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Linfield College football coach Joseph Smith disclosed the second batch of prospective student-athletes on Tuesday, bringing to 44 the number of future Wildcats who intend to join the program in the fall. The listed student-athletes have each paid their matriculation fee and are expected to enroll in classes in August.
Smith remains ecstatic about Class of 2017’s short- and long-term impact.
“This second group of incoming Wildcats is dripping with potential. Our staff cannot wait to get them here on campus in August and start working directly with these fine young men. Like the first group announced, they are true student athletes: Talented on the football field and in the classroom. Furthermore, we are sold on their desire to be men of character. These young men chose Linfield because they felt it was the best environment for their individual development. We will do our best to see that happen.”
Cain Adams, DT, 6-1, 265
Tigard, Ore. (Tigard HS)
Another talented two-way player, Cain hails from Tigard High School in the Portland-metro area. After fighting through an injury that plagued junior campaign, Cain finished his senior season in fine fashion, earning first team all Pacific Conference honors on both sides of the football. In addition to his all-league accolades, Cain was also recognized as an honorable mention all-state pick on offense and defense. He is an excellent student who is full of personality and a guy you can always count on for a smile. Cain’s offensive line coach in HS was former Wildcats all-star John Kemper. He joins fellow THS lineman Blake Chamberlain on the Linfield roster.
Watch Cain’s highlight video
Brian Balsiger, WR, 6-2, 190
Tualatin, Ore. (Tualatin HS)
Transferring to Linfield from Portland State University, Brian has finally has found a home at Linfield. A product of Tualatin High School, Balsiger was a first team all-state receiver for the Timberwolves, helping Tualatin to a runner-up finish in the 2010 Class 6A Oregon state championship game. Financial setbacks prevented Brian from attending Linfield straight out of high school, but after a short stint at Portland State, he made it a priority to become a Wildcat at all costs. An honor roll student and member of the National Honor Society, Brian felt Linfield’s blend of academics, athletics and team-oriented program was the best fit for his college experience.
Kyle Chandler, LB, 6-1, 205, FR
Carnation, Wash. (Redmond HS)
Kyle comes to Linfield after earning the Class 4A KingCo Conference Defensive Player of the Year award last fall. He finished his senior season with 123 tackles in nine games. A four-year letterman in football, Kyle was voted as the Mustangs’ most inspirational player, was a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete nominee and was Redmond’s most valuable player. For his efforts, Kyle was awarded a second team all-state nod at linebacker and served as a team captain during his final two seasons. A three-year honor roll student, Chandler also helped Redmond win the 4A King-Co baseball crown last spring.
Watch Kyle’s highlight video
Lucas Clark, DE, 6-3, 225
Seaside, Ore. (Seaside HS)
Lucas comes to Linfield from Seaside High School where he played a major role in the resurgence of the Seagulls football program. Lucas was co-defensive player of the year in the Cowapa League as a defensive end, earned first team all-league recognition as a tight end, and second team all-state honors as a defensive end, all after returning to the gridiron after a two-year hiatus. In addition to football, Lucas looks to make an immediate impact with Linfield’s track and field program as a participant in the discus. Lucas currently holds the best mark at the Class 4A level and the second-best mark across all levels in the state. In total, Lucas earned eight varsity letters in football, basketball (first team all-league), and track and field. Lucas served his teammates as a team captain and was named most outstanding defensive lineman by his peers. Lucas is a great student who also served Seaside High School as an ASB officer.
Watch Lucas’ highlight video
Cayman Conley, P/K, 6-1, 195
Honolulu, Hawaii (Radford HS)
A native of the Hawaii, Conley is a talented athlete with an outstanding leg. With experience in place kicking, punting and competitive soccer, he will be a great fit with the Linfield specialists. As team captain, Cayman help Radford capture a division football championship as a senior. He also earned multiple all-league and all-state awards throughout his high school career in both football and soccer. Away from sports, Conley participates in various activities ranging from American Red Cross to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Linfield is excited to have Cayman as a Wildcat.
Watch Cayman’s highlight video
Hayden Ficek, OT, 6-3, 255
Salem, Ore. (South Salem HS)
Hayden joins a long list of former South Salem High School graduates to attend Linfield College. A three-year letterman in football, Hayden earned first team all-Central Valley League honors as an offensive lineman in 2011 and 2012. He was also a four-year letterwinner in track and field, competing in the shot put and discus. As a team captain and participant in the first annual All-American Academic Bowl, Ficek displays outstanding leadership qualities. Hayden is South Salem’s Student Body President and a member of the National Honor Society. During his free time, he participates in numerous charities, including Habitat for Humanity and a missions trip last summer to build houses.
Watch Hayden’s highlight video
James Grace, OG, 6-1, 285
Aiea , Hawaii (Aiea HS)
An excellent student and outstanding football player, James comes to Linfield from Aiea High School on the Big Island of Hawaii. He accumulated numerous athletic and academic accomplishments throughout his high school career. An all-league and all-state performer on the offensive line and member of the National Honor Society, James will flourish in a setting that blends academic and athletic excellence.
Nick Holland, CB, 5-11, 175
Granada Hills, Calif. (Notre Dame HS)
Joining a trio of Wildcats who hail from Notre Dame in Southern California, Nick is a talented two-sport athlete who is expected to compete in the secondary this fall. A three-year starter at Notre Dame, Holland earned first team all-conference honors as a junior and senior. During the track last season, Holland ran the 100- and 200-meter sprints and was a member of Notre Dame’s state championship 4x100 relay squad. Away from football, Nick has spent time volunteering at numerous local churches and helped with his school’s recycling program. During this school year alone, Nick and his classmates raised over $12,000 for Notre Dame athletic programs.
Watch Nick’s highlight video
Eric Igbinoba, WR, 6-0, 180
Cheney, Wash. (Cheney HS)
A talented two-way athlete from Cheney High School, Eric plans on playing on the offensive side of the ball for the Wildcats. A team captain, Eric was a three-time first team all-Great Northern League selection and a 2012 second team all-state honoree. As a scholar-athlete who earned 11 varsity letters in football, basketball and track, Eric understand how to manage his time in both the classroom and on the athletic fields. Eric was a team captain in each sport as a senior.
Watch Eric’s highlight video
Kennedy Johnson, CB, 5-11, 175
Gresham, Ore. (Sam Barlow HS)
Kennedy comes to Linfield as a talented two-way performer out of Barlow High School. An outstanding returner, explosive wide receiver and two-time all-conference defensive back, Kennedy will focus on playing cornerback for the Wildcats. As a senior, Kennedy was voted team captain and won the Bruins’ most outstanding offensive player award. During the spring, Johnson is a standout on the track, participating in both the long jump and triple jump. Kennedy plans on majoring in psychology.
Watch Kennedy’s highlight video
Justin Kennedy, OT, 6-3, 240
Chehalis, Wash. (W.F. West HS)
Coming to Linfield out of W.F. West High School, Justin is a talented three-sport athlete who participated in football, wrestling and track each of his four years. He was an all-league caliber player in each of his sports. In the classroom, Justin was an excellent student who balanced academic and athletic needs throughout high school career. After playing both sides of the football in high school, he will focus on offense during his career as a Wildcat.
Watch Justin’s highlight video
Austin Lee, OT, 6-2, 260
Santa Clarita, Calif. (Hart HS)
A three-year varsity starter at offensive tackle for the Hart High School Indians, Austin started every game of his high school career. For his efforts, he was honored as a two-time all-Foothill League and Santa Clarita Valley all-star on the offensive line. A team captain and advanced placement student, Austin received numerous academic distinctions throughout his prep career. Away from the gridiron, Lee has participated in Hart’s Safe School Ambassador’s Anti-Bullying Program and regularly volunteers at his local homeless shelter.
Watch Austin’s highlight video
Kevin McClean, WR, 6-4, 195
Beaverton, Ore. (Southridge HS)
A product of Southridge High School in Beaverton, Kevin is a versatile athlete as well as an exemplarily student. A three-year starter at both wide receiver and punter for the Skyhawks, Kevin received numerous athletic and academic distinctions. A three-year member of National Honor Society and a honor roll student every term of high school, Kevin focused as much energy toward his education as he did his athletic career. Aside from the classroom and football field, he has participates in a lengthy list of community fundraisers and volunteer work. He has worked with the LiveStrong Relay for Life, helped with the Oregon Food Bank, spent three years as a youth camp leader and worked as an official for youth football and baseball leagues among other service endeavors. Linfield is very excited to have a student-athlete of Kevin’s caliber.
Watch Kevin’s highlight video
Stephen Nnabue, OG, 6-2, 250
North Bend, Wash. (Mount Si HS)
In 2012, Stephen was selected as a first team all-King-Co offensive lineman, second team all-KingCo defensive tackle and voted offensive lineman of the year by his teammates. A team captain as a senior, Stephen helped lead Mount Si to an 11-2 record and a berth in the Class 3A semifinals. Nnabue will focus his talents on the offensive line for the Cats.
Watch Stephen’s highlight video
Reed Peterson, WR, 5-11, 180
Bellevue, Wash. (Issaquah HS)
A three-year varsity starter out of Issaquah High School in Washington, Reed joins his brother, Evan Peterson, as a Wildcat wide receiver. As a junior, Peterson accounted for 1,717 all purpose yards and 15 touchdowns on offense and special teams while earning first team all-KingCo Conference honors. Reed battled through a stress fracture the majority of his senior year, limiting his effectiveness as a player. Fully healthy, Reed looks to make his mark playing the slot receiver position for the ‘Cats. For the past three summers, Reed has helped out with youth football camps in the greater Issaquah area.
Watch Reed’s highlight video
Theo Petropolous, K, 5-9, 175
Cheney, Wash. (Cheney HS)
Theo joins the Wildcats as a talented placekicker after a successful high school career in northeast Washington. At Cheney High School, Theo earned first team all-conference as a senior and has a season-long field goal of 46 yards. As a scholar-athlete, honor roll student and team captain, Theo earned seven varsity letters in football, basketball and track.
Watch Theo’s highlight video
Michael Ryan, DL, 6-0, 215
Cypress, Calif. (Mater Dei HS)
Coming to Linfield from powerhouse Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Michael knows what it takes to win. Mater Dei is regarded as of the most successful prep programs on the West Coast. During Ryan’s final season, Mater Dei finished with an 11-3 record. The two-year letterman has been a honor roll student since his freshman year and is a member of the National Honor Society. Away from football, Michael has logged over 200 hours of community service with numerous organizations.
Zachary Wyscaver, DT, 6-1, 245
Roseburg, Ore. (Roseburg HS)
A three-year letterman in football and baseball at Roseburg High School, Wyscaver will focus his talents on the defensive side of the ball for the Wildcats. During his senior season, Zach received first team all-league accolades and honorable mention all-state awards for both offense and defense. A team captain and excellent student, Wyscaver will participate in the annual Oregon Bowl this summer pitting the best of Oregon high school football against one another.
Watch Zachary’s highlight video
Smith summarized the group of incoming student-athletes:
“When we as a staff sit back and look at this 2013 recruiting class in its entirety, it is hard to not get excited. The potential and talent of this group is so very high. The talent level must be near the all-time high of the past two decades. There are some tremendous individuals who have All-America potential, but it is the depth of talent that really stands out. The group’s combined 3.5 GPA is notable as well. We are still waiting on confirming a few additional recruits who are in the process of working out the financial commitment. Hopefully they will be a great finishing touch to this class.
“We were very selective in our recruiting this year. We did not use blanket recruiting practices as many of our competitors did, but rather sought out individuals that were looking for a culture of excellence such as ours, and had the academic and athletic potential to be successful at Linfield. As I stated with the first announced group, I really feel that this class will have the ability to stand toe to toe for 60 minutes with the best from Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, and Delaware. More importantly, this class will also have the depth to be able to sustain going toe to toe with the national elite for four or five games in a row."