Thielke has a leader

Brett Thielke is a 6-5, 285-pound lineman from Issaquah (Wash.) Skyline, and the Spartans are in the throes of their expected playoff run. And while they did experience a hiccup against Issaquah, Thielke and the other Skyline seniors are using is as a wake-up call.

"Everything was easy early on," Brett told Dawgman.com. "We had a long stretch and then Issaquah. We were used to making mistakes and still winning. But I think that game (Issaquah) was a kick in the butt that we needed. We really realized then that we needed to put some work in. We got a second chance to prove ourselves."

They beat Black Hills in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs and have a second round matchup against Lynden. "We're trying to instill a sense of urgency for the underclassmen," Brett said. "We want them to want to win it just as much for themselves as for the seniors. We have to get the whole team involved."

Thielke's only offer remains from Portland State and he has a visit set up for January 10th. Nevada and Northwestern are also talking to Brett quite a bit and he might try to set up visits to those schools too. "Washington, Oregon and Oregon State are still keeping in touch," he said.

Brett mentioned Oregon line coach Neal Zoumboukos as a coach that he's been really impressed with so far during the process. "I really like Coach Zoumboukos," he said. "He's really straightforward and lays it out so you know exactly what's happening. He's really clear about that. He'll tell you that they are still watching film and he'll set up dates where certain decisions are made. He's great."

And when it comes to a leader, Brett is going with common sense. You have to stick with the team that's been there the whole time, so the Portland State Vikings are the natural choice. "They are the top dog right now," he said. "Like I've always said, it doesn't matter if it's a high D1 team or an NAIA team, it has to be the school that fits me the best. And the more I see of them the more I like."

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