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Washington’s top high school football players: Meet the state’s best 30 defensive linemen in spring 2021

Many of them get the job done coming off the edge with blazing speed. Some are interior wrecking-ball disruptors.
2021-03-12 at 11.42.26 PMeastside-catholic-rainier-beach-washington-football-vince_miller 6

Is Eastside Catholic's J.T. Tuimoloau the state's best player ever? Will Tumwater's Jacob Schuster be a viable 2A state player of the year candidate? Is Lincoln of Tacoma's Jayden Wayne the next national superstar?

Over the next week, we’ll be taking a position-by-position look at some of the top players in Washington high school football this season. Our first list focuses on the best defensive linemen in the state.


Players are listed in alphabetical order:


JACK BERESFORD, Woodinville, 6-3, 235, sr.

Going to same school (WSU) as his older brother (Cade) - but is a much different body type as a leaner, faster pass rusher for Nick Rolovich.

ANTWAN BROWN, O'Dea, 6-3, 280, sr.

When you are trusted to fill Jalen Dixon's do-everything role in your first season after transferring from Garfield - that is a great nod.

ANDREW EDSON, Mount Si, 6-3, 235, sr.

WSU signee just wears offensive linemen down with his active heavy hands and tireless motor coming off the edge for the Wildcats.

NOWLIN EWALIKO, Ballard, 6-4, 230, sr.

A true two-way threat (DE/TE), Ewaliko should give San Diego State an athletic bull rusher - much like his father, Mike, was at Washington.

SIAOSI FINAU, Renton, 6-4, 280, sr.

The Washington Huskies have been known to find big diamonds in the rough for defense - and this Hawaiian rugby standout fits that mold.

FRANKCO GRATTON, Rainier Beach, 6-4, 215, sr.

It's safe to assume this explosive athlete's best days are ahead in college as this all-Metro League pass rusher can also play outside linebacker.

CURTIS AND HUNTER HILL, Graham-Kapowsin, 6-3, 290, jr.

The Hill twins are double trouble for opposing blockers, and these teenagers disrupt plays the same way on the interior - nastiness and leverage.

JUDAH JACKSON, Steilacoom, 6-4, 250, jr.

Steilacoom's fast athletes aren't just operating in space - this fearless quarterback hunter was named the 2A SPSL defensive MVP in 2019.

GABE JOHNSON, Bothell, 6-4, 215, sr.

This all-4A KingCo off-the-edge performer isn't the biggest guy, but watch him dominate other great linemen - and you'll know EWU got a steal.

J.P. LEAHY, West Valley of Yakima, 6-3, 260, sr.

Like rooting for late bloomers? This teenager has the pass-rushing gumption to be big time - and pedigree as Frank Leahy's great-grandson.

JORDEN MANU, Lakes, 6-4, 315, jr.

For as big as this 3A PCL first-teamer is, it's almost unthinkable how fast he can motor past interior linemen; Pac-12 recruit just hitting his stride.

MATULINO MASUNU, Bellevue, 6-1, 270, sr.


Facing the Wing-T offense every day in practice has made the Wolverines' two-time all-state interior lineman disciplined and play smart.

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BAILEY MEEK, Ridgefield, 6-5, 255, sr.

This small-school standout is a big-time talent as the 1A Trico defensive MVP, and signed to hunt down enemy signal callers at Army.

JOSH MCCARRON, Archbishop Murphy, 6-4, 215, sr.

Where does he play? Wherever he wants - and Snohomish County's top disruptor registered a ridiculous 30 tackles for loss as a junior.

KAZ MELZER, Gonzaga Prep, 6-4, 240, jr.

Dave McKenna coached all-state MVP Evan Weaver with the Bullpups, so he knows high-end talent when it shows up - and Melzer (knee) has it.

JACOB SCHUSTER, Tumwater, 6-3, 295, sr.

Could this be the year two defensive linemen are state players of the year? This University of Minnesota signee is 2A's most dominant player.