Alameda Ta'amu (Scout.com)
Tacoma, Wash. - Scout.com had three scouts out working high school games in the greater-Seattle area Friday. Chris Fetters, Northwest Analyst, went to Gonzaga Prep at Bellarmine Prep, and then caught three quarters of Rainier Beach at Lakes. Dawgman.com's Scott Eklund - with the help of former Washington linebacker Tahj Bomar - took in the Garfield/Lake Washington tilt in Kirkland.
Here's what they found out.
Garfield at Lake Washington
Over 20 players were standing on the sidelines for Lake Washington in what appears to be a disciplinary move by the head coach and they struggled to stop the potent Garfield running game and the visitors got the win, 44 – 23.
Here are some players that stuck out while we were sitting in the stands…
Garfield DT/OT Deandre Coleman (2009) – Deandre played both ways, but he really stuck out much more on the offensive side of the ball where he played right tackle. He wasn’t very physical, but he has good size and he’s a really good athlete. On a couple of running plays he was seen down field getting second and third blocks. On defense, rarely did he get penetration and he usually didn’t make the tackle when, with a little more effort, he could have. Looks like a great OL prospect.
Garfield RB T’Andre Jones (2010) – He’s only a sophomore and he’s pretty small (5-5, 160) but the guy can cut on a dime and he has great speed. If he can put on a little weight and gut up to about 5-8 (very possible) then he could be a player to watch in the next few years. He had scoring runs of 60 and 63 and a couple of other long-gainers where he cut against the pursuit and was ankle tackled from behind. Very quick and has good vision. Both Tahj and myself were surprised when he eluded some tacklers along the sideline to pick up another 25 yards. Keep an eye on him.
Other Garfield players to watch: RB/DE Valentino Coleman (2011); RB/LB Angelo Ivory (2009); WR Bakari Weaver (2010)
Lake Washington RB/LB R.J. Moors (2009) – A good looking athlete. He ran the ball really well. He had a 63-yard TD run as he got outside of the pursuit and then split the safeties with a good burst once he got in to the open field. He’s got a great frame and good speed. At linebacker, he took too many false steps. Tahj commented several times that his pass drops were delayed because his first two steps were forward and that teams could throw slants right into his drop area. He also didn’t break down a couple of time and missed tackles that led to big gainers. At this point, he’s a much better running back than a linebacker.
Gonzaga Prep at Bellarmine Prep
Got to see the first half of this game, and the place was PACKED. Great venue to watch a high school game. Talked with 2008 OL/DL Carl Brophy from GP, who had broken his fibula the week before, but was actually serious about playing the next week against Central Valley. Here's some other notes on players to look out for.
Gonzaga Prep PK Mat Barker (2008) - Probably the best kicker I've seen so far from the state of Washington. He has range. Brophy said he's seen him hit from 60 this year in practice, and I believe him. Only saw him hit a couple of extra points, but they were high, majestic boots. He's 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds, roughly the size of former UW kicker John Anderson. He looks to have Anderson's leg too.
Gonzaga Prep RB/LB Jeremy Condon (2008) - A pure straight-ahead runner, Condon reminded me of former Capital (Olympia) RB Ben Tolman. At 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, Condon just ripped right up the gut a couple of times and was very hard to bring down. He appeared to have a very strong running style, couldn't tell about pure speed. He got hurt soon after GP's first possession.
Gonzaga Prep Center Anthony Luna (2009) - Luna is a very good-looking center prospect. He's 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, already possessing good size and mobility for a high school center. His brother Greg just finished up his career at Toledo, after spending a couple of years at an Arizona JC.
Gonzaga Prep WR Connor Payton (2008) - I only got to see him really on one play - a fade to the end zone with a cornerback in his face, and he made a great layout catch with his back to the ground. It appeared that the ball may have bounced out of his grasp after he hit the ground, but it was ruled a touchdown. Possesses good size (6-1, 185), but didn't see too much of him because GP was running the ball almost exclusively the first half.
Gonzaga Prep RB/LB Travis Long (2009) - GP fans should be excited about Long's future. At 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, the Prep coaches were eager to get Travis involved as a h-back on reverses and carries, because he's a load. He's awfully fast for a player his size, and his body will only continue to mature. Watching Travis Long next year will be a treat.
Bellarmine Prep QB Luke Schindele (2009) - In the half I was able to see, I saw Schindele move his team to one touchdown. For a junior, he showed good poise, the ability to scramble, and solid throwing mechanics. It's just the second game of his junior season, so he has plenty of room to grow - both physically and mentally - as a QB. He's definitely becoming a student of the game.
Rainier Beach at Lakes
Got to Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood, just to hear that Calvin Schmidtke had scored to make the game 15-0. It was 29-0 at the half, and Jermaine Kearse took the second-half kickoff to the house to put this game to bed early. Five coaches from Washington were there, including Head Coach Tyrone Willingham, as well as coaches from Boise State and Washington State. Here are some of the players in the game to look out for.
Rainier Beach OL/DL Alameda Ta'amu - Got a chance to see the 6-foot-4, 340-pound Ta'amu play both ways, and I thought he was his most effective as the Vikings' right tackle, where he matched up with noted DE/TE Kavario Middleton (Scout.com's #1 rated DE nationally, as a matter of fact). Alameda neutralized Middleton's rush from that side, showing quick feet and great balance.
Lakes QB Calvin Schmidtke - Schmidtke did it all Friday; he ran for a score, threw a couple more and had his way against the Vinkings. He's been able to balance getting the ball to Jermaine Kearse, Koreye Dixon and Tony Thomas, as well as his biggest target (literally) in Middleton. Throw of the evening was a pretty shake route right up the right seam, where Schmidtke just rifled the ball inbetween a couple of Beach defenders, where Dixon caught it in stride in the endzone.
Lakes WR/DB Jermaine Kearse - Kearse's game-breaking play was the pretty return to start the second half. Once he got into open field, he was history. Give credit to Rainier Beach's Avi Castro, who looked to be gaining on Kearse by the time Jermaine hit paydirt - he never gave up on the play. I know Kearse would have loved a couple of Schimdtke's passes back, ones he dropped that were thrown on his hands and in stride. Overall, he's just so valuable in all facets of the game, and he makes the game look so easy. A very smooth playmaker.
Lakes WR/DB Koreye Dixon - I think coaches are overlooking Dixon. He had two nice touchdowns Friday night, and makes the game look easy for his size (5-9, 155 by the program, but I'm pretty sure he's bigger than that). With all the talent overflowing at Lakes, it might be easy to take a guy like Dixon - who does it on both sides of the ball - for granted. But don't. In my opinion, Koreye has Pac-10 potential - much like former Lancer Anthony Russo did before he matriculated to Washington - and I hope colleges at the 1A level come calling.