Lucky 13: Players to Watch in KingCo 3A/2A | Reporter Football Preview

QB Jeff Lindquist, Jr., Mercer Island

When you’re a solid 6-foot-3 quarterback who can bomb the long ball or run over a defender, the Tim Tebow comparisons are inevitable. Like Tebow, Lindquist is a big kid who can put his shoulder down. But he’s got an arm too, and it’s only gotten better with the work he put in over the summer. Expect big things.

LB/TE Jarrett Finau, Sr., Juanita

Finau, a 6-foot-3 University of Washington recruit, transferred to Juanita this season after playing last year at Marysville-Pilchuck. The big kid has a motor that doesn’t stop along with 4.65 40 speed. KingCo coaches will wish he stayed in Marysville.

RB/LB Alex Donnelly, Sr., Lake Washington

A hard hitter and hard runner, Donnelly rushed for 720 yards and five scores last season, including a 158-yard performance against Roosevelt. He was equally tenacious on defense and was a All-KingCo 4A First Team selection both ways, the only junior to earn such honors. Should benefit from Kangaroos drop from 4A to 3A.

QB Trey Wheeler, Sr., Liberty

Wheeler helped lead the Patriots to the brink of a Class 3A state championship last season and should be even better this year. A steady quarterback, he’ll have plenty of options with running back Chandler Jenkins and wide receiver Jake Bainton returning.

LB/RB Taylor Ragan, Sr., Sammamish

Ragan was an All-KingCo First Team selection at inside linebacker for the Totems, a shining star on a 3-7 team. He’s got good size and quickness and shows great form when tackling. Also talented with the ball, Ragan should find himself a spot on a college team next season.

QB/S Kendrick Van Ackeren, Sr., Bellevue

One of the state’s top safeties, Van Ackeren is a ball-hawk and a hard hitter. And when the ball is in his hands, the excitement level goes up. As Bellevue’s starting quarterback, he’ll get a chance to really make his mark this season.

RB/DB Chandler Jenkins, Sr., Liberty

Jenkins is the second of Liberty’s Big Three and a handful offensively. Bellevue fans will remember his big 72-yard touchdown run in the Class 3A state title game a year ago. And as good as he is offensively, he’s just as talented on defense, a returning All-KingCo First Team cornerback.

TE Joe Farmer, Sr., Mount Si

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Farmer is a load to handle for defenses. Farmer reportedly has scholarship offers from the Air Force Academy, New Mexico State and Illinois State with rumored interest from bigger schools. Another solid year will drum up more interest for the big tight end.

WR/S Jake Bainton, Sr., Liberty

Bainton’s got size (6-foot-3), speed and toughness – what more could you want in a receiver? Another Patriot who earned All-KingCo First Team honors on both sides of the ball. Expect to see plenty of Wheeler-to-Bainton plays this year, especially their nifty fade play into the end zone.

OL/DL Marcus Henry, Sr., Bellevue

Henry was a consistent player who broke out near the end of last year and over the summer, really making a name for himself. Don’t be surprised when he doesn’t waver in his commitment to Boise State after he puts up a good senior year – Henry has made it known he appreciates the Broncos faith in him.

QB Matt Malos, Sr., Interlake

No matter what kind of offense is being run, Malos will be the most dynamic player on the field for the Saints. Last year he terrified defenses with his big arm and ability to scramble. This year he’s being asked to run a pro-style offense – watching him develop in that offense will be one of the most interesting storylines this season.

K/P Chris Lider, Sr., Sammamish

Wait a minute – did a kicker/punter really make this list? Yep, that’s how good Lider’s leg is. Coaches think he might not allow a kick returner to touch the ball on kickoffs this season – and the team is confident on his field goals, even when he’s kicking them from 40-plus.

RB Jeremiah Laufasa, Sr., Juanita

Laufasa is a beast in the backfield who rarely gets taken down by just one defender. With a solid line of big bodies in front of him, defenses are in for a rough night when they take on the Rebels. Laufasa showed great speed last year as well.