2023 High School Football

2023 football: 50 top Southern Arizona seniors — Marana athlete Jaelen Collins

Today marks only 43 days until the kickoff of the 2023 Southern Arizona high school football season with games scheduled Aug. 18. AllSportsTucson.com is listing 50 of the top seniors in Southern Arizona during this stretch. This is not a ranking. This is a list in alphabetical order. We acknowledge more than 50 quality seniors will play on high school fields locally this fall and we will report on them accordingly.

Jaelen Collins, 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, takes on many tasks successfully for coach Phillip Steward, including receiving, playing cornerback, kickoff and punt returning and punting. He had 17 receptions for 417 yards (incredible 24.5 yards per catch) and two touchdowns last season. He had 63 tackles, one for loss, with four interceptions, a caused fumble and five pass deflections. He averaged 34 yards a punt with a long of 53 yards. He averaged 28.7 yards a kickoff return, including an 83-yard return for a touchdown. … Collins was chosen by coaches last season as a first-team All-5A Sonoran player as a defensive back. … He has received scholarship offers from Bowling Green, NAU and Arizona Christian.

Steward on Collins: “We expect Jaelen to be big for us. Last year, he played great for us on offense, defense and special teams. This year, we are looking for him to be explosive on all three phases of the game. This offseason, he has gotten bigger, faster and stronger picking up offers from various schools. I believe he will be one of Arizona’s top players this season.”

Marana’s Jaelen Collins is a receiver, cornerback, returner and punter for the Tigers (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

11. MARANA (5-5)

Head coach: Phillip Steward
Tigers compete in the 5A Southern. Bold are playoff games. Playoff games at 7 p.m.
8/25at SalpointeL1435
9/1at TucsonW437
9/8at HigleyL2429
9/15at Mountain ViewL3542
9/22Canyon del OroL2149
9/29at BuenaW550
10/6at SunnysideL617
10/20Desert ViewW498
10/27at Casa GrandeW429
11/9at ALA-Gilbert North


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator seven years ago and is presently a special education teacher at his alma mater Sunnyside High School.

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