It’s the year of the offensive lineman
There hasn’t this many talented offensive linemen in the West in the last decade and that’s definitely reflected in the ESPNU 150. There are 11 players from the West ranked among the top 100 players in the nation and six are offensive linemen, including the top two players in the region.
Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove) is the top-rated player in the West and comes in at No. 15. He actually wants to play defensive end in college, but his upside at the tackle position is off the charts.
Depending on the depth chart ahead of them, Andrus Peat (Tempe, Ariz./Corona Del Sol), Kyle Murphy (San Clemente, Calif.), Max Tuerk (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./ Santa Margarita), Isaac Seumalo (Corvallis, Ore.) and Joshua Garnett (Puyallup, Wash.) are all talented enough to play as true freshmen next fall.
Where are the running backs?
There’s not a single running back from the West region in the top 100 and Byron Marshall (San Jose, Calif./ Valley Christian) at No. 129 is the only back in the entire 150. It’s definitely a down year for running backs out West this year but look for this to be an exception rather than a rule.
The junior class looks like it could be strong at the position and Thomas Tyner (Aloha, Ore.), Khalfani Muhammad (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame), DaVonte Young (Bellflower, Calif./St. john Bosco), Deon Martin Jr. (Bakersfield, Calif.) Stockdale) and Justin Davis (Stockton, Calif./Lincoln) will all be recruited nationally next fall.
Is Arizona catching up to California?
Among the nation’s top 35 prospects, there are as many players from Arizona as there are from California. Simply put, it is an exceptional year for talent in the Grand Canyon State this year.
Now in terms of overall depth, no state out West can compare to California.
Saying that, at the top of the board, you could take the top two or three players from Arizona just about any year and they would match up very well with almost anyone.
Peat is as good a tackle prospect as you’ll find anywhere, athlete Davonte Neal (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) is one of the nation’s most explosive skill players and Connor Brewer (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) is the top-rated signal caller in the region.