Preseason all-Bay Area News Group high school football 2023: Defensive line



(Listed in alphabetical order)

Jeremiah Bailey, Moreau Catholic, 6-0, 240, senior

The leader of both the defensive and offensive lines. The strongest player on the team. Student-body president with a 4.0 GPA. First-team all-league in 2022.

Romeo Castillo, Wilcox, 6-3, 245, senior

First-team all-league and honorable mention all-Bay Area News Group last season. Will also play guard for the Chargers this fall.

Delon Craft Jr., Salesian, 6-6, 260, junior

Two-year starter on both the offensive and defensive line. First-team all-TCAL Rock last season. Will be among the team’s leaders.

Nalesoni Fakava, San Mateo, 6-0, 280, senior

Co-defensive lineman of the year in the PAL Ocean and all-BANG honorable mention pick last season. Had 48 tackles, a team-best nine for loss, and two blocked FG attempts in 2022.

Aseli Fangupo, Sacred Heart Prep, 5-10, 270, junior

A two-way player was a second-team all-BANG selection last season as an offensive lineman. Also received first-team all-league recognition.

Benjamin Hatch, Sacred Heart Cathedral, 6-3, 240, senior

Three-year varsity starter and first-team all-West Catholic Athletic League selection last season. Plays DL/OL. Has an offer from Weber State. San Jose State has shown interest.

Khayri Jett, Menlo-Atherton, 6-0, 245, senior

As his coach put it, spends a lot of time in the offensive backfield while playing defense. Lines up at defensive end and on the offensive line. Has a strong nose for the ball..

Matthew Johnson, De La Salle, 6-6, 252, junior

The four-star standout is big and athletic. Has offers from numerous Power 5 schools, including USC, Oregon, Washington, Michigan and Notre Dame.

Tevita Pekipaki, Santa Teresa, 6-3, 285, senior

A dominant player on defense and a strong blocker on the offensive line for a Santa Teresa team that captured section and regional championships last season.

Timo Poloka, Serra, 6-0, 280, senior

Should be a physical presence for one of NorCal’s premier programs. Has an offer from Nevada.

Santana Roberts, Heritage, 6-0, 300, senior

The strongest player on the team, benching pressing more than 400 points, according to his coach. Has an offer from Pacific Oregon.

Jordan Snowden, Benicia, 6-4, 220, senior

Edge pass rusher is generating interest from a handful of schools, including Stanford, Sacramento State and UC Davis. “Should have a big season,” Benicia coach Scott Swartz said.

Benjamin Thurman, Berkeley, 6-4, 210, junior

Lines up as an edge rusher on defense. Also plays wide receiver, which might be his main position. A three-star prospect, per 247Sports, with offers from Oregon State, San Jose State and Nevada.

Naki Tuakoi, Fremont-Oakland, 6-4, 222, senior

One of the top recruits in his class. The Stanford commit lines up as an edge rusher and linebacker. Has 18 offers, including 15 from Power 5 schools.

Kelepi Vete, Tennyson, 6-6, 255, junior

A force on both the defensive and offensive lines. Has a half-dozen offers at last check, Cal, Arizona, Arizona State and Baylor among them.

Jewelous Walls, Pittsburg, 6-3, 225, junior

A four-star prospect, according to 247Sports. Will be a force for the storied Pittsburg program. Has 11 offers, including from USC, Oregon, Washington and Cal. San Jose State also has offered.

Coming the next two weeks

The Bay Area News Group’s high school football preview package will roll out over the next two weeks. If you have not already, please subscribe. Your contributions keep us going.

Correspondent Mike Lefkow contributed to this report.

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