When the Daily Pilot asked Newport Harbor High football coach Jeff Brinkley for a player interview, the head man steered the reporter clear of the Sailors' star lineman.
Brinkley knows Ramsey Hufford is perhaps the most well-known Newport Harbor football player, yet also knows the big guy doesn't like to say much.
Hufford, instead, likes to let his play do the talking. And it appears it will say a lot this season.
The senior left tackle/defensive end, who has gained offers from Fresno State and UC Davis, is one of the top returners for the Sailors, who reached the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division quarterfinals last year and return as the division's eighth-ranked team.
He'll be depended upon to lead an offensive line that features two sophomores, and just one other returning starter.
"He handles it fine," Brinkley said of the 6-foot-4, 305-pounder's ability to deal with the notoriety. "He has a good work ethic. He's really good in the weight room. He's our strongest kid. He's fine with [the attention]. He's done a good job. He understands that he needs to go out and perform. The more success the team has the more accolades all these guys are going to get. It really stems from what we do as a team. The individual things will take care of themselves."
Brinkley said San Diego State and Cal have also shown interest in Hufford.
"He's good on both sides of the ball," Brinkley said of Hufford, the 2012 Sunset League Defensive Lineman of the Year, who earned All-CIF and Daily Pilot Dream Team honors. "Some [college recruiters] like him on offense and some guys like him on defense. I think that's what makes him attractive. They can bring him in and figure out where to play him."
Hufford is expected to excel on both sides of the ball for the Sailors.
The following is a position-by-position look at Newport Harbor, which opens the season at Trabuco Hills Friday at 7 p.m.
•Quarterback: Cole Norris, a junior who earned first-team All-Sunset League honors, returns as the starter.
Brinkley admires Norris' talent and says he is one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks that he's had run his pro-style offense. Norris started 10 games for the Sailors last year, when he threw for 1,463 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions on 109-of-186 passing.
Dalton Rosene, a sophomore transfer from JSerra, will be the backup. He has been throwing the ball really well during recent practices, Brinkley said.
"I don't really have a problem if he had to play," Brinkley said of Rosene. "I think he could be as capable as Cole was last year as a sophomore. I think he is that far along as a sophomore. He had a really good summer for us. I feel comfortable with him."
•Running back: Junior Chance Siemonsma enters as the starting tailback, taking over for Talalelei Teapua, an All-CIF runner, who was named the Offensive Player of the Year for the Sunset League and Daily Pilot Dream Team.
Siemonsma, 5-11, 156 pounds, is a different type of back than what Newport Harbor's had in the past, Brinkley said.
"He's a little more quicker and shiftier," Brinkley said. "We've had guys who are bigger and pound-the-ball type guys. But he's a good back. He's had a good off-season."
Senior Garrett Hall and junior Riley Gaddis are also expected to contribute as tailbacks. They are also receivers.
"They are more physical than Chance," Brinkley said of Hall and Gaddis. "They don't run quite as well as him, but they are bigger kids. But we will give them all a shot at carrying the football."
Trevor Shaw, a 5-10, 215-pound junior, starts at fullback, where 5-8, 195-pound senior Gerardo Aceves also plays.