To some it might seem early but as players begin hitting lifting PR’s and getting in shape- the season has never quite ended. The chase for a trip to Wheeling never ends, and we are taking Fridays in the current offseason to highlight the top five players returning per position in AAA and AA/A (combined). Not on the list? Good thing it’s not even preseason yet. Prove us right or prove us wrong.
Without further ado…
Christian Pack (Summers County) 2019
Aden Funkhouser (East Hardy) 2019
Keandre Sarver (Summers County) 2021
#5 Monroe Mohler
School: James Monroe
HT/WT: 5’9/180 lbs
This Maverick had a breakout year last season for James Monroe. On a talented defense, Mohler stood out as a sophomore. He was constantly ballhawking and making key tackles and even some takeaways. Mohler is not your biggest horse but that isn’t a big issue when he flies in hard and with a purpose. He looks to have a great football IQ and just needs to polish his footspeed and hipwork. We look to him as being a consistent all-stater the next two years.
#4 Kole Puffenberger
School: Pendleton County
HT/WT: 5’10/180 lbs
Puffenberger? Yes, the safety with the best name in the state comes in at number four. Last season he battled some injuries while also trying to be their go-to on offense as well. When healthy and rested, Puffenberger is a talented man in the secondary. He has good speed, veteran instincts, and seems to be inon almost any tackle. Pendleton County is looking to revive their success of 2016 and that starts and ends with him.
#3 JT Hensley
HT/WT: 5’11/185 lbs
Pencil this name down West Virginia fans. Hensley is the skill threat on a hyped up Sherman squad. He’s been bounced around in numerous positions, but defensively, he is a fantastic back. Many times he appears to be on a different level of athleticism and playspeed than anyone else. His speed and vertical make throwing on him a nightmare- he also will make you pay with lazy throws. A big-time threat.
#2 Jake Bowen
HT/WT: 6’1/205 lbs
We have a feeling Jake Bowen’s name will be called a lot this year. With him being the stallion of the offense many people might overlook how great he is on defense. He had a knack for breaking on passes and not just intercepting it but taking it the other way. Bowen is solidly built and adjusts his positioning depending on the teams they face. He’s versatile and has the football ability to get away with it. We look forward to many Bowen takeaways this year.
#1 Isaiah Johnson
HT/WT: 6’0/170 lbs
We hope to have garnered the reputation that we don’t base our opinions on outside hype. Saying that, we think Johnson could be a very special player. He has legitimate next level speed and very good length. As a rising sophomore, his hipwork and footspeed is already smooth. What sets him apart is his potential in the run game as he already shows glimpses of being an aggressive runstopper and dominating tackler. His ceiling is very high.
Who did we miss? Let us know! We never shy away from people telling us we’re missing out on kids! Our next Feature Five Friday will take on the top returning quarterbacks in AAA! Let us know who should be in there!