10 homegrowns to watch for in 2015 class

THIS IS NOT a story about the high school juniors we think will be the top recruits from the state of Washington a year from now. If it were, much of the tale would be about Thomas Toki, the No. 2 defensive tackle prospect on the West Coast who already has committed verbally to Washington State, and quarterback Brett Rypien, the No. 11-rated signal caller in the land for the 2015 recruiting cycle.

Nope, this story isn't about them or the other obvious prime-time 2015 prospects from the Evergreen State, like Chico McClatcher, Henry Roberts, Austin Joyner, Myles Gaskin and Benning Potoae.

This is simply an early look at 10 homegrown seniors-to-be we think have notable potential, but have yet to attract a ton of early hype. In short, they're intriguing prospects who could be "household names" in the recruiting world a year from now.

In no particular, other than a loose breakdown between offense and defense, here are 10 Evergreen Staters to watch for this fall ...

WR JACKSON KEIMIG (6-3, 205), Bothell
Transferred to Bothell High for 2013 junior season and earned honorable mention all-league honors. Position coach is former Washington State All-Pac-10 receiver Mike Bush. As a sophomore at Redmond High in 2012 named first-team all-league after catching 28 passes for 343 yards. Also plays basketball and competes in a variety of events in track and field. Ran a best of 11.96 in the 100 in 2013. Outstanding in the classroom as well.


WR/CB JALEN HICKS (5-8, 160), Ferris/Spokane
An all-league running back and solid corner, he projects as a college slot receiver. Also a standout in track, where he competes in the long jump, triple jump and has turned in a 11.13 time in the 100. As a junior in 2013 he rushed for 825 yards, posting a glossy 11.79 yards-per-carry average and scoring 12 TDs. He also caught 18 passes for 328 yards (18.22 per catch) and one TD. As a sophomore in 2012 he was named all-league honorable mention.

C ALEX NEALE (6-3, 270), Eastside Catholic/Sammammish
First-team 2013 All-Metro at center and second-team Associated Press Class 3A All-State. Second-team All-Metro as a sophomore in 2012. Hearing early from WSU, TCU and Cal.

C/DT DREW NORVELL (6-4, 270), Sehome/Bellingham
Plays center and defensive tackle. Good feet, big motor, physical. Second-team Associated Press Class 2A All-State on the offensive line and first-team all-league on the OL. Squats 400, benches 275. Dad, Bob, is Sehome's head coach and former Washington State offensive lineman.

OT/DT SHANE LEMIEUX (6-6, 280), West Valley/Yakima
An interesting blend of size and athleticism. Plays tackle on offense and end on defense. Honorable mention all-league in 2013 on the OL. Also a standout in track and field, turning in bests of 12.64 in the 100, 38 feet in the triple jump and 85 feet in the javelin. Squats 435. Hearing from Washington State, Oregon State, Oregon and others. Plans trip to WSU in March for Junior Day and to Oregon in April.


LB/TE MASON TOBECK (6-2, 210), Cascade Christian/Puyallup
Strong and agile. First-team Associated Press Class 1A All-State at linebacker as a junior in 2013 after posting 100 total tackles, including 7 sacks. Named league Defensive Player of the Year. Also plays tight end, earning first-team all-league at that position in 2013 after catching 21 passes for 386 yards and 7 TDs in 2013. As a sophomore in 2012 he was was named first-team all-league at tight end and honorable mention at linebacker. Will attend WSU's Junior Day this spring. Son of former Washington State star and Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowler Robbie Tobeck.

LB JARED PULU (6-4, 225), Federal Way
Missed most of 2013 with a shoulder injury sustained in season opener but made presence felt upon returning, posting three sacks and tipping a pass that led to an interception as Federal Way defeated Richland to move on to the Class 4A state semifinals for the first time in nearly four decades. For the season, he played in three games, posting 25 total tackles. Likes playing in a 3-4 defense. A standout in the classroom. Brother Andru, a defensive lineman, just concluded college career at Eastern Washington after starting at Washington. And brother Jordan, a DL who was a WSU verbal commit until Paul Wulff was released, is entering his junior season with the Eagles.

DB/RB SAM McPHERSON (5-10, 203), Bothell
An all-purpose wonder, earning league MVP honors on both offense and defense as a junior in 2013. Named first-team all-league at three positions: running back, defensive back and return specialist. Named all-league on offense as an athlete. Picked all-class All-State on defense by USA Today, the Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune. Had six INTs in 2013.

DB/LB A.J. LAYTON (6-0, 195), Mead/Spokane
Athletic, fast and strong, he plays a hybrid linebacker that might best be termed a rover. Also plays running back. Projects as a college safety. Earned first-team all-league honors at linebacker as a sophomore and junior, and was named all-class All-State by USA Today as a junior in 2013 after posting a school record 143 tackles (82 solo) and breaking up six passes. A member of Mead's outstanding 4x400 relay team. An excellent student.

DE/TE ERIK ROTTSOLK (6-7, 241), Lakeside/Seattle
Great frame, good footwork, athletic. The 2014 season will be just his third playing football. Plays both tight end and defensive end. In 2013 he caught 37 passes for 534 yards and 5 TDs. Also plays basketball and does sprints and weight events in track and field. Squats 350.

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