Safety recruit Michael Westbrook Wants You to Know his Name

The Lakes High School prospect has altered his body, but he still answers to a familiar moniker.
Author:
Publish date:

Michael Westbrook is a familiar name for college football, a couple times over.

It describes the Colorado player and eventual hall-of-famer who made an improbable last-play, game-winning, Hail Mary catch in 1994 in the "Miracle at Michigan."

It identifies a BYU wide receiver who had a productive day against the University of Washington more than two decades ago.

Finally, it belongs to a 3-star Lakes High School safety and sometimes wide receiver from Lakewood, Washington, who is going to great lengths to expand his recruiting profile.

This involves submitting to a complete body makeover during the pandemic pause  

"I got thrown around a bit too much last season," the youngest Michael Westbrook said. "I've put on 35 pounds since I was last in pads. I wasn't going to sit around and do nothing."

A more physically imposing Westbrook was on full display in Lakes' recent season-opening 34-6 victory over Bonny Lake. He recorded 7 tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown.

With a loaded team, he's doing his best to help Lakes pursue another state championship and match what the second Michael Westbrook did.

That would be his father.

In 1997, Michael Westbrook, Sr., came up with his own miracle catch on a little smaller scale. He pulled in a last-second touchdown pass to give Lakes its first state title. 

After hauling in 55 passes for 1,000-plus yards that season, he was named honorable-mention All-American by USA Today.

Turning down a Husky scholarship offer, the elder Westbrook left home and spent two seasons at BYU. In 1999, he caught 5 passes in the Cougars' 35-28 victory over the UW in their season opener at Provo, Utah.

The youngest Michael Westbrook now at Lake High stands 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, which makes him an inch taller and 25 pounds heavier than his dad at the same age.

As a sophomore, this particular Westbrook tested out at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and he's faster than that now.

In the season-opening win over Bonney Lake, he put his newfound speed on display when he raced 60 yards to score with the pass theft.  

"My goal was to add muscle to all parts of my body," Westbrook said. "I was focused on becoming stronger, but I also needed to become faster."

He's getting a lot of recruiting attention as part of the class of 2022 so far from Colorado (home of that other Michael Westbrook), Oregon State, UCLA and even Yale recruiters. He's interacting with Washington coaches on social media, hoping for more.

As for that other Westbrook, the first one to emerge and a player of almost mystical college football proportions for pulling in a 64-yard scoring catch to beat Michigan with no time on the clock, he's no relation. 

The Westbrook namesakes have never met. 

Still, it doesn't hurt to be confused with or mistaken for a guy like that.