Video: Sam Huard Ultimate HighlightsHighlights of 2017 MaxPreps Freshman of the Year Sam Huard.
Hailing from one of the most prominent football families in the state of Washington, Sam Huard
had much to live up to.
Luckily, for Kennedy Catholic (Burien, Wash.)
, Huard was up to the task.
The 6-foot-1 signal-caller, whose father Damon, and uncle, Brock, both played quarterback at the University of Washington and in the NFL, threw for 359 yards in his high school debut and never looked back.
Sam Huard finished with 3,432 yards and 34 touchdowns on 229-of-297 passing en route to earning MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year honors.
Huard, whose other uncle, Luke, played quarterback at North Carolina, threw for more yards as a ninth-grader than any of his family did as seniors.
Beyond the stats, Sam Huard already is becoming known for some character traits that are indispensable at the quarterback position.
"He's building a reputation as a competitor – someone who finds a way to take his game up a notch when the lights get a little brighter," said T.J. Cotterill, high school sports coordinator at The News Tribune.
Huard leads a talented group of precocious ninth-graders that wasted no time making its mark on the high school football scence.
First Team Offense
QB – Sam Huard, (6-1, 170), Kennedy Catholic (Burien, Wash.)
Southpaw with great bloodlines enjoyed sensational freshman campaign.
QB – Ty Keyes, (6-0, 160), Taylorsville (Miss.)
Led all ninth graders with 4,562 passing yards and 45 touchdowns.
RB – Armoni Goodwin, (5-8, 171), Florence (Ala.)
An absolute phenom; rushed for 393 yards in a single game.
RB – Amari Daniels, (6-0, 160), Central (Miami)
Youth sensation lived up to the hype for one of the country's top programs.
TE – Jack Sawyer, (6-5, 210), Pickerington North (Ohio)
Has Division I potential at tight end, linebacker and in basketball.
WR – Quentin Barnes, (6-3, 180), Cane Ridge (Nashville, Tenn.)
Key contributor on offense for 13-2 Cane Ridge, piquing the interest of college teams.
WR – Jacorey Brooks, (6-3, 180), Booker T. Washington (Miami)
Brooks has already earned a reputation as one of the top playakers in South Florida.
OL – Bryce Foster, (6-4, 286), Katy Taylor (Katy, Texas)
In talent-rich Katy area, emerged as one of the top young interior lineman.
OL – Hutson Lillibridge, (6-4, 275), DeSmet Jesuit (St. Louis)
Son of former NFL player Marc Lillibridge, Hunter started at right guard showed great promise.
OL – Marcus Tate, (6-5, 275), University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Started on a 10-win University School squad.
OL – Hayden Conner, (6-6, 290), Katy Taylor (Katy, Texas)
Teammate of Bryce Foster and possesses and even more prodigious frame.
OL – Reuben Fatheree, (6-8, 270), Foster (Richmond, Texas)
The basketball standout was also a 27-5A 1st team All-District pick on the gridiron.
AP – Cole Boop, (6-3, 185), Calvary Chapel (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Sensational in his rookie campaign, completing 210-of-285 passes for 2,913 yards and 10 touchdowns.
K – David Kemp, Andover (Kan.)
Highly touted entering high school, Kemp was an All-League pick.First Team Defense
DL – Tyreak Sapp, (6-2, 235), St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Emerged at the USA Football Miami Regional Development Camp and followed that with a 28-tackle, five-sack freshman season.
DL – Keanu Williams, (6-5, 260), Clovis (Calif.)
With 56 tackles and five sacks, Williams looks like the Fresno area's next standout.
DL – Jonathan Jefferson, (6-5, 220), Douglas County (Douglasville, Ga.)
Amassed 55 tackles and 12 sacks for a 9-2 Douglas County team.
DL – JC Latham, (6-6, 230), Catholic Memorial (Waukesha, Wis.)
Also a talented hoopster, made an immediate impact for one of Wisconsin's top programs.
LB – Justice Thompson, (6-0, 225), Ballard (Louisville, Ky.)
Sideline-to-sideline linebacker who compiled 111 total tackles.
LB – Chaz Chambliss, (6-3, 220), Carrollton (Ga.)
Registered 97 tackles and 12 sacks in an impressive ninth-grade season.
LB – Ma'a Gaoteote, (6-1, 200), Faith Lutheran (Las Vegas)
Was responsible for 56 tackles, two sacks and an interception.
LB – Jaylahn Tuimoloau, (6-5, 240), Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.)
An instant impact player who also stars in hoops.
DB – Derrick Davis, (6-1, 180), Gateway (Monroeville, Pa.)
Starred on both sides of the ball for one of the Pittsburgh area's top programs.
DB – A.J. Kirk, (6-0, 180), Dublin Coffman (Dublin, Ohio)
Rangy cornerback who earned All-District special mention.
DB – Hunter Washington, (6-1, 165), Katy (Texas)
Rare freshman on varsity for Gary Joseph's Katy squad.
DB – James Williams, (6-2, 200), Monsignor Pace (Miami)
Hard-hitting safety may grow into a linebacker.
AP – Malik Verdon, (6-3, 190), Lakota West (West Chester, Ohio)
Rare quarterback-defensive end two-way standout.Second Team Offense
QB – Shedeur Sanders, (6-0, 175), Trinity Christian (Cedar Hill, Texas)
Deion Sanders' son threw for 2,360 yards and 34 touchdowns.
QB – Preston Stone, (6-2, 175), Parish Episcopal (Dallas)
The youngest Stone brother finished just shy of 3,000 yards.
RB – Elijah Howard, (5-11, 185), Webb (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Howard has been a varsity fixture since eighth grade.RB – Carson Steele, (5-11, 198), Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.)
Lived up to the hype by rushing for 1,703 yards and 20 scores.
TE – Erin Outley, (6-4, 215), Parkview (Little Rock, Ark.)
Has All-American potential at tight end.
WR – Keon Green, (5-9, 160), Bloom (Chicago Heights, Ill.)
Explosive slot receiver earned All-Conference honors and averaged nearly 20 yards per catch.
WR – Trevonte Rucker, (6-0, 180), Vanguard (Ocala, Fla.)
Made number big plays during his freshman season.
OL – Will House, (6-8, 260), Ringgold (Ringgold, Ga.)
Massive tackle is already on the radar of the in-state Bulldogs.
OL – Donovan Jackson, (6-4, 270), Houston Christian (Houston)
Gifted tackle also lined up on defense.
OL – Colin Henrich, (6-4, 300), St. John's (Washington, D.C.)
Emerged on the scene by winning USA Football Regional Development Camp Gold Ball; followed up with a fine ninth-grade season to help St. John's to its first conference title since 1989.
OL – Kingsley Suamataia, (6-5, 275), Orem (Utah)
Could be the next blue-chip lineman from the Beehive State.
OL – Damon Payne, (6-4, 270), Belleville (Mich.)
Also could have made the team as a defensive lineman.
AP – Kelston Fikes, (5-10, 180), Leroy (Ala.)
Posted nine 100-yard games for Class 2A runner-up.
K – Grant Nickel, (5-8, 130), Oak Ridge (Conroe, Texas)
Was 6-for-6 on field goal attempts.Second Team Defense
DL – Keenan Landry, (6-2, 295), Jennings (La.)
Bowling ball defensive tackle was extremely disruptive to both the run and the pass.
DL – Taizse Johnson, (6-2, 270), St. John's (Washington, D.C.)
The big-time defensive lineman has the potential to be the next big player from the DMV area.
DL – Antwan Brown, (6-2, 235), Garfield (Seattle)
Earned an offer during the spring and delivered on the field this fall.
DL – Katron Evans, (6-5, 270), Granby (Norfolk, Va.)
Burst on the scene at a USA Football Regional Development Camp in the spring.
LB – Angelo Vokolos, (5-11, 195), St. Joseph (Hammonton, N.J.)
Manchild registered 58 tackles and five sacks, powering St. Joseph to an undefeated season.
LB – Justin Johnson, (6-1, 220), Pace Academy (Atlanta)
Doubles as a running back and also stars on the hardwood.
LB – Kendrick Blackshire, (6-0, 200), Horn (Mesquite, Texas)
Started at linebacker at Class 6A Horn.
LB – Julien Simon, (6-2, 210), Lincoln (Tacoma, Wash.)
Starred at wide receiver and linebacker for 9-2 Lincoln.
DB – Caleb Spann, (5-10, 170), John Curtis Christian (River Ridge, La.)
Also saw work on special teams for J.T. Curtis' New Orleans-area powerhouse.
DB – Anthony Beavers, (6-2, 175), Serra (Gardena, Calif.)
Also lines up at wide receiver and has makings of future star at Serra.
DB – Zyrus Fiaseu, (6-1, 185), Liberty (Henderson, Nev.)
Did a little bit of everything for Liberty, including work on special teams.
DB – Zemarion Harrell, (6-1, 180), Bishop Sullivan Catholic (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Projects as the next elite defensive back from Tidewater-area power.
AP – Mario Love, (5-9, 160), Hough (Cornelius, N.C.)
Shutdown corner for 11-win Hough.Stephen Spiewak is national football editor emeritus at MaxPreps. He serves as digital content marketing manager at Vivid Seats.