This is a weekly look at a high school football player who may be flying under the radar now but could emerge during the 2017 season as a surprise breakout performer.
Richard Obert will continue to add to this list. Check back for updates.
School: Fort Defiance Window Rock
Position: Tight end/wide receiver.
Height/weight: 6-3, 210 pounds.
Salway started out as a quarterback in South Dakota, where he lived on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, before moving halfway through his freshman year to the Navajo reservation in northeastern Arizona. He changed to wide receiver/tight end and during his junior season emerged as a dominant force, catching 40 passes for 899 yards and 13 touchdowns in just eight games, including eight grabs for 189 yards and two TDs against one of the best 3A teams, Show Low.
"Show Low's coaches said my TE Shamon Salway was the best player they saw all year," then Window Rock coach Scott Weaver wrote in an electronic message last December. "He tore them up."
Salway doesn't have a scholarship offer. It's hard to get discovered tucked away on the reservation. But he has the size, skills, athleticism that make him intriguing. It's been enough to attract interest from Northern Arizona, Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, Fort Lewis College in Colorado and Valley City State University in North Dakota.
Salway says he is bigger than most football players on the reservation. He knows the competition isn't conducive to college scouts coming to watch him play. But he feels he can play Division I college football.
"I just play my game, have fun, make big plays," he said. "I'm just doing my part, trying to get somewhere."
Horizon High School's running back Nash Giffin (right) at the Arizona Christian University 7 on 7 passing tournament on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at the Scottsdale Sports Complex in Scottsdale. (Photo: Carlos Salcedo/azcentral sports)
School: Phoenix Horizon
Positions: Running back, middle linebacker
Height/weight: 5-9, 165 pounds
Nash likes to be called "Nashty." He plays with a nasty streak on the field. He won't leave the field. He'll be the middle linebacker and the go-to tailback. This is the way he likes it. He likes to be the guy making plays with the game on the line.
His size doesn't get him the college looks but he plays much bigger than he is, and his heart is as big as anybody's on the field.
"Everybody underestimates you," he said. "You go out and play like a big dog."
Coach Ty Wisdom has no hesitation lining Nash up at middle linebacker.
"He won't come off the field," Wisdom said. "He's got a great motor. Being on the field last year as a sophomore was good. Now he's stepped into a leadership role as a junior. He's just more comfortable now. He's very strong. He is deceptively fast, very quick. I'm excited for him. He's got a huge upside."
School: Phoenix Desert Vista
Height/weight: 6-5/210 pounds
Desert Vista High School QB Derek Kline (right) Tuesday, June 6,, 2017 in Phoenix, Ariz. (Photo: David Kadlubowski/azcentral sports)
Desert Vista coach Dan Hinds had the fortune of this big, strong-armed quarterback dropping onto his school's campus since the end of last season.
Kline immediately passes the eye-ball test with his physique. Then, you watch him throw, and you can see what Hinds says things like, "He could be one of the best quarterbacks we've had here."
"Great arm strength, very accurate, makes good decisions with the ball," Hinds said. "As a person, I like how he came in and joined the brotherhood right away. He works hard. College like all of the above, plus his size.
"Derek has a great arm and he also has speed, as well. That gives us a lot of option."
During 7 on 7s, Kline doesn't have to use his legs to make plays. He drops back and throws darts.
It is impressive to watch how he surveys the field and fires bullets downfield to his receivers in tight spaces.
Kline came from Reno Galena High, where he passed for 665 yards and 11 touchdowns on a run-oriented team that went 2-7 last season. He should have fun in new Desert Vista offensive coordinator Sean Morin's schemes.
Morin turned Tempe Marcos de Niza into one of the more electrifying offenses in the state when he had Josh Eckley at quarterback.
The high school football fans in Arizona don't know who he is yet. But colleges like San Diego State and Purdue have him on their radar.
Kline could be that guy who emerges as the surprise player of the season.
To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at email@example.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert....Read more