We're just beyond the MLB All-Star Game, and the Tour de France has entered its final stages, but football is king in this country, and the buzz for the 2012 season has begun.
Training camps for the NFL open next week. In the Mid-Columbia, teens report for high school football in about a month.
For ESPN, its hype machine for the prep season begins to ramp up July 18 with the five-day Elite 11 finals in Redondo Beach, Calif. Former Seattle Seahawks QB Trent Dilfer selected the field of 25 top high school quarterbacks.
This summer, there are two reasons for folks in Washington state to keep track.
Skyline quarterback Max Browne, who has committed to Southern California, popped up among the first round of selections. He's viewed by Dilfer and his cadre of consultants as the country's No. 2 pocket passer among high school QBs.
Among those rounding out the field of 25 is Troy Williams from Nathaniel A. Narbonne High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Harbor City, Calif. He says he's going to the University of Washington and learn from Steve Sarkisian, whos done quite well at Montlake with dual-threat QBs Jake Locker and now Keith Price. Perhaps it's no coincidence that Williams ranked as the country's No. 5 dual threat QB.
Last month, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times pointed out that UW football has been represented several times since Elite 11 began in 1998.
The finals will be broadcast Aug. 7 and Aug. 14 on ESPN, according to the Elite 11 Twitter feed.