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Has the gap closed between Morris and Millen, Washington’s top quarterback recruits?

By Lauren Smith - Tacoma News Trib, 10/28/18, 2:00PM PDT

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Graham-Kapowsin’s Dylan Morris (5) looks to pass in overtime. Graham-Kapowsin played Puyallup in a football game at Art Crate Field in Spanaway, Wash., on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.Graham-Kapowsin’s Dylan Morris (5) looks to pass in overtime. Graham-Kapowsin played Puyallup in a football game at Art Crate Field in Spanaway, Wash., on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. Joshua Bessex joshua.bessex@gateline.com

Graham-Kapowsin High School quarterback Dylan Morris has long been considered the top recruit in Washington in the 2019 class.

But the gap between him and Mount Si quarterback Cale Millen, an Oregon commit, has narrowed says Brandon Huffman, the National Recruiting Editor at 247Sports.com.

“I don’t think the gap is nearly as great as it was two years ago,” Huffman said.

Given Morris’ solid four-year career — during which he’s passed for more than 8,700 yards and 90 touchdowns — his rating as the No. 5 pro-style quarterback in the nation, and his impressive showing last summer at the Elite 11 Finals, that top in-state ranking isn’t too likely to change by season’s end.

Morris had an offer from Washington, where he has been committed for more than a year, before his sophomore season.

He also was recognized by coaches nationally — earning additional offers from California, Notre Dame, Oregon and Oregon State before his early commitment — for his physical and mental abilities.

“He’s very cerebral,” said Huffman. “He does a good job of the mental side of quarterbacking that you don’t always see in high school quarterbacks.”

Morris doesn’t get rattled in the pocket, and isn’t intimidated by the pass rush. Huffman said these mental strengths, and Morris’ grasp of the film room, are the biggest reasons he was such an appealing prospect.

And he has the physical tools, too. Morris has consistently put up big numbers in leading Graham-Kapowsin to the Class 4A state playoffs each of the past three seasons.

He was 131 of 228 passing for 2,152 yards as a freshman. He was 133 of 200 for 2,007 yards and 23 touchdowns as a sophomore. And he eclipsed his first two seasons, throwing for 3,086 yards and 31 touchdowns on 199 of 302 passing as a junior.

This season, Morris has a signature overtime win over Oregon powerhouse Sheldon, and has the fifth-ranked Eagles (6-1) in position to make another playoff run, throwing for 1,499 yards and 18 touchdowns on 108 of 166 passing in the first seven weeks.

But Millen has certainly made a push in his final season.

Millen has completed 162 of 208 passes for 2,199 yards and 30 touchdowns during the first seven weeks of his senior campaign.

There’s no argument that Millen has statistically had a better season to this point, and Huffman says Millen’s growth at the position has significantly narrowed the gap between him and Morris.

Millen was orginally committed to Big Ten school Northwestern before ultimately choosing Oregon, and had another offer from Arizona State.

He is the most sought after quarterback in Washington in his class after Morris, and is considered the No. 5 player overall in 2019. He’s ranked as the No. 21 pro-style quarterback prospect nationally. Millen has the arm strength, and the athleticism to get out of the pocket and run when needed.

And he has second-ranked Mount Si (7-0) averaging 40.9 points per game 

— a top-10 average in 4A. The Wildcats are one of four remaining undefeated teams in the classification.

But, for now, Morris maintains his higher projection.

“I think Cale has been playing well, and I think Cale has a bright future,” Huffman said. “I think Dylan has a bright future, too, and both will be used to their strengths when they get to college.”

Huffman noted several more quarterbacks in the 2019 class who project well in college, though none have been as heavily recruited as Morris and Millen.

He said top-ranked Union’s dual-threat Lincoln Victor (83 of 123, 971 yards; 31 carries, 316 yards, 12 total TDs) could be considered the No. 3 quarterback in the class, though he’s listed as an athlete, and projects in college as a receiver.

Skyline’s Joe Green, who is headed to Harvard, is the only 2019 quarterback outside of Morris and Millen who has made a verbal commitment.

Enumclaw’s Kellen Kranc added an offer from Eastern Washington on Wednesday, in addition to three more offers in lower divisions.

Bethel’s Nate Hughes (Simon Fraser), Steilacoom’s J.J. Lemming (Southwest Minnesota State) and Todd Beamer’s Brandon Niksich (Simon Fraser) each have a Division II offer.

Natano Woods and Jacob Holcomb, who lead the 4A NPSL Sound and 4A SPSL, respectively, in passing, have yet to pick up an offer.

In the 2020 class, Garfield’s Javon Tade (Montana State) is the only quarterback with a Division I offer. Hazen’s Jaxon Ingram (Southeastern Oklahoma) has a Division II offer and several Division I interests. Central Valley’s Matt Gabbert is the only three-star quarterback in the class so far, but does not yet have an offer.

The 2021 class features the state’s leading passer from last season — and likely this season — in Kennedy Catholic’s Sam Huard, who passed the 3,000-yard mark last week and has thrown 34 touchdowns.

Huard is ranked as the top-ranked pro-style quarterback in the nation in his class, and has offers from Boise State, California, Florida, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas Tech and Washington State.

Clay Millen, Cale Millen’s younger brother, has an offer from Oregon, and is the only other quarterback in the class with an offer.