High School Sports

Who are the best HS football players in the state?

Lineman MJ Ale was an all-league selection on both the offensive and defensive lines in 2016. The Fife senior has committed to UW despite having only played football for two years.
Lineman MJ Ale was an all-league selection on both the offensive and defensive lines in 2016. The Fife senior has committed to UW despite having only played football for two years. Staff file, 2016



Quarterback – Jacob Sirmon, Bothell, 6-5, 225, sr.: Prototypical size and arm for a Pac-12 quarterback. UW commit hoping to make his final season a big one. Second-team 4A KingCo selection last year after completing 167 of 290 passes (57.6 percent) for 2,498 yards, 18 TDs and 2 INTs.

Running back – Jamyn Patu, O’Dea, sr.: He’s still haunting Lincoln’s dreams. Ran for 1,596 yards (8.6 per carry) with 14 TDs for the season, but in two games against the Abes, including the 3A state quarterfinals, he ran for 403 yards.

Running back – Keegan Stich, Snohomish, sr.: Not just a power back anymore. The four-year varsity starter ran for 2,095 yards (9.3 per carry) and 29 touchdowns last season. Also had 301 receiving yards.

Wide receiver – Daniel Arias, Jackson, 6-4, 205, sr.: His junior season was so productive (49 catches, 1,030 yards, 12 TDs), and his vertical leap and size are so impressive that it led to his commitment to Colorado.

Wide receiver – Rodrick Fisher, East Valley of Spokane, sr.: WSU commit was once Rodrick Jackson. He changed name to the family that took him in – coach Adam Fisher (son of South Kitsap coaching legend Ed Fisher). No one in the state was faster than the 100- and 200-meter track champion.

Tight end – Devin Culp, Gonzaga Prep, 6-5, 250, sr.: Big on the basketball court and football field for the Bullpups, and he can do it all, including maybe get G-Prep back to the 4A state title game. Was once committed to Oregon but now to UW.

Offensive line – MJ Ale, Fife, 6-7, 330, sr. – TNT All-Area selection last year was also a first-team 2A SPSL Mountain offensive lineman and the division’s defensive lineman of the year. Committed to UW despite having only played football for two years.

Offensive line – Matthew Cindric, Skyline, 6-4, 265, sr. – Thought Skyline’s offensive line wouldn’t be as tough without Henry Bainivalu (now at UW)? Think again. Cindric, a Cal commit, returns and he was a 4A KingCo first-team all-league guard last year.

Offensive line – Josh Jerome, Monroe, -2, 275, sr.: Eastern Washington commit paved the way for older brother J.J. Jerome’s 2,050 rushing yards last year. J.J. has since graduated, but Josh is a returning first-team 4A Wesco pick on both the O- and D-line.

Offensive line – Nathaniel Kalepo, Rainier Beach, 6-6, 315, jr.: By his own accounts he wasn’t one of the best linemen in the state the past two years. But with his big size and a big offseason, the UW commit is primed for a breakout junior year.

Offensive line – Will Pliska, Lake Washington, 6-5, 285, sr.: A force at left tackle for the Kangaroos last year. Pliska earned first-team all-3A/2A Kingco honors for his heat-seeking mentality. He’s not done blocking until the defender is on the ground.

All-purpose -- Tre’Shaun Harrison, Garfield, 6-2, 190, sr.: Big-play threat every time he touches the ball. Oregon commit is a returning TNT all-state selection as the 3A Metro Valley’s offensive player of the year. He was also a first-team all-league safety.

Sumner features one of the best defenses in the state, including all-state picks Ben Wilson (left) and Tre Weed (right). Joshua Bessex jbessex@gateline.com


Defensive line – Campbell Barrington, University, 6-6, 285, sr.: Massive senior is a two-way player in Spokane and is committed to BYU, where his brother, Clark, plays. But Campbell missed all of last year with a broken femur.

Defensive line – Julian Bruce, Liberty of Issaquah, 6-5, 280, sr.: Two-way standout for the Patriots last year on their way to the 2A state title game. Averaged almost nine tackles per game along the line and had team-best four sacks.

Defensive line – Justus Legg, Auburn Riverside, 6-4, 220, jr.: Expect a big junior year. He played three games before breaking his ankle. But Legg had almost 30 tackles in those three games. Now he’s got multiple Pac-12 offers and one from Michigan.

Defensive line – Mosiah Nasili-Liu, Emerald Ridge, 6-3, 260, sr.: Played the final two games of the season last year for the Jags after moving from near the Bay Area. Utah commit had 12 tackles in those two games and will be a load on both sides of the ball this year.

Linebacker – Ben Hines, Archbishop Murphy, 6-0, 220, sr.: Helped Wildcats roll to the 2A state title last year and was selected as the Everett Herald’s All-Area defensive player of the year. Hines had 100 tackles, including 11 for loss.

Linebacker; Victor Strasser, Richland, 5-11, 190, sr.: Big piece of Bombers defense that allowed less than 12 points per game on its way to the 4A state title game. Was a first-team Mid-Columbia Conference linebacker and first-team All-Area pick by the Tri-City Herald.

Linebacker – Ben Wilson, Sumner, 6-2, 220, sr.: No clear lane to the quarterback? No problem. Wilson will make one, even by jumping over linemen if he must. TCU commit was the 4A SPSL defensive player of the year last season, even picking off last year’s state player of the year, Jack Colletto of Camas, and returning it for a TD.

Defensive back – Talan Alfrey, Auburn Mountainview, 6-3, 185, sr.: Quarterback, wide receiver, safety, punter, basketball, track and field – anywhere, anytime, Alfrey is a difference maker. He was the 4A NPSL Olympic’s all-purpose player of the year last season and committed to BYU as a safety.

Defensive back – Kyler Gordon, Archbishop Murphy, 5-11, 190, sr.: Some of the scholarship offers for the hard-hitting four-star DB on defense and explosive home-run threat at receiver and running back on offense include Notre Dame, Stanford, UW, Cal, Nebraska, Oregon, TCU, UCLA and Utah.

Defensive back – Malik Putney, Eastside Catholic, 6-0, 195, sr.: The Crusaders should, again, be hunting for a 3A state title, and that will be much to do with what Putney does at safety. Had 53 tackles, three tackles for loss and two interceptions in EC’s semifinal run a year ago.

Defensive back– Tre Weed, Sumner, 5-11, 185, sr.: In a stacked 4A SPSL last year, there was only one player who was a first-team all-league selection on both offense and defense: Tre Weed. With Connor Wedington now at Stanford, expect Weed to have even more of an all-around impact. Had more than 1,000 rushing yards and led the 4A SPSL in interceptions.

TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677