The high school football season is just six weeks away and the anticipation is growing daily as teams gear up for the two-week dead period before fall camp practices begin on July 29.
There are many local football players with plenty of talent to lead their teams this season, including two that have committed verbally to FBS programs. Bakersfield Christian senior tight end/ defensive end Ben Yurosek made his intentions known that he intends to sign to Stanford and Bakersfield High’s Isaac Jernagin verbally committed to Nevada this month. A third local senior in Ramon Henderson at Liberty has 10 offers to his credit from the likes of Oklahoma, USC and Notre Dame, but has not made his decision of yet.
Stockdale senior Evan Burkhart would have easily made this list, but his knee injury suffered last month will sideline the Mustangs' standout for the entirety of his final season this fall.
Here is my top 50 players to watch for the 2019 high school football season in Kern County.
Joseph Campbell, Garces, senior, QB - The strong-armed right-handed quarterback is headed into his third season as the starting quarterback for the Rams. Campbell has 3,553 passing yards and 19 touchdowns to 21 interceptions and has a big offensive line and plenty of athletes at his disposal to make for a huge senior campaign under first-year head coach Paul Golla.
Ramon Henderson, Liberty, senior, WR/DB/KR - One of the highest recruited seniors in the Central Section this season, Henderson has 10 major offers, including Notre Dame, Oklahoma and UCLA as a wide receiver and defensive back. At 6-foot-2 and elite speed, is a three-way standout while also returning kicks for the Patriots.
Isaac Jernagin, Bakersfield, senior, WR/DB - Announced this week that the senior is staying at Bakersfield High rather than the move the family announced to Orange County. Jernagin is an electric offensive weapon that was selected to the Opening and made a verbal commitment to Nevada this month. Will be a factor in all three phases this fall.
Wesley Wilson, Bakersfield, senior, RB - The most successful running back to return to action this fall in Kern County had 1,171 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns for the Drillers in 2018. Finished the season with five consecutive 100-plus rushing yard performances, including 103 yards and three touchdowns in the Central Section Division I semifinals loss to Fresno-Central.
Ben Yurosek, Bakersfield Christian, senior, TE/DE - The senior recently made a verbal commitment to Stanford, the first from the county since Jeff Buckey graduated from BHS and starred for the Cardinal in the 1990s. Yurosek will play tight end at Stanford, but is a two-way standout for BCHS while also every quarterback’s worst nightmare at defensive end.
D.J. Adams, Bakersfield, senior, WR/DB
Alijah Alexander-Williams, senior, Ridgeview, RB/LB
Shaun Allen, Ridgeview, junior, RB/DB
Christian Alvarez, Wasco, junior, RB/DB
Luis Alvarez, Independence, senior, TE/DE
Zeke Armijo, Stockdale, senior, DB
Tucker Arias, Stockdale, senior, OL/DL
Isaiah Bell, Garces, senior, WR/DB
Brayden Blevins, Liberty, junior, K/P
Cameron Bonner, Bakersfield, senior, RB/LB
Prentice Boone, Liberty, junior, RB/LB
Zach Buckey, Garces, junior, TE/DE
Nathan Carr, East, senior, OL/LB
A.J. Cleveland, Highland, junior, Ath
Khaiden Dearmore, West, senior, FB/DE
Peter Delis, Garces, senior, DB/K
Morgan Dutton, Centennial, senior, DB
Ricky Easterwood, Jr., Bakersfield, junior, QB/P
Jeremiah Gradowitz, Stockdale, senior, WR/DB
Chris Gutierrez, Bakersfield Christian, senior, WR/DB
Zion Hall, Ridgeview, junior, WR/DB
Kaden Hernandez, Frontier, junior, RB/LB
Justin Hinzo, Ridgeview, senior, QB
Dylan Holmes, Liberty, senior, TE/LB
Tyler Hughes, Liberty, senior, OL/DL
Ian Jernagin, Bakersfield, sophomore, RB/WR/LB
L.J. Laulu, West, senior, RB/LB
Elijah Lee, Bakersfield, senior, WR/FS
Nick Lopez, Garces, senior, DB
Haden Mann, Liberty, junior, QB
Jacob Navarro, Centennial, junior, OLB
Jake O’Connell, Liberty, senior, WR/DB
Dylan Parcher, Bakersfield Christian, senior, OL/DL
Travis Plugge, Frontier, sophomore, QB
Anthony Ramirez, senior, Ridgeview, TE/LB
Max Richey, Centennial, senior, QB
Chris Rivera, Bakersfield, senior, OL/DL
Nick Salas, Highland, senior, ATH
Jackson Sanchez, Shafter, senior, WR/DB
Sloan Simpson, Liberty, senior, OL/DL
Jake Smith, Tehachapi, senior, FB/LB
Jalen Smith, Garces, junior, RB/DB
David Stevenson, Bakersfield Christian, senior, DB
Dylan Tooker, senior, Liberty, WR/DB
Joey Vidal, Highland, senior, WR/DB
Did I miss anyone? Feel free to sound off on Twitter at @trevhorn or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.