Since when does a high school football team lose a Pac-12 quarterback and not miss a step?
For Bothell, it hopes it’s when you have Jacob Sirmon waiting in the wings.
The incoming sophomore quarterback spent last season behind Ross Bowers, who led the Cougars to their first 4A state title and is now at the University of California, Berkeley. Sirmon impressed observers throughout the four-day, invite-only Northwest 9 football camp at Northwest University in Kirkland last week and found himself atop the inaugural list as the camp’s top quarterback.
The Northwest 9 was made up of returning prep quarterbacks from around the Pacific Northwest, and was run by former University of Washington quarterback Taylor Barton and former Washington State QB Alex Brink.
“I compare (Sirmon’s) situation a lot to Skyline’s when Jake Heaps graduated and there was a tall skinny sophomore quarterback named Max Browne who was coming in and no one knew about,” Barton said before the camp. He is also the director of the Barton Football Academy.
“We were telling people that Skyline was not hurting with Jake leaving because of Max Browne, because he was going to be even better. And I think Sirmon is going to be even better than Ross Bowers was.”
Sirmon’s uncle, Peter Sirmon, coached linebackers at UW from 2012-13 and is currently the associate head coach defense, linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at USC. He was a linebacker in the NFL for the Tennessee Titans for seven seasons (2000-06).
Skyline shouldn’t have too shabby a quarterback, either, this year. Blake Gregory, an incoming senior, was right behind Sirmon as the No. 2 quarterback at the camp.
Gig Harbor’s dual threat QB, Davis Alexander, was listed as the third best. Alexander threw for 2,160 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior last season, and said before the camp that he holds scholarship offers from Montana Tech and the College of Idaho.
“Davis Alexander is a guy people are starting to know, but I still don’t think people realize just how good he really is,” Barton said. “I have a kid, Jordan Johnson, who was the starter at Montana the past couple years, and Davis is better than Jordan was (at) the same age, with a stronger arm. And Jordan tore it up in the Big Sky. I know Davis is capable of doing that.”
Lake Stevens’ Jacob Eason, a University of Georgia commit considered by most recruiting sites to be one of the top quarterback recruits in the nation, did not attend the camp, and neither did Eastside Catholic’s Harley Kirsch, who helped lift the Crusaders to the 3A state title over Bellevue last year.
Rounding out the rest of the Northwest 9 were Bellevue’s Justus Rogers, Juanita’s Tavin Montgomery, Auburn Mountainview’s Gresch Jensen, Graham-Kapowsin’s Dylan Morris, Wyatt Hutchinson of Clackamas, Oregon, and O’Dea’s Nathan West.
Jensen recently committed to Montana, and Morris is an incoming freshman who hopes to be the starter in his first year at G-K. Morris was the only incoming freshman selected to the Northwest 9.
“People will know (Morris), believe me,” Barton said. “It’s like (Graham-Kapowsin’s incoming junior offensive lineman and MaxPreps All-American) Foster Sarell. He was a freshman there and five games into the season he was getting Division I offers. Dylan, not to put him in the same mold as Foster, but he will be a very high-profile guy early on.”
Other local quarterbacks at the camp who did not make the inaugural Northwest 9 included Kentwood’s Brian Campbell, Fife’s Kyle Mozzone, Bethel’s Bryce Missey, South Kitsap’s Jake Taylor, Stadium’s Hunter Wendling and Tahoma’s Amandre Williams.
But Mozzone was named the most improved upperclassman of the camp and Wendling the most improved underclassman. Mozzone will be a senior and Wendling a sophomore.
The first practices of the 2015–16 season begin Aug. 19.
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
THE INAUGURAL NORTHWEST 9
1. Jacob Sirmon (2018, Bothell)
2. Blake Gregory (2016, Skyline)
3. Davis Alexander (2016, Gig Harbor)
4. Justus Rogers (2016, Bellevue)
5. Tavin Montgomery (2016, Juanita)
6. Gresch Jensen (2016, Auburn Mountainview)
7. Dylan Morris (2019, Graham-Kapowsin)
8. Wyatt Hutchinson (2016, Clackamas, Oregon)
9. Nathan West (2016, O’Dea)
Upperclassman: Kyle Mozzone (2016, Fife)
Underclassman: Hunter Wendlin (2016, Stadium)