PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — West Linn’s Sam Leavitt is the top quarterback in the state of Oregon’s Class of 2023, and he certainly lives up to the billing.

“If you’re looking for something to do on Friday night, I’d come watch Sam play because it’s worth the price of admission, for sure,” said his head coach Jon Eagle.

That is high praise from Eagle, who coached Camas to two state championships and was Portland State’s quarterback coach last season. Their pairing though wasn’t originally supposed to happen.

“I was sitting in class one day and my dad texts me and goes, ‘Coach Miller is leaving to the XFL.’ I’m like, ‘Well, alright, we just sold our house, so we can’t back out now,’” recalled Leavitt.

The senior transferred to West Linn from Westview last offseason to play for the now former West Linn head coach Chris Miller, who played quarterback in the NFL. Shortly thereafter though, Miller left to go coach in the XFL.

“Sometimes good things just fall in your lap,” said Eagle who took over as West Linn head coach three weeks later. “As an old coach, we always say three good things, three bad things are going to happen before the season starts, so obviously Sam coming to West Linn was a good thing for us.”

Another good thing about Leavitt for the Lions? He’s already committed to play at WSU.

He physically feels the weight off his shoulders from that decision, and he’s seeing that pay off on the field.

“So much stress relieved,” said Leavitt with a big sigh. “I just get to go out there and play. I haven’t played like this since the ninth grade. It’s been awesome. I’m loving it.”

He’s hoping that sense of freedom will lead him to his ultimate goal of winning a state championship.

“I’m just super competitive. I love proving people wrong. I feel like I’ve had a lot of haters, and I just feel like it’s time to go get one,” said Leavitt.

But that doesn’t mean he isn’t taking in and treasuring every moment along the way.

“I remember coming up halftime last game, and I just really felt the chance I got to play out here,” said Leavitt as he paused and stared off into the distance. “It was just special.”