Cody Kanouse has been called the biggest recruit in the Gig Harbor area since Austin Seferian-Jenkins, by former Peninsula quarterback Robert Kvinsland.
Literally, he’s even bigger.
The 6-foot-7, 290-pound junior left tackle is Peninsula’s most-prized recruit, drawing interest from a variety of Pac-12 schools such as Washington, WSU, Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona.
“Every place has just been treating me like family,” Kanouse said. “It’s great. I’m very blessed to have that.”
Kanouse has been big for quite some time. He shot up to 6-foot-2 in sixth grade.
“That’s when it really started going up from there,” he said. “Just developing myself, that just comes with time. I definitely have to re-evaluate my play with getting taller, getting wider. I’m a pretty broad guy.”
Kanouse slimmed down from 300 pounds in the offseason. Peninsula coach Ross Filkins has been pleased with his development.
“He’s doing a good job,” Filkins said. “He’s working hard and leaning up. The thing about him last year, a lot of people don’t remember, he started every game for us at 15 years old. He’s the second youngest kid in his class. He’s still just a young guy and working and developing every day.”
Kanouse is a matchup challenge for most defensive linemen, Filkins said.
“He’s become a much better run blocker,” the coach said. “He has such a big frame, he takes up a lot of space. His footwork has really improved tremendously. I think probably his strength right now is with his run blocking. As his feet are getting better; he’s getting better every day.”
Kanouse hasn’t officially received any offers, but Filkins expects him to end up with multiple Pac-12 offers within the next couple years.
“The Pac-12 would be magnificent,” Kanouse said. “That would be absolutely awesome. I’m just taking it one wrung at a time. I’d just be lucky to go play ball somewhere.”
Ideally, Kanouse will look for an academically strong school that will set him up well for the future.
“The NFL, that would be absolutely magnificent, but I also have to have a steady base — that’s education,” Kanouse said. “Secondly, I’d love that family base. When I go to a place, not only is everyone super polite, but do I feel comfortable? Do I feel like family? My dad and I have that thing: Heaven forbid, if I got injured, could I see myself going to school in that place? There’s definitely a lot of things that come into play when it comes to trying to narrow it down.”
Peninsula returns just two starters on offense. Among the positions the Seahawks will replace is the quarterback spot. Junior Ryder Johnson is currently atop the depth chart and figures to be the starter at the season-opening Sept. 4 Fish Bowl game against Gig Harbor. Johnson will replace Robert Kvinsland, who earned a scholarship to play football at Idaho State University.
“Ryder is one of my best buddies ... I have no problem blocking for him whatsoever,” Kanouse said. “He’s smart, he’s got a cannon. Rob was obviously that freak of an athlete and so intelligent, for him to be able to go and play at a high-division school. That’s awesome, I was super proud of him. Ryder, he got some time last year. He’s working really hard, his head is always in the game.”
While the Fish Bowl is right around the corner, Filkins said the team’s primary focus right now is simply continuing to get better every day at practice.
“Our focus right now is just improving on every rep in practice, which is something that we’re doing,” Filkins said. “We take a lot of pride in that. We love practice and we’re really embracing that. We’ll start focusing on the week one game when we get to week one.”
Peninsula is riding a streak of three straight undefeated seasons in the Class 3A South Puget Sound League. The Seahawks will have an uphill battle to win a fourth straight league title, with many around the league considering Auburn Mountainview to be the favorite.
“Our ultimate goal is to win one game a week,” Filkins said. “I really believe the SPSL 3A is the most competitive league at any classification, in the state. I think week in and week out, you’ve got a whole new challenge. It’s a very well coached league, it’s a talented league. For us, every week is a significant challenge. The nice thing is that by the time you get to the playoffs, you’re pretty well prepared.”
While the Seahawks said goodbye to a substantial chunk of seniors in the offseason, Kanouse doesn’t expect any drop-off.
“We’ll be fast,” Kanouse said. “We have a lot of talent on the front lines. Our QB is very talented, he’s a natural athlete. Our skill guys are very fast. We need to make sure the team that makes the least mistakes will win. We’re all about that zero penalties during the game. We really focus on that. As long as we play 11 as 1, we’ll be good.”
PENINSULA 2015 SCHEDULE
Friday, Sept. 4
at Gig Harbor (Roy Anderson)
Friday, Sept. 11
Friday, Sept. 18
Friday, Sept. 25
Thursday, Oct. 1
Friday, Oct. 9
Friday, Oct. 16
Thursday, Oct. 22
Friday, Oct. 30
at Bonney Lake