Friday Night Lights: State Playoffs

Washington commit Myles Gaskin, a running back from O'Dea (Seattle), took on one of the top 3A teams in the state this past weekend while 2016's top in-state quarterback recruit, Lake Stevens' Jacob Eason, faced off against Newport (Bellevue, Wa.) and Oregon commit Calvin Throckmorton in the first round of the state playoffs...

Lincoln (Tacoma) 35
O'Dea (Seattle) 30


O'Dea RB Myles Gaskin (2015) - Currently Washington's lone running back commit, Gaskin just did what he did best -- move the chains. Heading into the game, Gaskin had just over 80 carries for over 1,602 yards and 22 touchdowns. This game was much more of a grind for the senior tailback as he had 23 carries for nearly 150 yards and two scores, but it wasn't enough as the Irish ended their season in the Lincoln Bowl. Gaskin is a tough runner and he runs to daylight really well. He's got good vision, he rarely goes down with the first hit and he has the burst necessary to get the corner when he needs it.

Lincoln DB/ATH Dehonta Hayes (2015) - Really liked the toughness and athleticism that Hayes displayed in the game. He took a short pass and turned it into a 40-yard touchdown in the second quarter, but his future lies on defense. He played some safety for Lincoln and saved a touchdown when he tracked down Gaskin who looked ready to score. Hayes took a good angle on he play and never went for any of Gaskin's jukes and head fakes. Since O'Dea doesn't throw the ball much, this game was difficult to gauge on Hayes' coverage abilities. Hayes has a reputation as a ballhawk and he plays a physical brand of corner. I could see Pac 12 schools offering him after getting a look at his senior film, but right now lower-level schools are the ones that have shown him the most interest.

Lincoln QB Jordan Kitna (2016) - With his dad being a former NFL quarterback, many expected that Kitna would wind up being a big-time signal caller. One play that really stood out was a touchdown pass he threw late in the third quarter. O'Dea got a heavy rush on him, but he shirked a potential sacker, spun all the way around, reversed direction and hit a receiver in-stride for the score. It was a nifty bit of playmaking and showed his moxy. At this point it's really hard to tell what level he will wind up playing at, but because he isn't the biggest guy and he doesn't have a huge arm, although it's not bad, he'll need to perform at camps and combines this summer to generate some interest. He has put up big numbers, over 3,000 yards passing with 25-plus touchdowns, however, when you watch him throw, he looks more like a game-manager rather than a big-time playmaker. Make no mistake, he understands the Abes' offense, he stands all in the pocket and he can keep plays alive with his legs, but I just didn't see someone who stands out as a top prospect.

Lincoln WR Jayson Williams (2015) - Williams is a very talented player. He's athletic, he's got good speed, sure hands and he understands how to run routes and get separation. He was the young man who Kitna found for the improvisational touchdown in the third quarter. When his quarterback moves in the pocket, Williams finds the open area and gives his quarterback a nice option to throw to. Williams is a good blocker and I like the way he runs. He doesn't jitter-bug, but he's got quick feet and the ability to separate from the best defensive backs. Mountain West and other lower FBS football programs have been showing Williams the most interest of late, but I expect schools from the Pac 12 that are looking for a solid possession receiver to come after him in December and January once they see him in a big-time offense like Lincoln's.


Newport (Bellevue) 43
Lake Stevens 40


Lake Stevens QB Jacob Eason (2016) - This is the third time I have seen Eason live and I continue to be impressed with his physical talents/skills, but he definitely has a ways to go as far as reading things and making plays. The night was cold, so it was tough sledding as far as throwing the ball was concerned. Eason had a receiver open deep, but just overthrew the pass by about a yard. At nearly 6'6", Eason stands out above the rest of the players on the field. His motion is nice and compact and he's got a quick release. He also looks effortless throwing the ball. The Vikings got just 10 snaps in the second half as Newport rolled up over 500 yards on the ground in the game, so Eason and the offense didn't get many chances to make plays or get much going. The Georgia commit definitely has the makings of being a great quarterback at the next level and some think he'll wind up being more revered within the state than quarterbacks like Brock Huard, Drew Bledsoe and Chris Chandler and it's hard to disagree.

Newport OT Calvin Throckmorton (2015) - The last time I saw Throckmorton play (in 2013), he still looked like a basketball player playing football. That isn't the case anymore. He's put in a lot of work in the weight room and looks impressive. He hasn't lost any of his agility and he looks to be getting much more comfortable playing offensive line. That being said, he's still got a ways to go from a strength standpoint. He wasn't able to drive guys off the ball like you'd expect a guy his size to do and there were a couple of instances where he just leaned on guys instead of mauling them. Newport made most of their yards up the middle, but they also ran to his side a handful of times and he typically was able to move his guy one way or the other. Don't expect to see Throckmorton play for football at Oregon for at least two years as he adds strength and gets better with his fundamentals. He fits exactly what the Ducks want to do along the offensive line and appears to be progressing nicely in his growth as a prospect/player.


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