High school playoffs are underway throughout the country.
With that, it's a good time to check in on how Utah and BYU football commits have performed during the 2018 regular season and what lies ahead for many of them in the playoffs.
All stats are according to MaxPreps or Deseret News unless otherwise noted, with players listed in alphabetical order.
2019 Utah commits
Micah Bernard, running back, Gahr High (Cerritos, California): Bernard (5-10, 187) saw his numbers dip this season after putting up an electrifying 2,411 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns as a junior in 2017. This year, he was more balanced between the rushing and receiving game. He had 716 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on 100 carries to go with 45 receptions for 606 yards and six touchdowns. Gahr did not advance to the playoffs, ending the season for the three-star commit.
The running back attended last week’s Utah victory over UCLA at the Rose Bowl.
At the Ucla vs Utah Game Lets go Utes⚫️ ‼️ pic.twitter.com/agWOGeyIxY— Micah Bernard (@Icey_MB) October 27, 2018
Luke Felix-Fualalo, offensive tackle, Mater Dei High (Santa Ana, California): Like Talavou, the Utes have gotten a commitment from an offensive lineman on one of the nation’s top high school teams in Felix-Fualalo. The 6-7, 300-pound three-star recruit helped second-ranked Mater Dei average 171.2 rushing yards and 434.9 total offensive yards per game heading into the Monarchs’ playoff opener Friday against Valencia High.
Felix-Fualalo sent his congratulations when Utah beat USC 41-28 on Oct. 20.
Darren Jones, wide receiver, Cajon High (San Bernardino, California): Jones, a four-star recruit, had one of his best games of the season in Cajon’s regular-season finale a little over a week ago, catching eight passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Carter High. He has 49 receptions for 875 yards and 12 touchdowns heading into the playoffs, which start for Cajon on Friday against Paloma Valley.
Jones (6-foot-9, 185 pounds) said he will take his official visit to Utah on Nov. 10 for the Utes’ game against Oregon.
Falcon Kaumatule, athlete/defensive end, Bishop Gorman High (Las Vegas): Kaumatule, a three-star recruit who committed to Utah just days after the season opener in August, has had a strong season from his defensive end position. He leads Bishop Gorman in sacks with six and tackles for loss (12) while adding 36 tackles and four quarterback hurries. Kaumatule (6-8, 245) had his best game of the year in a Sept. 7 win over Orem High, with seven tackles, three tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Bishop Gorman finishes league play this week with a game at Clark High.
Aaron Lowe, safety, West Mesquite High (Mesquite, Texas): Lowe (6-0, 180) took his official visit to Utah the weekend of the Utes’ victory over USC two weeks ago. He’s had a solid year, with 56 tackles — good enough for second on the West Mesquite team — to go along with three tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a quarterback hurry. That includes 32 solo tackles this season and three games with double-digit tackles on a struggling West Mesquite team that has two regular-season games remaining, including Friday at Sherman High.
The three-star defensive back has been active on social media stumping for the Utes and shared his Utah love in a Halloween-themed post.
Marist Talavou, offensive guard, St. John Bosco High (Bellflower, California): Talavou has served as the top offensive lineman on the nation’s No. 1-ranked high school team, according to both MaxPreps and USA Today. St. John Bosco beat the No. 2 team, Mater Dei, 41-18 on Oct. 13, a game in which the Braves rushed for 190 yards. The 6-3, 316-pound Talavou, a three-star recruit, has helped St. John Bosco average 203.2 rushing yards per game. St. John Bosco opens the postseason against Serra High on Friday.
LaColby Tucker, offensive tackle, Garden City Community College (Garden City, Kansas): Tucker (6-9, 305) verbally committed to the Utes on Oct. 13 and is the lone junior college commit for Utah so far. He is rated the No. 15 offensive tackle prospect among JuCo players in this year’s recruiting class and the three-star recruit has helped No. 2-ranked Garden City go undefeated heading into a matchup this Saturday against fourth-ranked Hutchinson Community College.
Had a great visit at Utah thanks to the coaches, players, and community for the love and making the visit a great experience. ⚪️ ⚪️ #UteNation #GoUtes @coachjharding @UtahCoachWhitt @UUtah @Utah_Football @UUtah_esports pic.twitter.com/R1M7je1SVo— LaColby Tucker (@LaColbyT) October 18, 2018
Other Utah targets of interest
Jalen Cropper, athlete, Buchanan High (Clovis, California): Cropper (6-0, 175) also visited the Utes for an official visit during their victory over USC and shared photos from the visit.
The wide receiver/cornerback who is rated a four-star recruit by 247Sports has 516 yards (139 rushing, 343 receiving) of total offense for Buchanan this year while scoring five times, and has added 13 tackles and an interception on defense. Buchanan kicks off playoff action Friday against Clovis West.
Jayden Daniels, dual-threat quarterback, Cajon High (San Bernardino, California): Daniels, the nation’s top uncommitted quarterback prospect in the 2019 recruiting class, has the Utes in his final three and told the Deseret News last week he was expecting to make a college decision in the next two weeks. The other two competing for his services at this point include UCLA and Cal. Daniels attended the game between Utah and UCLA last week.
The four-star quarterback (6-3, 174) has thrown for 3,167 yards, 44 touchdowns and just three interceptions on the year while adding a team-high 985 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Four times this year, he has thrown for five or more touchdowns in a game, including in a win over Carter High a little over a week ago. Daniels and Cajon start the playoffs Friday with a game against Paloma Valley.
Daniel Heimuli, inside linebacker, Menlo-Atherton High (Menlo Park, California): Heimuli released his list of top five schools on Monday, and it included Utah along with Alabama and fellow Pac-12 schools Oregon, UCLA and Washington.
The four-star recruit is scheduled for an official visit to Utah on Nov. 10, according to 247Sports. He leads Menlo-Atherton with 49 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, five sacks and three quarterback hurries on the season.
2019 BYU commits
CJ Alatini, defensive end, Timpview High: Alatini (6-3, 250) has been a BYU commit since early 2016 when he was at Orem High. He continues to be one of the highest rated recruits in the state of Utah, ranked No. 5 by 247Sports and No. 3 by Rivals, in the 2019 recruiting class. Timpview plays Roy in the 5A quarterfinals Friday at 4 p.m. MDT.
Jacob Conover, quarterback, Chandler High (Chandler, Arizona): Conover heads the Cougars’ 2019 class and is currently rated the No. 104 recruit nationally by ESPN. The four-star recruit (6-1, 205) has led Chandler to a top 20 ranking by both MaxPreps and USA Today, as the team opens up the playoffs Friday vs. Boulder Creek.
Conover has completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 2,405 yards, 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions this year, including two straight games with four touchdown passes. He recently received his mission call for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Paraguay and was also named to the 2019 Polynesian Bowl.
Michael Daley, outside linebacker, Lone Peak High: Daley (6-3, 225) has been one of the country’s best in sacks this season. He has 18.5 on the year, according to MaxPreps, good enough for 11th nationally. That includes five games with multiple sacks, topped by five in the season opener. He’s added 55 tackles and 32 tackles for loss. Daley and Lone Peak host Davis in the 6A quarterfinals Friday at 4 p.m.
Ethan Erickson, tight end, Kahuku High (Kahuku, Hawaii): The 6-5, 225-pound two-star prospect had eight receptions for 119 yards on the year, according to Scoring Live. Up next for Erickson and Kahuku High is a playoff game against Mililani on Friday for the Oahu Interscholastic Association Open Division championship.
Tausili Fiatoa, outside linebacker, Kahuku High (Kahuku, Hawaii): Fiatoa (6-2, 195) has 19 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks and a pass breakup on the year, according to Scoring Live. That includes a 2.5-sack game in Week 2 vs. Punahou, as Kahuku preps for a playoff game Friday vs. Mililani.
Fiatoa, a three-star recruit who began his prep career at Orem High, was selected for the 2019 Polynesian Bowl in September.
Blake Freeland, athlete, Herriman High: Freeland, at 6-8 and 260 pounds, played on both sides of the ball for Herriman High this season. He finished the year with 13 receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown as a tight end and had five tackles and an interception on defense. The Mustangs’ season ended last week with a loss to Bingham in the first round of the 6A playoffs.
Brock Gunderson, offensive tackle, Cypress Woods High (Cypress, Texas): Gunderson verbally committed to BYU on Oct. 24 and is a three-star recruit. He announced he will serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before playing for the Cougars. Gunderson (6-4, 265) has helped Cypress Woods average 328.3 rushing yards per game and the Wildcats are on a bye this week before finishing the regular season Nov. 8 vs. Bryan High.
Keanu Hill, wide receiver, Trinity High (Euless, Texas): Hill announced his commitment to BYU via Twitter on Oct. 2. The tall wideout (6-3, 190) also held a scholarship offer from Wyoming and received interest from Texas Tech. Hill and Trinity High finish up the regular season Nov. 9 vs. Diboll High.
Here are a few highlights of the two-star recruit.
Cade Hoke, middle linebacker, North Allegheny High (Wexford, Pennsylvania): Hoke is the son of former BYU defensive lineman and two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Hoke. The younger Hoke (6-0, 218) verbally committed to BYU on Friday, making the announcement via Twitter. He has a team-leading 73 tackles this season, including 38 solo stops, to go along with 13 tackles for loss, five sacks, two pass deflections and a fumble recovery. North Allegheny plays Seneca Valley Nov. 9 in its regular-season finale.
I am excited to announce my commitment to further my football and academic career at BYU! I am thankful to everyone who has helped me to get where I am today! #GoCougs @byulamb @kalanifsitake pic.twitter.com/EoBHxvfDZ1— Cade Hoke (@cadehoke20) November 2, 2018
Brooks Maile, defensive end, Pine View High: Maile (6-3, 240), who committed to BYU in the summer of 2017, has played on both sides of the ball on the line for Pine View this season. On defense, he has 12 tackles and a pair of sacks in 2018, including a three-tackle, one-sack game in the Panthers’ playoff-opening win over Logan last week. Pine View plays at Stansbury on Friday at 4 p.m. in the 4A quarterfinals.
Bruce Mitchell, offensive tackle, South Summit High: Mitchell (6-5, 265) has helped South Summit average 474.5 yards of total offense this season, including 360.5 in the passing game. He also has four tackles and a sack on defense. Mitchell and South Summit face Millard in the 2A semifinals Saturday at 11 a.m. at Provo High.
Chase Roberts, wide receiver, American Fork High: Roberts had one of the best games of his career when he accounted for five touchdowns (four receiving, one kick return) in the Cavemen’s playoff-opening win over Riverton last week. Roberts caught eight passes for 184 yards and scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to help American Fork pull away.
Roberts (6-4, 185) has 65 receptions for 1,336 yards and 19 touchdowns this season. He and the Cavemen play at Weber on Friday at 4 p.m. in the 6A quarterfinals.
Elijah Unutoa, offensive guard, Kapaa High (Kapaa, Hawaii): Unutoa became the second offensive lineman in the past two weeks to commit to BYU when news broke of his commitment on Sunday.
The three-star guard took his visit to BYU on Oct. 12, the same weekend the Cougars beat Hawaii 49-23, according to 247Sports. He held scholarship offers from several schools, including Cal, Iowa State, San Diego State, Fresno State, Hawaii and Colorado State, according to 247Sports.
Carter Wheat, tight end, Red Mountain High (Arizona): Wheat (6-4, 225) has 27 receptions for 304 yards and a touchdown in 2018. That includes a two-game stretch in September where he had 12 catches for 151 yards and his lone score. Up next for Red Mountain is a road playoff game at Queen Creek High.
Other BYU targets of interest
Kieran Clark, cornerback, Centennial High (Peoria, Arizona): Clark (6-0, 185) holds a scholarship offer from BYU, according to 247Sports, and has helped Centennial go undefeated, with a playoff game against Sunnyslope on Friday. Clark, a three-star recruit, has eight solo tackles, 10 pass deflections and a forced fumble on the year.
Khymani Martin, wide receiver, Palm Glades Prep (Miami): Martin, a one-time commit to BYU, has opened his recruitment and contributed more as a running back than a receiver for Palm Grades this season. He has 61 carries for 482 yards and six touchdowns on the year, to go along with six catches for 42 yards and a score. Palm Glades wraps up the regular season Friday against Westminster Academy.
3 Utah prep stars to watch this week
Puka Nacua, wide receiver, Orem High: The four-star USC commit is having a record-breaking year, and with 55 more receiving yards, he would become the first player in Utah high school history to catch for 2,000 yards in a single season. Nacua currently leads the nation in receiving yards with 1,945, on 85 receptions, and has 21 receiving touchdowns. Orem hosts Mountain Crest in a 4A quarterfinal game Friday at 5 p.m.
Logan Sagapolu, center, Skyridge High: Sagapolu is rated the No. 4 center nationally in the 2019 recruiting class and is set to take an official visit to Oregon this weekend, according to 247Sports. He and the Falcons take on Jordan in a 5A quarterfinal matchup Friday at 4 p.m.
Sione Moa, linebacker/wide receiver, Weber High: Moa committed to Utah State on Oct. 1 and has had a good year on both sides of the ball, particularly at outside linebacker. He has 49 tackles and six sacks on the season, including an 11-tackle effort in Weber’s first-round playoff win over Granger. Weber hosts American Fork on Friday at 4 p.m. in the 6A quarterfinals.