Central Catholic’s D1 Defense

DL Alex Balducci 6-4 270 Sr Commit- Oregon
DL Jacob Nall 6-4 225 Sr Offers- Idaho, PSU
DL Fergus Frederickson 6-4 250 Jr Legit D1- D1aa
DL Tyler Nagea 5-9 255 Sr
DL Connor Humphreys 6-2 225 So Legit D1- D1aa
LB Xavier Griggs 6-1 210 Jr Legit D1
LB Mick Hartwig 6-0 195 Sr
LB Austin Kahnahui’ 6-3 225 Sr
DB Beau Duronslet 6-0 190 Jr Legit D1
DB Dallen Leavitt 6-0 200 Jr Commit-BYU
DB Tye Collier 6-1 180 Sr D1aa
DB Aidan Wilder 6-0 170 So Legit D1

On paper it is the best defense the Mt. Hood conference and maybe the State of Oregon has ever seen…Bold statement? Well lets see, it could potentially feature 9 Division one athletes on one side of the ball.

One would ask where in any state, especially one as small as Oregon are you going to find that many kids patrolling the same vicinity ..The answer is the 2011 Central Catholic Rams.

Alex Balducci (6-4 270 DL/OL Sr.), ranked # 2 in the State overall for 2012 and committed to Oregon, is currently the only Oregonian invited to play in the 2012 Army All American game. He requires a double team on each snap and will make each team game plan around him. His counterpart isn’t average either.

Jacob Nall (6-4 235 DE Sr.) ranked #15 by NEI for 2012 currently holds Idaho and PSU offers. He was last years Mt Hood Conference Co Defensive Player of the Year. His speed rush off the edge is too much for most lineman to handle.

In the middle you find two underclassmen that will play a huge role in the future. Connor Humphreys (6-3 225 DL/OL So.) is one of the top ranked sophomores state wide and was voted the Junior Varsity MVP as a freshman. Fergus Frederickson (6-4 250 DL/OL Jr.) is currently unproven but has the size and all of the intangibles to make Head Coach Steve Pyne smile and say “Ya..He could be very good”. We will hear a lot about him in the future.

The cast of Defensive backs that man the secondary are young but as talented as anyone in the region. Three underclassmen all played significant roles as freshman and sophomores. Dallen Leavitt (6-0 200 RB/SS Jr.) , a Westview transfer and BYU Commit commands respect right away. He is the type of kid good enough to receive D1 Offers at such a young age. Beau Duronslet (6-0 190 ATH/DB Jr.) is called ” maybe the best pure football player on the roster” by Coach Pyne. His 68 Tackles, 4 Interceptions and 9 pass deflections from a year ago speak to how incredibly talented the kid is. He is a legit D1 football player and is already receiving consistent D1 interest.

Ad to the mix the youngster, Aidan Wilder (6-0 170 ATH/CB So.) and the Vet Ty Collier (6-1 190 CB Sr.) and you have 4 D1aa-D1 Defensive Backs. Collier took home MVP Honors for Defensive Backs at the 2010 Nike event in Eugene. His knack for the ball has PSU and other Big Sky Schools well aware of his services after tying for the state lead in picks (6) a season ago. Wilder accomplished a rare feat while taking over the starting Quarterback duties as a freshman from injured starter Ben Cook (6-2 195 QB Sr.) and doing an outstanding job. Cook comes back ranked the #4 ranked QB in the state in the NEI Positional Rankings. Wilder will be a full time DB and Slot this season and is considered one of the top players in the state for the class of 2014.

To round out the D1 kids is linebacker Xavier Griggs (6-1 210 LB Jr.), one of the most talented athletes we have seen on tour and who’s upside is through the roof. He projects at the D1 level and will only get bigger and and stronger after an all league sophomore season. His father stands 6-6 so you can bet he will still be growing a few more inches. Regardless he makes 9 kids who project at the D1aa level or higher.

Three kids that aren’t D1 athletes but are very talented are Tyler Nagea (5-9 255 DL Sr.) who is called ” the best small lineman in the state” by Super Bowl Champion line coach Dave Richie, and Mick Hartwig (6-0 190 LB Sr.) who put on a show at the Barton Premier Marketing Event one month back at the University of Washington. Austin Kaunahui (6-3 225 LB Sr.), brother of standout Zach Kahahnui from Northern Arizona

Even with all the talent this is still the Mt Hood Conference and it has been 28 years since any team from the league has reached a state title game (Gresham 1983′). Central Catholic hasn’t been there in 50+ years so it will take a special group of kids to break the mold.