Arizona Prep Report- Part 3 ALA Queen Creek at Mesquite
Week 3 took us to Mesquite High School in Gilbert Arizona as the Wildcats hosted the American Leadership Academy-Queen Creek Patriots. If you follow Arizona prep football on the periphery, you might know Mesquite has a 5-star stud at quarterback and from there you’d assume a very one-sided game… that could not be more wrong.
The Patriots gave the Wildcats all they could handle before Mesquite finally pulled away in the fourth quarter, winning 60-42. Mesquite has the better talent this season but ALA Queen Creek made their presence known and should play at a high level the next couple of years.
Onto the talent…
QB Ty Thompson, 2021- The talent conversation in Arizona usually starts with Ty Thompson this year and he certainly showed why on Friday. The 6’4” 220-pound senior does it all. It’s a tall, strong, athletic frame. The arm talent is elite. He has a very strong arm that he displayed on several deep balls in this game and with good accuracy and zip. He showed good accuracy on intermediate and short throws as well. But defenses can’t just drop six guys in coverage to take away his passing attack because Ty is athlete as well and can punish you with his legs. Thompson ran for 95 yards against ALA Queen Creek and two touchdowns. He’s not the runner Lamar Jackson is but he’ll get downfield very well. Ty Thompson is what elite quarterback talents look like and that’s why he’s one of the top signal-callers in the country.
Oregon has once again swooped in and snagged a top Arizona talent and this time, the top Arizona talent in Ty Thompson. Oregon was able to top big boy programs like LSU, Miami and others for Ty’s commitment. ASU was certainly in the mix but missed out on what would have been a tremendous backyard get. The Sun Devils will get plenty of looks at Thompson across the field over the next few years in Pac 12 play.
WR Eric Lira, 2021- Arizona is littered with great wide receiver talent- Denzel Burke at Saguaro, Kyion Grayes at Chandler, Dorian Singer at Pinnacle, Andrew Patterson at Desert Edge, but the guy that people don’t discuss enough and isn’t getting the recruiting attention he deserves is Eric Lira. Folks, you don’t score five touchdowns in a game by accident, I don’t care how good your quarterback is. Lira went for five catches for 217 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns PLUS HE ADDED A PICK-6! Lira is very talented, runs clean routes, shows good hands and clearly has no problem outrunning defenders. The Mesquite senior comes in at 6-feet, 190 pounds but plays bigger than that with his physicality. I really like this player.
Lira currently holds offers from St. Francis, Trine and Wisconsin-River Falls but I’ll be interested to see if some D1 programs don’t begin checking in on him a bit more in the coming weeks. To me, Lira is a D1 talent, no question.
WR Andrew Morris, 2022- I feel like I’ve spent a lot of this week aboard the Eric Lira Hype Train (and deservedly so), trying to show love to a player who I feel isn’t being recognized enough… but the other hype train I need people to jump on is Andrew Morris. 6’2”, 200 pounds (and maybe north of that now), shredded, moves well, good instincts, physical, good hands and can go up and high point a ball as he proved when he “Mossed” a DB Friday… he is a football athlete. Morris is a player I could envision playing at the next level at outside linebacker, strong safety or wide receiver and playing them well. The fact that the Arizona prep scene gets another season of Morris too is a treat.
Morris currently holds an offer from New Mexico but there is no doubt in my mind he’ll see his recruitment pick up. Morris is a Power 5 caliber prospect and the caliber of guy that ASU should take a good hard look at.
Others to Watch:
RB/LB Mitch Jensen, 2023- It was players like Mitch Jensen that made the ALA Queen Creek/Mesquite such a fun battle. Jensen, the sophomore athlete, combined with his teammate Trae Moshier to continuously march their way downfield through the run game. Jensen runs tough with great balance and shows a shiftiness between the tackles to create running lanes for himself. Jensen looks equally good at linebacker showing an ability to hunt ball carriers and showing good pursuit angles. It’ll be fun watching Jensen grow and develop over the next two seasons.
WR/DB Ryan Meza, 2023- Meza has the look of a young athlete on his way to a really nice prep career that will allow him to play in college. The Patriot sophomore shows a lot of athletic actions at both wide receiver and defensive back. He has good speed and agility with smooth cuts, good body control and a nice back-peddle. His future could come at either position and his hands will be an asset wherever he ends up. He’s another ALA Queen Creek player with a nice future ahead for him.