2012 Recruiting: 10 homegrowns to watch

THE INK IS barely dry on the 2011 Letters of Intent but recruiting waits for no man and Washington State already is believed to have extended early offers to a dozen current prep juniors. Here's a snapshot look at 10 intriguing seniors-to-be in the Evergreen State worth paying attention to in the coming months.

These guys could be among the most talked about local 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. Grades, attitude, injuries, work ethic, summer-camp performances, and senior-year progress go into the mix.

To avoid confusion, understand that this is not a forecast of who the top 10 players will be in the state for the 2012 class – a class, the by the way, that looks to be very deep. This is simply an early look at some homegrown seniors-to-be who have notable athleticism and have captured our early attention.

WR Trent Sewell, Bothell High
The 6-3, 190-pound speedster is a track and field standout in the sprints and high jump. His father was a track and field star at WSU. Runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds. Holds offers from WSU, UCLA and Washington. Plans to visit or camp at Cal, Boise State, Oregon and Oregon State this summer. Earned all-league honors in 2010 after catching 44 passes for 1,058 yards and 11 TDs. Looked great at recent U.S. Army Combine. Figures to be one of state's hottest commodities in 2012.

ATH Kurtis Karstetter, Ferris High, Spokane
Said to be even more athletic than older brother Jared, who is an all-Pac-10 honorable mention receiver at Washington State. Kurtis plays linebacker and some receiver for the state Class 4A champions. He's 6-2 and 185 and still growing. Posted 46 tackles and forced two fumbles in 2010. Also plays basketball and runs track. Clocked a season-best outdoor time of 12.04 seconds in the 100 last spring.

CB Tyler Hasty, Bellevue High
Helped lead Bellevue to its third straight-state Class 3A title in December. The 6-0, 175-pounder is quick, physical and athletic. He comes from a long line of football talent. Father James was a long-time NFL defensive back after starring at Washington State for Jim Walden, and brother J.R. played at Central Washington and Washington.

RB Matt Hadley, Connell High near Pasco
It's not often a Class 1A player draws major-college attention. The 5-11, 190-pound Hadley not only has done that, but already has committed verbally to BYU. He rushed for more than 2,400 yards and scored a state record 51 touchdowns for the state 1A runners-up in 2010. He was named the state's 1A player of the year by the Associated Press.

OL Zach Banner, Lakes High near Tacoma
Already offered by WSU, he is considered one of the top recruits in the entire nation. The 6-9, 295 pound 4-star offensive lineman has shown amazing athleticism for his size – he's considering playing two-sports at the college level: football and basketball, and sports 20-plus D-IA offers already. The Cougars have told him he can play both sports. Parents attended WSU. Biological father is former UW All-American Lincoln Kennedy.

RB/DB Keivarae Russell, Mariner High, Everett
Rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2010. A quick, slashing, cutting runner. At 5-11, 170 pounds, he's also elusive, and a strong college defensive back prospect. Currently holds offers from WSU, Cal, Washington and Wyoming.

OL Nathan Dean, Juanita High, Kirkland
Big (6-6, 270), athletic and comes with an attitude on the field. Could play guard or tackle. Said to be a hard worker in the weight room. Planning an aggressive summer camp schedule that could land him multiple offers.

TE Eric Lemke, Issaquah High
A punishing blocker who stands 6-4 and 230 but has soft hands. Needs to add weight and muscle to ultimately develop into a Pac-12-caliber tight end, but has two traits -- athleticism and a love to hit — that cannot be taught.

LB Drew Oord, Kamiakin High, Kennewick
This first-team AP Class 3A All-State linebacker has huge athleticism and a serious weight-room work ethic. Played two ways for the Braves, who were runners up to Bellevue for the 2010 state title. Also a standout in baseball and basketball. Currently stands 6-0, 190.

OL Joshua Garnett, Puyallup High
The 6-5, 272 pounder already is rated 4 stars. Has a non-stop motor. Has known offers from WSU, UW, UCLA and Stanford. His father is former Washington Husky and NFL d-lineman Scott Garnett.

Special thanks to Gary Chesnutis for contributing to this report.

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