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The Denver Post’s 2017 All-Colorado football team

The 2017 All-Colorado football team, as selected by The Denver Post staff based on statistical analysis, relative value to team success, postseason production and the old-fashioned eye test.

QB Zach Cozzolino, Pueblo South, Sr., 6-foot, 190 pounds

  • While throwing for 48 touchdowns, the second most in state history, and leading Class 4A with 3,442 yards, he quarterbacked his team to its first state championship.

QB Ty Evans, Palmer Ridge, Jr., 6-3, 190

  • One of the nation’s most highly recruited quarterbacks in the Class of 2019, Evans led the state with 3,627 yards while also throwing for 42 touchdowns and leading the Bears to their first state title.

QB Alex Padilla, Cherry Creek, Jr., 6-2, 190

  • As the frontman for the Bruins’ dynamic offense, he led Class 5A with 40 touchdowns passing while also throwing for 2,678 yards after seeing a promising sophomore season derailed by a broken thumb.

RB Jeremy Hollingsworth, Skyline, Jr., 5-10, 191

  • Immediately became the Falcons’ most explosive weapon after transferring from Niwot in the offseason, pacing Skyline to its first playoff appearance since 1999 while rushing for 1,913 yards and a Class 4A-best 31 touchdowns.

RB Max Borghi, Pomona, Sr., 5-10, 198

  • The Washington State commitment could create long touchdowns with a burst through the slightest of holes, and he ranked first in Class 5A with 27 rushing scores — not to mention his 1,690 yards rushing and array of big plays in the return game.

RB Ben Frenette, Chatfield, Sr., 6-0, 212

  • The heart and soul of a Chatfield offense that was unstoppable throughout the regular season finished with 1,517 yards and 23 touchdowns by ground, while his leadership helped cement the Chargers among the Class 4A elite.

RB Noah Roper, Erie, Jr., 6-0, 195

  • Paced all of Colorado in rushing yards (2,631) and touchdowns (36) while also playing a primary role in the secondary as his speed and field vision led Erie to its first state title game showing since 2008.

WR Billy Pospisil, Pomona, Jr., 5-11, 190

  • The long-range atomic weapon in the vast Pomona arsenal, Pospisil built off a strong sophomore season by leading Colorado with 1,591 yards receiving this year, posting 18 total touchdowns, including three in the Panthers’ Class 5A title game win. 

WR Marcell Barbee, Pueblo South, Sr., 6-2, 195

  • A primary reason the Colts’ offense was electric down the stretch, Barbee’s 23 touchdowns receiving led Colorado and rank third in state history, while he also racked up 1,390 receiving yards — 199 of which came on eight catches in the title game.

WR Dimitri Stanley, Cherry Creek Sr., 6-0, 178

  • As Alex Padilla’s favorite weapon, the Colorado commitment finished with 1,192 yards and 20 touchdowns as he displayed quickness, route running and sure hands rivaled by few other wideouts in the state.

OL Kevin Singer, Columbine, Sr., 6-6, 268

  • One of multiple giants on a Rebels offensive line that racked up 3,712 yards rushing this season, his leadership was also key throughout Columbine’s bruising march to the Class 5A semifinals.

OL Barrett Miller, Eaglecrest, Jr., 6-5, 260

  • His physical play up front set the tone for the Raptors to get to the Class 5A title game, and with still one prep season to play, he’s in position to further add to his legacy of redefining the grit of Eaglecrest football.

OL Dom Pollato, Cherry Creek, Jr., 6-3, 280

  • Once again, Pollato was the head henchman charged with protecting Alex Padilla, and he made good on his job in a complicated offense that gave its quarterback and running backs time to compile 4,515 total yards. 

OL Blake Carette, Arapahoe, Sr., 6-3, 280

  • As the lynchpin of the Warriors’ line, the Air Force commitment displayed athleticism in space in Arapahoe’s counter-heavy offense, with the speed to get out on screens and a consistent physicality up to each and every whistle.

OL Austin Johnson, Highlands Ranch, Jr., 6-4, 260

  • One of two future Division I players on the Falcons’ offensive front, the guard enabled junior running back Dominic Bettini to run wild to help the Falcons reach the Class 5A playoffs for the second straight season.

OL Max Bruner, Ponderosa, Sr., 6-3, 280

  • The versatile lineman is holding an array of FCS offers thanks to an athletic frame that allowed him to pave the way for one of the top offenses in Class 4A, playing with a take-no-prisoners attitude matched only by his motor.

ATH Luke McCaffrey, Valor Christian, Jr., 6-2, 180

  • With the same undeniable athleticism of his father and three older brothers, McCaffrey led a balanced Eagles offense with 1,172 total yards while also playing a key role in the secondary and on special teams.

ATH A’Jon Vivens, Mullen, Sr., 6-0, 185

  • The Colorado State commitment did a bit of everything for the Mustangs this year, racking up 1,262 total offensive yards while seeing significant time at both wideout (six touchdowns) and running back (five touchdowns).

ATH Ryan Marquez, Pomona, Sr., 6-2, 175

  • The centerpiece of a Panthers offense that set a state record for total offense with 6,362 yards, Marquez played fearlessly at quarterback and shored up the team’s secondary while leading Pomona to three straight title games.

ATH Jalen Mergerson, Eaglecrest Sr., 5-11, 180

  • The elevation of the Raptors from good to elite is in large credit to Mergerson, who racked up 3,615 total yards and 33 touchdowns while leading Eaglecrest to a second straight undefeated regular season and first title showing since 1993.

LB Jacob Stanton, Chaparral, Sr., 6-2, 220

  • A nearly unblockable plug in the middle of the Wolverines’ defense, Stanton posted 128 tackles, including 19 for loss, as he proved his ability to both contain the second level and make plays in the backfield.

LB Tama Tuitele, Regis Jesuit, Sr., 6-1, 230

  • In addition to contributing at H-back and long snapper, Tuitele set the physical tone for the Raiders’ defense with 156 tackles, and the middle linebacker holds offers from the three major service academies.

LB Adrian Jackson, Mullen, Sr., 6-3, 215

  • The Oregon commitment led the Mustangs with 65 tackles, including 54 solo, while playing the game with a raw physicality and speed matched by few players in the state.

DL Tate Wildeman, Legend Sr., 6-6, 250

  • Despite missing a couple of games because of injury, the Nebraska commitment recorded six sacks and 61 total tackles as he helped assert the Titans as a physical force in the top-heavy Class 5A landscape.

DL Drake Nugent, Highlands Ranch, Jr., 6-2, 260

  • In addition to his prowess on the offensive line, Nugent was a force on the defensive line while posting 71 tackles and three sacks — and looking the part of a future Division I player in the details on film as well.

DL Jake Heimlicher, Regis Jesuit, Sr., 6-4, 215

  • Despite facing double-teams all fall, his 18 sacks paced Class 5A for a second straight season, and his other stat lines — 100 tackles, 26 of which were for loss — has him weighing an array of Division I offers.

DB Vic Garnes, Eaglecrest Sr., 5-10, 180

  • With freakish ability, Garnes managed to be most impactful player on the field on most occasions, recording 84 tackles while leading a championship-caliber Eaglecrest secondary — not to mention his 13 offensive touchdowns.

DB Chad Muma, Legend, Sr., 6-3, 200

  • The Wyoming commitment recorded 77 tackles, including eight for loss, on a stacked defense featuring several other Division I athletes, and his leadership in the secondary elevated the Titans’ defense as a whole.

DB Cameron Murray, Overland, Sr., 6-2, 180

  • Clearly the Trailblazers’ most talented player, the Wyoming pledge recorded 39 tackles out of the secondary, with his ability to wrap up in the open field complemented his speed and ball awareness in one-on-one coverage.

DB Patrick Roe, Regis Jesuit, Sr., 5-10, 155

  • A prototypical shutdown corner, Roe went toe to toe with an array of top receivers this fall and still ended up leading Class 5A with eight interceptions while helping the Raiders’ defense push the team to the Class 5A quarterfinals.

DB Xavier Hill, Pine Creek, Sr., 6-2, 175

  • He tied for the lead in Class 4A with six interceptions, including two pick-sixes, and his athleticism showed in the playoffs while helping the Eagles’ defense hold three opponents to one total touchdown en route to the title game.

K/P Issac Power, Ponderosa, Sr., 6-2, 185

  • As one of the top kicking recruits in the country, the Baylor pledge lived up to his reputation this year by averaging 41.3 yards per punt, with a dozen placed inside the 20, while also leading Class 4A with nine field goals and a long of 58 yards.

Coach Ryan Goddard, Pueblo South

  • The 2001 Pueblo South graduate led the Colts to their first championship in the program’s 59-year history. In the title game, the Colts completely outplayed defending champion Pine Creek in order to accomplish the feat.

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