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2023 = Top Prospects

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Kansas Pregame 17th Annual Football Preview cover reveal

  • The first look at the 2022 Football Preview cover and inside cover featuring the state's top prospects and some of the state's top football families. (Cover shot: Joey Bahr; Inside Cover F.O.E. shot: Heather Kindall)
    The first look at the 2022 Football Preview cover and inside cover featuring the state's top prospects and some of the state's top football families. (Cover shot: Joey Bahr; Inside Cover F.O.E. shot: Heather Kindall)

Recruiting rankings are one of the most controversial topics in the high school and college football landscape.

Players tout them, or lament them. Fans debate them. College coaches claim to ignore them.

But since Rivals launched their first recruiting rankings in 2002 a player’s star rating has been a consistent label applied to the nation’s top college football recruits.

Rivals popularized recruiting coverage online and helped spawn other major recruiting outlets. 247Sports founder Shannon Terry, who had previously rescued and rebuilt after its early bankruptcy, launched the 247 platform in 2010. ESPN expanded their coverage of recruiting online with Recruiting Nation in the mid-2000s. Countless other smaller local and regional services offer talent evaluation as well.

But regardless of where you get your recruiting information, one fact holds true as we enter the 2022 season, the Kansas High School football Class of 2023 is the top-ranked class in the recruiting rankings era of high school football.

“Clearly the state’s recruiting followers have now become aware of the biggest talents in 2023,” GoPowercat recruiting editor Ryan Wallace said. “Names like Johnson, Edwards, and Otting have become familiar to even the smallest enthusiast. But what truly stands out about this class above others in recent memory are the additional prospects that collegiate staffs believe to hold legitimate potential.

“Entering August, before any of their senior seasons have begun, 11 Kansans are already bound for Power Five institutions and at least two more seemed destined to follow. Even more, seven additional players have collected at least one FBS scholarship offer with several others entertaining serious attention themselves.”

In early June, Kansas Pregame staff writer Keegan McCullick, photographer Joey Bahr, intern Lauryn Dubbert, and nearly 40 of the state’s top football prospects gathered at the Kansas Highway Patrol Training Academy in northeast Salina for the biggest cover shoot in the 17-year history of Kansas Pregame.

The majority of those highly-ranked 2023 recruits were able to attend.

Their photos and features are part of our statewide preview coverage of high school football.

While we won’t truly know if those recruiting rankings were accurate for up to three years from now it doesn’t make it any less exciting to be a high school football fan watching a group of athletes with so much potential.

And speaking of recruiting ...

We were thrilled to welcome the Kansas Highway Patrol as the featured sponsor of this year’s cover shoot.

The KHP has a wide variety of career options to offer those focused on providing service, courtesy, and protection to the citizens and State of Kansas.

From Troopers who keep Kansas roadways safe, patrol the skies, or provide K9 assistance, to Capitol Area Guards and Law Enforcement Officers, Communications Specialists, and Civilian support services, the Patrol has plenty of options for you to find the perfect career!

For more information visit

F.O.E.: Family Over Everthing

Thanks to Kansas Wesleyan University we were able to put together a second special feature focused on family connections on the football field, with our group shot on the inside cover and features following our Top Prospects coverage.

The sport of football is often a family affair, and no more so than for these featured coaches and players from across Kansas.

Fathers on the sidelines with sons on the field, twin brothers with key roles on the team, and even cousins putting the family connection into action.

For these families it’s more than a game.

Check out their features and photos (by Heather Kindall Photography) as part of our statewide football preview coverage inside this year's edition. For more on all that Kansas Wesleyan has to offer visit and for more on Kansas Wesleyan Athletics visit

*The phrase “Family Over Everything” was popularized by former University of Kansas basketball players Marcus and Markeiff Morris and Thomas Robinson, Jr.

The Family has engaged in a variety of philanthropic activity over the years and Family Over Everything was established as a private foundation in 2017 to formalize and streamline existing charitable efforts. For more information visit

Look for more details on online and hard copy release coming soon.