Sports in Kansas 25 Defensive Lineman To Watch for 2021 (list is not ranked or in any order)
Landon Dean, Cruz Blair, Collin McCartney, Lane Franklin, Sr. – Frontenac
(photo Michelle Beckman)It’s not often that you have four 3A all-state caliber lineman in the same grade on the same team. Frontenac has four three-year starters on the defensive line and a couple that have started all four years. Two-time all-state pick Dean highlights the list as an Oklahoma State commit with his 6’5” 245-pound size but DT Cruz Blair has been a two-time all-state pick at OL/DL the last two seasons at 6’1” 240-pounds. DE Collin McCartney, who is also the starting QB and can play LB/S, has been a two-time all-league pick (each at QB and DE) and is one of the best 3A multiple sport athletes in the state after earning all-state in baseball last season. Lane Franklin (DT) rounds out the group as a four year starter with 6’2” 270-pound size. This is one of the best units in any class of Kansas regardless if they play 3A football.
Gavin Bell, El Dorado, Sr.
Bell doubles as an all-state caliber offensive lineman/defensive lineman for the El Dorado HS football team under his father Wes Bell. He has multiple offers at the Division I level and should be one of the most physical players in the Wichita metro for 2021. Bell had five sacks last season for El Dorado.
Tyler Little, Galena, Jr.
Little has great size at 6’4.75” 240 pounds entering his junior season for the Galena Bulldogs. He has a lot of potential and earned all-state honors last season in football and basketball as a sophomore. He helped the Bulldogs to a 3A runner-up finish in basketball. He holds a Division I FBS offer from Eastern Michigan entering his junior year. Little is a very physical player at DE and TE with the ability to also play offensive line. What really separates him is his athleticism and has great hands. Look for a solid year in Southeast Kansas for the Galena Bulldogs under HC Beau Sarwinski.
Danny Saili, Topeka, Sr.
Saili played the last three seasons at Jefferson West and will play at Topeka this season. He has 6’4” 370-pound size. He will be a force on both sides of the ball for Topeka. He has a Tulsa offer.Tai Newhouse, Free State, Sr.Newhouse is one of the most underrated players in the state. He should be one of the most talented defensive lineman in Kansas as a senior and has committed to Tulsa. He also saw a breakout year as a first year wrestler last season.
Collin Williams, Bishop Miege, Sr.
Williams has been an all-non senior pick all-state selection from SIK in each of the last two seasons. He will be the leader of the Stag defense and one of the best players to watch in 4A this season.
Jalen Marshall, Aquinas, Sr.
Marshall is one of the top prospects in all of Kansas and will be one of the best in any class of Kansas this season. He earned all-state non-senior honors from Sports in Kansas last season as a junior for the Saints. He has multiple FBS offers.
Nate Carter, Wichita Northwest, Sr.
Carter has been starting since his freshman season for Northwest. The Grizzlies have played in the last three 5A state championship games, earning RU in all three appearances. He has seen time as a starter on both offensive and defensive line in his career. He is one of the strongest players in the state of Kansas.
Chase Brungardt, Blue Valley Southwest, Sr., Gabe Peterson, Blue Valley Northwest, Sr.
Brungardt had three sacks in a limited season of games last year and is expected to be a very-good two-way player out of the EKL this season. He has great size at 6’5” and 245-pounds. Peterson, also on the OL list, is expected to be a very solid defensive player as well and had three sacks last season for BVNW.
Kody Schalk, Columbus, Sr.
Schalk, who has 6’4” 270-pound size, doubles as an all-state caliber offensive lineman as well. He holds offers from Emporia State and Pittsburg State University. The CNC league is as loaded full of lineman talent as they ever have been and Schalk is a big part of that. He has a lot of potential and will be one of the best two-way lineman in 3A this season.
Cody Moore, Mill Valley Sr. & Aidan Shaffer, Mill Valley, Sr.Mill Valley had some of the best depth in the state last year. While the defensive line has been headlined by Ethan Kremer the last three seasons its time for a couple of seniors to lead the way this season that are back after being SIK Non-Senior second team picks in 2020 as juniors. Expect a big year out of both Moore and Shaffer. Moore had seven sacks one season ago while Shaffer added 3.5 sacks for MV .
Brooks Lowe, BV West, Sr. Jaden Mayfield, BV West, Sr.
Lowe and Mayfield have a shot to be two of the better defensive lineman in the EKL this season. Mayfield is a three year starter and is a big-time playmaker from the nose position. Lowe is 6’2” 220 pounds and is a multiple sport star for the Jaguars. He took second place at 220 pounds in wrestling and third in the javelin.
Andon Carpenter, Derby, Sr., Quentin Dorsey, Derby, Sr., Samuel Same, Derby, Jr.
Carpenter (6’2” 260 NG) earned All-Non senior honors from Sports in Kansas last season as the Derby Panthers will look to 4-peat in 2021 under Brandon Clark. Dorsey (6’2” 265 DE) also returns after a 6A all-state honorable mention season one year ago. Carpenter had six sacks last season for Derby. Same (DE) has great size at 6’5” and 215 pounds and holds an offer from Iowa State entering his junior year. This is more than likely the best unit in Kansas.
Wade Spencer, St. James Academy, Jr.
Spencer is 6’2” and 215-pounds with speed and physicality on the edge. It only took about 30 seconds into his HUDL to realize he belongs on the list. He showed out against some of the best competition in Kansas last season for the 4A state champion Thunder. Expect a big junior season.
Sa’o Siavi’l, Aquinas, Jr.
He earned second team All-Non senior honors from Sports in Kansas one year ago. Aquinas has multiple players on the defensive side that are all-state caliber once again.
Drew Daniels, Andover Central, Sr. Ruben Ortiz, Goddard, Sr., Braydon Wickliffe, Goddard Sr., Isaac Sheeran, Andover Central, Kamden Wilson, Andover Central Sr.
The trio earned all-league first team last season as juniors and are expected to be the premier defensive lineman in the AVCTL-II this season. We also expect a huge season from Isaac Sheeran of Andover Central who has 6’4” 230 pound size with a 4.57 forty yard dash time, he holds seven collegiate offers and could land a Division I offer with a big senior season. Kamden Wilson is also back for AC after earning second team all-league last season as a junior. Andover Central should have one of the best units in the 4A ranks on the defensive line as they also return Bronx Wood.
Caden Miranda, Maize, Jr.
Miranda earned second team all-league as a sophomore in one of the states best leagues last season. He has 6’0” and 250 pound size with a bench of 315 and squat of 455.
Kayson Dietz, Salina South, Sr.
Dietz enters year four on the defensive line for the Cougars and earned second team All-AVCTL-I last season as a junior. Salina South has a lot of interesting pieces back that should see them be one of the more improved teams in 5A for 2021. Dietz is 6’1” and 290 pounds with a 520 squat and 315 bench.
Elijah Clarke-Boyd, Junction City, Rudy Vargas, Junction City Sr., Koby Jordan, Seaman Sr., Kasen Hasenkamp, Seaman Jr.
While the Centennial League lost Damian Ilalio to Kansas State it does return Clark-Boyd and Vargas who earned first team all-conference as juniors last fall for Junction City. They were huge part of the teams semifinal run in 6A. Jordan and Hasenkamp earned second team all-league a season ago and should be two of the better defensive lineman in Topeka.
Lance Bassett, Piper, Jr., Camden Beebe, Piper, Jr.
Two of the better juniors in the state both are on the Piper defense. Bassett earned second team all-league last season while Beebe earned honorable mention. Beebe has an offer from Kansas State and doubles as an all-state caliber offensive lineman.
Ian Rosales, Colby, Sr.
Rosales earned all-league on both sides of the football last season in the GWAC. Expect him to be one of the top two way lineman in 3A this season and in Western Kansas.
Brody Lietz, Rossville, Sr.
Lietz has 6’3” 240-pound size and earned all-league first team honors a season ago for the state champion Rossville squad that looks for their fifth state title since 2014 this season.
Jayden Oquendo, Olathe Northwest, Sr.
Oquendo started his career at 8-man Maranatha Academy. He has a great size at 6’2” 295 pounds with an ACT score of 28. He has offers from Dayton and Howard at the Division I level as well as Lindenwood at Division II.
Gavin Nutting, Hays, Sr., Carson Spray, Hays, Jr., Christian Erives, Dodge City, Sr. Hunter Huskey, Liberal, Sr., Terrell Elliott, Garden City, Sr.
WAC is loaded on defense for 2021. Nutting is a four year starter and will look to lead the way after the graduation of Gaven Haselhorst. Carson Spray also shined at many camps this summer and will be a force in the WAC. Nutting and Spray should be two of the best in Western Kansas this season. Erives and Huskey each earned first team all-league in the WAC last season and are expecting big years. Elliott has multiple Division I offers and should be one of the better 6A lineman in Kansas this season.
Dagen Dean, Chanute, Jr.
Dean has a lot of potential with his 6’3.5” 210-pound size with a 4.5-4.6 range 40 yard dash time. He was part of the state championship 4×100 relay last season as a sophomore in 4A. Chanute should be very solid this season with a lot of talent back on both sides of the football. Nathan Cunningham is also a lineman that was first team all-league on offense at 6’0” 300-pounds and an all-state wrestler
Bo Van Bruggen, Buhler, Sr., Curtis Landrum, McPherson, Sr.
Van Bruggen and Landrum return after each earning first team All-AVCTL III honors last season. Buhler and McPherson will both be factors on the 4A West.
Trevor Quaney, Burlingame, Sr.
Quaney has great size at 6’8” 225 pounds and could emerge as one to watch in the 8-man ranks this season. He is also a very solid basketball player. Quaney had 71 tackles (15.5 TFLs) last season for head coach Jeff Slater.
Devan Lowe, Olathe North, Jr.
Lowe had six sacks as a sophomore last year and returns with a loaded cast of players at Olathe North for 2021. Lowe is 6’2” 295-pounds.
Brennan Walker, Beloit, Sr., Grady Seyfert, Beloit Sr.
Walker is a four year starter and helped lead the Trojans to a semifinal in 2A last season. He was all-league first team last season in the NCAA. Seyfert is an all-state offensive lineman last season but missed time on defense due to injury last season. Expect the two to be a dominant force in North Central Kansas and 2A for 2021.
Treydon Talley, Centralia, Sr.
Talley was all league on both sides of the ball last season for the Panthers. He is 6’0” and weighs 265 pounds. He can play both linebacker and defensive line. Look for him to be the leader of the Centralia defense who is always a team to watch for in 1A.
Kaden Fields, Osawatomie, Sr., Ben Evans, Topeka Hayden, Jr.
These are two under the radar 3A players that we think can have fine seasons. Fields is 6’5” and 295 pounds on the defensive line. He earned All-Pioneer league on both sides of the football last season. Evans will be relied upon heavily on the Hayden defense at 6’2” 250. Joe Otting (on SIK 25 OL) returns to anchor the offense. Hayden has size in these two.
Several key DL’s graduated from one year ago including Damion Ilalio (Manhattan), Gaven Haselhorst (Hays), Ethan Kremer (Mill Valley), Zach Daher (Wichita NW), Caden Reeves (Aquinas), Dallas Bond (Tonganoxie), Cayden Winter (Andale), Dane Whalen (Osage City), Miles Kitselman (Lyndon), Manny Chavez (Wichita County), Jesse Baxter & Adam Krien (St. Francis) who all made several all-state headlines from a year ago. Despite Mill Valley losing their star they have two on the list above that are all-state caliber, the same goes with Wichita Northwest with the return of Nate Carter, and Aquinas losing Reeves but having two all-state caliber lineman back. The 6A classification is interesting to see what players will emerge as all-state caliber defensive lineman this season after the class being hit heavy by graduation. 5A has several key returnees that will be in the mix as mentioned in the selections above this headline. The 3A division has several talented players back but 4A does have some question marks on who will be the emerging stars at the position as well as 2A/1A. The 8-man class was loaded on the offensive and defensive lines last season and was hit heavy by graduation.
Others Sports in Kansas Top Defensive Lineman to Watch for 2021:
Kayson Dietz – Salina South, Zach White – De Soto, Ruben Ortiz – Goddard, Braydon Wickliffe – Goddard, Will Doolittle – Kapaun, Dalton Harris – Basehor Linwood, Kamden Wilson – Andover Central, Kyle Waterman – Prairie View, Roy Aguilar – Syracuse, Mshewe Hale – Rossville, Brody Lietz – Rossville, Brennan Walker – Beloit, Grady Seyfert – Beloit, Trenton Yoder – Haven, Sam Culp – Sedgwick, Brayden Weiss – Olpe, Aiden Welch – Central Heights, Ethan Perkins – Conway Springs, Korbin Miller – Uniontown, Garrett Cole – Olpe, Grant Stephens – Little River, Nathaniel Tice – Washington County, Ethan Long – Sedan, Blake Kiefer – Herington, Jayson Rice – Yates Center, Braydon Patterson – Hodgeman Co., Austin Bailey – Lebo, Zavier Brandt – Frankfort, Phillip Doeble – Hanover, Chance Hilger – Norwich, Noal Reynolds – Peabody Burns, Dylan Van Laeys – Logan Palco, Antonio Vasquez – South Barber, Tyerell Chapin – Wheatland Grinnell, Andrew Bye – Bishop Carroll, Jaice Minear – McPherson, Brett Gibbs – Clearwater, Kaden Harding – Chaparral, Jess Hancock – Trinity Academy, Cole Gilliland – Hoisington, Trystan Stambaugh – Smoky Valley, Sam Logan – Nickerson, Ethan Long – Sedan, Antonio Vasquez- South Barber, Jack Cecil – Blue Valley, Adam Parks – Blue Valley North, Wesley Monaghan – Perry Lecompton, Taylor Cable – Ness City, Zak Zeller – Rock Creek, Colt Sell – Chapman, Ryan Feldkamp – Jefferson North, Colton Raile – St. Francis, Dalton Kellerman – Anderson County, Kedric Emling – Chanute, Owen Hurd – South Central, Colton Hahn – Minneola, Broch Chapman – Pleasanton, Treydon Talley – Centralia, Dalton Harris – Basehor Linwood, Calvin Sholey – Lansing, Matthew Etzel -Shawnee Heights, Xavier Soriano – Garden City, Matt Nieman – Great Bend, Torrin Cavanaugh – Chapman, Kaleb Green – Wellsville, Brayson Young – Lincoln, Tank Pratt – Olathe North, Devan Lowe – Olathe North, Maverick Havenstein – Wabaunsee, Jesse Whitmer – Russell, Gage Bell – Neodesha, Mitchell House – Labette Co., Brandon Chvatal – Atwood, Kaleb Wagenblast – Thunder Ridge, Eli Wikinson – Dighton, Jaxson Thomas – Seaman, Josh Hildebrand – Stafford, Logan Brummer – SJ/Tipton, Donavan Balluch – Hoxie, Dominic Lopez – Central Heights, Wesley Monaghan – Perry Lecompton, Josiah Annis – Oakley, Michael Hale – TMP, Dakota Yost – Plainville, Brock Buresh – Phillipsburg, Ricky Parga – Newton.Several return after having big seasons in 2020. Check out who to watch in 2021 from the most complete list in Kansas by the most trusted source in sports information in Kansas. This lists main purpose is to represent the entire state from every class. Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we will do this position by position. Chet Kuplen, CEO/Founder of Sports in Kansas, evaluates players every year based on performance from prior year, our all-state lists from last year and events (camps/combines) he sees players across the state with input from several coaches and media members. This is not a recruiting list or prospect list and players are not ranked or in any special order. This list is powered by Seatbelts Are For Everyone, Nex-Tech Wireless, American Implement and Mammoth Sports Construction. Be on the lookout for our postseason honors after the 2021 season on who will be the Top 100 seniors in Kansas and who will make the Sports in Kansas All Non-Senior Team, Player of the Year honors etc. While its impossible for us to check out every player in the state, we have a pretty good track record at going into detail like no other outlet in the state and don’t rank players just to sell a subscription to an online service that cost, WE ARE FREE and a trusted source. If you ever have a player that you think we should take a look at be sure to DM @sportsinkansas or [email protected] as tips coming in can always help out on who we should check out! If you are interested in a premium player evaluation contact Chet Kuplen by TEXT at 620-719-0283 or email [email protected] Several player evaluations landed major offers over the last ten football seasons.