These juniors could be among the most talked about WA players when Signing Day rolls around a year from now. Put emphasis on the word could because multiple factors shape a recruiting outlook, not just potential or raw talent. Fit, scheme, grades, attitude, injuries, work ethic, summer-camp performances and senior-year progress all go into the mix.
To avoid confusion, understand that this is not a forecast of who the top 14 players will be in the state of Washington for the 2013 class. This is simply an early look at some homegrown seniors-to-be who have notable athleticism and have captured our early attention.
Here's a snapshot look at some intriguing seniors-to-be in the Evergreen State, prospects worth paying attention to in the coming months.
Skyline QB Max Browne is the most well known at this stage of the game. He plays at the glamor position and has early offers. But he is not the only QB prospect of note in the state.
QB Sefo Liufau (6-4, 219) out of Tacoma's Bellarmine Prep is most assuredly one to watch. He has good size, he's athletic, and over the past two seasons he's thrown for a combined 4,780 yards (59 percent) with 43 TD passes against 15 INTs. Those are good numbers but here's the thing -- if he played in a passing program like Skyline or Lakes, his numbers would be off the charts ridiculous. Coug Legend Jack Thompson has been working with him since last year.
QB Kolney Cassel (6-2, 205) out of from Yakima's Eisenhower High served notice this past season. With a passer rating of 109.23, he was named Big 9 co-offensive player of the year in 2011 (along with his favorite target, Denzel Jones) after passing for 2,697 yards and 27 TDs vs. just 6 INTs.
But a quarterback without pass protection is dead in the water, and one of the more intriguing offensive linemen for 2013 is Leo Pili-Vaka out of Rainier Beach in Seattle. Halfway through his junior year in high school, Pili-Vaka is already massive (6-8ish, 350) and most importantly, he is freakishly athletic for his size.
WR Marquin Russell (6-0, 185) out of Lakes has blazing speed and won the state 400 meters title as a sophomore. What he might do coming out of the slot at the next level could be a sight to see.
DE Danny Mattingly (6-4, 210) is the brother of Cougar Andy Mattingly (2006-09) and like his brother has played TE, DE and LB. He's not uber-athletic but he is tough and physical and his frame would seem to offer all sorts of possibilities at the next level.
DL Jamie Bryant, (6-5ish, 270) out of Tumwater is big, athletic and decidedly one of best defensive linemen in the state headed into the spring camp and combine slate. He plays at the 2A level but that shouldn't stop him from receiving plenty of recruiting attention in the Class of 2013.
LB Sean Constantine (6-3, 218) from Bellevue might not have the quicks other linebackers do and he'll need to put on some size at the next level but he makes up for it with his instincts and ability to wrap up. Some think he's a middle linebacker at the next level but putting his hand down at defensive end might be his best spot.
RB Tatum Taylor out of O'Dea needs to get bigger and stronger (only around 5-9, 160) but boy is he fast. They haven't figured out a way to coach speed yet and Taylor out in space, whether carrying the ball or catching it out of the backfield, is a highlight in the making.
WR Sammie Long, also out of Lakes, is a big 6-4 target who is just now learning to use his size to his advantage. He's a definite deep threat and as the polish is put on him and he sharpens up his routes, he could develop into one of the best receiving prospects out there.
OL Andrew Basham (6-5, 290) has the feet and athleticism college recruiters covet. He could also be a DT in someone's 4-3 scheme but his best talents at the next level may reside on the o-line.
RB Desmond Young (5-11, 190) out of Edmonds-Woodway has the kind of plant-and-go burst that's hard to teach. he rushed for 1,400 yards and 19 TDs this past season on his way to first team all-league honors.
RB Isaiah Flynn (5-10, 167) from Bellarmine Prep doesn't have a lot of size but he's going close to full speed by the time he touches the ball. Shifty and quick, he also has very good hands coming out of the backfield.
S Jake Hoffman (6-0, 170) was the Greater Spokane League's All-Purpose Player of the Year his junior season. Versatile doesn't begin to describe it -- he plays S, QB, returns kicks and punts, and long snaps. He's fast, and considered one of the state's best at the 400-m. From the QB spot in 2011 he passed for nearly 1,800 yards and rushed for 850 hashes.
What might 2013 WA crop hold for Beavs?
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