Friday Night Lights - Double Dip

Dawgman.com's Chris Fetters and Scott Eklund took in games in Seattle (Lakes at Nathan Hale) and Bellevue (Ferndale at Bellevue) and even though both games were blowouts, there were plenty of talented prospects to get a look at. Here's a quick look at just a few prospects from each game and who impressed when they were on the field...

Lakes (Lakewood) at Nathan Hale (Seattle)
Chris Fetters

This game was a bit of a laugher after the first quarter as the Lancers extended their 7-0 lead to 35-0 before halftime and cruised to a 59-0 win over outmatched Nathan Hale.

Top Prospects

Lakes

DE/LB/TE/FB/HB Benning Potoae (2015) - It's been a year since I've seen Benning play live, but he's really blossomed into a dynamic physical presence, something we always knew was coming since seeing him at camps before he ever got to Lakes. At 245 pounds he has great size-to-size movement and in general he's just so much more physical than anyone else in the game. Offensively he's gone back to being an impact guy on that side, playing mostly at tight end but Lakes has packages where he can get the ball in a variety of ways. In the first half he had a great leaping 27-yard catch and should have had a touchdown in the second half if the ball hadn't been overthrown. "He's been making those all year long for us," Miller told us when asked about Benning. "I think he has five touchdown catches for us. We'd run some pistol stuff for him in the backfield and he can run the ball too. He's so versatile. He's a guy…we've played him at linebacker some too. D-End, Strongside, weak side, tight end, fullback, H-Back…he can do a lot of thing." But defensively is where Potoae - the younger brother of current UW Defensive Lineman Sione Potoae - will earn his scholarship to the BCS level. Many Pac-12 teams, including Washington, have already offered Benning, and for good reason; his explosiveness is incredible. Nathan Hale tried to double team him, tried to use delays and draws in the run game and screens in the pass game, mostly to no avail. Potoae is starting to utilize some patience to his game, and that extra half beat to see how a play develops is allowing him to stay in the play and use his athleticism to bring ball carriers down. "His explosiveness and his motor, his edge," Miller said when asked what makes Potoae an elite recruit. "He's just edgy. I have to sometimes pull him back but he's done a good job maturing and controlling his emotion yet still playing on that edge."

RB/SLOT/DB Caleb Lyons (2014) - Lyons is the classic 'do it all' high school talent, a player that may not have FBS physical intangibles, but more than makes up for it with his tenacity, passion for the game, and sheer determination. "I think he's a guy with the ball in his hands in the slot, kickoff return, punt return," said Lakes Head Coach Dave Miller when asked about Lyons. "He's a prototypical Big Sky playmaker, tougher than nails, captain type of guy. He just makes people miss, he's really strong. After a redshirt year he could be 5-9, 200." On more than one occasion Lyons had a chance to truck a Nathan Hale player on a return and delivered a big blow without hesitation, playing bigger than his size when he gets behind his pads. "We've actually tried to work with him on that because he maybe does that too much," added Miller. "He's just a tough nut that likes to hit people." On offense Lyons has just enough speed to keep defenders at arm's length, and if they can get their hands on him he's usually strong enough to neutralize them.

QB/LB Nick Webster (2014) - I didn't know much about Webster until I saw him this last weekend, but I loved what I saw. He never leaves the field for the Lancers because he's become invaluable as a leader for the team. Offensively he uses his intelligence and toughness running the ball to give Lakes great balance between the run and pass. Any time the Lancers needed a first down to keep the chains moving, they usually kept the ball in Webster's hands and he made something happen - usually with his feet. "He's done a great job of leading our team and running our stuff and doing enough running to keep people honest," Miller said of Webster. "A couple weeks ago he had 30 carries for 200 yards. He'll carry us if he has to. He'll hit enough passes to keep people honest. It's been great to have a great leader there. He's the student body president, just a high-character kid, a West Point type of kid. I believe he could play at West Point somewhere."


Ferndale at Bellevue
Scott Eklund

Bellevue weren't gracious hosts for their opponents. They scored on the opening play of the game and cruised to a 44-0 win over Ferndale.

Top Prospects

Bellevue

DB/RB Budda Baker (2014) - When you are going to see the Wolverines play, you'd better make sure you are on time because big plays can happen at any moment. I'm glad I headed my own advice and arrived early as Baker wasted no time in showcasing his talents, ripping off a 52-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game. Baker might be projected as a safety by everybody looking at him, but make no mistake, he could be a big-time playmaker at the next level on either side of the ball. He has the flair for the big play. You can see his quick-twitch athleticism on defense and while his track speed is impressive, his football speed is likely better than most kids out there. His instincts as a defensive back are outstanding and he's just a joy to watch play the game. He didn't play much after halftime, so I only got a glimpse of him in this game, but I've seen enough of him over the past four years to know he's one of the best players to ever come out of this state and that's really saying something.

OT Henry Roberts (2015) - I've always liked Roberts and he did nothing to disappoint. The highly-rated junior just dominates his opponent. He turned one Golden Eagle defensive lineman and planted him on his back as a Bellevue tailback got a big gain. He's got outstanding feet and, one thing that a number of coaches have told me is that he is a quick learner. He takes what he is taught and rarely makes the same mistake twice. Roberts will be a monster at the next level and Washington along with many other schools will be vying for his signature in February of 2015.


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