This time of the year as mid season comes we begin to see kids rise up who have not been as visible for a number of reasons. High School football has become a stew of private vendors jumping in and setting up camps and combines in the off season with the emphasis on getting exposure. That can lead to press for some kids and sometimes it over blows the player with local and National Media. There are street agents running "Hype-Machines" on Twitter and Facebook and posting films from non-padded workouts that showcase what appears to be limitless talent. Rankings and ratings and sorting of players by a number of matrix factors make for great reading I guess but it does not always mean the prospect is going to make it. In fact it does not in more cases then it does.
The the lights go up and the pads are on and it is time to play real football. And the real talent begins to sort itself out. By year end we will know who has made it and who has not lived up to the Hype. You can not buy your way to the top. It has to be earned and today we look at a few guys from the State of Oregon getting it done big time so far.
Players To Watch- Here is just a partial list not of the best of the best or Top Recruits per se but an early season check in on a few guys we are tracking from the stats they have produced so far this year. See our entire 2014 and 2015 prospect lists at the bottom of the page linked here.
Jonathan Boland- Qb Parkrose HS -2015
Boland is a star rising fast. A Student of former PSU All American QB and trainer John Charles the kid is a work in progress and doing a superb job.
1,300 yards so far through the air and 15 TD's. Boland has legs too and is a big time threat to run. He is developing and his hitting for about 50% of his passes. But he has moved form a no-name athlete to a on the radar guy as the season has gone along. Expect him to rise up in that 2015 QB class and have a real shot to move on after 2015.
Hayden Coppedge - West Linn QB - 2014
Hayden Coppedge was a known entity in 2012-13 but struggled at times to make things happen on a team at West Linn that was trying to find itself. He was visible in the off season and we tracked him as a rising prospect. But that applies to a lot of kids we saw.
Then the season came and this 6'4" gunslinger took his A Game onto the field and began to tear it up as a Senior QB to watch. Coppedge has his Lions roaring in the superbly tough 3 Rivers League and is rigth at the 1,300 yard mark with 10 TD's and a 67% accuracy. NICE!
Eric Dungey- Lakeridge High School QB - 2015
Eric was afforded a lot of press in the off season and over the last 2 or 3 years. All of it justified. But he has remained more of a regional guy in terms of what people know about him. Expect this 6'4" pro style QB who can run the football to make a big move this year. His size, acumen, and ability to make big plays is going to allow his Junior season to speak for him quite loudly and we predict Nationally.
Eric is a rising recruit within our Rivals.com National network and is at 1,200 yards, 12 TD's, and 68% accuracy. He joins Coppedge and a host of 3 Rivers League QB's that can flat out tear it up!
This is a D-1 kid who can make some very big moves this year and next Spring as he gets to a few select camps of National relevance and stature.
Willy Pflug - Sunset HS QB- 2015
Willy Pflug is not the biggest kid in the race for 2015 QB's but he is likely the best overall play maker. Well trained by Matt James of Nike Football Fame this kid is a dream QB for any High School team and we predict that same role will fit for college.
A lot like Sheldon High's great Jordy Johnson who is now at Montana tearing it up. Also reminds us of Connor Kavanaugh from Lincoln HS and PSU. The kid is mobile, has vision, and is so accurate.
Check this out. 1,040 yards, 11 TD's and an 82% accuracy rating. That folks is flat out amazing and should he continue on that vein it will be noticed by college coaches and recruiters!
Willy is a lot of fun to watch too.
Running backs rising up-
Dan Sherrell- RB - Clackamas- Leading the State in Rushing with 822 yards and 12 TD's - almost 10 yards a Carry. A known entity the last couple of years Dan is proving to be quite the work horse and so far no one has stopped him. He faces tough challenges night in and night out and things will not get easier. But this kid is tough as nails and we love his odds and the fact he has played to his full potential and through adversity.
Conner Mitchell- Oregon City - Another 3 Rivers guy just tearing it up. 812 yards and a 7.2 yards per carry average. He is earning a name for himself this season and showcasing terrific speed and balance as a ground munching monster. Moved himself way into the spotlight so far.
Derek Sunkle - A Wilsonville - A 6'1"- 215 lb athlete at Wilsonville. Where the heck to the Wildcats keep getting these all around studs? Sunkle has a highlight reel in the works that is going to wow people. Rushing for 795 yards so far, 7 TD's and 8 yards per carry!
Keegan Lawrence- Sherwood High School - 2014 Athlete
A 5'11"- and now at 185 pounds this Coaches kid and State Champ is a star. We knew it last year and this year, his Senior Season, he is stamping his name into the Friday Night record book.
He has 12 TD's. He has rushed for right at 700 yards. But it is his almost 23 yards per touch that amaze. His Dad is the Head Coach and one of the best in the US. And if Keegan and the Bowmen were not so dang good he could play him a whole game and just run the Stats up. He is a humble prospect who we see as a POY guy.
He is fast, tough, gifted, and will make some college very very happy.
J.R. McLaughlin - Lakeridge HS- 2014
J.R. has picked up his brilliant efforts from 2012 and in the 2013 season he is the Ying to Dungey's Yang. The duo make a dangerous 1-2 punch.
Through the early part of this year J.R. has 540 yards receiving and 5 TD's.
At 6'2" and right at 200 lbs he is just a beast to handle and is really going to be a handful as the season goes along. College football is in his future somewhere if he wants it.