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Lake Steven’s Jake Nelson Ranked #1 By Area Expert

Jake Nelson is a great athlete and a very good QB and our own Ryan Hockman, Former All SEC QB, had a chance to look at him over the weekend and he breaks him down for us.

Coach Hockman has seen most of the top rated passers and top High School QB’s this year. He came away from Lake Stevensupset of Eastlake with a very high opinion of Mr Nelson. Jake led the Vikings to the 50-21 win over #4 ranked Eastlake. He was 19-26 passing for 259 yards and 3 TD’s and ran for 75 yards a 4th score.

Lake Steven’s Jake Nelson Ranked #1 By Area Expert


Dirk Knudsen;
Jake Nelson has Lake Stevens Rolling into the Tacoma Dome and Our Expert says he is the best he has seen!
That brings him to a season total of 2,508 yards passing with a 72% completion ratio, 26 TD’s, and 5 Interceptions.  His QB rating is 127.
But his legs added another 670 yards and 15 more TD’s which gives him 41 TD’s and almost 3,200 yards of total offense.
No wonder the Viks are 12-0 and on their way to the Tacoma Dome to meet up with high flying Skyview who knocked off #1 Bellermine Prep over the weekend.
Here is Coach Hockman’s report:  QB Reads

Jake Nelson: Best in State

Jake Nelson put on a show this past Friday night.  Completing 19-26 passes for 251 yards and three TDs and rushing for 74 yards and a TD, Jake thrilled the purple-clad fans from Lake Stevens and shocked the home crowd at Eastlake in a 50-21 rout.

I arrived early to Eastlake High School to catch Lake Stevens’ heralded quarterback Jake Nelson.  You see, I am a skeptic when it comes to evaluating high school quarterbacks and I wanted to watch Jake from the time he got off the bus until the echo from the final buzzer was silent.  So many young QBs are touted as college prospects, yet so few are.  Usually, they are smaller, slower less polished and throw with less velocity than their coaches and journalists report.

By arriving early, I wanted to watch Jake go through warm-ups, hoping that he would throw some outs and curls and square-ins.  I didn’t get to see those throws, but I did get to stand next to him and he appears close to his listed 6’2″.  I should know about being 6’2″.  After one recruiting publication listed me at 6’5″ my senior year in high school, I was measured annually by NFL scouts for four years during my time at the University of Kentucky and the result each time was… 6’1.75″.

During pre-game I did notice three things about Jake.  First, from the shotgun he gets the ball out of his hand quickly.  Second, his feet are quick and efficient – he didn’t waste steps and he made every throw from a balanced position.   Finally, he lines up at safety on defense, demonstrating athleticism, toughness and football intelligence.

During the game, there were also three things that were very impressive about Jake’s game.  First, he throws the deep ball accurately.  He uses the appropriate trajectory and the ball turns the nose of the ball over well.  Second, his ability to run makes him a threat that defenses have to honor.  Although he lacks top-end speed, I believe he will be a threat to run even at the college level.  Last, Jake seems to have a great awareness of space and timing in the pocket.  He remained patient on a couple of throws that required it.  On others, he avoided the rush and glided outside the pocket to buy time and vision.

While he possesses the ability to throw with above-average velocity, he does not appear to have elite throwing power.  I write this with hesitation because his offense lacks the types of throws that requires power.  During the pre-game and in the game, there were three throws that lead me to believe he has some work ahead of him to gain that power.  Lake Stevens runs a combination pattern from a bunch formation that the West Coast people call the Pivot.

One receiver runs a deep flag route, a 2nd receiver runs into the flat, and the third runs the Pivot route – a 5-7 yard inside route where he sits underneath the dropping linebacker.  Jake threw the Pivot route twice, once in pre-game and once in the game for a touchdown.  However, in both cases the nose of the ball dipped at the end of the throw, indicating that it lacked velocity.  The same thing happened on a simple hitch route early in the game.  

In conclusion, while there are parts of Jake Nelson’s game that can improve, he put on the best quarterback performance I have seen in the state of Washington this year, and from all reports he has been doing that each and every week.  The question is: Does Jake’s talents translate to the college level?  I think so, but I don’t know where or in what division.  He will have to find a college that fits his dual threat abilities.  What I do know is this:  my skepticism is gone, I had the a blast watching Jake play, and based on his performance Jake Nelson is the best high school QB I have seen in the state of Washington.


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I am the Founder of the Northwest Prep Report. For 17 years I have led the way to the best of my ability to promote the best talent from the Pacific NW free of charge. It is my pleasure to continue to serve High School athletes from all over the Pacific NW and beyond. Formerly with my sites have now crossed over 8,000 stories, 7 MILLION Video Views, and 15,000 regular followers. Together with the best football people in the USA we pursue excellence for our NW athletes.

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  1. Kevin

    November 21, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Ryan – Thanks for the article. As someone who has reported on Jake since he showed up on varsity as a freshman, I am happy to see him gaining some notariaty. If you need additional resources, please check out the Jake Nelson profile we\’ve put together (which includes up to date stats, video and profile info)

    Also, just wanted to let you know that the figures quoted in the lede are accurate through week 11…but here are Nelson\’s official 12-week stats:

    Career Stats* (through 11/21/11)
    Pass: 375 for 593 passing, 4,961 yards, 63%, 48 TD 18 INT
    Rush: 219 rush 1279*, 5.9 avg, 22 TD (*net, including yardage lost on sacks)
    Total: 5,915 yards, 65 TD. 20-4 record as starter

    2011 stats (12 Games)
    Pass: 207 for 289 passing, 2,763 yards, 72% completion, 29 TD 8 Int
    Rush: 120 rush 861* yards 7.5 average 16 TD (Long: 72TD) *does not include sacks (-163 yards officially)
    Total: 3,461 total yards, 45 TDs* (net rushing yards, with sacks included)

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