There was electricity in the air at French Field in Kent, Washington last Sunday as the 2019 Avery Strong Showcase lifted off. We attended and covered both sessions and were just wowed by the talent all over the field. It really was a great day and we hit the field at 8 AM to get into the groove and network with the collegiate coaches before Session 1 started at 10:oo AM. What transpired there was terrific with the offensive and defensive linemen throwing down 2 hours plus, and the running backs and linebackers doing the same at the other end of the field.
As the collegiate coaches watched the athletes went through a carefully planned dynamic warm-up for about 10 minutes and then went into stations and ran speed and agility drills non-stop for about 40 minutes. No one had much left in the tank when that portion of the camp ended. The camp staff led by Taylor Barton masterfully managed the set up so the coaches and Media could watch all of the drills from one of two central vantage points. Working the field with me was the National Editor for 247Sports, Mr. Brandon Huffman. The camp was named for his daughter Avery who died of DIPG which is a very aggressive form of Cancer. The #AveryStrongShowcase is one of several events held Nationally to raise awareness about Avery, the battle she fought, and the disease that took her. A good portion of the proceeds of the camp was donated to the Avery Strong foundation in her honor.
In attendance as well as Brandon and our crew was Kevin Menten of Outside The Games as NW Spotlight Athletes and NW Ballers. Coaches from over a dozen colleges were there as well and were asking us all for who we liked. Their rosters were full of notes by the time the session was over and I saw new CWU Head Coach Chris Fisk paying special attention to the linemen.
We certainly had our eyes open and while the talent was everywhere we found some guys we really loved that we want to nominate to our NWPR All Camp Team! Here are the guys from Session 1 that really stood out to us.
Tre Singleton – All Camp MVP– Linebacker from Parkrose High School – Tre is a 2020 superb talent and he came and dominated in both sessions of the Camp. When offered a chance to hold off on some the drills in session 2 he refused. This kid is special. Great footwork, hips, and reaction time. At about 6’2″ and 210 lbs. Tre showed signs of being a true D1 talent besting anyone and everyone at linebacker and safety. He is my All Camp MVP and we loved his talent. Watch for this event to be his breakthrough moment and for offers to happen over this Summer!
Colton Van Dijk (2020- Central Kitsap HS) was one of my top choices at Linebacker. He is 6’2″ and 225 lbs. and watching him I saw great power and ability to adjust to the football in drills and in the 1-1’s. There is a lot to like about Colton and his HUDL film did not disappoint! A great day for him we think!
Brad McGannon (2020 Yelm HS) is 6’4″ and 240 lbs and he can move. He is very agile and impressed me all day. This is a big fast mover and he is born to play defensive end or could bulk up and be a hell of a guard. I did not get to see as much of him in the 1-1’s as I would have liked but what I did was solid. Good football player with college potential for sure!
Offensive Line MVP– D’angalo Titialii- In a crowded group of talented offensive linemen this guy was simply the best at Camp. He looked amazing in drills and in the 1-1’s he took as many reps as he could and won them all it seems. At 6’3″ and 320 lbs this kid has the D1 talent needed to move on. His 2020 graduation from Eastside Catholic will include a collegiate future. As a guard or center, his future is very bright. His footwork, pass pro work, and strong hands all won the day for me! The kid is a stud and trains with line great Faipea AvaAva at AEP!
All CAMP O-Line- Grant Starck – left – 6’5″-280 lbs is a 2020 prospect from Thurston High in Oregon who has offers. Next to him is Wyatt Hansen of Kentwood, also a 2020 O-linemen who is 6’4″-280 lbs. Both athletes have offers and I think both were pushing to be named MVP. Starck is a mauler and his technique is getting very good. Hansen has the technique and is smooth and once he develops an edge out there things will improve for him. Both were great on the day!
Defensive Line MVP- LeiBen Fesili (2020 DL/OL Kennedy Catholic) – Listen, folks, there are prototype players and if this kid was 6’2″ he would be a 50 offer athlete. But let me tell you what- if you watch this man child- who I have nicknamed the Polynesian Panzer Tank – you will see an unstoppable force. This is a young man with incredible flexibility and athleticism. He is capable of a lot and I compliment any athlete who took reps against him. No one can gain leverage or position on this kid and he is almost as good of an O-linemen as a D-linemen. He is a double-threat. If he gets his hands on you your finished. If you get your hands on him he may break them- he is that strong. I love this kid and want to tell you coaches to forget prototypes- he is a destroyer of opposing linemen and will demand a double-team every rep. One offense his quick hands deliver a powerful punch and once locked on defenders are toast! Great job LeiBen! Another disciple of Coach AvaAva and AEP is looking like a formidable place for athletes to train!
Kobe Roberts out of Idaho (New Plymouth HS) is a 6’1″-220 lb Linebacker in the class of 2020. His skill set was textbook and fluid. He is a smart kid and I think will move on to be one of Idaho’s top recruits this year. He was named Camp MVP at Linebacker. Great camp for Kobe.
Jake Riley (Thurston HS LB/RB 2020) is a State Champ and 5 A player of the year in Oregon. The 2020 stud did not disappoint and laid down some great reps and was spot on in the 1-1. A blue Chip Kid all the way!
Tali Mafuaga – 2020- Mt Tahoma HS- It took me a while to realize that his laid back appearance at the start of camp was a misconception of the reality. He was by far the biggest man in camp. I do not know his exact height and weight but 6’5″ and 360 lbs would not surprise me. He is another great athlete and AEP athlete and his feet were outstanding. He may be listed as a D-Linemen but let’s just call him a future O-Linemen. He is very very good. The size is hugely on his side!
RB MVP– Caleb Kwalalon – 5’11”-200 lbs- 2021 from Curtis HS. I watched and watched this kid. Then I asked him about his speed. No recorded 40 but an 11.0 100Meter time and I think he is a 10.65 guy. With two years left to rise this kid has a serious shot of being a great RB from the Pacific NW. He had incredible change of direction and with his muscle and speed is he going to have defenders on their backs all year. I am a huge fan and excited for his future!
Thomas McKedy Scappoose HS– OL – 2020- This bug guy showed power and guts and a really nice skill set on the Offensive Line! One to watch for the coming season for sure.
Alex Hall; left (Clackamas HS 2020) Alex is a two-way warrior. In this Rep, he took on one of the AEP boys in a 3 rep slugfest and showed that he can hold his own against the best. He went both ways and took a lot of reps. A solid college prospect with a bright future ahead!
Cade Salois – Skyview HS Idaho- 2021 RB- Cade showed good size and burst – there is a lot he brings to the table. We want to see film!
Parker McKenna – left- One of several Beaverton Beavers coming up I-5 for the camp was Parker McKenna. A solid and powerful linebacker for the 2020 class. He was one of the only defenders that was able to corral the RB MVP and had himself a great day!
Liam Brown, right– Sunset HS – 2021 – 6’5″-270 lbs. This is one big powerful kid. He has a wide angular frame and comes from a family of collegiate athletes. He is working with O-Line Guru Alex Linnekohl and has improved his technique two-fold in the last few months. I think that once the technique is something he does not think about he will jump to the top of his recruiting class. He can be very very good!
Ethan Keyser– Monroe HS -2020 – DL- Ethan has a great motor. He is so aggressive and gets after it. He is still lean but took a pounding in the line drills and kept on coming – I love his motor and he is hard to block coming off the edge. Look for many sacks this season from this Cat! Nice camp Ethan!
Thizzelle Walton – DL- North Central HS- 2021- 6’2″-200 lbs. He came in as a D-linemen and I think he can play TE or LB as well. What I saw was hustle, energy, and intensity. All in the formula needed to be great! Nice camp for him.
There were many many more deserving kids in session 1. These were the athletes that stood out to me and I think they rose to a level I needed to include them. If you have offers or MVP’s at other camps, that is great- let me know. I am not surfing anyone else’s lists- I am looking at talent through my lens and it has served me well and landed me many firsts. I look at everything from the size and speed to the fire in the eye. I look at what you do on your breaks and how you interact with coaches and fellow players! Congrats to all who made the list and to all who came to camp and improved and honored Avery Huffman Defeat DIPG Foundation!
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