After Bothell High School’s Jacob Sirmon, the next-best-senior quarterback in the state of Washington is up for debate.
If you go that route, start small — as in small school.
It is one of those rare years in recruiting when the top senior quarterback in three different classifications — Sirmon (4A), Hockinson’s Canon Racanelli (2A) and Meridian’s Simon Burkett (1A) — all signed with in-state universities.
Sirmon is part of the heavy haul at the University of Washington. Burkett signed with Eastern Washington, and Racanelli was a late add to a strong Central Washington class.
After Sirmon, “that is where the talent was,” Central coach Ian Shoemaker said.
Few quarterbacks in state history produced the kind of numbers Racanelli did in his three seasons as the starter at Hockinson – nearly 10,000 passing yards and 124 touchdowns.
As a senior, he passed for 4,128 yards and 57 touchdowns, leading the Hawks to the Class 2A state title over Tumwater. Racanelli threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for an additional 65 yards vs. Tumwater.
“That took us over the edge,” Shoemaker said. “It was the last straw.”
Shoemaker said the only hesitation he had offering the 2A state player of the year was his 180-pound frame.
“His height (6 feet) is not a concern. He has good arm action,” Shoemaker said. “But how well will he fill out and deal with our zone-read stuff?”
The encouraging part of it is that Racanelli gained 20 pounds between his junior and senior seasons, and has room to grow.
“Canon is a guy who can be a starter here,” Shoemaker said.
Whereas Racanelli was recruited late at Central, Burkett has been with Eastern for months, eventually signing last December.
He is a solid 6-foot-3, 185-pound dual-threat, leading Meridian to the 1A title game, where it lost to Royal.
“The 1A level is always put down,” Cascade Christian coach Randy Davis said. “But Burkett is the real deal. He can read a defense right away, no matter what you did.”
Eastern coach Aaron Best said the Eagles did all their evaluation of Burkett at their own summer camp.
“He can make all the throws, and that is where we started with,” Best said. “... And most importantly, we needed somebody who was unflappable.”
As a senior, Burkett passed for 3,868 yards with 45 TDs, gained another 623 yards and 12 scores rushing to earn 1A state player of the year. He finished his career with 7,658 passing yards and 79 TDs, and 1,564 rushing yards and 29 scores.
“The level of play (in high school) does not matter to us,” Best said. “What does matter is that you are a really good player, and that you are good consistently. He was that.”
Nooksack Valley’s Casey Bauman, another 1A quarterback, signed with Montana State.
EASTERN SIGNS SUMNER STANDOUT
Eastern’s signature recruit was arguably Sumner High School’s Tre Weed, a two-time News Tribune All-Area team member as a junior and senior who had offers from Air Force, Brigham Young, Hawaii and Syracuse.
“We are willing to go toe-to-toe with those institutions (in recruiting) to make our team better,” Best said. “We know we won’t always win those fights.”
Best said Weed (6-0, 190) will likely start his Eastern career out on defense, likely at safety.
But Best compared the Sumner standout to that “tool you have in your pocket that can do 68 things,” and added Weed could end up being an impact contributor on offense, defense and special teams.
CENTRAL SIGNS 12 FROM AREA
Shoemaker put a heavy emphasis on speedy athletes in this class of 30 recruits (including 12 from the South Sound), particularly in the back seven of the defense. Twelve linebackers or defensive backs were signed Wednesday, including Kentwood’s Alex McGeachy, Cleveland’s Jahleel Breland, Cascade Christian’s Tyquan Coleman and Puyallup’s Landon Neff.
“We took some guys on the ‘athlete’ line we will fill in as we go,” Shoemaker said. “We got a lot of guys who can run.”
On the other side of the ball, Shoemaker not only grabbed The News Tribune’s two All-Area wide receivers in Graham-Kapowsin’s Robert Mason III and Lakes’ Cody Roe, he got a pair of locals with big bodies and high upside.
The position group that has Shoemaker most excited is offensive line with the likes of Archbishop Murphy’s Martin Napeahl Jr., Liberty’s Julian Bruce and Lakes’ Hector Jasso III part of this class.