Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016 | 2 a.m.
The football recruiting class of 2017 is easily the best we’ve seen in Southern Nevada with more than 20 players expected to sign with Division-I schools in February.
That created a small problem when selecting our annual preseason all-city team.
There are so many talented players that we couldn’t include them all. Two players verbally committed to Pac-12 Conference schools, for instance, didn’t make the list. A handful of others with major-conference offers also weren’t included.
Here’s our logic:
• We try to limit the number of selections per school: While seven-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman has double-digit players with scholarship offers, we only included eight on our team. We used the same theory with 3A classification power Desert Pines.
• We look at last season: If a player was mostly a reserve, even if that player is committed to a big-time school, we usually leave them off the preseason team. It happens more in basketball with younger players accumulating offers as freshmen and sophomores.
• We talk to coaches: Many coaches contact us in the spring to recommend one of their players be included. We also ask them about players they competed against. We appreciate when coaches try to promote their players.
Below is our 2016 preseason team — grouped by school. It’s easily the best collection of players we’ve had. (Click on the name for a video profile).
Greg Rogers, DL, Arbor View
6-foot-4, 310-pounds; senior
About Greg: A four-star defensive tackle, Rogers had 64 tackles and six sacks in 2015 for Centennial. (He transferred to Arbor View in the winter). He’s scheduled to take recruiting visits to Arizona State, Colorado, Oklahoma, UCLA and USC before committing. He’s a two-time all-city selection.
Mike Sims, DB, Arbor View
6-foot-2, 185-pounds; senior
About Mike: Sims had five interceptions and 36 tackles last season, helping Arbor View reach the Sunset Regional championship game. Has scholarship offers from UNLV, Idaho and Weber State, according to Rivals.com.
Andrew Wagner, LB, Arbor View
6-foot, 195-pounds; senior
About Andrew: Wagner will be a three-year starter for perennial power Arbor View. He had 61 tackles — seven for a loss of yards — last season.
Biaggio Ali-Walsh, RB, Bishop Gorman
5-foot-10, 180-pounds; senior
About Biaggio: Ali-Walsh rushed for 2,451 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2015 to win state player of the year honors. He’s verbally committed to Cal.
Bubba Bolden, S, Bishop Gorman
6-foot-3, 185-pounds; senior
About Bubba: Bolden had 55 tackles and three interceptions last season. The four-star recruit is a heavy-hitter in the secondary. He broke a verbal commitment to USC in the offseason, and is considering schools such as Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Mississippi and Florida.
Adrian Dupuis, OL, Bishop Gorman
6-foot-1, 270-pounds; senior
About Adrian: One of the leaders on Gorman’s offensive line, Dupuis helped clear the way for the Gaels to rush for 4,300 yards last season.
Palaie Gaoteote, LB, Bishop Gorman
6-foot-2, 220-pounds; junior
About Palaie: Had 92 tackles, including 13.5 for a loss, last season. He’s a four-star recruit with scholarship offers from the likes of Mississippi, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC. One of the best linebackers nationally for the class of 2018.
Haskell Garrett, DL, Bishop Gorman
6-foot-2, 260-pounds; senior
About Haskell: Garrett, a four-star recruit and Ohio State commit, had 53 tackles and six sacks last season. He’s a two-time all-city selection.
Farrell Hester, LB, Bishop Gorman
6-foot, 235-pounds; senior
About Farrell: The UNLV verbal commit led Gorman with 97 tackles in 2015.
Tate Martell, QB, Bishop Gorman
5-foot-11, 190-pounds; senior
About Tate: Martell, who is committed to Ohio State, is undefeated in two years as the Gorman starter. Last season, he passed for 2,609 yards and 32 touchdowns with just six interceptions. He’s also a preseason All-American by MaxPreps.
Alex Perry, DB, Bishop Gorman
5-foot-10, 165-pounds; senior
About Alex: Perry, a shutdown cornerback, had three interceptions last season to go along with 27 tackles. He’s a four-star recruit with scholarship offers from the likes of Michigan, Arizona State and Colorado.
Jamaal Evans, QB, Centennial
6-foot-3, 210-pounds; senior
About Jamaal: Evans, who is verbally committed to Utah State, is a dual-threat quarterback who passed for 1,807 yards and 18 touchdowns, and rushed for another 16 touchdowns in 2015.
Savon Scarver, WR, Centennial
6-foot, 185-pounds; senior
About Savon: Savon had 51 catches for 896 yards and 11 touchdowns last season as a junior. He’s also a state champion in track.
Tony Fields II, LB, Desert Pines
6-foot-12, 205-pounds; senior
About Tony: Fields, who is committed to Arizona, had 93 tackles — seven for a loss — and three sacks last season.
Marckell Grayson, QB, Desert Pines
6-foot-2, 195-pounds; senior
About Marckell: A three-year varsity starter, Grayson passed for 1,636 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2015. As a sophomore, 2,180 yards and 27 touchdowns. The dual-threat quarterback in verbally committed to UNLV.
Randal Grimes, WR, Desert Pines
6-foot-4, 205-pounds; senior
About Randal: Grimes, a three-star recruit by Rivals.com who is verbally committed to USC, had 24 catches for 512 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
Isaiah Morris, RB, Desert Pines
5-foot-8, 160-pounds; senior
About Isaiah: Rushed for 1,321 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, and caught 13 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns. He is widely considered on of the area’s most explosive players, and has scholarship offers from UNLV, UNR, Hawaii and others.
Poutasi Poutasi, OL, Desert Pines
6-foot-4, 280-pounds; senior
About Poutasi: A three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Poutasi is verbally committed to Louisville. He’s the top offensive lineman in the 3A classification. Follows cousins Jeremiah (Tennessee Titans) and Sam (University of Oregon) as the leaders on the Jags’ line.
Christian Marshall, RB, Faith Lutheran
5-foot-10, 185-pounds; senior
About Christian: Rushed for 1,255 yards and 22 touchdowns last season to help Faith Lutheran go undefeated in league games. A dual-sport athlete, Marshall is committed to play lacrosse at Air Force.
Kealii Maruyama, P, Foothill
5-foot-9, 200-pounds; senior
About Kealii: Was a second-team junior All-American last season by MaxPreps after averaging 47.7 yards per punt. Also plays linebacker, where in 2015 he had 53 tackles and seven sacks.
CJ Araujo, LB, Green Valley
5-foot-11, 180-pounds; senior
About CJ: Araujo was one of the leaders in tackles in Southern Nevada last season with 105. He also had three sacks.
Eric Brown, OL, Green Valley
6-foot-5, 310-pounds; junior
About Eric: A big and athletic lineman, Brown already has a scholarship offer from hometown UNLV.
Brock Hershberger, DE, Green Valley
6-foot-3, 230-pounds; senior
About Brock: A two-time all-city selection, Hershberger had 75 tackles and six sacks last season.
Elijah Hicks RB, Las Vegas
5-foot-10, 175-pounds; junior
About Elijah: Rushed for 1,003 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2015, and caught 20 passes for 356 yards and four scores. He’s a two-time all-city selection.
Cruz Littlefield, LB, Las Vegas
6-foot, 210-pounds; senior
About Cruz: Had 94 tackles last season, including 13 for a loss of yards. Added two sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Darion Acohido, WR, Liberty
5-foot-9, 170-pounds; senior
About Darion: Led Liberty with 57 catches for 824 yards in 2015 to go along with seven touchdowns.
Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, OL, Liberty
6-foot-6, 365-pounds; senior
About Malaesala: A three-year starter at Liberty, he’s top offensive lineman in the Sunrise Region.
Ethan Dedeaux, WR, Liberty
5-foot-10, 180-pounds; senior
About Ethan: Had 37 catches for 809 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, including three touchdowns in the state championship game. A two-time all-city selection, Dedeaux is verbally committed to San Diego State.
Kenyon Oblad, QB, Liberty
6-foot-4, 180-pounds, junior
About Kenyon: Oblad passed for 3,106 yards and 34 touchdowns last season as a junior to help Liberty win its sixth consecutive Sunrise Regional championship.