Prep football: Talent pool at quarterback as deep as ever

The quarterback class of 2025 is set to compete for an outstanding quarterback class of 2023 in Southern California high school football. And the quarterback class of 2024 isn’t bad either.

Simply put, the South Division has a lot of talent at quarterback.

Seniors are led by Malachi Nelson of Los Alamitos, bound for USC, and Niko Imaleva, of Warren, bound for Tennessee. Both have earned national recognition for their college prospects. But there are others.

Kadin Semanza of Mission Viejo will go to Ball State. Aidan Chiles of Downey has committed to the state of Oregon. Pierce Clarkson from St. John Bosco is headed to Louisville. Corona Centenary’s Izzy Carter has made a commitment to the state of Arizona. Ty Dieffenbach of Agoura has committed to UNLV. Rancho Cucamonga’s CJ Tiller and West Ranch’s Ryan Staub are headed to Boise State and Colorado, respectively.

Among the youth, Elijah Brown of Santa Ana Mater Dei has never lost a high school football game in two seasons. Long Beach Poly’s Darius Curry was a star at St. Bernard his freshman year. Ayala has the versatility to cause big problems for Brian Wilson’s defense. Miles Jackson of Long Beach Millikan has a strong arm and plenty of college offers.

Then there are the talented sophomores. San Juan Hills’ Michael Tollefson threw for 14 touchdowns as a freshman. Wyatt Baker of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame has one of the best guns in the Southland. Simi Valley’s Steele Pizzella threw for 11 touchdowns with an interception as a freshman. Bear Bachmeier of the Murrieta Valley comes from a family of high achievers and is ready to launch an aerial attack on the Inland Empire. Sierra Canyon’s Alonzo Esparza passed nearly 3,000 yards as a freshman in Culver City.

There are also plenty of opportunities to put others in the spotlight. Mayfair senior Ivan Tomic had 14 touchdown passes last season. Santa Margarita senior Jackson Potter is capable of great performances. Chaminade senior Javans Tupuata-Johnson has committed to San Diego State in hopes of making a fresh start with the Eagles after transferring from Notre Dame. St. Francis senior Zach Jacobs is 6-foot-6 and a good receiver. Leusinger’s Will Doherty is a 6-5 senior transfer from Mira Costa who has enjoyed summer success.

In the City division, the summer pass competitions were all about finding the next big quarterback contributor. Birmingham is looking for sophomore Kingston Tisdale to stand out. Cleveland has experience with the return of Emiliano López. Venice likes their senior quarterback, 6-5 Paul Kessler. Narbonne is confident in 6-4 running back Ryan Corley.

Starting August 8, The Times will have player profiles to preview the top players in each position group. Here is the summary.

Aug. 8: QB Ty Dieffenbach of Agoura.

Aug. 9: RB Cincere Rhaney of Gardena Serra

Aug. 10 OL Raymond Pulido of Apple Valley

Aug. 11: WR Jaden Rattay of L.A. Lincoln

Aug. 12: TE Nick Fernandez of San Pedro

Aug. 13: DL Seth Fao of Banning

Aug. 14: LB Weston Port of San Juan Hills

Aug. 15: DB Maliki Crawford of Oxnard Pacifica

Aug. 16: Punter Aidan Flintoft of Oaks Christian

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