West Spotlight: Biggest questions heading into rankings week
The 2020 high school football season was delayed, shortened or outright postponed, depending on what part of the country you lived in. Any game action or any event was an opportunity to re-evaluate prospects, and there was still plenty to see in the classes of 2021 and 2022. The updated Rivals rankings of those two classes will start next week. Here are some of the questions we look to get answered in the West region.
IS KOREY FOREMAN STILL NO. 1?
By no fault of his own, there is at least a decent chance that Korey Foreman will not have a senior season at Corona (Calif.) Centennial and it’s guaranteed that there was no football through this fall and into the winter. Foreman has been training, working out and doing some padded work with Winner Circle Athletics, a training center in Southern California.
But others around the country have been playing their actual senior seasons and dominating. So this is the debate: Should prospects that actually had a season and did great have the ability to move up or should Foreman be locked into that No. 1 spot since he didn’t get the opportunity to play? It will be an interesting discussion and there could be an argument made both ways.
Foreman, who’s serious about USC, Arizona State, Clemson, LSU and Georgia, is a phenomenal defensive end with tremendous upside. Others have made big statements through the fall and have entered the conversation for No. 1 overall.
HOW HIGH SHOULD JAXSON DART GO?
Arguably no quarterback has had a better senior season than Jaxson Dart nationally and he absolutely obliterated his previous ranking and deserves a major move up. But just how high should he go as the ranking reflects not only current performance but also college projection and NFL Draft status.
The Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon standout had an unbelievably phenomenal season where he completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 4,691 yards with 67 touchdowns and four interceptions. That’s not all. Dart also ran for 1,195 yards with another 12 scores.
But here’s the potential issue: Stats cannot be everything. Dart broke the state’s touchdown record that was previously held by Lehi’s Cammon Cooper, who ended up as a four-star quarterback in the 2018 class but hasn’t really made an impact at Washington State yet.
HOW TO HANDLE THOSE WHO HAVEN’T PLAYED?
Rankings are already tough but in this oddest of recruiting cycles, a question has now been posed that has never been considered: How should prospects in states like California and Washington who have not played a single down of football this fall be evaluated in this rankings cycle? The question is even more crucial since so many West prospects sit atop the position rankings.
Emeka Egbuka sits atop the wide receiver rankings. The top two strong-side defensive ends are Foreman and Sammamish (Wash.) Eastside Catholic’s J.T. Tuimoloau. LSU commit Raesjon Davis is No. 1 at outside linebacker. In the 2022 class, Domani Jackson sits at No. 1 in a loaded cornerback class. None of those prospects have played yet, others have and there is a lot to consider when it comes to how the rankings flesh out.
SHOULD SUAMATAIA BE HIGHER?
There are so many things to like about Kingsley Suamataia, especially in the way he plays the offensive tackle position and how that spot is being viewed at the college and NFL level.
The Orem, Utah, four-star is massive, athletic and physical, the perfect mix and combination and now the conversation arises about where the Oregon commit should land in the position rankings. He’s No. 11 at this point but there might be only one or two offensive tackles who are as athletic, maybe some more who has better physical traits.
Suamataia is also going to play for the Ducks and inevitably Penei Sewell will be mentioned. Sewell was even bigger and more physical in high school but the two do work out together. Oregon has had great success developing linemen recently and Suamataia could be next. Where he ends up after a strong senior season was of great debate.
WHO’S THE BEST 2022 RB IN THE WEST?
This will be an interesting discussion throughout the 2022 recruiting cycle but now more than ever. Raleek Brown is not playing his junior season yet at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei and Gavin Sawchuk is wrapping up his junior year at Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian – and had a great campaign.
In six games, Sawchuk has rushed for 993 yards and 16 touchdowns averaging more than 10 yards per carry. Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford and many others are involved in his recruitment. But Brown is one of the most dynamic backs in recent history, a make-you-miss, highlight-reel who should have a massive season once he hits the field, if that happens in California over the coming months.