Utah's best high school football teams, preseason players of the year and games to watch.
Utah Preseason Top 10
1. Jordan Beetdiggers (Sandy)
The loss of several offensive linemen is a concern, but this team returns the best quarterback in the state in junior Austin Kafentzis and productive running back Clay Moss. The schedule is brutal with two stout out-of-state tests and a date with 4A contender East.
2. Alta Hawks (Sandy)
Quarterback Chipper Lucero will look often in the direction of receiver Mack Richards behind one of the state’s best linemen in Baron Bruce. Linebacker Jaden Johnson will pace the defense.
3. Bingham Miners (South Jordan)
Versatile tight end Dalton Schultz is one of the most highly sought-after players in the state. The offense once again should have a punishing ground game behind an experienced line.
4. Lone Peak Knights (Highland)
New coach Mike Mower will look to dual-threat quarterback Baron Gajkowski and a top-shelf defensive line to lead the way.
5. East Leopards (Salt Lake City)
The Leopards are led by Wisconsin commit Ula Tolutau at tailback and Arizona State commit Korey Rush at defensive end.
6. Northridge Knights (Layton)
The loss of running back David Adams hurts, but explosive junior running back/defensive back/return man Dayan Lake is back.
7. Brighton Bengals (Salt Lake City)
Junior running back Osa Masina already has multiple BCS offers. He will run behind a stout offensive line.
8. Timpview Thunderbirds (Provo)
The returning 4A champs will be formidable again with a defense that boasts experienced linebackers Emmett Tela and Pio Stowers.
9. Syracuse Titans
Defensive lineman Kaden Craig and linebacker Wyatt German power what should be a strong defense.
10. Logan Grizzlies
Ultra-productive quarterback Luke Falk is gone, but his favorite target, Taylor Compton, is back.
Three Can't Miss Matchups
8.31 – Alta vs. Lone Peak (at Rice Eccles-Stadium)
Coach Mike Mower’s debut at Lone Peak will come against one of the state’s best.
9.7 – Bingham at Valor Christian (Colo.)
The Miners will try to duplicate last year’s exciting 21-20 victory over this Colorado powerhouse.
9.14 – Bergen Catholic (N.J.) vs. Jordan (at Rio Tinto Stadium)
The Beetdiggers get an early chance to knock off one of New Jersey’s powerhouse programs.
2013 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Austin Kafentzis, QB, Jordan (Sandy)
Junior, 6-1, 195
As a sophomore, Kafentzis threw for 3,018 yards and 32 touchdowns and rushed for another 1,884 yards and 26 scores, so expect more fireworks this fall. He had offers from both BYU and Utah but committed to Wisconsin during a visit to Madison in June.
2013 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Bryan Mone, DT, Highland (Salt Lake City)
Senior, 6-4, 310
A University of Michigan commit, this disruptive force in the middle finished last season with 70 tackles, including 10 for a loss, and three sacks. Mone has the body type and athleticism to be an elite defensive tackle for the Wolverines in the Big Ten.
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