Top 100: The Arizona Republic's best 2023 high school football prospects (2023)

Richard Obert|Arizona Republic

The rollout for the top 2023 Arizona high school football prospects has begun. Here is The Arizona Republic's picks for top recruits in that class. It starts with the top 10. An additional 10 players will be added each week until it reaches 100.

Top 100: Class of2023

1. Cole Martin, Chandler Hamilton, DB, 5-9, 165

Dynamic punt returner and one of the nation's top corners. He is a dynamic talent who saw his recruiting ramp up in the last year. He has offers that include Oregon, USC, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Colorado and Notre Dame. He was first-team All-Premier Region, All-Arizona first team and the Arizona Cardinals' Special Teams Player of the Year, leading the Huskies to the Open Division championship game.

2. Deric English, Scottsdale Saguaro, WR, 6-4, 210

Already on the fast track to Power 5 offers, picking up Michigan State, Florida State and ASU. He has the size, the physicality and the speed and hands to make him attractive to top college programs. He may have to miss the first five games due to transferring from Glendale Mountain Ridge this spring. But he'll find himself elevating his game against top talent in practices.

3. Duce Robinson, Phoenix Pinnacle, TE/WR, 6-6, 220

Multi-sport athlete who is a big matchup problem for teams. He's got size and hands and the ability to break big plays after catching it. He was offered by Arizona State before entering high school. He also has offers from Oregon, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Georgia, Arizona and Florida State.

4. Kyler Kasper, Gilbert Williams Field, WR, 6-3, 165

Great prospect with his size and speed. Very athletic and strong. Has sure hands. Among his offers are Arizona State, Arizona, Michigan State, Iowa State and Iowa. He'll really take off with his recruiting this summer.

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5. Jackson Bowers, Mesa Mountain View, TE, 6-5, 230

Great hands, good route runner. Offers include ASU, BYU, California and Utah. His recruiting ramped up after last season. Was able to provide great film. Combination of size and skills.

No. 6 Kavaughn Clark, Peoria Centennial, RB, 5-8, 190

He had a breakout sophomore season for the Coyotes with his ability to break tackles and run away from safeties. Versatile playmaker who got offered by Nevada before his sophomore season.

7. Dylan Jett Roberts, Centennial, DL, 6-3, 275

He picked up an Arizona offer in February. Might be the strongest player in a program that produces some of the state's strongest athletes. Has great motor, strong base, good feet, able to elude blocks,stuff the run and get to the quarterback.

8. John Butler, Saguaro, LB, 6-1, 230

He transferred in from Laveen Cesar Chavez, where he was on a path to Power 5 offers. He's got the size, strength and motor to become a big impact player at inside linebacker for the Sabercats. He had 18 tackles in three games last season.

9. Eli Paige, Pinnacle, OL, 6-6, 275

A basketball player, athletic and tough. Very physical. Has an Arizona offer. His ceiling is high. He'll have a chance to be an impact offensive tackle at a Power 5.

10. James Durand, Chandler Basha, OL, 6-5, 265

He was making a varsity impact starting on the offensive lineman as a freshman. Keeps growing and getting stronger. He'll have his pick of Power 5 schools if he keeps working hard. Will be the anchor of the Bears' line.

11. Porter Reynolds, Queen Creek, LB, 6-2, 235

This guy has all the tangibles and intangible to make it big in football at any level. He's a fierce competitor, who will change the game with his strength and quickness. He's a natural linebacker but coach Joe Germaine used him at defensive end last season and he impacted the game. Very explosive. Nasty streak.

12. Wyatt Milkovic, Basha, OLB, 6-1, 230

Very strong, explosive. Plays with an edge. Physical player who will make big hits. Disruptive in the pass and run game. Has offers from Iowa State, Colorado, New Mexico and NAU.

13. Cole Shivers, Saguaro, CB, 5-10, 170

Watch for this quick, fast corner to blow up in the spring. Great ball skills. Can handle big, physical receivers. Fearless. Has offers from Arizona and Florida State.

14. Devon Dampier, Saguaro, QB, 6-0, 188

Recently transferred from Pinnacle, he keeps growing and keeps showing signs of development. Was the fulltime starter at quarterback as a sophomore at Pinnacle. Has offers from NAU and Arizona. Great competitor. rs. Can run and spin it.

15. Zaccheus Cooper, Peoria Liberty, RB, 5-10, 190

An injury took a toll on him last season. If he can avoid the injury bug, he could be one of the top recruits in Arizona by the time he's a senior. He's explosive, strong and gives extra effort every time he touches the ball. Game changer.

16. JR Nsubuga, Chandler, Athlete, 6-3, 195

He is among six quarterbacks vying for the starting job following the two-year unbeaten run by Mikey Keene (now at the University of Central Florida). He started at cornerback in the Open Division semifinals. Great athlete. Long and strong. Fast. runs a 10.7-second 100 meters.

17. T.J. Tiller, Williams Field, QB, 6-1, 175

He could be the next big thing at quarterback in Arizona that nobody knows about. He's got the arm strength and accuracy to put up big numbers next season.

18. Aiden Herring, Gilbert Perry, DE, 6-3, 245

An absolute beast who started every varsity game as a sophomore. Great work ethic. A 4.1 student.

19. Richard Stallworth, Yuma Catholic, QB, 6-2, 210

Forget that he plays at the 3A level. This kid checks all of the boxes. Son of the head football coach, he put up the most yards passing in Arizona at any level last season. An injury kept him out of the 3A championship game.

20. Gavin Geweniger, Scottsdale Chaparral, DE, 6-4, 235

He suffered a torn ACL last year or he would have Power 5 offers by now. Coach Brent Barnes calls him a "big-time prospect." The injury set him back, but if he comes back 100%, he'll be a major recruit.

21. Matt Klopfenstien, Phoenix Horizon, TE, 6-5, 226

One of the best tight ends in Arizona in any class. He has offers from Arizona and Michigan State. Strong blocker, good hands, can makes big plays.

22. Deshaun Buchanan, Hamilton, DB/RB, 5-10, 176

Very talented on both sides of the ball. Started at cornerback in the Open playoffs. Had 21 tackles and ran for more than 200 yards.

23. Landon Jury, Queen Creek Casteel, QB, 6-1, 180

This should be his time to emerge. As a freshman, he led the JV team to an undefeated season. He has had to wait his turn to be the varsity QB. Great vision, accuracy and makes all the throws.

24. Demari Washington, Centennial, CB/WR, 6-0, 175

Blessed with speed and quickness. Has been offered by Colorado. Could play either cornerback or wide receiver in college.

25. Carlos Griffin, Saguaro, DB, 5-11, 170

Contributed as a sophomore. Good ball skills. Fast and quick, great nose for the ball. Has Division I offers.

26. Ricky Ahumaraeze, Chandler, WR, 6-3, 170

He transferred in from Liberty High in Missouri. Long and athletic. Great skills on both sides of the ball but projects as a college wide receiver. Deep play threat.

27. Jack Amer, Perry, QB/Athlete, 6-3, 210

He could become abig-time quarterback or at any position on the field. He's that athletic.

28. Kai Kolsted, Tucson Salpointe Catholic, OL/DL, 6-1, 252

Has a chance to be special. Great feet, high IQ. Very aware of where he needs to be. Quick pulling guard. Great in the classroom. Team leader.

29. Caleb Lyden, Sahuarita Walden Grove, Athlete, 6-0, 175

He started at quarterback, wide receiver and safety in games last year on varsity. Has played at the varsity level at linebacker and running back, as well. In three games last year, he had 267 total yards and 18 tackles. Good kick returner.

30. Jackson Browning, Basha, LB, 6-0, 215

Physical, strong player who had 110 tackles in nine games as a sophomore. 3.7 GPA. Get leader. His recruiting could blow up this summer.

31. Brendan Anderson, Glendale Mountain Ridge, QB, 6-1, 180

He’s only getting bigger. Has been working hard in the offseason to increase his speed. Makes accurate, strong throws from every angle. Passed for nearly 1,600 yards and 19 TDs during the shortened 2020 season.

32. Alexander Doost, Mountain Ridge, OL, 6-6, 300

A huge anchor on the line, great flexibility and athleticism. Paves big holes for run game and great pass protector. He’s a Power 5 prospect.

33. Myles Libman, Pinnacle, WR, 6-1, 175

Talented play-maker like his older brother Marcus, he’ll make plays after catches. Keeps growing. Great athleticism.

34. Mason Stromstad, Tempe Marcos de Niza, FS, 6-2, 175

He’s one of the better athletes in the state. He had 36 tackles, 23 solo, two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown last season. Started every game at free safety. Quick feet, great balance. Runs sprints on the track team.

35. Andrew McKenzie, Anthem Boulder Creek, Athlete, 5-10, 185

Watch for a breakout season after leading the JV team to an 8-0 record. He can play wide receiver, running back and safety. Had more than 800 receiving yards and six TDs with 325 rushing yards and two TDs on the undefeated JV team. Will be a two-way varsity starter.

36. Philip Maschue, Phoenix St. Mary's, OL, 6-3, 290

Was first-team all-region last season. Long arms, athletic. Carries a 3.75 grade-point average. He’ll be the anchor on the varsity line.

37. Antonio Bentley, Casteel, LB, 6-0, 210

Son of former Ohio State and two-time Pro Bowl center LeCharles Bentley, he can play edge on the line and move around as a huge piece of the second layer of Casteel’s defense. Great acceleration and nose for the ball.

38. Drake Cluff, American Leadership Queen Creek, WR, 5-8, 160

Should emerge as QB Logan Hubler’s top target. Good speed, making him a big-play threat. Sure hands. Will make tough catches in traffic.

39. Faimafili Snuka, Williams Field, LB, 6-1, 215

He has bulked up since last season. Keeps improving. Great nose for the ball. Good speed, instincts. Can play middle and outside linebacker spots.

40. Levi Robins, Saguaro, DB, 5-10, 175

Started at cornerback on varsity as a sophomore, part of one of the best Saguaro defenses in Jason Mohns’ tenure. Can lock it down against bigger receiver. Aggressive, quick. Great ball skills.

41. Makua Pule, Highland, OL/DL, 6-3, 265

He could play either side of the line in college. Great motor, work ethic. One of the strongest players in the southeast Valley.

42. Jacob Condie, Desert Ridge, TE, 6-3, 235

Has a chance to be a big-time college tight end with his ability to block and catch. Hehas a 4.4 GPA. Should have multiple Power 5 offers by June.

43. Dominic Hanger, Chandler, LB, 6-0, 195

Playmaker, edge sack guy who is a solid tackler. Makes things happen. Played on special teams during state championship 2020 season. Will compete for a starting job.

44. Micah Johnson, Peoria Sunrise Mountain, WR, 6-2, 180

One of the best receivers in the state last year, he helped his team win the 5A championship. Could be the best player on their roster next season. Will be the guy to turn catches into big plays.

45. Sam Thielen, Mountain Ridge, WR, 6-0, 170

Expected to be Brendan Anderson’s go-to receiver with Deric English moving over to Saguaro. Caught 23 passes for 414 yards and two TDs last season.

46. Blaise Nelson, Surprise Valley Vista, WR, 5-11, 180

Has a 4.3 GPA, caught 51 passes for 574 yards and five TDs as a sophomore. Smart route runner, makes plays after catches, made in the mold of former Valley Vista standout receiver Terry Juniel.

47. Davey Morales, Queen Creek, WR, 5-10, 180

He could be Devin Brown’s main target next season. Fast, dynamic playmaker. He had 34 catches and four TDs last season.

48. Avaunt Ortiz, Tempe McClintock, Athlete, 5-10, 165

He started on varsity as a sophomore at both cornerback and wide receiver. One of the top spriners in the state in track and field. Physical athlete who is expected to have a monster junior season for coach Corbin Smith.

49. Dalton Gillette, Mesa Mountain View, RB, 6-0, 200

Versatile athlete who can also play H-back. Strongrunner with breakaway speed. Watch for a huge junior season under new coach Joe Germaine, who will utilize him as a big weapon on offense.

50. Fiatau Palaita, Salpointe Catholic, OL/DL, 6-2, 312

Strong, great football IQ, communicates well, able to pick up blitzes.

51. Grant Brunelle, Liberty, WR, 6-0, 180

Coming off a strong sophomore season as a varsity starter on a team that pushed Chandler into overtime in the Open semifinals. He had 30 catches for 397 yards and five TDs. Very fast, great hands, will get to the ball intraffic.

52. Ja’Kobi Lane, Red Mountain, WR, 6-5, 180

Still filling out. Unlimited potential. Has an Arizona State offer. Great skill set. Matchup problem for defenses.

53. Damian Jiles, Cactus, RB, 5-8, 200

Great motor, speed, can run through and around players. Led team in rushing last season. Scored three touchdowns in the 39-38 4A championship loss to Mesquite.

54. Jordan Gile, Chandler, QB, 6-0, 190

Has the talent to start for most schools but will be in a battle to see the field at Chandler, which has six standout quarterbacks battling for the job. He’s got a strong arm, smart, reads secondaries well.

55. Lenox Lawson, Red Mountain, Athlete, 5-10, 170

He is an all-purpose back who can play tailback or slot receiver. Versatile. Has offer from Southern Utah. Comes from great football family.

56. Mitch Jensen, American Leadership Queen Creek, RB, 5-10, 210

Tough, rugged between-the-tackles runner who should have a huge junior season. Good out of the backfield catching passes. Will flourish under Ty Detmer and Max Hall with a potent offensive attack.

57. Jayden Diaz, Arizona College Prep, QB, 6-0, 182

Brother of Joel Diaz, who is now at Colorado School of Mines. Made all-region as an offensive flex. Athletic. Can stand out at receiver, as well. Has Division I interest. A top dual threat in the state.

58. Layton Duncan, Brophy Prep, Athlete, 6-1, 175

Natural position is wide receiver but helped out at quarterback out of need last season with Elijah Warner out with an injury. Dynamic play-maker who should impress his junior year with his skills and speed.

59. Vance Cooper, Willow Canyon, RB, 5-10, 185

He was first-team all-region and all-district last season when he ran for 570 yards and nine touchdowns in seven games. Explosive, dynamic back who put in a lot of offseason work to get faster and stronger. Expect huge junior season.

60. Blake Ware, Sandra Day O’Connor, LB, 5-9, 195

Tenacious tackler, great nose for the ball. Had 74 tackles, three sacks and three fumble recoveries, helping the Eagles reach the 6A semifinals as a sophomore.

61. Will Galvan, Cactus, QB, 5-9, 160

Recruiters shouldn’t shy away from him for his size. He makes plays. He was huge for the Cobras last year with his legs and arm, leading them to the 4A final. Fast, good arm, accurate, surveys the field well.

62 Keona Peat, Tempe Corona del Sol, OL, 6-4, 270

He's part of one of the greatest sports families in Arizona history. His brother Andrus Peat is an offensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints. Has been well-coached by his brothers.

63. Cooper Zellner, Gilbert, Athlete, 5-10, 160

He does it all on his dad’s team. He plays safety, linebacker, slot receiver, is the long snapper. Has a 4.2 GPA. Strong football IQ. Big motor, lives in the weight room.

64. Gavin Parks, Desert Edge, WR, 6-1, 180

He should have a big varsity season, especially with No. 1 receiver Richard Kulik rehabbing from offseason surgery and possibly not being back until late in the season. He led the JV team that lost just one game in catches, yards and TDs.

65. Joseph Allen, Highland, DB, 6-0, 195

Started on varsity last year when the Hawks reached the 6A final. He is younger brother of All-Arizona safety Ammon Allen, who will be playing at Arizona. Great skills. Fast, aggressive, tough.

66. Caleb Lomu, Highland, DL, 6-5, 260

Natural defensive end who is still growing. Division I potential. Works hard. Strong, long, and able to make plays. He has been offered by Northern Arizona.

67. Griffin Schureman, Queen Creek, OL, 6-2, 230

Still growing, still developing, but has been well-coached his whole life from his father, Travis, who has taken over again as the head coach. Great feet, strong hands, good motor.

68. Gage Maraz, Boulder Creek, OL, 6-3, 315

Started on varsity at right guard last season when BC reached the 6A semifinals. He was a big part of potent rushing attack. Can squat lift 415 pounds. Power cleans 225 pounds.

69. Jarred Marquez, Yuma Catholic, LB, 6-2, 215

Runs 4.7 second 40 yards, getting college interest. Was all-state in 3A last season. Has big-time potential to be playing Division I football.

70. Cody Leopold, Prescott, RB/LB, 5-10, 190

Made first-team all-region and second-team all-state as a sophomore. Great two-way player. Ran for close to 700 yards, averaging seven yards a carry, and 10 TDs. He had 96 tackles in eight games.

71. Charles Ennis, Chandler, RB, 5-8, 200

Powerfully built, explosive, durable back who works as hard as anybody in the weight room and on the field. Tireless, electric. Will make a huge impact. Great pass catcher out of the backfield.

72. Zach Wallace, Liberty, RB, 5-10, 185

He started parttime last season and showed he’s got some explosiveness. Tough, hard-nosed back who ran for 497 yards and six TDs.

73. Jaden Pyrah, Desert Edge, DB, 6-1, 185

Athletic, versatile defender who can move from safety to corner to linebacker. Tenacious, tough tackler.

74. Pierson Watson, Flagstaff Coconino, LB, 6-2, 200

Had a breakout sophomore season on an 8-1 team with five sacks and 36 tackles. Made second-team all-region. Great speed, athletic.

75. A’Mauri Washington, Chandler, DE, 6-4, 270

Transferred in from Detroit’s Oka Park High. Long and athletic. Big frame. Will continue to develop in Chandler’s weight room. Can work his way into being among the very elite prospects.

76. Robert Moore III, Saguaro, RB, 5-10, 190

There is a chance he may not play at all next season because this is his second transfer move. He played at Chandler his freshman year and at Mountain Pointe last season, when he had to sit out the first half of the season due to AIA transfer rules. This kid has as good a motor as anybody. He'll work hard in practice, push teammates, and become an elite back with plenty of offers by the time his senior year rolls around.

77. Noah Narrain, Gilbert, Athlete, 5-9, 165

He can play multiple positions and be an impact player all over the field, at either receiver or defensive back.

78. Maxwell Sawyer, Desert Edge, DE, 6-1, 215

He is a defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid with speed off the edge and the ability to cover backs out of the backfield. He had more than 10 sacks in seven JV games last season.

79. Marcus Oberriter, Holbrook, QB/DB, 5-9, 150

Looking to bounce back after most of last season due to a knee injury. A leader on and off the field. Fast and elusive and can make all the throws.

80. Brody Chicharello, Apollo, LB, 5-10, 180

Athletic Linebacker who can play inside or outside of the box. Has the speed to cover wide receivers in man coverage and can move to the safety spot. Had 40 tackles, five for losses and a sack as a sophomore.

81. Evan Reed, Boulder Creek, LB, 5-11, 185

He led an undefeated JV team last season with 115 solo tackles, playing middle linebacker. He was the JV team’s Player of the Year.

82. Adam Damante, American Leadership Gilbert North, QB/DB, 6-1, 175

A dual threat, he threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns in a 3A semifinal loss to Snowflake. Should emerge as one of the state's top quarterbacks. Started as a cornerback all of last year before taking over at quarterback late last season.

83. Justin Erath, Yuma Catholic, TE/WR/DE, 6-3, 200

He can move around, create havoc at several positions. Runs the 40 in 4.6. Will have a big junior season on both sides of the ball.

84. Mikel Henderson, Valley Vista, WR, 5-10, 170

Gets in and out of routes easily, strong hands, competitive. Could be one of the better slot receivers in the state over the next two years.

85. Shahid Wilson, Millennium, DB/RB, 5-10, 165

Great athlete who can play corner with the best of them. Good ball skills and tremendous closing speed. Makes plays.

86. Austin Glimpse, Centennial, QB, 6-5, 205

He was thrust into some big games as a sophomore and showed poise. Still developing. Should have a breakout junior year as the fulltime starter.

87. Dom Bagchi, Phoenix Central, QB, 5-9, 170

Came over from Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep last year. Great field general, leader. Has accurate arm. Quick on his feet. Can extend plays.

88. Ignacio Marquez, St. Mary’s, OL, 6-2, 290

Made first-team all-region last year as a sophomore. Has a nasty streak. Athletic for his size. Can play guard and tackle.

89. Stephon Daily, Sierra Linda, WR, 6-4, 170

Freak athlete who owns the 50-50 balls. One of the top high jumpers in the nation with a personal record of 6 feet, 8 inches. 3.3 GPA. Has all the tools to make it big at the next level.

90. Jordan Thomas, Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge, RB/DB, 5-11, 175

Ran for 164 yards on 25 carries and two TDs in two varsity games last season. On defense, he had 12 tackles and a caused fumble. Great athlete who will play both sides of the ball. Runs well with great vision. A Division I prospect.

91. Mack Molander, Mesa Eastmark, QB, 6-3, 175

Was the state champion in the javelin throw during the track and field season. He’ll have to work hard to earn the quarterback job with his dad, Scooter, the coach. But he’s got big upside. Great arm. Accurate. And he’s ready to emerge in football.

92. Quintin Conley, Central, WR, 6-3, 170

He had to sit out last year because of transfer rule, but the sky is the limit for him. He loves playing physical. Will make tough catches in traffic.

93. Brock Satran, Phoenix Arcadia, WR, 6-6, 175

Watch for this athletic, big-play receiver with good hands take off during his junior season. High football IQ, tough matchup in one-on-ones. Trains with former Rattlers wide receiver Siaha Burley.

94. Christopher Arviso II, Mountain Pointe, 6-2, 175

He is expected to take over the quarterback reins fulltime this year for an improved Pride offense. Extends plays with his feet, strong arm, makes smart decisions.

95. Caleb Scott, Sunrise Mountain, RB/LB, 5-11, 175

Will start both ways with his ability to change the game on offense and defense. Athletic, tough, competitive. Recruitment should pick up after playing special teams last year.

96. Layton Vining, Liberty, OL, 6-3, 250

He started on varsity last year, contributing to the Lions’ run to the Open Division semifinals. Great punishing blocker who is relentless and never gives in. Getting bigger, stronger, faster.

97. Fiatau Palaita, Mesa Skyline, OL/DL, 6-2, 312

Very strong with great football IQ, communicates well, picks up blitzes, great rush blocker, driving defenders out.

98. Chandler Davis, Hamilton, DL, 6-2, 230

Contributed on varsity as a sophomore. Great drive, passion for the game, moves his feet well.

99. Terrance Hall, Mountain Ridge, Athlete, 5-11, 180

He’s ready to emerge with the ability to make plays on offense and defense. Talented slot receiver who can also play running back and defensive back.

100. Dexter Waterman, Payton, Athlete, 5-8, 150

He earned first-team all-region last year as a flex player on defense. He stands out at so many positions. He can play receiver, quarterback, free safety and cornerback. He also is a return specialist. A three-sport standout, he excels in basketball and baseball, as well.

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.comor 602-316-8827. Follow him on Twitter @azc_obert.

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