By Coach Demian Walter; Eastern Washington Football Analyst for NWPR
This is the 1st annual NWPR 2017 Preseason TOP 5 List of Eastern Washington Defensive Position Units! I did the best I could with this list. I found some real studs out here east of the Cascade Mountains. I would love to get to know some of these players better and possibly do interviews with some of you so feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information and 2017 game schedule if you’re interested. Congratulations to these players.
(In alphabetical order of first name)
Top 5 Defensive Backs in Eastern Washington:
Adam Weissenfels – Richland HS 5’9” 160lbs. Class of 2018. Appears he is well prepared from film study of his opponents passing game. Great tackler. Breaks on the ball well. Check out a HUGE hit at play 1:53 of attached film. Very dangerous when the ball gets into his hands. Here is the link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24gMU9
Benson Smith – Kamiakin HS 5’11” 155lbs. Class of 2018. Also, was named to the Top 5 List of Wide Receivers in Eastern Washington. Good in man coverage. A “pick 6 threat” any time he picks off a pass. One of my favorite films of all that I reviewed for the Top 5 lists. Here is the link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24gQuv
Connor Whitney – West Valley HS (Spokane) 6’2” 190lbs. Class of 2018 (University of Idaho offer). Also, was named to the Top 5 List of Tight Ends in Eastern Washington. Big hitter!! Check out play #1 on his film to see what I mean. Good in run support as well. Impacts a game in MANY ways. Here is the link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24gT50
Josh Mendoza– Richland HS 5’10” 160lbs. Class of 2018. Comes down hill like a good safety is supposed to do in run support. Great tackler. Explosive player. Here is the link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24gWGE
Sam Lockett III – Gonzaga Prep HS 6’2” 195lbs. Class of 2018. (3 Star on Scout.com, offers from Idaho State, Portland State, Montana State). Also, was named to the Top 5 List of Return Specialists in Eastern Washington. When I think of a Division 1 recruit I automatically think that player should impact the high school game in many facets. Well this kid does just that. He is a dynamic player. Great size. Incredibly physical DB. Great coverage skills, plays the ball great. Could be a great Free Safety as well as a Cornerback. Here is the link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24gWKe
Top 5 Defensive Lineman in Eastern Washington:
Caden Townsend – Gonzaga Prep HS 6’3” 245lbs. Class of 2018. My favorite players are guys who play with a HIGH MOTOR. This guy plays exactly as such and is a great athlete, watch plays #4 & #5 to see what I mean. His film is just the nonstop action of hustle and big plays and big hits. Here is the link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24gckz
Caleb Johnson – Shadle Park HS 6’2” 210lbs. Class of 2018. Plays with a HIGH MOTOR. Really good speed off the edge. Relentless. Here is the link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24gffW
Elijah Harris – Lake Roosevelt HS 6’5” 230lbs. Class of 2018. (Eastern Oregon University has offered). Great size and frame to play at the next level. Good athlete. Runs well. I am very intrigued to follow this kid this season. Here is the link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24gf1H
Jacobe Lee – Richland HS 6’3” 260lbs Class of 2018. Has great speed. One of the most explosive guys off line scrimmage I’ve seen during review. Incredible at his escape moves with his hands to defeat blocks. Here is the link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24gipy
Logan Kendall – Cheney HS 6’3” 245lbs Class of 2018. (2 stars on Scout.com and an offer from University of Idaho). Also, was named to the Top 5 List of Tight Ends in Eastern Washington. Great speed and great size. Look at the play at 1:27 mark of film link to see what I mean. Has a max lift on his Clean of 300lbs, which is unreal and shows the type explosion this kid has. This guy is a Brutalizer. Here is link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24gn4k
Top 5 Linebackers in Eastern Washington:
Dane Rypien – Shadle Park HS 6’3” 210lbs. Class of 2018. Great size. Does a great job of getting downhill and blowing up the lead block to deliver a heavy blow to the ball carrier. I am guessing that last name sounds familiar to most folks, of former Shadle Park HS player with the last name of Rypien who was the Super Bowl MVP for the Redskins in 1991. Here is a link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24bpuw
Dillon Crawford – Kamiakin HS 6’2” 223 Class of 2018. Great size. Plays downhill. Very fast. Covers sideline to sideline. Explosive player. GREAT film. Was a starter on a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP team as a junior. Here is the link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24bpA1
Moses McAninch – Kennewick HS 5’11” 198lbs. Class of 2018. I played in the old Big 9 Conference in the early 1990’s and there were studs GALORE in that old conference. It has been years since I have seen a Kennewick HS stud! This guy looks the part of an early 1990’s Kennewick HS terrorizer. I know on film he is a DE, but he lists himself as an OLB on hudl and at his size I am going to project him as a linebacker, where I think he will be great at that position. I loved his film. Plays fast and with ferocity. Here is the link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24bknH
Payton Castro – Moses Lake HS 6’2” 219lbs. Class of 2018. Good size. Runs well. Covers a lot of ground. Delivers a good pop with his shoulder pads. Solid in his pass coverage drops. No highlight film available.
Victor Strasser – Richland HS 5’11” 188lbs. Class of 2018. Runs very well. Very explosive LB. Big hitter. Great in pass coverage. Comes screaming downhill. Love his game. Here is the link to his hudl film: http://www.hudl.com/v/24bsXY
I know I may have missed out on some players for this list because I am just getting started at this and I don’t know who all of you are YET!!! I hope to do a Postseason Top 5 Position List as well. So please feel free to email suggestions of players with links to hudl film to email@example.com . I would love to get to know some of these players on this list better and possibly do interviews with some of you that are listed so feel free to email me with your contact information and 2017 game schedule if you’re interested. Have a great 2017 football season.