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30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 25): Breakout candidates

The season is getting closer, so it’s time to do a little projecting.

Who could be the breakout player of the year in the East Bay?

BEN: Since I’m starting this one off, I get to steal Jimmy’s thunder because I’m going with a guy whose praises he’s been singing since last track season. I’m picking Kennedy TE/DE Takkarist McKinley.

McKinley is listed on Rivals.com at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds. He’s an accomplished track star for the Eagles, and he’s committed to Cal. Now, I have a hunch Kennedy coach Mack Carminer is going to find a way to get this guy the ball in more ways than you’d expect from a tight end. That’s what they did with Kenneth Walker last year. Put the ball in your best player’s hands and let him make plays. So, I think you can expect to see big Tak lined up all over the field and I think Kennedy will be better off for it.

I also think the schedule that Kennedy will play this year could help get McKinley a bit more exposure. Nonleague games against teams like Berkeley, El Cerrito and McClymonds should be pretty well attended, and I think he’ll get noticed early on. I also think Kennedy should make a mark in league play, and could be a candidate to make the postseason.

Alright Jimmy, now that I’ve stolen your guy, who ya got?

JIMMY: Yup, Ben totally stole my guy! So you know what, I’m going to steal a guy he was touting last night. Actually a pair of guys. That’s the Logan quarterback/receiver duo of Jeffrey Prothro Jr. and Amalani Fukofuka. As you may have seen from Ben on Twitter, the report was they looked fantastic last night. They were able to move the ball around on De La Salle, which rumor has it has a pretty good defense. Prothro has been a guy with potential. He’s a third year starter, which gives him a big head start. But honestly, the past two years the team has relied mostly on its running game. The Colts threw the ball around a little bit, but the majority of their offensive success was based on the ground game.

Now if Prothro can deliver and become a weapon in the passing game, along with being a threat to run, that would be a big thing for the Colts. Remember, he’s a great athlete, having taken fourth in the CIF state track and field championships in the triple jump. (Receiver Karsten Wethington was sixth in the same event). Fukofuka was a guy that I’ve always heard some very good things about him. I remember that star RB Warren Miles Long was personally touting him quite a bit to me last year. If he can be a top-notch receiver and Prothro an elite quarterback, look out for Logan.

Ben Enos