Friday Night Lights - September

Instead of a weekly look at the top prospects I saw while attending games, I decided to wait until the end of the first month of the 2012 high school football season and update you on what I saw and who stood out among some of the top D-1 prospects in the state that I saw in my travels...

Federal Way RB/ATH Chico McClatcher (2015) - McClatcher isn't very big and he isn't the featured tailback for the Eagles (that honor is held currently by Ezekiel McNeal), however, everytime McClatcher gets his hands on the ball, look out. He is lightning in a bottle and I can definitely see the comparisons to Oregon's D'Anthony Thomas. He is super quick, has great vision and enough speed to leave defenders in the dust if he finds a crease. He definitely needs to get bigger and stronger, but he'll never be a hulking player. He does play both ways, but his future is definitely as a return-man and either as a slot receiver in a spread offense or as a tailback.

Federal Way DT JayTee Tiuli (2014) - Really liked the way Tiuli got after it against the two teams I saw him play (Rogers and Graham-Kapowsin). He plays with good pad level and looks like a good nose tackle prospect because he rarely gets moved off the line. Against Rogers, the OL prospects he was facing weren't very big (maybe 240), so that wasn't a good game to judge his overall talents, but against Graham-Kapowsin where they have at least three interior guys at 275 to 280 pounds, he looked good, knifing through on a play to get a stop and generally forcing double-teams. His motor, at least from watching him in person, was so-so, but a lot of that could have been the blowout nature of the games (Federal Way won by a combined score of 103 to 42) but it's something that could cause D-1 coaches to question him.

Federal Way CB D'Londo Tucker (2013) - From the moment I stepped on the field for their game against Rogers, I was impressed with Tucker. Long athlete, quick and fearless, he jumped several routes and came up strong in run support. I'm shocked he doesn't have more FBS offers (Idaho is the only school to offer at this point) as I could see him fitting in at Washington State or even Oregon State who has lived off of players like Tucker in past years. UNLV, New Mexico State and several other WAC and Mountain West schools appear to be interested, but none have pulled the trigger at this point. We'll see what happens, but he's definitely a guy who is underrated at this point.

Newport QB/ATH Isaac Dotson (2013) - Dotson has taken huge leaps as a passer since the end of his junior season. He is a fantastic athlete and he's got outstanding mechanics, but he showed much better decision-making skills vs. Capital in The Opening game of the season and almost brought his team back to win the game, losing 29-22. He is a special talent and is currently committed to Nevada, but it sounds like he's still open to listening to schools including Washington State who offered him as an athlete, but have told him they do not see him as a quarterback.

Meadowdale ATH Giavani Shepard (2013) - Super-quick and explosive, Shepard is an outstanding two-way talent for the Mavericks. In the game I watched (vs. Inglemoor), as well as two games last year, Shepard didn't do much on offense as head coach Mark Stewart chose to use him more on defense so he could shut down the opposition's best receiver. He's a definitely much more physical than his 5'8", 165 pounds would lead you to believe, but he'll struggle to find FBS schools interested because of his lack of size. Shepard has a big heart though and he's got that killer instinct you love.

Meadowdale ATH Morgan Masanda (2013) - Masanda transferred over from Archbishop Murphy and has been a god-send for the Maverick offense because their opponents can't just focus on the playmaking abilities of Shepard anymore. He's tough, he runs hard and he's got big-play abilities. I could see him easily at the FCS level (Portland State and Eastern have come calling) and even is starting to get some looks from some lower-level FBS schools.

Mount Si K Cameron Van Winkle (2013) - The only attempt I saw of Van Winkle's was a 42-yarder that was blocked (poor snap and a missed block), but his kickoffs regularly left the playing field and usually went through the uprights or were close. Issaquah never got a return of a kickoff and their return man didn't field one until the end of the game and even that one was eight yards deep. While he's a great kicker, his punts weren't very impressive. He shanked a couple and didn't get much distance on the ones he hit well. He's definitely going to be a placekicker when he sets foot on Montlake.

Mount Si QB Nick Mitchell (2014) - The talented junior is starting to take control of the Mount Si offense. He showed a great arm and he's handling defenses much better. Mitchell didn't do much against Issy since the Wildcats were doing so much on the ground, but on one play he laid the ball out perfectly for his receiver to run under for an 80-yard touchdown. He' going to end up being one of the top signal-callers in the state for the 2014 class and I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a long look from Oregon State, Washington and Washington State. On October 12th he gets his biggest test against Bellevue, which should be telling about his development so far.

Issaquah RB Jack Gellatly (2014) - We have Gellatly listed at 190 pounds, but he's closer to 205 and he runs like a guy who weighs 220. He's strong and has good vision. Mount Si's swarming defense held him in check most of the game, but he still managed to rush for 120 yards on the night. He looks like he could be a pretty good fullback at the next level and with his soft hands and ability to run, I could easily see FBS schools giving him a look at fullback.

Eastside Catholic QB Harley Kirsch (2016) - The freshman signal-caller took over the reigns of the EC offense for their game against Centennial (Coquitlam, B.C.) and led the Crusaders to a 56-32 win. Kirch has great athleticism and he showed great poise for a young signal-caller. He rushed for about 80 yards and threw for nearly 200 in the win while splitting time with sophomore Blaine Maimone.

Centennial (Coquitlam, B.C.) RB/S Nathan Lund (2013) - Lund was by far the best player on the field, full of talented kids when they came down to face Eastside Catholic, and showed why schools like Montana, Portland State and even Idaho are showing him interest. The talented two-way star totaled nearly 500 yards of offense (231 yards rushing and 2 TDs, 166 yards in returns including an 89 yard touchdown and 93 yards receiving on three receptions) and nabbing 12 tackles on defense from his safety spot. Lund is big and physical and he has deceptive speed. He really ran away from the Crusader secondary when he got the second level and rarely went down with initial contact. Now, EC was without their top player, Markell Sanders, who was sitting due to a minor injury, so it would have been interesting to see what Lund could have done with Sanders trailing him everywhere, but Lund was by far the top player on the field and is worthy of American college coaches' consideration.

Kentlake OL/DL Mason Johnson (2014) - This kid is a mauler and very strong (he benched 400 at the Boise State camp over the summer). He definitely plays with a nasty streak and he doesn't look like he's 300 pounds since he carries his weight so well. He's already getting looks from several schools, but he told me recently Washington hasn't shown him much interest to this point but "it's way early". In their game against Auburn-Riverside, Johnson really got after guys and drove several of them 10 yards off the ball. His body reminds me a lot of Dane Crane's and he plays with the same kind of fire.

Lakes WR Sammie Long (2013) - Long flashed some potential during their blowout loss to Camas, getting good body position and making a strong grab on a 20-yard slant and showed why he was offered so early (he oozes potential), but the best wideout on the Lancers's squad, at least the more developed receiver, was Marquin Russell. Long also played some safety as well for the Lancers, but didn't do much from what I saw. I was a little disappointed that Long wasn't able to get open more, but then again, Lakes QB Rhys Gervais was blitzed and battered all night long.

Lakes OL Jared Goldwire (2016) - As Scout's Brandon Huffman said to me when he first caught a glimpse of Zach Banner during his freshman season "holy freshman!", I thought the same thing when I saw Goldwire out there at left tackle for the Lancers. Jared is the youngest in a long line of Goldwires at the school and he looks to be the most athletic with his 6'6", 265 pounds and very good feet. Two people I talked to on the sideline said, "at this point in his development, he's already better than Zach was when he was here because Zach's feet weren't this good until he was a junior". Goldwire isn't the hulking figure that Banner was, but he's definitely got the frame to be 300 when he graduates and he's got the talent to be one of the top linemen in the country for the 2016 class. Definitely a kid to keep an eye on.

Lakes DL Benning Potoae (2015) - The younger brother of Sione has had a huge following since he burst on the scene as a freshman at the Jason Gesser camp in the summer of 2011. Potoae is a physical specimen at 6'4" and 245 pounds and he's just a freak athletically. He had two sacks against an elite Camas team that really gave the rest of the Lakes team a lot of problems. Potoae works hard and has a good motor, but he didn't blow people up like I expected. I think he played a tad hesitant early, but as the game went along, he started to pin his ears back and blow people up.

Eastlake RB/ATH Andrew Lewis (2014) - The younger brother of Ryan Lewis who signed with Pittsburgh this past February, Andrew is probably a better athlete than his older sibling. As much as I liked what Ryan brought to the table, Andrew showed outstanding speed and much more explosiveness than Ryan did when I watched him play. Andrew broke loose for over 200 yards and three scores for the Wolves in their win over Inglemoor this past week, but against Bothell he was pretty bottled up most of the night. Keep an eye on him the rest of this year as he'll get plenty of looks from Pac 12 schools this coming spring.

Bothell QB Ross Bowers (2015) - I have liked Bowers since I saw him play last year as a freshman and he just continues to impress. He's got a bit of a swagger out on the field, but I definitely need to see more from him to really make the call on how high he can go. The Cougars completely dominated Eastlake and he didn't have to do much, but he has the moxie and skills you're looking for in a top signal-caller prospect. He is limited as a runner and when he's harrassed he can make some bad decisions, but with time I can see him being the elite signal-caller for the 2015 class in the state of Washington. Top Stories