Maybe it's because Vancouver, Washington and Clark County are seen as the little brother to Portland, Oregon. Maybe it's because being on the border the area gets no love from a State dominated by Seattle. Whatever it is there can be no doubt that the continued under recruitment of the GSHL League is becoming a problem.
This is my 15th straight year spent covering the best of the NW. I have no bias and owe allegiance to no team and no League. I do not care if the kids are from Portland or Prosser or Seattle or Santiam. If they have the talent we are going to send the love and showcase them. But each year I look at the GSHL and the teams and players that come from there only to be more convinced that this might be the best League in the entire NW. It is also the most unrecruited league.
It's almost as if the College Coaches have a blackout on their radar for the area because each year some of the best talents are to be found on the fields of SW Washington. Like a recruiting Bermuda Triangle.
This season I have had a chance to watch quite a few athletes compete. There are several GSHL recruits I will mention in the next couple of weeks but tonight let's talk about Skyview High School's Cole Grossman and Union High's Aiden Nellor.
Grossman has come to the end of his High School career. The 6'5"- 210 lb. manchild ran the table as one of the best receivers in the league the last couple of years and he posted some highlights that are among the best I have seen. Chase Cota of South Medford (Or) has many of the same skill sets and size and he has so many offers he can't even count them all. Grossman to date has Portland State and Hawaii. There is not a better-looking big target in the NW with the exception of Cota and UW bound Devin Culp (Gonzaga Prep).
Against Camas, this kid had 190 yards and a TD on only 8 catches. With tough defenders on him all night he proved unstoppable. This is a top-tier performance by a top-tier receiver. College Coaches this guy can play at the highest level and he is a guy you should go after without question. No one catching the football is better.
Further out into Clark County one will leave Vancouver and hit the Camas City limits. If there is Texas football in the NW it is being played inside this unassuming paper mill town. Union and Camas High are both in this town and both Top 5 teams in the State. The two schools battled to an epic finish a couple of weeks back with the Titans coming out on top (14-13) breaking the Camas winning streak at 58 home games. Now with the WIAA 4A football brackets set many think these two rivals may meet in the finals at the Tacoma Dome.
Union is so loaded that a college coach would need to set up camp for a couple of hours to talk to all the possible options. We have covered QB Lincoln Victor and WR Darien Chase in the past; these two are both going to move on to collegiate fields. JoJo Siofele will too out of his RB/LB spot.
Having said that Aiden Nellor, a 6'4" 225 lb. DE/TE, might be the most unheralded player on this team. He is one that should have a handful of offers and yet he does not. Reviewing the Seniors film will give a Coach the full view of the depth of this guys talent and it is so legit. This is a big-time Division 1 athlete who is ready to move on and be an impact player.
"I think my best skill as a TE is my athleticism. I feel that I'm a very athletic player for my position."
He can play TE with the best of them but truly this kid is an absolute problem as a Defensive End. He is so fast and so explosive that he embodies the type of hybrid player that the Power 5 college teams are looking for. The great thing is that he can play TE, DE, or OL as he gets thicker.
There is not enough I can say here other than to stress to you many college coaches that know and follow me that these are two of a group of about 10 kids in the NW that can go the distance and who can play at any level. They are big, fast, mature, and playmakers.
Here is the other point, the GSHL is loaded with top guys like these two. More to follow and best wishes to all the guys moving on across the NW. Play safe, heads up, and have fun because this is the last ride for most of you Seniors!
Follow leading Prep Football Analyst Dirk Knudsen and his Crew all year long!