Kyle Self isn’t an NFL star like New England’s Rob Gronkowski, Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez or San Francisco’s Vernon Davis, but the skills he exhibits on the football field are reminiscent of those players.
The Peninsula High School senior was a two-way threat for last season’s Seahawks team that won the Class 3A South Puget Sound League title and advanced to the state quarterfinals. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder was versatile enough to play linebacker or defensive end, and, offensively, he provided a big target for quarterback Austin Filkins. He earned all-league honors on both sides of the ball.
Self will keep playing the tight end position for four more seasons after he signed last week with Central Washington and coach Blaine Bennett.
Self didn’t visit Ellensburg until a few weeks ago, but after he saw the campus, attended a basketball game and got “a feel for the whole atmosphere,” he made his decision.
Self could’ve gone to a bigger school – he said he had preferred walk-on spots at Washington and Montana – but there was no guarantee of a scholarship or playing time in those cases.
“The official visits came, and Central just blew me away,” he said. “The rest were just mediocre.”
Self may study engineering, or he may enter Central’s paramedic/EMT program and follow in the footsteps of his dad, a firefighter.
With Bennett also serving as the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, Self may get the benefit of extra instruction. He didn’t play a traditional tight-end role during his final year at Peninsula, and he might not at Central.
“It depends on how many tight ends we have,” Self said. “(Bennett) really likes two tight-end sets, if he has two tight ends that he can use. And there’s definitely a lot of passing, but I’m a tight end, so I still have to block.”
He’s thankful for a solid career at Peninsula under coach Ross Filkins and his staff.
“They put me in the right spot and definitely helped me out there,” Self said.Sports Editor Neil Pierson can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_neil.