It isn’t often a high school lineman standing a shade over 6’3 and weighing 280 pounds isn’t standing head and shoulders above his fellow workhorses up front.
Welcome to Saguaro High.
For Corey Stephens he’s just fine playing alongside fellow junior and close friend Kayden Lyles who has become one of the most sought-after linemen on the west coast.
Stephens is no slouch himself.
Just ask his head coach.
“Anytime you can start 14 games as a sophomore at left tackle on a state championship team,” Jason Mohns told Sports360AZ.com in a recent interview. “It’s saying a lot about the kid.”
The polite, well-spoken Stephens accepted the challenge last fall as a first-time starter, helping keep Saguaro on top of Division III while working to become a better player in the present and future for the Sabercats.
“I get good competition every day,” he explained to Sports360AZ.com. “Obviously, Kayden pushes me a lot, too. The whole line likes to compete a little bit (smiling). We always push each other [to] make each other better.”
Scary thought considering the back-to-back defending champs lost top playmakers Christian Kirk and Kamron Johnson but still feature speed, power and depth at most positions on offense after young players like Stephens played key roles last fall in the ‘Cats 14-0 run capped by a 45-21 win over Williams Field at Sun Devil Stadium..
Stephens’ hard work in the trenches and the classroom (he carries a 4.3 GPA) has paid off. He’s already received an offer from Louisville and has interest from ASU, UofA and Colorado among others. Expect his college options to expand with more experience over the next two seasons.
“He’s got the tools, the work ethic, the intelligence,” Mohns said of Stephens. “He’s an interior guy at the next level but I’m really excited to see what he’s going to do this year as a junior.”
Even in the soon-to-be dead of summer his focus remains consistent throughout.
“I live, sleep and eat football.”
The Saguaro Sabercat way.