They have maybe the biggest impact on defense, guys who rush the quarterback and can drop back in coverage and make plays.
When they’re not harassing quarterbacks, they’re gobbling up running backs and being a disruptive menace to offenses.
They are the outside linebacker/defense end.
Here are azcentral sports’ top 10 for the 2018 Arizona high school football season:
No. 1 Damian Sellers, Scottsdale Saguaro, 6-4, 230, Jr.
He recently picked up an offer from Alabama during its camp. He became a difference maker on defense the second half of last season when he became eligible and ended up making azcentral sports’ All-Arizona team.
No. 2 Jason Harris, Gilbert Higley, 6-8, 225, Jr.
He didn’t play his sophomore season because of shoulder surgery. It’s been almost two years since he played a football game, so Harris will try to show he hasn’t lost anything and gained more speed, quickness and strength since a breakout freshman season at Mesa Desert Ridge.
No. 3 Bralen Trice, Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor, 6-4, 225, Sr.
He was an absolute beast late in his junior season. Major college offers began to flood in this spring. With added strength and overall athleticism and a work ethic second to none, watch for Trice to become one of the best defensive ends in the state.
No. 4 Braxten Croteau, Peoria Liberty, 6-5, 240, Sr.
He had 70 tackles, nine sacks and 14 quarterback hurries as an edge end on Liberty’s 5A state semifinal team. Croteau is no surprise anymore and he will lift his game another notch or two.
No. 5 Seth Robinson, Saguaro, 6-4, 220, Sr.
He is an outside linebacker on maybe the best defense in the state at any level. He has a size and power to stuff the run and the speed and quickness to cover and make plays downfield.
No. 6 Logan Maxwell, Higley, 6-4, 215, Sr.
He is a two-way player (watch him make plays on offense as a big receiver) who has a knack for getting into backdfields quickly as a blitzing outside linebacker. He’ll be a defensive end, giving Higley maybe the best one-two defensive end combo in Arizona.
No. 7 Cosmas Kwete, Phoenix Central, 6-3, 230, Sr.
His twin Eloi made All-Arizona last season as a defensive tackle. Cosmas is just as good at getting to quarterbacks and stopping running backs from his edge spot on the line. He blew it up last year and he’s only gotten stronger.
No. 8 Anthony Dedrick, Phoenix Mountain Pointe, 6-4, 235, Sr.
This weak-side defensive end has the ability to change the game. He’ll probably see double teams to try to get him off of quarterbacks. He has worked hard to make this a season to remember. With defensive coordinator Conrad Hamilton in charge, Dedrick should become a focal point.
No. 9 Daniel Tootoo, Mesa Skyline, 6-3, 230, Sr.
Explosive, versatile defensive end who can play linebacker. He had an impact on last year’s 6A playoff team. This year, he is expected to dominate from start to finish.
No. 10 Max Sandlin, Chandler, 6-5, 225, Sr.
This recent Navy commit has the speed and power off the edge to be one of the forces on Chandler’s tough defense. He had 14 quarterback hurries as a junior and he is just now scraping the surface of his potential. He is ready to take off.