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August 17, 2011

Rival regions: Pacific Northwest matchup

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In this two-week series, Rivals.com is taking a look at the high school football talent in rival regions - breaking down the best prospects, best teams and giving our vote for which area is superior.

TODAY'S MATCHUP: Western Oregon vs. Western Washington

The Case for Western Oregon

It is an especially weak year in Oregon for quarterbacks since none are listed with an offer in the Rivals.com database.

Thomas Tyner, a 2013 running back with star power, is probably the top player in the backfield since he's a track star and the Aloha standout already lists offers from Oregon, Oregon State and Washington.

Wide receiver is relatively strong with Maximo Espitia Jr., Jamarr Graves and Nicholas Rothstein. Espitia, an Oregon State commit, could be a big-time sleeper. Oregon pledge Oshay Dunmore would be perfect running some Wildcat or maybe playing receiver as well.

The offensive line has two standouts in four-star Oregon State pledge Isaac Seumalo, one of the top players at his position this summer at numerous camps, and 2013 standout Evan Voeller, who already had an offer from Washington.

The Oregon defense would be absolutely solid in the front seven. Defensive ends Alex Balducci, Lochlin Deeks, Tyrone Holmes and Marcell Frazier lead the way. At linebacker, Brett Bafaro, Daniel Halverson and Joel Skotte are pretty solid.

The secondary is shaky. No cornerback or safety from the state of Oregon has an offer yet.

The Case for Western Washington

The quarterback position is top heavy with 2013 prospect Max Browne, who is simply outstanding, and Washington commit Jeff Lindquist leading the way. Both are heady and savvy quarterbacks.

Running back doesn't have a lot of depth, but four-star KeiVarae Russell breaks big runs and he's great at splitting out and being used as a receiver.

There is a nice split between wide receivers and tight ends with Washington commit Michael Rector and Trent Sewell as the top two receivers and Caleb Smith and Dustin Stanton looking good at tight end.

Offensive line is a huge strength. It's one of the best years in a long time in Washington with four-star standouts Joshua Garnett and Zach Banner leading the way. Walker Williams, Nathan Dean, Josh Mitchell and others pile on to a great position.

Athlete Cedric Dozier is another four-star recruit for Washington.

Defensive line is one of the weakest positions in the state of Washington. BYU commit Sawyer Powell and Washington State pledge Jordan Pulu lead the way at linebacker but it's not a standout position. Defensive back is a little underrated with three-star Jayshawn Jordan standing out the most.

Bottom line

Washington has much more talent, especially on offense: two outstanding quarterbacks, a standout running back, some solid options at receiver and tight end, and one of the best offensive lines in the entire country. Washington's defense surely has some holes but more talent resides in that state at key positions.

Team matchup

It could be all of Oregon versus King County, Washington, and the results would be the same: the best teams in the Pacific Northwest are in Washington. Being able to have Bellevue (Wash.) High, Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline, Bothell (Wash.) High could be enough to win the debate but including teams as far south as Federal Way and Auburn to go with Issaquah and Renton would beat the best in Oregon. Portland (Ore.) Jesuit, Eugene (Ore.) Sheldon and Aloha (Ore.) High all are receiving national rankings consideration, but the fact remains the best in Washington would dictate play to those in Oregon.

- Dallas Jackson

Series Schedule
AUG. 17: North Jersey vs. Eastern Pennsylvania | Western Oregon vs. Western Washington
AUG. 18: Tampa vs. Miami | Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland
AUG. 19: Orlando vs. Jacksonville/North Florida | Oklahoma City vs. Tulsa
AUG. 22: Memphis vs. Nashville | Kansas City vs. St. Louis
AUG. 23: North Alabama vs. South Alabama | Arizona/New Mexico vs. Colorado/Utah
AUG. 24: Atlanta vs. New Orleans
AUG. 25: Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati | Chicago vs. Detroit
AUG. 26: Southern California vs. Northern California

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