Cougs, Dawgs, Ducks like home grown hoss

EUGENE -- It looks like it's going to be a three-way fight for <b>Andy Roof</b>, one of the top prep linemen in the Northwest. The Spokane senior-to-be says he wants to stay close to home for college, so with offers firmly in hand from WSU, Washington and Oregon, the 300-pound pride of East Valley High should get his wish. On Saturday in Eugene at the Nike Camp he showed exactly why Doba, et. al. are in pursuit.

Roof was at the center of some of the most heated one-on-one line drills this writer has seen in a long while. With Nike line coach Marty Spaulding serving as ring master, the quality and quantity of the big uglies made for the perfect storm in the trenches.

The featured OLs were Roof, Lewiston, Idaho's Brent Russum, Vancouver (Wash.) Columbia River's Eddie Vickers and Shelton, Washington's Tyler Schlauderaff. Russum, by the way, received an offer Friday from Oregon State.

Roof was the fiery leader. He had a nice little rivalry going with DL's David Faaeteete and Cole Linehan. The 6-4, 300-pound Roof handled Faaeteete with ease his first time around, but got schooled by the quick DE the next two times they tussled. Linehan prevailed on the very last one-on-one, which got Roof's juices really going. It's clear he hates to lose.

Roof is keeping his options open, he says, but the likes of Arizona State and others who are lurking probably ought to write him off to being a Northwest home boy. He plans to camp this summer at both WSU and UW. One of the highlights of the recruiting process so far, he says, was getting a hand-written invitation from Keith Gilbertson to attend Washington's junior day.

Roof was all-league last season on both offense and defense.

Does he prefer one side over the other? "I like offense more," he said. "I like running over people. That's what football is all about, right?"

The East Valley coaches came up with something similar to a pancake block. They call it a 'hashmark'. "It's where we hit our guy and drive them straight backwards and put them on their back," Roof said. "They only count them during wins."

He had 19 in 4 games.

Roof's runs the 40 in 5.3 seconds and sports a 28-inch vertical leap. His lifting mark are incredible, including four reps of 345 pounds in the power clean, a 655-pound squat and also a 310 bench ('I hurt my wrist a couple of months ago, so I really haven't been able to do it.').

With his size and numbers backing him up, Roof only needs to do one thing on the field. "I don't talk," he said. "I figure I do my talking through intimidation and kicking their butts. But I can get fired up." He said that the best player he went up against last year was Central Valley's Craig Kent. .

Roof is not just a grid guy. He also competes in track. His PR's in the shot and discus are 55'5" and 168'9", respectively. "I know my focus in college will be football, but I would like to do both sports in college," Roof said. "I consider myself to be a two-sport athlete."

BESIDES ROOF, A NUMBER of other prepsters whom the Cougars have offered scholies to or are expected to also had good days at the Eugene Nike Camp. Among them were WR/DB Carl Shaw of Spokane's Lewis & Clark High; LB/DB Brian Baird from Vancouver (Wash.) Columbia River High; and quarterback Matt Tuiasosopo of Woodinville.

Sophomore phenom Jonathan Stewart from Lacey (Wash.) Timberline High looked awesome. At almost 210 pounds, Jonathan ran a 4.59 40 (only a tenth slower than the camp's top time) while slipping, and jumped 37 inches. Even though he still has two years to play in high school, Stewart was the most polished running back in camp.

Other running backs that stood out included Ryan Hastie from Palma, California, Jordyn Jackson from Vancouver (Wash.) Columbia River, Tyler Mattair from Kennewick's Southridge High, Utrillo 'Dale' Morris from Eugene Marist and Devon Sturdivant from Boise Timberline.

A defensive end that just gave the offense fits Nate Johnson of Lakes High near Tacoma Nate is a very skilled player and can kill you as a TE or DE. He worked out with the defense today and showed a lot of quickness on his first two steps. His future position will depend on if he keeps growing. He's a tall, rangy athlete thatcan beat you around the end. His attitude and willingness to be taught shined through Saturday. Puyallup's Isaiah Barsh deserves some mention as well. He worked with the ends, but most likely will be a linebacker in college. There's no question he's a baller and showed it.

There were some very good linebackers on display, headed up by two from Washington State. Everett (Wash.) Mariner's Trenton Tuiasosopo and Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep's Patrick McKillop were the ones that stood out Sunday, but in different ways. Trenton is much more of a WIL-type linebacker, one that can move in and out and has the range and speed to be able to cover sideline to sideline. McKillop is more of the proverbial 'immovable object' in the middle, a classic MIK in the mold of a Peter Sirmon or Dave Hoffman. He showed great instincts and technique when working closer to the line of scrimmage. The pass coverage drills really helped him work on a part of his game he needs to improve on to be the total package at LB. Mike Riley and Oregon State already like what they see in McKillop and have offered him a scholarship, while the Washington Huskies are trying hard to keep Tuiasosopo close to home.

Among the receivers that distinguished themselves at camp were Ryan Bagley from Ryan Leaf's alma mater, Cm Russell High in Great Falls, Todd Olson from Lake Oswego (Ore.) Lakeridge and Nick Varner from Fairbanks (Alaska) Lathrop.

Among the DBs, Federal Way Decatur's Darin Harris looked sweet. He was also playing QB and feels he's got an excellent opportunity to be a difference-maker in a run-oriented offense. He's visiting Nebraska very soon, so he may just find the solution he's looking for if the Cornhuskers offer him a scholarship. Washington and Colorado have already done so, so you know he's a player.

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