Las Vegas Sun

October 18, 2017

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kickoff 2017:

All-city football: Two quarterbacks bring attention to area, highlight Sun’s preseason team

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Christopher DeVargas

Bishop Gorman’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Liberty’s Kenyon Oblad pose for a portrait at the Las Vegas Sun’s high school football media day, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, at the South Point.

Prep Sports Now

First Football Show

Las Vegas Sun sports editors Ray Brewer and Case Keefer welcome back football season by going through all the leagues, and also touch on major storylines. They also disagree on picks for numerous week 1 games.

Two notable quarterbacks. One city.

One has passed for nearly 10,000 career yards and has been his school’s varsity starter since his freshman season. Kenyon Oblad helped the Liberty High football team break into the national top-25 rankings in 2016 with an improbable victory in Texas, and led them to another Sunrise Regional championship.

But he couldn’t help them defeat Bishop Gorman in the state championship game. He threw three interceptions, including on the game’s first play from scrimmage, and the Patriots suffered a lopsided loss.

The other will start his first game Friday night. Despite having just 31 passing attempts last season, Gorman’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson received scholarship offers from a who’s who of programs before committing to UCLA.

The two seniors highlight the Sun’s preseason all-city team, which has players from 13 area schools, including All-Americans committed to the likes of USC and Miami.

The comparisons between the quarterbacks didn’t begin in high school. They’ve been competing against each other since their days of youth football and have long had a mutual respect for each other.

“Dorian is a true dual-threat quarterback,” said Oblad, who estimated their first game against each other was as fourth-graders. “He runs the ball well and throws the ball well. He’s just an athlete who can make plays.”

Yet, we’ve rarely seen Thompson-Robinson at quarterback because Gorman’s starter the past three years — Tate Martell — was the national player of the year. And there was little competition with Gorman in the midst of a 54-game winning streak and three mythical national championship seasons.

Most of Thompson-Robinson’s meaningful plays, in fact, came as a wide receiver. When the Gaels host DeMatha of Maryland Friday in an ESPN-televised game, Thompson-Robinson knows many (especially UCLA supporters) will be curious to see how he performs.

“If you win, you’re a success,” he said. “That’s what being a quarterback is all about. That is what Tate did so well. Even when he played poorly, he won. That is what I took away from Tate, is the will to win and taking your team under your wing.”

Oblad, too, has caught the eye of recruiters. He has scholarship offers from UNLV, UNR, BYU, Colorado State and Western Kentucky. In the offseason, he added about 20 pounds of bulk to his lanky frame, which has provided more arm strength.

And few have questioned his ability to throw the ball down field, even at an early age.

“He can definitely pick you apart,” Thompson-Robinson said. “His strength is reading defenses and picking them apart.”

Gorman and Liberty have met in the last two state championship games. They are expected to meet again in the last week of the season, giving Thompson-Robinson and Oblad one last chance to compete head to head.

“We definitely won that day,” Oblad joked of the grade-school matchup.

Below is our 2016 preseason team, which is grouped by school. It was selected by the Sun’s sports staff.

Click to enlarge photo

Members of the Las Vegas Sun All-City football team, front row from left, Gavin Wale, Jordan Gallegos, Aubrey Nellems, Daniel Bellinger, Elijah Hicks, Kenyon Oblad, Palaie Gaoteote, Octavian Bell, Derek NG, Jalen Nailor, Adam Plant, Crishaun Lappin, Jacob Isaia, and Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Back Row, Jaden Mitchell, Eric Brown, Brevin Jordan, Allan Mwata, Isaiah Herron, Christian Mayberry, Jayden Parkins, Kaleb Ramsey, Josh Hong, Elijah Kothe, John Schulte, Elijah Wade, and Deago Stubbs, August 2, 2017, during the Las Vegas Sun High School Football Media Day at the South Point.

Deago Stubbs, RB, Arbor View

6-foot-2, 185 pounds; senior

About Deago: Stubbs, a three-year varsity player, rushed for 783 yards and five touchdowns last season.

Isaiah Herron, DB, Arbor View

6-foot-2, 185 pounds; senior

About Isaiah: A shutdown defensive back, Herron had 26 tackles and one interception in 2016. He has a scholarship offer from BYU and Southern Utah.

Elijah Wade, DL, Arbor View

6-foot-5, 240 pounds; senior

About Elijah: Wade is a four-star recruit and nation’s 9th best weakside defensive end by Rivals. He had 49 tackles last season.

• • •

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, Bishop Gorman

6-foot-2, 195 pounds; senior

About Dorian: The UCLA commit completed 21-of-31 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns last season. He also rushed for 171 yards and six touchdowns.

Brevin Jordan, TE, Bishop Gorman

6-foot-3, 250 pounds; senior

About Brevin: The Miami commit had 27 catches for 501 yards and nine touchdowns last season. He’s also a critical piece in Gorman’s rushing attack as a run blocker.

Jacob Isaia, OL, Bishop Gorman

6-foot-3, 275 pounds; senior

About Jacob: Isaia, a three-star offensive guard, has more than 20 scholarship offers.

Jalen Nailor, WR, Bishop Gorman

6-foot, 175 pounds; senior

About Jalen: Nailor, an Arizona State commit, had 52 catches from 929 yards and 14 touchdowns last year.

Adam Plant, DL, Bishop Gorman

6-foot-6, 260 pounds; senior

About Adam: Plant, who has scholarship offers from Penn State, USC and Oregon, had 25 tackles and 1.5 sacks last season.

Palaie Gaoteote, LB, Bishop Gorman

6-foot-2, 220 pounds; senior

About Palaie: The USC commit is a five-star recruit and three-year varsity starter. Last season, he finished with 68 tackles and two sacks.

Derek Ng, K, Bishop Gorman

5-foot-9, 175 pounds; senior

About Derek: Ng made 5-of-6 field goals in 2016 with a long of 48 yards. He’s ranked as 2018’s sixth-best kicker by specialist guru Chris Sailer. Also connected on 82-of-84 extra points.

• • •

Kenyon Oblad, QB, Liberty

6-foot-3, 195 pounds; senior

About Kenyon: Oblad, who will be a four-year starter, completed 62 percent of his passes in 2016 for 3,784 yards and 38 touchdowns. He has scholarship offers from UNLV, UNR, Colorado State, BYU and Western Kentucky.

Octavian Bell, DB, Liberty

5-foot-11, 165 pounds; senior

About Octavian: Bell had 52 tackles and five interceptions in 2016, including an interception in three straight weeks last season. He had a double-digit tackle game against Centennial — a rarity for a defensive back.

Allan Mwata, S, Liberty

5-foot-11, 165 pounds; senior

About Allan: The San Diego State commit had 48 tackles and three interceptions in 2016.

Crishaun Lappin, DL, Liberty

6-foot, 245 pounds; senior

About Crishaun: Lappin had 70 tackles and 11 sacks in 2016 for Liberty, which spent more than 10 weeks in the national top-25.

• • •

John Schulte, OL, Faith Lutheran

6-foot-5, 230 pounds; senior

About John: Schulte, who has scholarship offers from Montana, Northern Colorado and Northern Arizona, is credited for his athleticism and being quick off the ball.

Elijah Kothe, WR, Faith Lutheran

6-foot-5, 200 pounds; senior

About Elijah: The San Diego State commit had 55 catches for 1,053 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2016.

Josh Hong, DB, Faith Lutheran

6-foot-1, 170 pounds; senior

About Josh: Hong, who had 54 tackles and two interceptions in 2016, has a scholarship offer from Missouri and others.

• • •

Jaden Mitchell, WR, Desert Pines

5-foot-11, 170 pounds; senior

About Jaden: Mitchell, a three-star recruit who is verbally committed to Arizona, had a team-best four touchdowns last season while at Desert Oasis. He’s Nevada’s No. 13 overall prospect by Rivals.com

Kaleb Ramsey, S, Desert Pines

6-foot-3, 175 pounds; senior

About Kaleb: Ramsey, a tally and lanky defender, is relatively under the radar. He’s expected to be reigning 3A state champion Desert Pines’ best defensive player.

• • •

Eric Brown, OL, Green Valley

6-foot-5, 310 pounds; senior

About Eric: Brown is a two-time preseason all-city selection. He holds scholarship offers from UNLV, UNR and Hawaii.

Christian Mayberry, WR, Green Valley

5-foot-8, 173 pounds; senior

About Christian: Had 31 catches for 349 yards and two touchdowns in 2016, and also completed 8-of-10 passes for 165 yards and two scores.

• • •

Daniel Bellinger, LB, Palo Verde

6-foot-6, 220 pounds; senior

About Daniel: The San Diego State commit had 61 tackles, two caused fumbles and one fumble recovery in 2016.

• • •

Aubrey Nellems, LB, Shadow Ridge

6-foot-1, 205 pounds; senior

About Aubrey: Nellems had 30 tackles and one sack in eight games last season. He also rushed for 341 yards and six touchdowns on 50 carries.

• • •

Jordan Gallegos, S, Basic

6-foot, 180 pounds; senior

About Jordan: Gallegos, who is arguably the most productive two-way performer in Southern Nevada, tallying 128 tackles and six fumble recoveries in 2016. At wide receiver, he had 22 receptions for 292 yards and six touchdowns.

• • •

Gavin Wale, P, Coronado

6-foot-3, 170 pounds; junior

About Gavin: Wale is rated as the nation’s second-best punter for his graduation class by Chris Sailer. He’s also rated as the 19th best punter.

• • •

Elijah Hicks, RB, Las Vegas

5-foot-10, 180 pounds; junior

About Elijah: A three-time preseason all-city selection, Hicks rushed for 769 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2016. He also had two receiving touchdowns. In 2015, he had 1,000 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.

• • •

Jayden Perkins, RB, Virgin Valley

6-foot-1, 195 pounds; junior

About Jayden: Rushed for 1,300 yards and 16 touchdowns last season to help Virgin Valley win the 3A Sunrise League.

• • •

Tim Asuncion, OL, Sierra Vista

5-foot-10, 240 pounds; junior

About Tim: Asuncion is a three-year starter for the Mountain Lions.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21