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Over the next few weeks, SBLive will take a position-by-position look at some of the top high school football players across the state of Washington.

Up next, tight ends.



Based on a knowledge base bolstered by conversations with coaches, talent evaluators and other media, SBLive took a look at which tight ends rise above the pack, across each classification. Players are only eligible for one position list, which means the many athletes who are standouts at multiple spots will be included in the position group they either excel more at, prefer or project to play at the next level.

Selections are separated by classification, and listed in alphabetical order.


Palamveer Dhaliwal, Kentwood, 6-4, 230, junior

Coach Mike Bush calls his tight end "a hard worker with a great motor." He has soft hands and an ability to make the tough catch.

Bo Graham, Woodinville, 6-4, 220, senior
Runs precise routes, has the size to break tackles and the hands to pull in balls even while contested. Stature and footwork make him a solid lead blocker for the run game.

Cooper Jensen, Glacier Peak, 6-5, 210, junior

His coach describes him as an incredible blocker. He’s physical and loves to mix it up. His size and athleticism make him a tough match up for smaller defensive backs. Coach Shane Keck says: "Cooper is a very hard worker and great teammate. He plays with a chip and edge, which is nice to see in a player of his caliber and stature."

Dorian Thomas, Kentridge, 6-4, 215, junior

The Top 10 prospect in the Class of 2023 already is in possession of an offer from Oregon State University. At 6-5, has the stature and footwork to be a difference maker as a blocker. Has enough speed to get by defensive backs, and soft hands to outduel them for 50-50 balls.

Max Meagher, Federal Way, 6-5, 210, senior

The son of a coach who himself was an offensive lineman, grew up around the game. Big, physical player who loves to block and can run. Helps to control the line of scrimmage. Coach Marcus Yzaguirre says: "He’s a reflection of his dad (former Eagles coach John Meagher). His best friends are the offensive lineman. That’s who he hangs out with."

Stephen Woodward, North Creek, 6-3, 215, junior

Highly intelligent on and off the football field, Woodward understands virtually everything about the Jaguars team. Most naturally a tight end and also a starting linebacker, could play any position on the field but has become the security blanket offensively. Coach Torrey Myers says: "I think it’s all the time he’s spent with our quarterback. Our quarterback knows, if he gets in trouble, he should go find our big guy."


Tucker Ashcroft, O’Dea, 6-5, 220, junior
A big kid at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, he is athletic and possesses great hands. One of his strengths lies in his footwork in the Irish schemes.

"He’s still learning the game," coach Monte Kohler said. "He works hard and makes big plays when needed."

Hogan Hansen, Bellevue, 6-5, 215, sophomore

At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, is big enough that he is a force in the trenches as a blocker for the Wolverines efficient running game. Has the hands and route-running ability of a receiver. With two seasons in high school remaining, already has Pac-12 offers (Arizona) and interest.

Aiden Nicholson, Mountain View, 6-2, 185, sophomore
Super competitive, which affords him the opportunity to be physical enough in the trenches to set an edge in the run game, all the while using his natural ability as a pass catcher to take advantage of matchups on linebackers and strong safeties. His athletic ability allows him to move outside at receiver, on the line as a surface tight end as well as in the backfield as an off the ball H-Back. Coach Adam Mathieson says: "This versatility is his greatest strength. Aiden is a wonderful young man and a high-quality football player: he has a bright future if he continues his present trajectory."

Jack Velling, Seattle Prep, 6-5, 230, senior
An extremely dynamic and versatile player that can hurt an opposing defense in different ways. He is a physical blocker, but also a dynamic route runner and pass catcher. Panthers can use him as an attached tight end or detached, playing him in space making him a difficult match up for either a safety or linebacker. Coach Aaron Maul says: "He is an incredibly humble kid, who is very hard-working. He is competitive, a fantastic teammate, and a true student-athlete."


Austin Terry, Tumwater, 6-5, 230, senior

Has a tremendous understanding of the position. First and foremost, the Boise State commit knows how to block and get the correct angles when down blocking in the Thunderbirds Wing-T offense. Runs great routes and knows how to get open from the tight end position. He does a fantastic job catching the football. Coach Bill Beattie says: "You couldn't ask for a better person or player, he is a coach’s dream to be around. He’s a very humble young man and sets a very high standard for our program. You will never hear him complain or question anything, he just gives his best at all times."

Case Zweegman, Lynden, 6-4, 240, senior

Athletic with great hands, he plays physical which makes him a valuable blocker as well as a huge target in third-down situations. Serves as the Lyncs’ backup quarterback, as well. Is a college prospect on both the football and baseball fields, but likely to choose baseball. Coach Blake VanDalen says: "Case is a clutch player. We go to him consistently on third down, and he either makes key blocks or key catches."


Jonny Lester, Northwest Christian School, 6-5, 250, senior

The Eastern Washington commit is the most dominate skill position blocker coach Marshall Hart says he has seen in quite some time. Catches balls down the seam and punishes defensive backs that come up to try and tackle him. Hart said: "I’m not sure I can say enough. He has grown tremendously in his leadership and selflessness. He is always looking to serve his team. He mentors and helps teach the other young guys around him in between reps. When we had a rash of injuries, he moved positions to offensive tackle to serve his team in his last game. He will be an all-American at the college level."

(Featured file photo by Vince Miller)