Skyline High School quarterback Max Browne’s pregame warm-up is an exercise in dissecting the small details of his position.
The 6-foot-5, five-star recruit who’s headed to USC next fall constantly retraces his steps and checks his footwork after each throw in an effort to fine-tune his mechanics.
“He’s got a drive like none other,” Skyline coach Mat Taylor said.
Combined with his obvious physical gifts, Browne’s attention to detail has helped him develop into one of the premiere high school quarterbacks in the nation. He’s also The News Tribune’s All-Area football player of the year.
“He is every bit as hard of a worker off the field as he is on it,” Taylor said.
Browne, who has completed 73 percent of his passes and has thrown for 45 touchdowns this season, also was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year on Thursday.
His 12,567 career passing yards are just 8 yards behind the state record set by DeSales’ Brian Lindgren from 1996-98.
Even after leading the Spartans to a Class 4A state title last year, Browne didn’t quit working to get better. He focused on improving his pocket presence and his ability to avoid pressure.
“His feet are constantly moving,” Taylor said. “He doesn’t sit still in the pocket. (Defenses) can’t get to him.”
Even when they do, Browne still finds a way to make them pay. The senior was sacked three times in last week’s semifinal win over Camas, but he completed 39 of 42 passed for 387 yards and four TDs, hitting receivers on deep routes and short check-down plays in the flat.
“He throws a very catchable ball,” Taylor said. “He knows how to put just the right touch on it for each of his receivers according to each situation.”
Browne also doesn’t get rattled.
“If we stick to our (schemes) and I stay composed, we should be fine in the end,” Browne said after the semifinal win over Camas. “Our motto, and I have it on my shirt under (the pads) is ‘One way, all day, every day.’ That’s the mindset we take.”
first team OFFENSE
PositionPlayeRSchoolHt. Wt. Yr.
QuarterbackSefo LiufauBellarmine Prep 6-4225sr.
All this dual-threat Colorado commit and TNT All-Area MVP does is win (44-4 mark).
Running backAustin JoynerMarysville-Pilchuck 5-10180so.
No longer an unknown, he exploded for 2,036 yards and now has a UW offer.
Running backRalph KinneShelton5-11205sr.
State’s regular-season rushing champion (2,224 yards, 28 TDs) never came off field.
Running backKai Van Sickle Capital6-0190sr.
Wild postseason run (916 yards) made him state’s single-season rushing record-holder (2,761).
Wide receiverZach Eagle Camas5-8160jr.
Wes Welker in high school? This 4A GSHL co-MVP (77 catches, 1,074 yards) is.
Wide receiverTrent Riley Mount Si 6-2195sr.
All this big target did was score (22 receiving TDs) and lead Wildcats to 3A semis.
Tight end John Norcross Camas 6-1200sr.
Scored 17 TDs on offense, and also was 4A GSHL defensive MVP at linebacker.
Offensive linemanMason FriedlineKing’s 6-5275sr.
Heady tackle prospect spurned Pac-12 Conference offers (UW, ASU, WSU) to go to Yale.
Offensive linemanAlbert HaviliFederal Way6-2235sr.
Two-way SPSL 4A MVP at lineman and linebacker, he paved way for big runs at guard.
Offensive linemanMacartney McQueryBellarmine Prep 6-3305sr.
Tempo-setter at left guard is best of Lions’ sturdy line; two-time all-Narrows 4A selection.
Offensive linemanCody O’ConnellWenatchee 6-8345sr.
WSU-bound tackle played just four games (knee); still, he was Big Nine lineman of year.
All-purposeAndrew Brown Tumwater 5-11175sr.
The 2A EvCo MVP did it all (1,234 rushing yards, 25 TDs; six special teams TDs).
Placekicker Cam Van WinkleMount Si 5-10160sr.
State’s career leader in field goals (39, 10 this season) takes strong leg to UW.
first team DEFENSE
PositionPlayeRSchoolHt. Wt. Yr.
Defensive lineman Darien FreemanBellevue5-11290sr.
First guy any tailback sees is this relentless three-year starter filling running lanes.
Defensive lineman Myles Jack Bellevue6-3225sr.
Gentle guy off the field, the UCLA commit is a quarterback-hunter on it (21 sacks).
Defensive lineman Matt MeyerLynden6-6285sr.
So athletic for his size, can move back and play outside linebacker; headed to WSU.
Linebacker Sean ConstantineBellevue6-2225sr.
Program “rocks” come in all sizes, and this stabilizing force has been big as boulder.
Linebacker Jake Gall Cle Elum/Roslyn6-0205sr.
1A SCAC West MVP on both sides scored 75 career TDs; a Portland State commit.
Linebacker Danny MattinglyMead 6-4235sr.
This nephew of “Donnie Baseball” is leaving for Notre Dame as one of Spokane’s best.
Linebacker Peyton Pelluer Skyline6-1225sr.
WSU commit is a stone-cold stopper of ballcarriers – 377 tackles as three-year starter.
Defensive back Budda BakerBellevue5-10175jr.
Most exciting player in state impacts all three phases; likely No. 1 recruit for 2014.
Defensive back Peter KimbleEastside Catholic6-2200sr.
After Markell Sanders went down, Metro co-defensive MVP kept secondary steady.
Defensive back Josh KraghtLynden5-11180sr.
Plays cornerback for defending 2A champs; bigger impact at QB (3,215 yards passing, 42 TDs)
Defensive back Harold Lee Auburn5-9160sr.
Known for his lime-green shoes and making big plays (16 TDs, seven interceptions).
Kick/punt returner Chico McClatcher Federal Way5-8155so.
Twelve of 16 TDs were on plays of 30-plus yards. Four came on punts (64, 73, 40, 80).
Punter Austin Rehkow Central Valley 6-3195sr.
Instant YouTube hit with 67-yard FG, but also led GSL with 48-yard punt average.
Player of the year: Max Browne, Skyline
Coach of the year: Matt Nelsen, Roosevelt
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
QB: Billy Green, King’s, 6-2, 200, sr. RB: Jake Gellatly, Issaquah, 6-0, 215 sr.; Mario Gobbato, Blaine, 5-9, 165, sr.; Griffin Hare, Gonzaga Prep, 6-0, 180, sr. WR: Trent Cowan, 6-4, 205, sr.; Nic Sblendorio, Skyline, 6-0, 190, sr.; OL: Clayton Ayres, Kennewick, 6-2, 230, sr.; David Buchanan, O’Dea, 6-1, 250, sr.; Marquel Stoudamire, Roosevelt, 6-2, 260, sr.; Desmoun Thompson, Kennedy Catholic, 6-7, 315, sr. AP: Isaiah Brandt-Sims, Wenatchee, 6-0, 175, jr. PK: Mitchell Cox, Kentwood, 6-0, 200, jr.
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL: Deion Fetui, Eastside Catholic, 6-0, 305, so.; Benning Potoa’e, Lakes, 6-4, 245, so.; Kevin Shelton, Auburn, 6-3, 245, sr. LB: Ronnie Espedal, Hoquiam, 6-0, 195, sr.; Nathan Hundeby, University, 6-1, 215, sr.; Austin Striplin, Sumner, 6-3, 245, jr.; Brandon Wetzel, Timberline, 6-1, 210, sr. DB: Isaac Dotson, Newport of Bellevue, 6-3, 210, sr.; Alex Myrick, Royal, 5-8, 150, sr.; Trenton Osborn, Eastmont, 5-10, 160, sr.; Danny Wilson, Bothell, 5-11, 185, sr. P: Sam Shea, Peninsula, 6-3, 180, email@example.com