The News Tribune's 2014 Class of Northwest Nuggets

Staff writersJanuary 25, 2014 

The top high school football recruits from Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho.

JOEY ALFIERI

Portland, Ore. (Jesuit)

Athlete, 6-4, 225

Committed to Stanford

Longtime Jesuit coach Ken Potter has been around a lot of big athletes and seen many fast ones. But big, fast and smart all in one package? “(Alfieri) is probably one of the top two or three athletes I have ever coached,” Potter said. After narrowing his finalists to Washington, Stanford and Oregon State — the college where his father, Phil, starred in the 1980s — he chose the Cardinal in August. Predominantly a linebacker recruit, he did open eyes by rushing for 1,600 yards and 20 touchdowns in eight games before suffering a season-ending leg injury.

What an FBS recruiter says: “Based on what I saw, I think he’s a linebacker, and probably more of an inside guy. Stanford likes those bigger guys.”

BUDDA BAKER

Bellevue

Athlete, 5-10, 180

Considering: UCLA, USC, Washington

Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff says he has never seen Baker have a bad practice in three years. And folks who have watched the region’s No. 1 recruit would say he has never played a bad game, either. “I’m always going 100 percent,” Baker said. “Never anything less than that.” With speed to burn and strength to showcase, he could play tailback, receiver, special-teams returner or defensive back. Baker originally gave an oral commitment to Oregon in December but has since rescinded that decision and announced he will choose a school on signing day.

What an FBS recruiter says: “He’ll be playing defensive back — cornerback or safety. He has the ability to defend an inside receiver, but I like him at safety, where he has more space to run.”

CONNOR HUMPHREYS

Portland, Ore. (Central Catholic)

Defensive lineman, 6-3, 270

Committed to Arizona State

Say this about Oregon’s top recruit, very few researched the 15 FBS schools who offered scholarships better than Humphreys did. He visited 10 of those campuses before choosing the Sun Devils over Oregon State and Nebraska in August. It all fits his personality. “He maximizes his potential,” Central Catholic coach Steve Pyne said. “He’s the hardest-working kid I’ve been around. He grinds and works his tail off.” The Class 6A state defensive player of the year will go to ASU as a strong-side pass-rusher — the position he played in the U.S. Army All-America game.

What an FBS recruiter says: “A very physical football player, he will be very steady for (ASU). I think he will be a solid offensive lineman, which is where he’ll get moved to.”

KALEB McGARY

Fife

Offensive lineman, 6-8, 275

Considering: Arizona State, Oregon State, Washington, Wisconsin

A big man with huge upside, McGary is one of the premier offensive tackle prospects on the West Coast. Yet in high school, the only position he played on offense was tight end. “To be honest, we would have had him at offensive tackle, but he had hands — and the tight end gets in a lot of blocking anyway,” Fife coach Kent Nevin said. “What will distinguish him is his foot speed and arm span. He can get people off of him.” The Huskies are recruiting him as a defensive tackle. Regardless of where he plays, he can add 30 pounds, and still be the same dominating “Big Country.”

What an FBS recruiter says: “He can bend his knees, he can change direction, has good hip flexibility and runs well for a guy that large.”

DEION SINGLETON

Pasco (Chiawana)

Defensive back, 6-2, 170

Considering: Boise State, Kentucky, LSU, Tennessee, Washington, Washington State

It has been a while since a prospect has created this sort of recruiting buzz nationwide. But Singleton is a special talent. A transfer from Florida, the teenager moved to Pasco to live with his older brother, Lionell, who plays semi-professional football in the area. And when Singleton enrolled at Chiawana, he started at a new position — wide receiver. Not only was he the Mid-Columbia Conference player of the year, but he was also a consensus all-state selection and led the Riverhawks to the Class 4A state title. Has 16 FBS scholarship offers; most schools view him at safety.

What an FBS recruiter says: “Very athletic, and I love his ball skills at safety. If he gets his grades in order, he would be near the top of the (Northwest class), no question.”

The Best of the Rest

ISAIAH BRANDT-SIMS

  • Wenatchee
  • Running back, 6-0, 180
  • Committed to Stanford

CHASE BLAKLEY

  • Coeur D’Alene, Idaho
  • Tight end, 6-5, 240
  • Committed to Washington

SHANE BOWMAN

  • Bellevue
  • Defensive lineman, 6-4, 240
  • Committed to Washington

DREW CLARKSON

  • Camas
  • Offensive lineman, 6-3, 275
  • Committed to Oregon State

DEVANTE DOWNS

  • Lynnwood (Mountlake Terrace)
  • Athlete, 6-3, 230
  • Committed to California

MARCUS GRIFFIN

  • Bellevue
  • Lineman, 6-3, 290
  • Considering Washington State, California, Arizona and Mississippi State

DON HILL

  • Boise, Idaho (Timberline)
  • Defensive line, 6-3, 235
  • Committed to USC

MATT JAMES

  • Coeur D’Alene, Idaho
  • Offensive lineman, 6-5, 270
  • Committed to Washington

DREW LEWIS

  • Sammamish (Eastlake)
  • Athlete, 6-2, 190
  • Committed to Washington

NICK MITCHELL

  • Snoqualmie (Mount Si)
  • Quarterback, 6-3, 185
  • Committed to Oregon State

HENRY MONDEAUX

  • Lake Oswego, Ore. (Jesuit)
  • Tight end, 6-4, 230
  • Committed to Oregon

KHALIL OLIVER

  • Meridian, Idaho (Rocky Mountain)
  • Safety, 6-1, 180
  • Considering Boise State, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State

TANNER SANDERS

  • Corvallis, Ore. (Crescent Valley)
  • Athlete, 6-5, 195
  • Committed to Oregon State

Drew Sample

  • Bellevue (Newport)
  • Tight end, 6-5, 235
  • Committed to Washington

LANCE WRIGHT

  • North Pole, Alaska (North Pole)
  • Wide receiver, 6-3, 190
  • Committed to Rice

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