Prep star on an Alaska flight path

KELLEN KIILSGAARD, the holder of more scholarship offers than any other prep football prospect in the state, told CF.C this week he'll consider any school as long as Alaska Airlines flies there from Seattle. That's good news for his Pac-10 suitors. But given the Eskimo's expansion East in recent years -- and the carrier's ongoing thoughts about Hawaii -- that also means the field could swell.

"I don't mind going anywhere that Alaska Airlines flies," said Kiilsgaard, a standout defensive back and quarterback at Auburn High. "My sister works for Alaska so my parents can fly (to see me play)."

The great unkept secret in the airline industry is that the children and parents of employees get to fly for free.

And while Alaska doesn't fly to Pullman, you crimson faithful can rest easy. Alaska does fly nonstop between Seattle and Spokane, and Alaska's sister airline, Horizon, goes nonstop between Seattle and Pullman.

The 6-2, 210-pound southpaw with 4.55 speed has been continuing the text message and phone contact with WSU and offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller but it looks like a trip to Pullman will have to wait until later this summer. Washington State's summer youth camp runs at the same time as does Auburn's team camp at Oregon's Linfield College.

"I haven't heard as much lately but the last I did hear from coach Levenseller, he was really hoping I could make it to the WSU camp this summer," said Kiilsgaard. "I'm still very interested in Washington State. I hope I can make it over there later this summer. I'll definitely be busy."

A standout in football and baseball, Kiilsgaard is in "football mode" until the end of this month with Auburn's team camp followed by a day at the UW's camp. Starting in July, it's all about baseball, with Kiilsgaard playing in a summer league for Taylor Baseball until the first week in August.

KIILSGAARD SAID HE expects to take the next 4-6 weeks to trim his college list to a final few.

"In the next month or so, I'm really going to sit down with my parents, get it all on paper and really narrow it down to a smaller list," he said.

WSU has offered Kiilsgaard as a receiver, with others seeing him anywhere from ATH to DB to QB. The Cougs, who offered Kiilsgaard in baseball a year ago, have left whether he wants to play both sports up to him. Kiilsgaard says he'd like to but it would be a tough road to play both, and play them well, at the college level.

Washington has recently been recruiting Kiilsgaard harder, but the local school has yet to offer. A scholie offer, either on defense or possibly at quarterback, could come during the UW camp at the end of June.

"I wouldn't say it would push them into the lead but it definitely would put them in the running or at least onto my list," said Kiilsgaard. "I can't really take anything for granted but if the UW did offer, it wouldn't push them to the top. I wouldn't be by any means ready to commit to them or anything like that."

"They're going to evaluate me at quarterback and then (decide) what to do offer-wise. They've been completely up front with me. I think what they're deciding on is they're probably ready to offer me as an athlete on defense, but want to evaluate me first."

HIS LIST OF LEADERS, with all seven tied, includes Washington State, Oregon State, Oregon, ASU, Arizona, Cal and Stanford. Idaho has also offered.

Kiilsgaard recently took "all-day" unofficial visits to ASU and Arizona. It wasn't enough to break the deadlock between the Sun Devils and the other six schools but he liked his time in Tempe a bit more more than Tucson.

"I came away probably more impressed with Arizona State," said Kiilsgaard.

NOTES:
Kiilsgaard earlier this month became the first high schooler to go yard at Safeco Field, turning on an 0-1 inside fastball and jacking one over the right field fence. Good thing he missed on the first pitch, one where he had tried to drag bunt. "Telling you though, I would've been safe because the third baseman was playing really deep on me," he said.

Kellen Kiilsgaard profile


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