Penei Sewell, Sr., Desert Hills
Fans don’t often go to a game to watch an offensive lineman work, unless that lineman is your son. Sewell is a player worth the trip. The 6-foot-5, 335-pound offensive tackle is ranked as a four-star recruit by both Scout.com and Rivals.com. He’s helped the Thunder win the Class 3AA state title on the last play of the game last year. If you need a couple yards on the ground or time to find an open receiver, he can deliver both.
Zach Wilson, Sr., Corner Canyon
The Boise State commit put together an impressive season at quarterback last year, passing for 2,708 yards and 20 scores. He completed 67 percent of his passes for the 6-5 Chargers. The 6-foot-3 Wilson also was the team’s second-leading rusher with 539 yards. Expect a sizable uptick in his production this season under new coach Eric Kjar, who is known to ride a QB as far as possible.
Cameron Latu, Sr., Olympus
The defensive end, rated a four-star prospect by Rivals and Scout, recently committed to Alabama. He’s an important part of the Titans’ defensive scheme after leading his team with nine sacks last season. He finished with 65 tackles to help the Titans reach the playoffs as the top seed out of Region 6. He also caught two touchdown passes as a tight end, so he can’t be ignored on offense.
Jackson Cravens, Sr., Timpview
The Thunderbirds defensive end finished with 13 sacks, 20 tackles for loss and 160 tackles during the 2016 campaign. He helped guide the Thunderbirds to the Class 4A state quarterfinal round, where they fell to eventual champion East. The nephew of Utes coach Kyle Whittingham and his own coach at Timpview, Cary Whittingham, is quick off the ball, and if he has a ballcarrier in his sights, he doesn’t miss.
Lolani Langi, Jr., Bingham
The outside linebacker will help anchor the Miners defense as Bingham tries to defend its state title. Sometimes he lines up near the line of scrimmage, but even if the opposition tries to run away from him, he’s fast enough to get back into the play. He’s the younger brother of former Bingham star Harvey Langi, who is working to earn a spot with the New England Patriots.
Dane Leituala, Jr., Taylorsville
Prepare to be entertained. He isn’t big — he’s listed at 5 foot 11 — but good luck taking him down. He threw for 2,753 yards and 31 touchdowns to help the Warriors reach the Class 5A state quarterfinal round last season. He also ran for 942 yards and seven TDs. He tied the state record for TD passes (eight) and touchdowns responsible for (11) in his team’s loss to Jordan last season. Oh, and he missed three games because of injury last season.
Paul Maile, Sr., East
The Leopards are a running machine, and that starts on the offensive line. He helped the Leopards to back-to-back Class 4A state titles. East’s offense set state records for offensive yards (7,481), rushing yards (6,797) and points scored (694) last season. He’s big, strong and mean on the field, much like East’s offense. Watching him work is a treat.
Dallin Draper, Sr., Delta
Opposing defenses need to stop the 5-foot-10 running back before he gets started. If they don’t, they won’t catch him. He posted the state’s second fastest time regardless of classification in the 100 meters at the state track meet in May. His 10.88-second run only was topped by Lone Peak’s Dominic Bentil, the Class 5A state champ. Hamstring issues slowed down Draper last season, but he still managed to rush for 922 yards. He’ll see a heavy workload for the Rabbits this season.
Cammon Cooper, Sr., Lehi
The 6-foot-4 quarterback, a four-star recruit according to Scout and Rivals, likes to throw it. A lot. His 486 attempts, an average of 40.5 per game, last season was the third most all-time in Utah history. His proclivity for the pass is a good thing since he’s committed to Washington State. He threw for 4,059 yards and 38 scores and helped the Pioneers to the Class 5A state quarterfinals last season, where they fell to Bingham. He did add three TDs on the ground, too. His 38 completions vs. Viewpoint last season tied for eighth all-time in state history. Can he top that this season?
Crew Wakley, Sr., Jordan
In true Jordan fashion, he is a dual-threat quarterback who can put up huge numbers. Look no further than the Beetdiggers’ 91-83 victory over Taylorsville. He accounted for 11 touchdowns in that contest, which tied the state record with the Warriors’ QB, Dane Leituala, who also was responsible for 11 TDs in the game. Wakley threw for 3,507 yards and 38 scores while rushing for 1,420 yards and 22 TDs last season. He will be playing for a new coach this year after his former coach, offensive guru Eric Kjar, left for Corner Canyon.
from The Salt Lake Tribune http://www.sltrib.com/sports/high-school-sports/2017/08/12/prep-football-10-players-to-watch-this-season