Images: #2 Dallin Leavitt, #12 Beau Duronslet, #32 Xavier Griggs
On paper Central Catholic is one of the most talented teams in the Pacific Northwest. The (5-2) Rams have lost to #2 Lake Oswego and #4 Jesuit in games where they either beat themselves or started there #4 QB. A loss is a loss and no excuses were made, but the one thing that has remained consistent is the individual talent that resides on the Central Defense.
Lets forget about Oregon Bound monster Alex Balducci (6-5 280 Sr. DE/OL) , returning Conference Player of the Year Jacob Nall (6-4 235 Sr. DE), or the 6A state leader in picks from 2010 Tye Collier (6-1 180 Sr CB). When you take a step back and look at the junior secondary it may be just as good or better.
Dallin Leavitt (5-11 200 FS/RB Jr.), Beau Duronslet (6-0 185 SS/SB Jr.), and Xavier Griggs (6-0 205 LB Jr.) are all ranked as three of NEI’s Top 20 juniors for the class of 2013′. Leavitt has been nothing short of outstanding and is currently considered one of the conference and overall state favorites for Defensive Player of the Year along with Balducci. After 6 weeks he is averaging 7.3 tackles per game along with a state leading 5 interceptions.
The BYU commit, and #6 overall ranked player has absolutely shut people down. He has accounted for 4 touchdowns (3 on offense) and averaged 13.4 yards (8/107) a rush and 13.7 yards (10 /137 ) a reception. When asked about his outstanding play Leavitt says “my teammates are getting it done, Beau and Xavier always do their thing and Jacob Hansen (6-0 190 Jr LB) has been killing it”.
Leavitt has big goals and has backed up his play earning a D1 scholarship at a young age. ” They haven’t thrown to many balls my way lately so I guess that’s a compliment, but I would like to see some more action”. When asked what position he would play in college he said, ” they told me either Running Back, Slot or Strong Safety, and I said I would choose safety”. When asked about the reasoning the super talented Leavitt said, “it gives me the best chance of walking after football”. A quality sense of humor from a legit D1 talent.
Duronslet comes in ranked the #17 overall player state wide and is a kid that Head Coach Steve Pyne calls “the best overall football player on the field most of the time”. Beau has instincts that you can’t teach, he is a student of the game and should be considered a D1aa projected athlete. As a sophomore he torched the Mt Hood on the defensive side of the ball (68 tackles, 4 Ints, 9 pass deflections). This year he is doing it offensively and defensively. He has caught 8 balls for 257 yards and 4 touchdowns averaging 32.1 yards per catch over 6 games. He is one of the three favorites for Mt Hood Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors and always does his thing at safety. Duronslet says ” Im lucky to play with the guys that I do, we are like one big family”.
If you want to talk about a kid with a future look no further then Xavier Griggs. He is the real deal, and has one of the biggest upsides of any athlete in the state of Oregon. His game film against Jesuit was more like an instructional video for young linebackers. He picked off Jesuit QB Nick Rothstein and took it 67 yards to the house in their 14-12 loss. As a sophomore he made 42 tackles and had 2 sacks and continued with his trend before suffering a concussion against Westview. Griggs had been averaging 3.8 tackles a game before the injury, but the roof on his capabilities is sky high. Barton Football Academy Coach Jaleel Kindell says ” so far this year he is the best football player I have seen on the field”. Bold, yes. Fictional, no. His anticipation to the ball is ridiculous and he will most likely just be getting bigger with an athletic family.
The Rams could make a run at a state title. They will continue to get knocked for being in the Mt Hood Conference, but all they can do is go prove everyone wrong. They committed seven turnovers against LO in both red zones and almost beat Jesuit with their fourth string quarterback. Sophomore Quarterback Aidan Wilder (6-0 170 QB/CB) has been off the charts good, and if they can stay healthy watch out for Rams and their high profile athletes…