Huard throws to Huard?
Adams runs past Adams?
Here is Scorebook Live’s top 10 list of current Washington high school football players whose family members have ties to the National Football League, past or present.
The “family” rankings are a blend of how productive the teenager has been for his high school team, and the pedigree/professional career of his family member.
1. SAM HUARD, Kennedy Catholic (father is Damon Huard)
Skinny: This is the most obvious top choice as Sam is on pace to become the state’s most prolific passer in history as a junior with the Lancers, and Damon, also a quarterback, played 12 seasons in the NFL, winning two Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots.
Damon Huard in the NFL: Threw for 6,303 yards and 33 touchdowns with five different teams (1996-2009).
2. SAM ADAMS II, Eastside Catholic (father is Sam Adams)
Skinny: You see that streak of blue every Friday night in Sammamish? That is Sam Jr., the Crusaders’ do-everything tailback who has committed to UW. He is a consensus top-three in-state recruit in the 2020 class, The original Sam Adams is a bit bigger as a former two-time All-Pro defensive tackle.
Sam Adams in the NFL: A first-rounder by the Seahawks in 1994, he finished with 398 tackles, including 44 sacks, in 14 seasons (1994-2007). Also a Super Bowl champion with Baltimore.
3. CARSON BRUENER, Redmond (father is Mark Bruener)
Skinny: What this senior linebacker hits, it crashes to the ground. Although the Mustangs suffered a down season (3-7), he was an all-4A KingCo first-teamer again. He is headed to his dad’s alma mater – UW. Mark, a first-rounder by Pittsburgh in 1995 at tight end, played 14 NFL seasons.
Mark Bruener in the NFL: A devastating blocker, he caught 152 passes for 1,333 yards and 18 touchdowns for two different teams (1995-2008). He is current a college scout for the Steelers.
4. JULIEN SIMON, Lincoln (cousin is Walter Stanley)
Skinny: There is certainly a similar family trait between these two: Reliable pass-catching hands. Simon, a consensus top-five recruit in a loaded 2021 class, just committed to the Adidas All-American Game. Stanley was a speedy wide receiver and special-teams returner for 10 NFL seasons.
Walter Stanley in the NFL: Selected in the fourth round by Green Bay in 1985, he finished with 130 receptions for 2,213 yards and six touchdowns. Also had 3,277 return yards (1985-1995).
5. CLAY MILLEN, Mount Si (father is Hugh Millen)
Skinny: It’s easy to spot the resemblance – Clay is also a big, rifle-armed right-handed quarterback with underrated athleticism, just like his dad (10 seasons in the NFL) and brother, Cale (currently at Oregon). In his first year as a starter, Clay, a junior, has led the Wildcats to the Class 4A playoffs.
Hugh Millen in the NFL: A third-round pick by the Rams in 1986, he threw for 6,440 yards and 22 touchdowns (1987-96) – with nearly half of that total coming with the Patriots in the 1991 season.
6. RICKY BELL III, Mount Rainier (grandfather was Ricky Bell)
Skinny: As a point guard, Bell led the Rams to the 4A basketball tournament last winter. He then came out for football as a senior – and was the 4A NPSL leader in interceptions (seven) at cornerback. The eldest Bell was the No. 1 overall pick by Tampa Bay in 1977, but saw his NFL career cut short.
Ricky Bell in the NFL: The ex-star USC running back went ahead of Tony Dorsett in the 1977 NFL Draft, signed the richest rookie contract in league history – but played just six seasons (1977-82), totaling 3,063 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. He died at age 29 of heart failure.
7. ISAIAH STRONG, Pullman (father is Mack Strong)
Skinny: Some coaches in Eastern Washington feel he’s the most talented player in that region, regardless of classification. He is a three-star “athlete” recruit in 2020 (and has a younger brother coming up). Simply put, Mack stoned opposing NFL linebackers as a Seahawks’ fullback.
Mack Strong in the NFL: He played all 15 seasons (1993-2007) in Seattle, serving as a lead blocker for three 1,000-yard rushers (but scored 15 career touchdowns). He was an All-Pro selection in 2005.
8. BRODY SCHLAEFLI, Prairie (great uncles are Pete and Stan Brock)
Skinny: The Falcons are a rising entity in the Class 3A ranks – and this junior tackle is a big reason why as the team’s best offensive lineman. Team just rushed for school-record 440 yards a week ago in districts. He’s been attending the great-uncles’ “Trench Camp” since he was a youth.
Pete and Stan Brock in the NFL: Oddly enough, both brothers were taken at the same NFL Draft slot (No. 12) – four years apart (Pete as a center in 1976 by New England; Stan as an offensive tackle in 1980 by New Orleans). They combined to play in 388 regular-season NFL games, and both played (and lost) in the Super Bowl.
9. ISAAC BIBB-O’NEILL, Columbia River (cousin is Marshawn Lynch)
Skinny: Bibb-O’Neill’s future is likely as a track and field thrower (placed fourth in the 3A state meet in the discus last spring), but he showed some of the same cutback power moves as a Chieftains’ leading rusher in 2019 (530 yards) as his famous “Beast Mode” relative.
Marshawn Lynch in the NFL: One of the greatest tackle-breaking running backs in league history, he finished an 11-year career (2007-15; 2017-18) with 10,379 rushing yards and 84 touchdowns. He won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks in the 2013 season after being drafted No. 12 overall by Buffalo in the 2007 NFL Draft.
10. GEE SCOTT JR., Eastside Catholic (father is Gee Scott)
Skinny: We’re throwing you a slow curve ball on this one. The Crusaders’ senior will likely go down as one of the top wide receivers in state history, and is an Ohio State commit (top-15 receiver recruit nationally in 2020). Dad did not play in the NFL, but he has been around it … a ton.
Gee Scott in the NFL: Well, like we said – he’s been around the Seattle Seahawks for years. Starting in 2003, he traveled to the VMAC three days a week and cleaned cars for Seahawks players for more than a decade – and has remained friends with many of them.
QB Camden Sirmon, Wenatchee and QB Andrew Sirmon, Bothell (uncle is Peter Sirmon); QB Isaac Looker, Rogers of Puyallup (father is Dane Looker); LB Shane Aleaga, Kennedy Catholic (father is Ink Aleaga); ATH Leon Neal Jr., Garfield (father is Leon Neal); LB Payton Thomas, Kentridge (father is Joey Thomas); RB Landon Sims, Peninsula (father is Travis Sims);