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2016 Prospects

Harley Kirsch Looks To Press The Flesh And End The Circus

Harley Kirsch is one of best QB Prospects in the Nation for 2016 and soon he is going to play the role of the big top Magician and disappear.

Harley Kirsch Looks To Press The Flesh And End The Circus

As an analyst of 12 years now I can tell you more than almost anyone that the recruiting game has changed every year since I got into it.  From the moment I took my first interview to the drop of the pen on story number 5,000 I have seen massive change.  Like a small circus that had just one tent and some small acts to the Big Top and sideshow that it has now become, very few things have remained the same in this game of games.

Eastside Catholic Football Championship QB Harley Kirsch

Harley Kirsch of Eastside Catholic is One of the Premier QB’s in the Nation and he is about to pull a disappearing act!

Top recruits and even low level under the radar kids get solicited by dozens of businesses to come to events, hire services, and go on tour to better the odds.  Most people fall for it because “little Johnny” is not going to miss out on any chance to shine.  For the top tier athletes they can go non-stop week after week to National camps and combines and showcases and specialty training and all of that and at some point for most, if not all, it becomes all too much.  Most of them eventually realize that this Circus is really no different then the one that only had one tent; it just has more flashing lights and pretty stuff to look at.

Playing the role of the old school ringmaster who always knew the little Circus was just as good I have preached that less is more. The Big Circus will be fun and make you feel wonderful but it will likely not bring you what you want; an offer to play college football.

No sir that is reserved for only the one few people you really need to get to know.  That’s right guys and gals; the College Coaches.

Many athletes and parents that read my blog and nationally covered stories eventually listen and spend more time doing College visits and camps and 1 on 1 time with Coaches.  All of them have reported to me this is the best thing they ever did and the best advice they ever had recruiting wise.  Changing their focus from 80% recruiting events and 20% on colleges to the reverse has been the biggest difference maker.

Many recruits are following this path and having success.  Please do not mistake my points here to mean you should not attend a top reputable combine or showcase nor to mean that you should not train for your position in the off season.

There is no doubt in my mind that guys like John Charles, Taylor Barton, Lavelle Durant, Stan Brock, Tracy Ford, and Cole Morgan and Eddie Behringer and many others have helped a ton of kids in the NW get better and be more valuable high school players and college recruits.

The point is – my very point is – those things need to be a smaller part of what kids do in most cases and that 1-1 College interaction needs to be increased.

Now that I made that clear let’s talk about Eastside Catholic star QB Harley Kirsch.  The young phenom has started at QB now for 3 years for the Washington 3A Champs.  He is 6’3.5″ and 220 lbs.  By the time he graduates next season his legend will be something for the ages.  Harley orchestrated some big wins the past 3 season but none were bigger than the Title Game this past  season in which he led the Crusaders to a 35-13 win over Bellevue.  A game in which he faced off against a defense that no QB had beaten since 2007.

Before I mention what he is about to do with his recruiting I want you all to see these figures-  read them over.


Freshmen to Junior Year

Total Passing Yards: 6,995

Passing TDs: 77

Pass Completions: 492

Pass Attempts: 702

Pass Completion: 70.1%

Interceptions: 15


Year       Grade    GP          C             Att          Yds         C%         Avg         Y/G         TD          Int          Lng               QB Rate

14-15     Junior    14           218        307        3100      .710       14.2       221.4     38           10           73               129.3

13-14     Soph      14           244        348        3535      .701       14.5       252.5     35           3             75               132.8

12-13     Frosh     9             30           47           360        .638       12.0       40.0       4             2             39               97.8

Career Totals      37           492        702        6995      .701       14.2       189.1     77           15           75               129.7

He is 26-4 as a starter and is likely going to go over the 10,000 yard mark for his Career.

In the Two Biggest Games of his life (both to end the season) he faced off against nationally rated Bellevue and Top 20 Trinity of Florida he did this-

Bellevue Championship Game

12/05    W 35-13 vs Bellevue

20 for 22 / 188 Passing Yards / 91% Completion Rate / 2 TD Passes / 143.8 QB Rating / 20 Carries / 94 Yards Rushing

Trinity Christian Burger King Bowl Game

21 for 40 / 299 Yards / 2 TD Passes / 1 Rushing TD / Trinity had 6 Senior Defensive Players in ESPN Top 300


Harley Kirsch is for all practical purposes in rare air for any QB in the Nation.  He has offers and interests but he and his family have grown tired of the recruiting Circus and the reason we are writing about this is because he is going to play the role of the big top Magician and disappear.  He is not going to literally disappear but if you ping a radar that tracks recruits like we do you will not get a hit on him this year.  He has made a very interesting decision and it intrigues us and we think he might be on to something.

Harley is saying that this year he will not talk about recruiting, he will not attend any camps or clinics or combines.  He is not going to worry about star ratings or who is doing what as a recruit at all.  He is very quietly going to unplug and leave the Circus- no more shows.  It is as they say “Lights Out”. Other then training with his QB Coach John Charles he is not going to be doing anything in the recruiting game.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Harley Kirtsch Eastside Catholic

Only a Sophomoe here Harley had already landed a D1 offer when this picture was shot.

He is going to take a 180 degree turn off of what every recruit is expected to do and focus totally on finding the right college for him.  Here is what Harley had to say to us about this plan and why he is doing it.

First off Dirk let me say this.  I am interested  in any level of school and am talking to and visiting BCS, FBS, and FCS schools.  Most Ivy schools are talking to me heavily now and I am interested in the academic side (business finance) as much or more so than football,” said Kirsch.

The plan he says is this.

“Over the years I have seen my stock rise and fall on the recruiting websites (with no rhyme or reason).  I have not traveled the camp circuit as much as other top rated quarterbacks (only 1 Nike and 1 Rivals appearance) and I do not plan on running across the country this Summer.  My belief has always been that game film is a better indicator of performance than summer 7 on 7 camps.  I would rather directly visit the schools that are interested in me.  I don’t focus on ratings and rankings so I have decided to go old school and keep my offers to myself and not publish them.  I understands that it may hurt me with website rankings and fan interest, but it does not seem to hurt me with colleges as dozens of schools are recruiting me.  I will directly verbal to the school that I want to be at when the time is right.  My perfect school is a school that really wants me to be a part of their program and that offers a business degree that will open doors in the future.”

It is simple and yet brilliant at the same time.  He is willing to put his body of work and his 3.90 plus GPA on the line and go it on his own.  This will be very interesting to watch with the obvious downside being that his name will not be out there much and that anyone looking at rankings may see him drop.  That whole plan is going to test conventional wisdom that you have to be “out there” or you will not be recruited.

Harley Kirsch is a top recruit and we may cover him this season and we may not.  If we do it will have to be from a far.  He will take interviews about his team and his opponents and do post game interviews but he will not discuss which offers or how many he has; even the schools recruiting him will not know.  Maybe in the end this is the way recruiting is meant to be and should be.  It goes without saying that he can do things most kids can’t and will, as a result, receive more interest.

Smart kids we love.  Smart kids with stones like this guy we admire too!

The Circus will be running full tilt this season.  All the acts will be there battling it out for a mention, a look, and a shot at some recognition.

All except for Harley Kirsch of Eastside Catholic High School in Washington.

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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