MEAD, Wash. – With the Early Signing Period’s recruiting buzz, college football keeps the dormant days between the regular season and the Bowl slate excited in a Twitter frenzy. But not every name gets an equal shake.
Enter Mt. Spokane’s Kannon Katzer.
Pick a linebacker, and he’ll make them miss in phone booth. He’s been named Washington State’s 3A offensive player of the year, GSL offensive player of the year, a top-10 in-state prospect according to Scorebook Live, and the most prolific runner Spokane has seen in the past decade.
Though the 5-10 halfback’s currently caught between the title of breakout senior and undervalued talent.
He’s uncommitted after the early signing period.
“I’ve sent emails to coaches and tried to get more contacts outside the area,” Mt. Spokane Head Coach Terry Cloer said. “Local schools aren’t that interested.”
A lot of coaches are in Katzer’s ear; not many willing to pull the trigger and make a formal offer. He’s notably garnered a full-ride from Idaho State and interest from Washington, but his heart points another direction – The Palouse.
“WSU has been my dream school my whole life. My Pop Warner team, we were the Cougars for like seven years, and I’ve just always liked Pullman.”– Kannon Katzer
He’s the most hyped halfback out of Spokane since Gonzaga Prep’s Bishop Sankey, an eventual Washington Husky and NFL draft pick. But Katzer isn’t getting the same love from recruiters despite totaling 2,543 yards and 39 touchdowns – both eclipsing Sankey’s senior slate on less carries.
So why has the back been such a well-kept secret? A hip injury against Central Valley sidelined him most of junior year on a kickoff return taken to the house.
“He wasn’t a known commodity as much, so he wasn’t on school’s radar,” Cloer said.
Katzer came back a full head of steam recording 300 yards from scrimmage week one, and never looked back.
Katzer never wants to come off the field – even in practice. Throughout the year, Katzer served the team as scout team quarterback and had so much success, Cloer’s hand was forced to implement the Wildcat formation into their offense.
“My son played with him on a Pop Warner team, so at that point I knew he was a pretty good football player,” Cloer said.
Coach Cloer has spent 13 years with the Wildcats, and says Katzer’s a threat score anytime he touches the ball from anywhere on the field. Cloer can only recall two such players he’s coached.
“I think I can hang with the D-1 boys, so we’ll see what comes down the road,” Katzer said.
Wazzu’s backfield is already a full house offering their scholarships this recruiting cycle. The Cougs are looking to pad the position with one last preferred walk-on slot currently offered to Tumwater High’s Dylan Paine announced in a twitter post last Thursday.
If Paine forgoes, Katzer is expected to be next in line. And through Katzer’s talks with Washington State Running Backs Coach Eric Mele, a spot could also open up in the spring.
“He‘s right up there the best players in the last ten years in the GSL,” Cloer said.
So for now, the Mt. Spokane Wildcat patiently waits for the right door to open. Looking toward the day he finally inks his name with a program, and maybe even living out his childhood dream donning the Crimson and Gray.
“I can get down on myself, but tell myself that’s not gonna help. Just been working out and waiting for an opportunity to pop up,” Katzer said.
National Signing Day is set for Feb. 20.
(Photo by: Andrew Baertlein – Cougar Sports Network)