For the second year in a row I was able to hit the Skyline Skills and Drills, and scrimmage out at Mount Si in the same day. Below are my notes for the day.
First off, I would like to thank the coaches of the teams I am reporting on for being so cooperative. I have the greatest job in the world, and coaches like I dealt with this weekend really make my job easy.
Second, since this is a wrap-up, I want to also mention that Everett (Wash.) Cascade OL Josh Watson picked up two more offers over the weekend, from Boise State and Washington State. Watson now has a total of four, after Fresno State and UC Davis offered earlier in the week.
Skyline Skills and Drills on the Hill
Skills and Drills is normally a two day event of 7-on-7, as well as kicking and lineman competitions, this year’s event was just the one day, with the kicking competition being scrapped.
Before we really get going, I want to mention that the Eastlake Wolves won the overall lineman competition. Skyline would finish second, but won the popular Tug-o-War event. To see video of the final tugs, scroll to the bottom of this article and watch my Instagram video.
Of the teams in attendance, the Skyline Spartans looked the best.
The Spartans have arguably the top position group of QB’s in the state, led by Blake Gregory (’16) who had a nice day leading the first team offense. Gregory is still without an offer, but appears to be closing in on a few from Big Sky schools.
Behind Gregory you have Colton Padgett (’17), Drew Kistner (’18) and Jade Griffiths (’18), these three could all probably be starting QB’s in this state, and will be battling for reps to prove they are the next heir to the throne.
Couple skill players I really like for the Spartans are Bradley Kim (’17) and Alex Diegel (’17). Kim reminds me a lot of Taylor Rapp (’16, UW commit) in the way he plays the game and his body type. I am a BIG fan of Diegel, and was again very impressed. It will be fun watching Diegel over the next two years, as he has the makings of being a big time recruit.
I am not sure exactly what it is I like about Colin Huber (’16), but the guy just makes plays. He is about 6’2″ and 180 pounds, and seemed like he was open all day.
Couple young names to keep an eye on in Sparta are Evan Alexander (’18) and Luke Styles (’18). I really liked both defensively, as they both showed good athleticism and overall playmaking abilities.
Rashaad Boddie (’16) was taking the ACT, and I believe only played one game, while I was up above watching a different game.
The Kamiak Knights looked really good, and were missing some of their top players who were also off taking tests.
Donte Hamilton (’16) continues to impress defensively from his safety spot, and showed a lot more than I was expecting offensively as a split-y. He ran nice routes and round himself in the endzone multiple times throughout the day.
Getting the ball to Hamilton was Connor Alexander (’16), who showed good arm strength, accuracy and tremendous command of the offense. Kamiak has been blessed over the years with great QB play, and it looks like head coach Dan Mack may have found another one.
Another Kamiak played that was noticeable was Andrey Prikhodko (’16). He played in the slot, as well as outside backer, and really did a nice job all day. Would really like to see more of this team.
The Mercer Island Islanders look to be solid again, but the future looks very bright. Chris Fetters and I were caught off guard when we heard Nikhil Nayar (’18) was not only just a freshman, but only playing his second year of football (according to a coach). Nayar is 6’3″ and 180 pounds, and the ball just really comes off his hand nicely. Here is a quick clip of some of Nayar’s freshman highlights.
A player I really liked from MI was DB/WR Cole Northup (’16). At about 6’1″ and 185 pounds, Northup has nice size and really did a great job on both sides of the ball. I will need to see more before we could talk projections, but he has the makings on a college football player.
Spoke with WR Eric Kim (’16) for a few minutes, he was not playing as he finishes healing from a lower leg injury, but told me he is planning on attending Stanford’s camp in the next few days before he heads off to visit Cornell, Brown and Princeton for their camps. As you can tell, Kim is a very high academic student, and will also be visiting Harvard and Yale later in the summer.
I didn’t get to see a lot of Liberty, but one player who stood out for me was Isaiah Owens (’17). He is small in stature, but was all over the field making plays. Had a couple nice catch and run touchdowns, while showing of nice top end speed.
Mount Si Scrimmage
This year’s big scrimmage in Snoqualmie saw the hometown Wildcats play host to the Federal Way Eagles, O’Dea Fighting Irish, Lake Stevens Vikings and Redmond Mustangs. Each team played the other 4 teams, with both sides getting eight offensive and defensive plays, before rotating to a new team.
I really liked what I saw from the O’Dea offense, as it looks as though legendary head coach Monte Kohler is going to open up the passing game a little more than normal.
Quarterback Nathan West (’16) had a really nice day finding open receivers and commanding the offense. He has one of the strongest arms in the state, and showed it off a few different times on nice deep balls.
West has a nice set of targets to get the ball to, as WR’s Quinton Lewis (’17) and Race Porter (’16) did a nice job getting open. Lewis is one of my favorite receivers in the 2017 class. Adding support to the arsenal was TE Sam Sanchez (’17), who is the biggest of the three, and is really a true TE as he also does a good job run blocking.
The Irish graduate Myles Gaskin to UW, but Talent Hesse (’16) returns to carry the load. Hesse is on the smaller side, but still runs like a typical O’Dea back.
Defensively I like the play of both linebackers, Julius McDade (’16) and Christian Franco (’16). It seems like every year the Fighting Irish need to replace a LB or two, and do so without skipping a beat, and this year appears to be much of the same.
To me, the player I walked away most excited about was Lake Stevens RB Andrew Grimes (’16). I saw Grimes last season in the playoffs, and liked what I saw, but his play on Saturday really confirmed my beliefs.
The 5-foot-11, 210 pound Grimes really looked like an all-around back catching passing out of the backfield and running tough inside, with speed to hit the edge when asked. He also played some OLB, and you could make a case he is best suited over there as well. It really was an impressive day for Grimes.
I love the Lake Stevens WR’s. I don’t think they have a single kid over six-feet-tall, but they have about as much speed as I can ever remember one team having. It really starts with Riley Krenz (’16). He is one of the better wideouts in the 2016 class, and does a ton of damage from the slot. The most impressive individual play of the day came from Brandon Otis (’16 5’8″ 150 pounds), who caught a pass heading towards the left sideline, reversed field and out raced everyone to the pylon for the score. He showed speed I hadn’t really seen all day.
Mount Si looks to be thin along the lines, but highly skilled. WR Parker Dumas (’16) showed why he has offers from Wyoming and Eastern Washington, while TE Colton Swain (’16) once again made a case to be receiving offers. Dumas had a few patented jump ball catches where the DB really looked helpless. Both athletes have great frames and show good all-around athleticism.
Couple other Mount Si players I was impressed with were Cory Cotto (’16) and Max Bonda (’17). Cotto is very physical on both sides of the ball, RB/LB, and showed better speed than expected. Bonda was really impressive at corner, making a few nice open field tackles and was stout in coverage all afternoon.
Opposite of Bonda, I really liked the play of Caleb Mitchell (’16). It seems like every year the Wildcats have a Mitchell Brother that can play, and this year is no different. Caleb is probably the state’s best long snapping prospect, but make no mistake, he can play both WR and DB.
Year in and year out the Federal Way Eagles have a ton of athleticism, and this year looks to be no different. D’jimon Jones (’16) returns at QB, while also playing some DB and WR. Jones looked great in coverage and did not shy away from contact. Offensively he looked a tad rusty at QB, but looked nice at WR, especially when running a fly sweep.
The Eagles were without many of their top players, and a guy who stepped up and took charge was Brian Parker (’16). At 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, he is a big receiving target and very much looks the part of a college football player.
I liked what I saw from Redmond’s QB Nick Swanson (’16) and Kyle Burgmeier (’16). Swanson is a rising QB that has just not gotten many looks because he hasn’t been on a good team. He has the tools to be a good QB and play at the next level. Burgmeier was fun to watch. He kept getting under the skin of opposing lineman, even causing a few scuffles. He wasn’t doing anything dirty, just playing hard nosed football and playing through the whistle, my kind of guy!