The Chips Are Down -- Lincoln High Star Tops Lean List Of College Prospects
A recession in state high-school football talent?
That's what it looks like. The Times' annual review of high-school prospects finds only four "blue chip" athletes this year, the fewest since the Times' annual appraisal of seniors began in 1985.
Allen Wallace, publisher of Super Prep Magazine, said it is considered a lean year in Washington.
"The only player everybody wants is Lawyer Milloy," Wallace said. "It's just not a good year for talent in the state of Washington."
Milloy is a running back-defensive back from Tacoma's Lincoln High School.
Another player getting some national attention is Renton linebacker-defensive end Curtis Bogan. He and Milloy were named to the 50-player Parade Magazine All-America team.
Milloy and Bogan are joined on the "blue-chip" list by Kelso linebacker David Richie and Mount Rainier lineman Lynn Johnson. The quartet is ranked atop the Times' annual list of the best 100 football prospects in the state.
The Washington Huskies have oral commitments from Johnson, Bogan and Richie. The UW is among five schools being considered by Milloy, who was scheduled to visit Notre Dame this weekend. He also is looking at California, UCLA and Miami.
Ron Siegel, who has followed prep football and recruiting in the state for decades as a hobby, agrees with Wallace that blue-chip pickings in the state are slim this year.
"This might be the year between two good classes," he said.
"Last year turned out to be great and next year could be very good."
Last year's blue-chippers included Puyallup quarterback Damon Huard, who red-shirted at the University of Washington, Aberdeen tight end Mark Bruener, who caught a touchdown pass in the Rose Bowl, and Curtis defensive back Singor Mobley, who played for Washington State.
Among next year's seniors to watch are quarterback Shane Forney of Mariner, running backs Jerry Jensen of Cascade and Cory Dillion of Franklin and lineman Jason McEndoo of Aberdeen.
This year's four blue-chip prospects:
Lawyer Milloy, Lincoln-Tacoma - Milloy gained 1,056 yards and rushed for 15 touchdowns on a 6-3 team. He also intercepted seven passes and is likely to play defense in college. Milloy, 6 feet 2, 185 pounds, is a three-sport star. It's easy to make the case that this Lawyer is the best athlete to come out of Tacoma in years.
Curtis Bogan, Renton - Nebraska, UCLA and Colorado were interested but after visiting the UW, Bogan committed to the Huskies.
"He felt he wanted to go to Washington from the beginning," said Tony Davis, Renton coach.
Bogan, 6-5, 210, has 4.6-second speed in the 40-yard dash and is a member of Renton's track team as a state-class hurdler and a top scorer and a basketball star.
Lynn Johnson, Mount Rainer - The 6-3, 280-pound tackle is so agile he plays on the No. 1 doubles team for the Rams' tennis squad. He has a 3.8 grade-point and was recruited by Stanford, California and UCLA before committing to the Huskies, according to Coach Russ Elliott. Johnson was a big reason the Rams performed one of the remarkable turnarounds in 1990, advancing to the state-title game after going 1-8 the previous season. The team finished 8-2 this year and again made the playoffs.
David Richie, Kelso - Richie, 6-5, 220-pound outside linebacker with 4.6-second speed over 40 yards, is a three-year starter "who got progressively better," according to Coach Ed Laulainen. "He's got a chance to be a heck of a football player," said Laulainen, who has been coaching the sport at Kelso for 28 years, 21 as the head coach.
While there may be a shortage of marquee names this year, a lot of state players will wind up with scholarships.
Siegel predicts that the big beneficiaries will be the schools in the Division I-AA Big Sky Conference such as Eastern Washington, Idaho, Boise State and Montana.
"Players will be heading to Big Sky schools by the bus load," he said.
The chip lists are compiled after dozens of conversations with evaluators, high-school coaches and sports writers throughout Northwest. Blue-chip players are those who could develop into major-college stars. Red-chip athletes probably can play in the Pac-10 but should do well in the Big Sky. White-chip players are generally small-college material but a few surprises always emerge from the list.
This year's "red-chip" list has some intriguing players who could develop into major-college forces.
Ryan Padgett, 245-pound Newport lineman, is headed for Notre Dame. Some recruiters considered him too slow and Washington was among the schools that lost interest. However, Padgett has his supporters who say he could turn into another "good one that got away" such as Notre Dame players Demetrius DuBose from O'Dea and Lake Dawson from Federal Way, who were highly recruited by everyone.
Brandon Reyna, a 280-pound lineman from Bellingham, hasn't drawn much Husky attention recently but could develop into a gem. He is the younger brother of WSU Cougar Jay Reyna.
Scott Fitterer, quarterback from Kennedy High School, played last season with a broken thumb. It hurt his effectiveness and statistics but says something about his competitiveness. He has committed to California. So has Wayne Penton, a free safety from Lakes High School in suburban Tacoma.
Another Pac-10 recruit is Derek Allen, a linebacker from Mountain View-Vancouver, who is headed for Oregon.
No Pac-10 schools are recruiting Pat Graham, 6-1, 175-pound quarterback who rewrote the state record book while leading Class B-11 DeSales High School of Walla Walla to the state title.
His records include 7,922 career yards (4,410 in one season) and 84 career touchdowns (51 in a season). He tied state marks by throwing for 487 yards and seven touchdowns in one game.
DeSales Coach Kim Cox said Pac-10 schools contacted Graham "but no one has offered him anything. . . . I don't know if they are sure he can adjust to that level."
Graham has visited Eastern Washington and will visit Idaho, according to Cox.
Recruits can sign their letters of intent Feb. 5.
WASHINGTON'S TOP 100
The Times rates the top college football prospects in the state:
Potential major college stars
PLAYER POS. HT. WT. HIGH SCHOOL
Curtis Bogan DE-LB 6-5 210 Renton .
. Lynn Johnson OL-DL 6-3 280 Mount Rainier .
. Lawyer Milloy RB-FS 6-2 185 Lincoln-Tacoma .
. David Richie LB 6-5 220 Kelso .
. RED CHIPS
Possible Pac-10, definite Big Sky Conference material: .
. PLAYER POS. HT. WT. HIGH SCHOOL .
. Derek Allen LB 6-5 223 Mountain View .
. Darin Arbogast DL 6-2 235 Lakes .
. Chad Baar TE 6-8 255 Lynden .
. Paul Blanusa QB 6-1 160 White River .
. Scott Bond QB 6-3 180 Pasco .
. Dorian Boose LB 6-6 212 Foss-Tacoma .
. Mike Cady TE 6-6 210 Shadle Park .
. Sean Cavanaugh OL 6-3 235 Gonzaga Prep .
. Kevin Clark RB 5-10 208 Tumwater .
. Jay Dumas WR 6-2 175 Curtis-Tacoma .
. John Fiala LB 6-3 215 Lake Washington .
. Scott Fitterer QB-DB 6-2 192 Kennedy .
. Justin Gibbs DL 6-4 226 Wilson-Tacoma .
. Pat Graham QB 6-1 175 DeSales .
. Derek Henderson DB 6-2 190 Foss-Tacoma .
. Ken Henningsen OL 6-4 275 North Mason .
. Erasto Jackson OL-DL 6-3 240 O'Dea .
. Jordi LePiane OL 6-4 262 Cascade .
. Mark Matthews P 6-0 175 Federal Way .
. Wayne McDade DB 5-11 185 Franklin .
. Matt McKinstry LB 6-2 215 Pasco .
. Antwan Miller WR-DB 6-1 180 Timberline-Lacey .
. Jimaine Miller DE 6-2 190 O'Dea .
. Jesse Neville K 5-10 172 Redmond .
. Gabe Owens OL-DL 6-4 265 Puyallup .
. Jarrod Owens OL-DL 6-5 265 Wilson-Tacoma .
. Ryan Padgett OL 6-3 245 Newport .
. Wayne Penton FS 5-10 170 Lakes-Tacoma .
. Ryan Phillips TE-DE 6-4 215 Auburn .
. Robert Poole OL-DL 6-3 260 Marysville .
. Brandon Reyna OL 6-3 280 Bellingham .
. Corey Sampson QB-DB 5-11 185 Franklin .
. Jason Shelt LB 6-1 225 Kennewick .
. Rob Smith OL-DL 6-5 250 White River .
. Willie Stewart RB-LB 6-2 225 Garfield .
. Justin Sundquist WR 6-0 175 Curtis-Tacoma .
. Futi Talaga LB 6-0 220 Franklin .
. John Wales K-P 5-10 180 Kent-Meridian .
. Todd Walcker LB 6-3 212 Redmond .
. Bryan Weathers TE 6-5 212 Seattle Prep .
. Ian West C 6-5 235 Kennewick .
. WHITE CHIPS
Mostly small-college potential but some can surprise at major schools: .
. PLAYER POS. HT. WT. HIGH SCHOOL .
. Alfala Ama RB 6-1 240 Inchelium .
. Grant Anderton DL 6-3 245 Curtis-Tacoma .
. Chad Berry WR 6-0 170 University-Spokane .
. Joe Bloomquist DB 6-1 185 South Kitsap .
. Dallen Bjerkness LB 6-3 225 Mount Vernon .
. Mike Boyd DL 6-3 232 South Kitsap .
. Ty Brown DL 6-1 220 W. Valley-Yakima .
. James Bunch OL 6-0 230 Curtis-Tacoma .
. Andrew Bryant RB 6-0 170 Ballard .
. Mario Casello WR 5-9 150 Puyallup .
. Brandon Chilcoate RB 5-9 178 Vashon .
. Josh Clift DL 6-4 220 E. Valley-Spokane .
. Jeff Cole RB 5-11 200 Inglemoor .
. Travis Cruse DL 6-1 235 Cascade .
. Mike DeGraw-Tryali DL 6-5 215 Centralia .
. Eti Ena LB 6-0 220 Inchelium .
. LaMarcus Ford WR 6-0 190 Hale .
. Jody Gallegos RB 5-10 178 Pullman .
. Hans Geisa DB-WR 6-2 185 Shadle Park .
. Andy Gilroy LB 6-1 190 Puyallup .
. L.D. Godfrey OL 6-2 265 Onalaska .
. Charles Grant DB-RB 6-1 165 O'Dea .
. Billy Hatchett OL-DL 6-2 245 Puyallup .
. Ryan Helms QB 5-11 160 Prosser .
. Bob Holmes LB-RB 5-11 190 Kent-Meridian .
. Randy Hoover OL 6-1 280 Kennewick .
. Jerrold Jackson WR 5-8 135 Renton .
. Erick Judd RB 5-8 172 Okanogan .
. Conan Kempf WR 5-11 175 Eatonville .
. Steve Kantas LB 6-0 205 Shelton .
. Randy Kilmer DL 6-3 200 Shadle Park .
. Nathaniel Kraft OL 6-3 245 Snohomish .
. Brawn Lausen OL 6-4 210 Snohomish .
. Dan Longland OL-DL 6-1 225 Kentwood .
. Dar Looker WR 5-9 176 Franklin Pierce .
. Adam Lovelady DL 6-4 215 Wilson-Tacoma .
. Brian Magneson DL 6-3 230 O'Dea .
. Loren Martin WR-DB 6-4 180 Inglemoor .
. Scott Matthews DB 6-0 170 Anacortes .
. Kevin McNamee RB 6-0 185 Seattle Prep .
. George Mendoza WR 6-2 177 Prosser .
. Randall Montgomery DL 6-2 235 Richland .
. Andy Moore RB 5-9 166 Anacortes .
. Ty Mueller TE 6-3 200 Liberty .
. Chris Niemi OL 6-2 254 Lake Washington .
. Luke Posthuma OL 6-2 255 Garfield .
. Chris Preston LB-RB 5-10 198 Wilson-Tacoma .
. Justin Rayment WR 6-8 215 Sedro-Woolley .
. Nate Read OL-DL 6-4 265 Mount Si .
. Jeff Schoffstall RB 6-0 200 Kamiakin .
. Derek Scott LB 6-0 210 Hale .
. Calvin Shaw RB 6-1 185 Kennedy .
. Matt Steen TE-LB 6-2 220 Meadowdale .
. Sean Taylor RB 5-11 185 Kennewick .
. Joe Thomas DB 6-1 180 Renton .
. Nate Tyler WR-DB 6-2 170 Edmonds/Woodwy .
Copyright (c) 1992 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.