led a rushing attack that is likely to give them a high seed in the playoffs. While he is Arizona’s lowest ranked recruit, and one of six secondary commits, this will surely help in landing his teammate, Andres Fox, 4-star 2018 defensive end.