After releasing our preseason all-state football teams last week, we’re turning our attention to the best of the best: the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year in Washington high school football.
From Gonzaga Prep edge rusher Kaz Melzer to Eastside Catholic LB Dishawn Misa, Washington is loaded with defensive playmakers. Take a look at the DPOY candidates below — all of whom are featured on SBLive’s preseason all-state teams — and cast your vote.
WASHINGTON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES
Curtis Hill, Graham-Kapowsin DL
On this Eagles’ defense, the buck stops here (with twin brother, Hunter, too) on the interior of the defense. Idaho State commit’s motor never stops.
Kaz Melzer, Gonzaga Prep DE
Talk about a mass-upside pass rusher off the edge, this all-4A/3A GSL first teamer is too big and twitchy to handle with just one blocker.
Jakobus Seth, Lakewood DL
His future position at WSU is offensive tackle, but in high school, he has been part of an impressive run of high-level pass rushers at the 2A level.
Jayden Wayne, Lincoln of Tacoma DL
Wherever he goes, people point him out – and Power-5 recruiters offer scholarships (he has 33 of them). Still raw technically, but elite athletically.
Isaiah Carlson, Ferndale LB
Perhaps more know him in from other roles (all-Wesco running back, point guard), but he could be best linebacker in state, if he chose to.
Dishawn Misa, Eastside Catholic LB
The last of the key defensive contributors from back-to-back 3A state championship squads, nobody can match his physicality (or long hair) in the middle.
Luis Salgado, Kamiakin LB
The only thing holding him back from being a major FBS recruit in his size. But effort and production? He is MCC’s top defensive player for those reasons.
Peyton Wing, Sumner LB
There were few bigger – or better – shortened-spring season revelations than this teenager, who gobbles up ball carriers. Reigning 4A SPSL player of year.
Colton Bower, North Kitsap DB
Look at all the other stuff he does – all-state quarterback and WSU commit for baseball at catcher. But he has 20-plus interceptions at safety, too.
Drew Carter, Lake Stevens DB
Mix athletic, impulsive and ultra-competitive, and you get one of the best sure-handed ball hawks in the state as a rover for the 4A Wesco champions.
Isaiah Malloe, Kennedy Catholic DB
By the way he studies film, and reads and reacts to quarterbacks, it is obvious he is a coach’s son (dad is UW assistant Ikaika Malloe) playing free safety.
Gabe Tahir, Kamiakin DB
There is a reason Penn State is coming hard at this all-MCC first teamer at cornerback – he is a big athlete with strong hands and smooth moves to the ball.
Linebackers: Davin Beason, Mount Baker (1A), sr.; Hudson Cedarland, Gig Harbor (3A), Derek Bergeson, Royal (1A), sr.; Luke Jamison, Camas (4A), sr.; Brayden Platt, Yelm (3A), soph.
Defensive backs: Kyle Chen, Mountain View (3A), jr.; Ishaan Daniels, Bellevue (3A), sr.; Jonathan Landry, Evergreen (3A), jr.; Caleb Presley, Rainier Beach (3A), jr., Tristan Dunn, Sumner (4A), sr.; KeeKee McQueen, Spanaway Lake (3A), sr.; Rocco Traore, North Creek (4A), sr. Michael Westbrook, Lakes (3A), jr.
Defensive linemen: Carson Clay, Mount Si (4A), sr.; Hunter Hill, Graham-Kapowsin (4A), sr.; Camden Loidhamer, Wenatchee (4A)