Star gazing: Top college recruits to watch in Chandler-Saguaro high school football game

There could be as many as 20 future college football players on the field Friday night when defending Open state champion Scottsdale Saguaro plays at Chandler in The Arizona Republic's high school Game of the Week.

Here are some of the top recruits to see:

Chandler quarterback Dylan Raiola runs in for a touchdown against Corona del Sol during their game at Chandler High School on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.
Chandler quarterback Dylan Raiola runs in for a touchdown against Corona del Sol during their game at Chandler High School on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.

Chandler Wolves (3-0)

Dylan Raiola, QB, 6-3, 225, Jr.

He's locked in with Ohio State. He will be going up against a fast, athletic defense that will try to throw lots of different packages and disguises at him. But what makes Raiola the No.1 2024 prospect in the country is the way he's able to quickly process and read defenses to find open receivers. Quick release, strong arm, and can extend plays.

More: Chandler QB Dylan Raiola keeping priorities in order

A'mauri Washington, DL, 6-4, 295, Sr.

A four-star recruit by 247Sports, he announced his commitment after his first game of the season in California to Oregon. He had big-time offers, including LSU, Oklahoma, Arizona and Arizona State. He's so athletic for his size that even double-teaming him isn't a surefire way to keep him from making plays in the backfield.

Ca'lil Valentine, RB, 6-0, 175, Jr.

He's under the radar nationally but maybe not for long. Everybody in Arizona knows what this kid is capable of doing. He had a career-best 213 yards and four touchdowns rushing in last week's 35-0 win at Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep. With elite moves, he's got a chance to be the next in the long line of great running backs to come out of Chandler's storied program. He was offered this week by Arizona.

Kennedy Urlacher, DB, 6-0, 185, Jr.

The son of Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher, his offers include Arizona, Iowa and Colorado State. A hard-hitting safety with good ball skills, he has an interception and, in the season-opening 63-7 rout of Cathedral Catholic, he recovered a fumble, returning it 90 yards for a TD.

Zarius Wells, OL, 6-6, 290, Sr.

He's made a major improvement in the last year and is starting to pick up offers from small four-year colleges. A big game here will help him get on the Power 5 recruiting radar. He's long and agile and a good pass protector and run blocker on a vastly improved offensive line.

Kaden Anderson, TE, 6-4, 210, Jr.

He leads the team with 12 catches through three games. Big, athletic, sure-handed target who gives the Wolves an element in the red zone that defenses can't ignore. Raiola is good at targeting him in tight windows.

Game of the Week: 5 biggest storylines in Saguaro-Chandler football showdown

Saguaro Sabercats (2-1)

Sep 16, 2022; Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Saguaro Sabercats quarterback Devon Dampier (4) carries the ball against the Sandra Day O'Connor Eagles during a game played at Saguaro High.
Sep 16, 2022; Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Saguaro Sabercats quarterback Devon Dampier (4) carries the ball against the Sandra Day O'Connor Eagles during a game played at Saguaro High.

Devon Dampier, QB, 6-0, 190, Sr.

He has yet to find a college, but there could be more suitors following this game. He left a strong impression with Bergen Catholic coach Vito Campanile following the Sabercats' season-opening 28-7 loss to the top 10 nationally ranked team from New Jersey, after passing for 224 yards and running for 106 yards. He leads 6A in total offense with 601 passing yards and 299 rushing yards.

Deric English, WR, 6-4, 202, Sr.

Still uncommitted, he is back after sitting out the last game. After undergoing season-ending knee surgery last season, he is back at full throttle and has become Dampier's go-to target. He stretches the defense and is not afraid to take a hit in traffic to make a difficult catch. He had seven catches for 104 yards and a TD in the Bergen game.

Cole Shivers, CB, 5-11, 170, Sr.

He committed during the summer to Northwestern. He had seven tackles in his first two games. Will see how much Raiola picks on this highly skilled cornerback during the course of the game.

For subscribers: Arizona HS football Week 6 schedule, Richard Obert's picks

Dajon Hinton, WR/DB, 5-11, 175, So.

He has the ability to get past safeties to make big plays. He did that in last week's 47-3 win over Sandra Day O'Connor. He will flip sides to defense and make plays there, as well, at cornerback. His recruiting is about to blow up.

Jaedon Matthews, RB, 5-10, 175, Jr.

He started as a sophomore, generating Power 5 college interest. He still hasn't broken out big in a game this year with Dampier doing most of the damage with his legs. But Chandler won't be able to keep its eyes off of Matthews, who is averaging 7.1 yards on 17 carries. He had 83 of those on six carries last week against SDO.

Garrett Martin, DL, 6-2, 223, So.

He's just scratching the surface of his potential and already has made a strong impression with 18 tackles, five for losses. He had 12 tackles in the Bergen game.

Under the lights: The ultimate guide to Arizona high school football

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him on Twitter @azc_obert.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Top college recruits to see in Chandler-Saguaro football game