At the start of the 2012 season, Keenan Curran (Federal Way, Wash./Federal Way) wasn’t a starter. He believed he had the potential to become a playmaker, but he needed to prove it on the field.
So the 6-foot-2, 169-pound safety made sure he was always matched up against one of his most talented teammates at practice.
Now, as the Eagles -- ranked No. 2 in Washington’s 4A classification -- prepare for the playoffs, the junior has not only played his way into a starting role, he is developing into a college prospect.
“I always believed in myself, but I didn’t think that much of it,” Curran said. “I did hope. There’s always that distant hope that you can be a playmaker. It’s very surprising, but I always believed in myself.”
Described by his coaches as long and rangy, Curran is a key contributor for Federal Way. In addition to starting at safety, he spends time at quarterback, running the ball out of the Wildcat formation.
To get ready for the season, he studied different teams and coverages. He wanted to make sure he had the knowledge to match his athleticism.
“I watched guys in the NFL and college and tried to model my game after theirs,” he said. “It was a lot of hard work.”
While working through the offseason, the thought of proving himself as a college prospect seemed so far off he was forced to focus on a quiet confidence that his dedication would pay off.
“It was in the distant view, the very distant view,” he said when asked about seeing success this season. “I always believed in myself, but I didn’t think that much of it. I did hope. There’s always that distant hope that you can be a playmaker. It’s very surprising, but I always believed in myself.”
The recruits push each other every day in practice, helping propel the Eagles toward a state championship while preparing their teammates to play at the next level.
“We push each other to the max,” Curran said. “When Mike’s on offense, D’Londo’s on defense pushing him. Same thing when D’Londo’s on offense, I’m trying to be on defense and play against him. I’m just trying to get better, playing against great competition. We’re trying to push ourselves to be the best we can be.”
Curran has been such a surprise for the Eagles, he hasn’t landed on the radar of college coaches yet. But his coaches are confident he has the size and talent to play at the next level.
“It’s unbelievable,” Curran said. “I get butterflies in my stomach every time I think about it.”
While he wants to play in college, he knows he needs to play well in high school to get there. So, for now, he is concentrating on winning a state title.
“A scholarship is definitely the big goal, but just to be the best I can be for my team, contribute the most I can,” Curran said. “I definitely don’t want to stop working hard, and I don’t want to be satisfied. I just want to keep striving, because I can always critique myself and find ways to get better.”