It was reported a few weeks ago that UW signee Kasen Williams of Skyline High had been named the Parade Magazine Player of the Year.
The actual magazine is out today, inserted into copies of The Seattle Times and other newspapers around the country.
Pictured is the cover, with Williams in the middle (DE Ray Drew, headed to Georgia, is on the left, and lineman Viliami Moala, headed to Cal, is on the right).
There is also a full-page picture of Williams in the printed version (it’s the one to the left of the paragraph about him in this link. The link also includes some video).
Williams is quoted in the story saying of coming to UW that: “I feel like I’m hitting there at the perfect time. After the season they had, and knowing that every year under Coach (Steve) Sarkisian they’ve gone up and up, it’s big. Who knows where they’re going to be a year or two years or three years from now? We could be talking the Rose Bowl or a national championship.”
Leading PARADE’s list is our Player of the Year, Kasen Williams, an 18-year-old wide receiver from Sammamish, Wash. Kasen, who likes The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (but isn’t a fan of video games), credits his father, Aaron — a former receiver for the St. Louis Cardinals — with passing along his passion for the game.
Kasen plans to attend his parents’ alma mater, the University of Washington, next fall. And he’s even hoping to wear the No. 2 jersey, the one his father wore as a receiver for the Huskies from 1979 to 1982. “It’s going to be me following in his footsteps,” Kasen says. “I know he’s going to be happy seeing me doing the exact same thing he did.”
Making it onto the PARADE All-America list “means a lot, especially coming out of Washington,” he says. “We have a lot of talent up here, but it’s not a big football state nationally.” Kasen was one of only two Washington players invited to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl last month in San Antonio, Tex., a national all-star game for high schoolers.
Kasen spends most of his time in Sammamish, a Seattle suburb, playing sports and hanging out with friends. Small-town life has its advantages: “It gives me the opportunity to focus on football. There aren’t a lot of things that can get you off track.”
In his four years on varsity at Sammamish’s Skyline High School, where he’s also a track-and-field star, Kasen played in four state championship games — and his team won three. Kasen is a career record-holder at Skyline, with 232 receptions, 4,121 yards, and 56 touchdowns. This season he broke single-season numbers in all three stats, with 86 receptions, 1,579 yards, and 21 touchdowns.
“The records he set — I don’t know if they’ll ever be broken,” says Skyline head coach Mat Taylor.
Kasen believes he’ll continue his streak at Washington. “I feel like I’m hitting there at the perfect time,” he says. “After the season they had, and knowing that every year under Coach [Steve] Sarkisian they’ve gone up and up, it’s big. Who knows where they’re going tobe a year or two years or three years from now? We could be talking the Rose Bowl or a national championship.”
Coach Taylor agrees, and he’s excited he’ll get to watch his star receiver play for the Huskies, who just won their first bowl game in a decade. “Kasen’s a hard one to let go. Obviously I’ll miss his leadership and his statistics, but he’s also such a good person. You’re not going to find a better kid.”
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