West Valley Preps’ top 10 football recruits of 2020

Centennial's Dyelan Miller runs with the ball after catching a pass during a Geico Bowl Series game against Eastside Catholic (Wash.) on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018 at Centennial High School in Peoria. [Jacob Stanek/West Valley Preps]

Miller, Thompson commit to opposite sides of Territorial Cup, Coyotes claim 4 of top 10

By Richard Smith
West Valley Preps

While the 2019 high school football season does not start until Aug. 23, the recruiting season for NCAA and NAIA football schools hardly slowed down. Here’s a look at the most recruited players from schools West Valley Preps covers.

The top 10 Northwest Valley recruits of the class of 2020:

1. Darvon Hubbard RB Willow Canyon 5-11 210 lbs.
Offers: Alabama, Arizona, Auburn, Bowling Green, Georgia, Iowa State, LSU, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue, San Diego State, Tennessee, Toledo, Utah.

Darvon Hubbard
Willow Canyon senior tailback Darvon Hubbard poses for a photograph on June 13 at the high school in Surprise.

Hubbard moved in from Chaparral with a list of offers that has not been seen in a long time out this way. Shortly after arriving in Surprise, the Akron native decommitted from Ohio State and new coach Ryan Day. He still is considering the Buckeyes but Purdue appears to be moving up his list, and he theirs’. Hubbard has a more traditional running back skill set than a smaller, speedier spread back used by many colleges. But he also is comfortable in a spread and is almost a cinch to go to a program most of us watch on Saturdays. By all accounts, he also has a Division I player’s drive and mindset.

2. Dyelan Miller WR Centennial 6-3 190 lbs.
Offers: Air Force, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado State, Iowa State, Northern Arizona, Oregon State, Wisconsin
Verbal Commitment: Arizona July 4

Miller is the second local player to commit, choosing Kevin Sumlin’s program on a holiday. A prototypical wide receiver who has flashed elite potential for the Coyotes in the last two years, he should be a larger part of the offense this season. His game-breaking potential was first on display during the epic 42-37 playoff victory over Liberty in 2017, with two touchdown catches — one a bomb and the other a jaw-dropping catch. He did not feature as much in 2018, probably because Centennial did not need him to.

Valley Vista linemen Jayden Lay (57), then a freshman, and Andrew Rumary (75), then a junior, prepare for a snap during the Monsoon’s Sept. 14, 2018 game against Willow Canyon. Rumary enters his senior year with offers from seven FBS schools and NAU. [Elliott Glick/For West Valley Preps]
3. Andrew Rumary OG/OT Valley Vista 6-7 295 lbs.
Offers: Arizona, Colorado State, Iowa State, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV

The big man is cleaning up in the Mountain West, with four of his eight offers. He was near the top of his class in the state entering his sophomore and junior years. Recruiting chatter about Rumary has quieted this summer, but a player with this frame and skill set will end up somewhere in Division I.

4. Jaydin Young FS Centennial 6-0 175 lbs.
Offers: Abilene Christian, Army, Colorado State, Columbia, Harvard, Nevada, Northern Arizona, Purdue, San Diego State, South Dakota State, Texas State, Yale

We’re splitting hairs here as Rumary has one more Power 5 offer and one more FCS offer than Young, while the Centennial safety has more interest across the board — particularly from the Ivy League. Based on performance and bloodlines, Young is under-recruited. He should have been on the big colleges’ radar following his sophomore-year performance against St. Thomas Aquinas, plus older brother Dedrick’s solid career as a four-year starting linebacker at Nebraska. While far lighter than his big bro, Jaydin is not “too small.” Look for another name-brand school to join Purdue in offering sometime after the Mater Dei game.

5. Frank Thompson OG Liberty 6-3 279 lbs.
Offers: Arizona State, Northern Arizona
Verbal Commitment: Arizona State June 13

Thompson went from a blip on the radar to a Power 5 commit in the span of about a week. His great-grandfather, Dick Law, played for the Sun Devils in 1949 and “Frank the Tank” grew up as an ASU fan. Liberty started dominating big man competitions and Thompson stood out, earning offers from NAU on June 5 and ASU on June 9. That was all this powerhouse needed to hear, and he committed to his dream school four days later. On his end, this commitment is pretty much etched in stone.

6. Jalan Early ATH Millennium 6-3 210 lbs.
Offers: Dixie State, Northern Arizona, Yale

Early is the greatest variable on the list. He will play quarterback for the Tigers this year and has a chance to latch on at that position in Division I following some impressive performances in camps and 7-on-7 this summer. Early also has started at linebacker and safety. If the quarterback option does not come to fruition, he still should be picked up at least by an FCS team as a safety or rover.

Centennial’s Eric Haney returns an interception of a pass against Notre Dame Prep during the 2018 5A Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. [Jacob Stanek/West Valley Preps]
7. Eric Haney CB Centennial 5-10 180 lbs.
Offers: San Diego

Haney rounds out the list of local players possessing Division I offers entering the season. It’s just one from the smaller University of San Diego program, owing probably to Haney’s lack of prototype measurements. His skill is unquestioned — at times he was the Coyotes’ best receiver and defensive back last season, which is quite the compliment.

8. Kyle St. Pierre SB Millennium 5-7 145 lbs.
Offers: Minot State, Wisconsin-River Falls, Whittier College

His size probably scares Division I schools away, but Division II Minot State was quick to grasp St. Pierre’s playmaking ability from the slot. Division III Whittier and Wisconsin-River Falls also offered the slot receiver, as they did several other playmakers in the area. St. Pierre caught 24 passes for 387 yards in 2018 and his role as Early’s top target should only grow this fall.

9. Andre Dimbiti WR Centennial 6-2 170 lbs.
Offers: Western New Mexico

This lanky receiver vaulted from obscurity to the list by picking up a Division II offer in late July. It is more about Dimbiti’s frame and what he could become at this point. He was behind a lot of playmakers last year and caught three passes for 25 yards. He should have many more opportunities to fulfill his promise this season.

10. Treydan Stukes DB Millennium 6-1 160 lbs.
Offer: Dixie State

An elite triple jumper, Stukes displayed strong coverage abilities on his junior season with nine passes defended and three interceptions. And with 43 tackles, he’s not afraid to mix it up. Look for his list to grow — along with Early and St. Pierre he will have a much larger role this season.

Liberty junior running back Jace Accurso (4) lunges over the goal line for a touchdown as he breaks through the tackle of Brophy linebacker Will Broucek (7) during the second half of their Division 6A football game on Friday Aug. 17. (Ralph Freso for West Valley Preps)

Five senior sleepers:

Jace Accurso 6-0 220 lbs. LB/RB (Liberty) – Unfortunately, Accurso is this year’s legit talent to slip through the cracks — a la Centennial’s Cire Fields and A.J. Jackson last year. Maybe colleges have not nailed down what position this powerhouse can play at the next level. But make no mistake, Accurso is at least an FCS-caliber football player.
Anthony Flores 5-10 180 lbs. RB (Cactus) – Wisconsin River-Falls also made a trip to Cobra Country, offering Flores and quarterback Conner Cordts. While both can improve their college options with a big season, let’s focus on Flores. He gained 1,292 yards last year and brings a little bit of everything to the table — speed, power, cutback ability and route running out of the backfield.
Isaiah Mercado 6-3 300 lbs. OG (Shadow Ridge) – Culver-Stockton and Sioux Falls already offered the mountain from near the White Tanks. Will larger-division schools show interest in Mercado, or could the pipeline from Shadow Ridge to the nearby Ottawa Spirit continue.
Jonathan Morris 5-11, 170 lbs. QB (Centennial) – Morris appears to be caught in a numbers game right now when it comes to bigger schools. Thus far only Lake Forest and Rocky Mountain. Former teammate Ruben Beltran can be a model of the patience Morris might need to follow. Montana and Montana State offered Beltran weeks before graduation.
Brad Young 6-4, 212 lbs. TE (Centennial) – The wraps come off on the tall tight end this season. He missed half of last season after transferring from Millennium and only factored in a couple games of the Coyotes’ title march. Young already has a handful of Division III and NAIA teams — Judson, Puget Sound, Rocky Mountain and Wisconsin-River Falls — and his profile should only grow in 2019.

Ironwood’s William Haskell, left, runs with the ball against Sunnyslope on Oct. 19, 2018 at Ironwood High School in Glendale. [Jacob Stanek/West Valley Preps]

Top 5 of the Class of 2021

1. William Haskell 6-3 200 lbs. QB (Ironwood) – His raw ability had Haskell on the radar as he entered Deer Valley. The transfer to Ironwood cut out the first half of last year. So this will be the first season this dual-threat quarterback gets to display the full array. For an idea on his skill set, Power 5 schools Duke and Iowa State already offered Haskell.

2. Caiden Miles 6-4 290 lbs. OT (Centennial) – Haskell got the jump with offers, as quarterbacks are wont to do. But there is plenty of time for Miles and his junior teammate to leap him and big schools start to offer prospects at other roles. Arizona, Baylor and TCU have shown interest.

3. Oscar Abundis 6-6 320 lbs. OT (Centennial) – After a rare absence in the 2020 class the Coyotes’ trademark behemoths are back and in force. Few have been larger than Abundis and as he gains polish, few have more of an upside. Also keep an eye on 325-pound Centennial teammate Filipo Teofilo, who likely will join his fellow juniors as starters this season.

4. Mika Fuamatu 6-3 275 lbs. OG (Millennium) – Another big boy is gaining some interest, though in the Southwest Valley. Fuamatu started as a sophomore, earning second team all Desert West Region honors.

5. Rashon Adams 6-1 175 lbs. CB (Centennial) – Like Dimbiti, Hodges had to wait his turn last year behind a loaded secondary. But that did not prevent him from receiving his first offer, as South Dakota State came calling in early June..

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