Arizona high schools accounted for nearly a third of the Associated Press’ just-released list of the 25 best football players in the West, filling a variety of positions on both offense and defense.
The list of ’25 best’ from the 2011 recruiting class includes KaDeem Carey, running back from Canyon del Oro HS in Tucson; Kevin Fisher, who plays tailback and safety for Higley HS in Gilbert; Cyrus Hobbi, a linebacker at Saguaro HS in Scottsdale; Todd Peat, defensive lineman at Corona del Sol HS in Tempe; and Andre Yruretagoyena, an offensive lineman at Chaparral HS in Scottsdale.
But two of the biggest names in recruiting circles, also included in the AP list, stole some of the thunder from the rest of the group.
Christian Westerman, Hamilton’s huge offensive lineman, announced his early commitment to play for Texas. And Chandler High School’s quarterback phenom, Brett Hundley, announced he has decided where he will play – but won’t let the rest of the football world in on his decision until Labor Day.
College recruiters, the media, and football fans in general have been tracking the activities of both players all summer. Westerman is considered by many to be one of the best football players in the state, and definitely the best at his position. Hundley is the top quarterback prospect for the 2011 class who is/was still uncommitted.
Both say they have decided to end the speculation so that they can concentrate on their final season in high school.
Westerman is a 6’5″, 288 lb. behemoth who, together with fellow lineman Tyler Johnstone (6’5″, 262 lb.), help anchor a monster offensive front for Hamilton, as the Huskies won the state 5A-I championship the past two years and went undefeated last season.
Johnstone is headed for the University of Oregon to play his college ball. Over the three years they’ve played together, the duo have experienced little else besides winning. The Huskies lost just one game during that time.
After this year, Westerman is headed for another team used to winning. The Longhorns are ranked fifth in the nation in the pre-season polls. He picked the Texas team over offers from dozens of other top-notch schools, crediting the Texas offensive line coach, Mac McWhorter, for influencing his decision.
Hundley is ranked as the No. 6 quarterback in the country by Scout.com. He’s a dual-threat QB who threw for 1,517 yards and 16 touchdowns last year at Chandler HS, and ran for another 1,208 yards and 12 more TDs.
The 6’4″, 218 lb. Hundley was named the Arizona Garorade Player of the Year as a junior, when he completed 63 percent of his passes and finished the season with just two interceptions.
And he’s already got a big jump on his senior year, opening the season with a four-touchdown performance in a 69-33 win over Skyline High School (Mesa).
The University of Arizona, where Hundley’s father played ball, was one of the heaviest suitors for his services, but in the end it came down to Washington and UCLA. Most speculation has UCLA getting the final nod because he canceled a visit to Seattle that was planned for this weekend.
But we’ve all awaited his decision for months. What’s another few days?