Redmond at Bothell (Friday, October 4th)
There was really no doubt about this one as Bothell never trailed and knocked off an undefeated Mustangs squad at home on homecoming night, 49-14.
ATH Sam McPherson (2015) - If you were to line up Bothell High School's football team and go down the row observing each and every one of their players, Sam McPherson would not stand out to you. He just looks like another one of those kids who plays high school football for fun. But that assumption is completely wrong. McPherson is a force on the field. Not just in one area of the field, but everywhere on the field. He made his presence be felt early on this night when he returned the opening kickoff 92-yards for a touchdown on a play where he broke at least five tackles and wove around multiple other defenders. McPherson really has elusive speed. He doesn't seem all that fast when he first gets going, but once he's on his way, watch out. Defenders just never know which way he is going to cut and McPherson makes them look bad with his exceptional vision. After breaking off a couple more impressive runs, McPherson was done for the night and sat for most of the fourth quarter. On thing worth noting is that his contributions were not only felt on the offensive side of the ball. They were also felt on the defensive side of the ball. McPherson is used at the safety position on defense and if I were any receiver coming across the middle, I would be keeping my eyes peeled for number 20. He just seems to have have a knack of always being around the ball and this can be attributed to his natural instincts. Although McPherson impressed me with his play, I think he is one of those kids who is just a great high school football player. That being said, I could still see him making an impact at a lower-level school (FBS or D-2). He's just a really good football player.
QB Ross Bowers (2015) - This name is pretty well known around the region and for good reason. Bowers has one of the most powerful arms in KingCo, if not the most powerful, and it was on display during their game vs. Redmond. At times, his accuracy was a little off as he threw two interceptions, but those could mostly be attributed to receivers not hanging on to the ball. Something that I hadn't seen from Bowers before that I saw in this game, was his ability to throw on the run. Bothell's coaches did a good job of getting Bowers on the run with their play calls and Bowers responded well as he was accurate while on the run. The one thing that hurt him, however, was throwing back across his body. That being said, I still think Bowers is the best quarterback in the KingCo 4A division. He's a better passer and decision maker than Kilton Anderson of Skyline, and even though he is not as mobile as Anderson, he makes up for it with his smarts. Speaking of smarts, Bowers made some very good reads on the night and did a great job of looking off defenders. Bowers managed the game very nicely and that is part of the reason why Bothell dominated like they did. On the recruiting front, Bowers says there is not much going on, but I believe he will be offered by a D1 school sooner rather than later. His skill set translates well to the next level and if I had to compare him with another quarterback in the state of Washington, I'd compare him to Reilly Hennessey of Camas who has committed to Eastern Washington.
WR Dayzell Wilson (2015) - If the last name sounds familiar, it should. Dayzell is the younger brother of Danny Wilson who graduated in the spring and was one of the main contributors on the offensive side of the ball the last years for the Cougars. Dayzell is a little smaller than Danny is, but he makes up for it with his great ball skills. He went up and caught passes over Redmond defenders multiple times over the course of the night. One play specifically stands out to me. With the ball on Redmond's 15 yard line, Bowers threw up a lob to the left hand side of the end zone. Wilson was waiting right there and timed his jump perfectly to haul in the touchdown reception over the outstretched arm of the defender. To go along with these ball skills, Wilson is a great route runner as well. He doesn't have all the speed in the world so he makes up for it by gaining separation by running crisp routes. Wilson is Bothell's main deep threat and he was able to get by Redmond's corners with some great moves. Once he got by, there was really no way the Redmond defenders were going to stop him. I know I said that he doesn't have the best speed, but it's still impressive. I was just used to watching McPherson running the ball the entire night. Wilson's skill set does translate well to the next level and I could see him picking up an offer from some college program sooner rather than later.
WR Jackson Keimig (2015) - Bothell's squad is loaded with talented juniors and the players in this report are really kind of like the fantastic four. They each complement each other in their own ways and that's why I think Bothell will contend for a state title this year. While Wilson is really the deep threat on this team, Keimig is kind of the intermediate threat. He finds holes in the defense that Wilson opens for him, and does a great job of doing it. Keimig is a strong bodied wide receiver and even though he doesn't have the speed that Wilson does, he makes up for it with his strong hands. If he grows another inch or two and puts on some weight, I could see Keimig making a seamless transition to the tight end position. And if he does this, I think he would be an even bigger threat than he is now. However, since he is kind of a 'tweener at this point in his high school career, I'm not sure his skill set translates all that well to the next level. He could catch on somewhere as a possession wide receiver, but if he grows and adds the weight like I mentioned above, I definitely see him garnering D-1 attention.
Eisenhower (Yakima) at Wenatchee (Friday, October 11th)
This was a sloppily played game, but the Panthers eventually were able to get a 13-3 win behind the running of Is aiah Brandt-Sims and a stingy defense that forced three turnovers.
Wenatchee OT Trey Adams (2015) - I had never seen Adams play in a game and I was impressed from what I saw. Back in the summer, when he committed to Washington, Adams looked like he had some baby fat on him and he looked a bit soft, but when I saw him vs. Eisenhower, those observations quickly melted away as he looks rather lean and much more athletic than I had seen in camp. He's a legit 6'6" and probably in the 280-pound range. I was very impressed with his run-blocking and liked how aggressive he was. He got under the pads of the the defender and practically threw him about three yards down the field. In pass-protection, Adams still needs some work, but you can see why the Huskies offered him so quickly after seeing him at camp. His long arms kept pass-rushers at bay, but he did struggle a little with the speed rushers/blitzers that came off the edge. Since he's only a junior, he's got plenty of time to improve as long as he keeps working at it, but to say I was impressed with his play would be an understatement. He's still a long-range project for the Huskies, but if he keeps making the incremental improvements I witnessed last week, he's going to make an impact at some point in his career at UW.
LB cy Sirmon (2015) - The thing you notice about Sirmon (UW LB coach Peter Sirmon's nephew) right away are his instincts. He's got impressive size physically and he always seems to be around the ball. He had at least six tackles that I was able to count, unofficially, and he also had a pass breakup. My one critique on Sirmon is that he just seems a bit stiff when he runs. It doesn't hurt him that much in high school since, from an athletic standpoint, he's better than most of the guys he's playing against, but at the next level, with the spread offenses that are so en vogue in this day and age, I am just not sure how good he will be in space. Sirmon will get a lot of attention from FBS and FCS programs, but it will be interesting to see how he improves this offseason and on the camp circuit.
ATH Isaiah Brandt-Sims (2014) - Yes, Brandt-Sims is fast. Yes, he's already committed to Stanford. Yes, he had offers from several BCS programs. But, all that being said, I am just not that impressed with his overall game. Make no mistake, I am sure the Cardinal staff can find ways to use him that will maximize his potential and skills, but I just don't know where he fits into the grand scheme of things. With the score tied 3-3 midway through the third quarter, Brandt-Sims carried the ball twice and covered 80 yards with the second carry being a 46-yard touchdown run. When he got into the open field, no one was able to catch him, but I just didn't see the speed and explosiveness you would expect from a guy who runs a legit 10.3 100 meters. On defense, Brandt-Sims played safety and just seems to be a body out there, not much more. He didn't show great ball skills when the ball was in the air which leads me to think he might struggle as a receiver at the next level. Brandt-Sims has a great attitude, he's a hard worker and he's fast, but I am just not sure where I see him fitting in at Stanford once he arrives there next summer.
WR Ridge Harmon (2014) - It's hard to look at Harmon and not think of him as a slightly bigger version of Wes Welker. The way that the Cadets use him is exactly what you see with Welker -- short and intermediate routes and redzone targets -- and he has a knack for getting open. He leads the Big 9 with 43 receptions for 689 yards and seven scores and he plays both ways. Because he's a bit limited as far as speed is concerned, he won't get the looks he deserves from BCS-level schools, but he could easily be a walk-on with a school like Washington State, Boise State or even in a place like California where the wide-open passing games are a perfect fit for him. He can block well and he's got a gritty, hard-nosed style.
WR Darius Pati (2014) - Pati just looks like a college wideout. At 6'3" and 180 pounds, he's long and angular and he's got a flair for the dramatic, hauling in a long reception down the sidelines in acrobatic fashion with two defenders on him. The only struggle I saw with Pati was that he isn't that great against zone coverage. He struggled to find the soft spot in the zone and didn't sit down once when he could have had a key first down in a late drive for Ike. He's a guy who has the talent to play in the Pac 12 but there are so many more polished receivers out there now, he will probably need to see what he can find at the Big Sky level. I like his overall game and think he could be a real killer prospect at the FCS level, but he needs to keep progressing and working on his game.
Friday Night Lights - Double Dip
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