At 300 pounds, Tanner Wilkey is a beast in the middle of the Longmont defense
Lewis Geyer / TIMES-CALL
At 300 pounds, Tanner Wilkey is a beast in the middle of the Longmont defense

On paper, the Longmont Trojans appear primed for a deep run into the Class 4A playoffs.

Yet that often has been the case during coach Doug Johnson’s tenure. Now in his 15th season at the helm of the Trojans program, Johnson routinely has his charges ready to roll.

Tanner Wilkey, for one, has seen it all before. And he knows that boasting a bunch of all-stars on paper doesn’t mean anything. With a quick start to what should be a promising 2014 campaign — the Trojans kick off Friday night at Pueblo East — Wilkey and his teammates are preparing to let their play do all their talking.

“It all just depends on how well we mesh,” said Wilkey, a behemoth of a lineman expected to provide a brick wall in the middle of the Trojans’ interior defense. “A couple years ago we started out ranked high and we didn’t even make the playoffs. We just have to go out and play our game and let the rest take care of itself.”

That said, a look at what the Trojans return from a club that finished 7-3 after bowing out in the first round of the playoffs in 2013 makes it obvious why Longmont begins the season ranked fourth in 4A in the state’s initial AP media poll.

With a 6-foot-6, 300-pound Wilkey (who has received an offer from the University of San Diego) dominating the interior, the Trojans boast a bona fide brick wall in the middle of their defense that should prove immovable against any running game.

With senior quarterback Clint Sigg and running back Eli Sullivan leading the way on offense, the Trojans’ attack features one of the most accomplished thrower-runner combinations in all of Class 4A.

And with linebacker Logan Goodner returning from a knee injury that limited him to just two games in 2013, the Longmont defense welcomes back a capable playmaker to a unit that returns nine starters overall.

“We always have high expectations around here, but that doesn’t always mean anything,” Johnson said. “We’d like to hang our hat on all of it. We do have a lot of our skill guys back on both sides, and we feel like we’re pretty fast. We feel pretty good about things. It’s just going to come down to how well we execute.”

The 6-foot-4 Sigg emerged as one of the top two-way threats at quarterback in the region last season, completing 54.7 percent of his passes for 1,516 yards and 12 touchdowns. Sigg also recorded an even 800 rushing yards with 12 touchdowns.

Sullivan, a junior, was equally impressive in the Trojans’ ground game, averaging a whopping 9.9 yards per carry while collecting 878 yards and seven touchdowns. Sullivan also proved to be a dangerous threat through the air, making a team-leading 27 receptions for 500 yards and three more touchdowns.

“We’ve got a lot of speed and we’re looking really solid,” Sigg said. “You always expect to have a good year, and this year we have all the tools. I just want to be more comfortable in the pocket. I worked really hard in the offseason and I think the speed aspect of it will be huge for us. We’re going to take advantage of that this year for sure.”

Contact Writer Pat Rooney at 303-473-1315 or