clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Local flavor in college football: A look at how players from Utah high schools are performing

While much of the local focus over the weekend was on the BYU-Utah matchup in Salt Lake City, there were plenty of football players with local ties making an impact at other schools.

Here is a look at the local high school football players who are playing around the country, with a spotlight on some of the best performances.


Cooper Bateman, Cottonwood, junior, quarterback, Alabama

Kahi Neves, Timpview, freshman, linebacker, Arizona

Quinten Parker, Desert Hills, sophomore, tight end, Army

Jonathan Hockman, Park City, junior, running back, Baylor

Hayden Israelson, Riverton, freshman, safety, Boise State

Daniel Auelua, Lone Peak, junior, defensive tackle, Boise State

Durrant Miles, Bingham, sophomore, defensive end, Boise State

Sonatane Lui, Alta, freshman, nose tackle, Boise State

Pookie Maka, Cottonwood, freshman, linebacker, Colorado

Christian Shaver, Jordan, junior, linebacker, Colorado

Sam Bennion, Logan, freshman, linebacker, Colorado

Dalton Fackrell, Bingham, junior, tight end, Colorado State

Stratton Brown, Riverton, senior, defensive back, Fresno State

Brown has been a key member of the Fresno State secondary so far this season. In the 43-10 loss to Nebraska, he finished with six total tackles, including two solo tackles. So far this season, he is fifth on the team with eight tackles for the Bulldogs.

Marcus Kemp, Layton, senior, wide receiver, Hawaii

Kemp had his best game of the year as the Warriors bounced back from an embarrassing 63-3 loss to Michigan with a 41-36 win over Tennessee-Martin. In the win, he finished with four receptions for 103 yards, including touchdowns of 7, 33 and 63 yards.

On the season, he has 12 catches for 272 yards and four touchdowns.

Elijah Tupai, Cottonwood, junior, offensive line, Hawaii

Max Broman, Alta, junior, linebacker, Hawaii

Ammon Barker, Alta, junior, wide receiver, Hawaii

John Ursua, Cedar, freshman, wide receiver, Hawaii

Kaden Elliss, Judge Memorial, sophomore, linebacker, Idaho

Desmond Banks, Cottonwood, junior, safety, Idaho

After not seeing much action as a freshman and sophomore, Banks is now a huge part of the Idaho defense. In the 59-14 loss to Washington, he finished with six tackles and a pass defended. On the season, he has recorded 11 tackles, including seven solo for the 1-1 Vandals.

Tueni Lupeamanu, Herriman, senior, defensive line, Idaho

Fish Smithson, Highland, senior, safety, Kansas

Smithson is one of the defensive leaders for the Kansas defense. He had another solid night in his last outing even though the Jayhawks got beat by Ohio 37-21. In the loss, he totaled five tackles, two pass breakups and an interception. For the season, he has totaled nine tackles, three pass breakups and an interception for the 1-1 Jayhawks.

Bryan Mone, Highland, junior, defensive tackle, Michigan

Mufi Hunt, Taylorsville, freshman, defensive end, Michigan State

Seth White, Sky View, junior, offensive line, Navy

Gabriel Sewell, Desert Hills, freshman, linebacker, Nevada

Sewell is off to a nice start for the 1-1 Wolfpack. He was very productive in the loss to Notre Dame with nine tackles, including two tackles for loss. On the season, he is second on the team with 16 tackles and tied for first with two tackles for loss.

Nakota Lealao, Herriman, junior, defensive tackle, Nevada

Hausia Sekoma, East, sophomore, defensive line, Nevada

Korey Rush, East, sophomore, defensive end, Nevada

Dakota Cox, Juan Diego, senior, linebacker, New Mexico

Cox is showing that he is one of the best tacklers in the country. He started out the year in fine fashion in the 48-21 victory over South Dakota. In the win, he recorded 14 tackles, including two tackles for loss, an interception and a forced fumble. So far this season, he has 20 tackles, two and a half tackles for loss, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble.

Branden Bowen, Corner Canyon, freshman, offensive line, Ohio State

Doug Taumoelau, Brighton, freshman, linebacker, Oregon State

Gus Lavaka, Kearns, freshman, offensive line, Oregon State

Thor Katoa, Pine View, freshman, defensive end, Oregon State

Noah Togiai, Hunter, sophomore, tight end, Oregon State

Even though the Beavers dropped their season-opener to Minnesota, Togiai had the most productive receiving game of his young career. He finished the game with four catches for 31 yards and a touchdown.

Baker Pritchard, Bingham, junior, defensive end, Oregon State

Dalton Schultz, Bingham, junior, tight end, Stanford

Sean Barton, Woods Cross, sophomore, linebacker, Stanford

Brandon Fanaika, Pleasant Grove, junior, offensive line, Stanford

Dallas Lloyd, Pleasant Grove, senior, strong safety, Stanford

Andre James, Herriman, freshman, offensive line, UCLA

Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, East, senior, defensive tackle, USC

Porter Gustin, Salem Hills, sophomore, defensive end, USC

After a solid freshman campaign playing linebacker, Gustin has taken advantage of his move to the defensive line. In the 45-7 win over Utah State, he totaled six tackles, including two tackles for loss and a sack. So far this season, he has 15 tackles, three and a half tackles for loss and a pair of sacks for the 1-1 Trojans.

Lyric Bartley, Taylorsville, freshman, defensive line, Washington State

Luke Falk, Logan, junior, quarterback, Washington State

Falk has put up some crazy numbers so far this season even though the Cougars have started out 0-2. In a 31-28 loss to Boise State, he completed 55 of 71 passes for 480 yards and four touchdowns. On the season, he has completed 78.7 percent of his throws for 898 yards and eight touchdowns. Those numbers place him in the top five nationally in all three categories.

T.J. Fehoko, Cottonwood, freshman, defensive line, Washington State


Big Sky


Alex Espinoza, West, freshman, quarterback, Idaho State

Treven Aloi, Murray, sophomore, defensive line, Idaho State

Clark Jeppesen, Bear River, junior, defensive line, Idaho State

Jrue Perkins, Northridge, freshman, defensive back, Idaho State

Harrison Goebel, Pine View, sophomore, long snapper/tight end, Northern Arizona

Zach Simmons, Salem Hills, freshman, tight end, Northern Arizona

Keaton Mott, Bingham, freshman, quarterback, Northern Colorado

Alex Kuresa, Mountain Crest, senior, quarterback, Portland State

Tyshon Mosley, Jordan, junior, offensive line, Portland State

Jay Yeomans is a sports writer for DeseretNews.com. Contact him at jyeomans@deseretdigital.com.