I backpacked from Seattle to Portland and discovered that it is a very good year for high school football talent in the Pacific Northwest. The thing is that some of these blue chippers haven't been discovered by the rest of the nation yet. But they will be soon enough.
Washington has four outstanding prospects who deserve All-America status and should be invited to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. It also is an outstanding year in Oregon, which boasts two five-star players.
Kason Williams, a 6-2, 200-pound wide receiver from Sammamish, Wash., is the first four-time all-stater in Washington history. His father played at Washington. He has many scholarship offers, including Florida, USC and Notre Dame.
Austin Jenkins, a 6-6, 240-pound tight end/defensive end from Gig Harbor, is this year's C.J. Fiedorowicz. Very productive, he caught 60 passes last season. One of the premier players in the nation, he has been offered by Washington, USC, Florida, Notre Dame and most Pacific Coast schools.
Tanieia Tupou, a 6-4, 270-pound defensive tackle from Seattle, is close to being a five-star player. Once the rest of the nation sees him, he will be nationally recruited. He is super strong, a dominating inside defensive lineman.
Danny Shelton, a 6-4, 300-pound offensive lineman from Auburn, is another difference-maker. He likely will be a guard in college.
Other Washingtonians who rate national notice are 6-2, 200-pound quarterback Tany Pritchard of Clover Park, whose brother is a quarterback at Stanford and has been offered by Washington State; 6-0, 200-pound running back Bishop Sankey of Spokane, the best player in eastern Washington, who has been offered by Washington, Washington State, Boise State and BYU; and 6-0, 255-pound nose guard Valentino Coleman of Seattle, whose brother played in the U.S. Army game two years ago.
In Oregon, the best player is 6-5, 225-pound running back/linebacker Colt Lyerla of Hillsboro, a suburb of Portland. He has more than 40 offers. A superior athlete, he was all-state as a running back and linebacker but also played wide receiver, tight end, defensive end and safety. He has a 40-inch vertical jump and also rates as one of the state's best basketball players.
Brennan Scarlett, a 6-5, 250-pound tight end/defensive end from Portland Central Catholic, has been offered by nearly every major school in the West and also by Notre Dame and all Big 12 schools. Everyone who has seen him has offered. In fact, former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis extended an offer a year ago.
Two other Oregonians to watch are 6-2, 200-pound running back/linebacker/safety Tyson Coleman of Lake Oswego, who has several Pac-10 offers, and 6-2, 200-pound Brett Smith of West Salem, the best quarterback in the state.