Recruiting Blog - 8/29

In today's addition of our recruiting blog we continue our look at Washington's positional recruiting and the units we'll look at today are the wide receivers and tight ends. Read on to find out whom the Huskies have targeted this year at both positions and who they may have a shot with as the season gets underway…

Wide Receivers

All one has to do is look at the wide receiver depth this year to see that the Huskies are in desperate need of several wide receiver candidates in the 2008 class.

Washington loses five senior wideouts – Cody Ellis, Marcel Reece, Corey Williams, Anthony Russo and Quinton Daniels – and they only return two scholarship players at the position – D'Andre Goodwin and Alvin Logan.

Now, the Dawgs could get a boost if both Anthony Boyles and Devin Aguilar are able to boost their test scores on September 15th when they plan to retake the ACT and could be eligible to enroll at Washington at the end of the month.

Even if both enroll, the Huskies still need at least three and more likely four prospects that can play receiver.

That being the case, the coaching staff has turned their recruiting focus toward several talented receiving prospects, not the least of which is Lakes (Tacoma) WR Jermaine Kearse.

Because receivers coach Charlie Baggett recruits the Tacoma area he's been the point-man for the recruitment of Kearse and the word is he's got Washington in a very good position for obtaining the playmaking athlete's services.

Kearse is a speedy player with good size and instincts. If you watch his film, you can see that he plays very fast and he's physical enough to play safety.

His abilities have attracted offers from the likes of Washington State, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Oregon State among others, but it's likely that this will come down to a battle between the Huskies and Golden Bears, although with Hawaii's high-octane passing attack, I wouldn't put them quite out of it yet either.

Oregon is another school who may creep into the circle of serious consideration, but if QB Jake Locker and the offense show the explosiveness and improvement expected this season the Huskies should have the inside track on picking up Kearse's signature come February.

With the 16th-ranked receiver in the nation in your back yard, the Huskies need to reel him in…no doubt about it.

One player that's committed to another school that the Huskies may have a chance to sneak back into contention with is Redlands East Valley (Ca.) WR Chris Polk.

He committed to USC very early in the process, but the Trojans always are in the thick of things for the top wideouts in the country and they've already got three of the top wide receiver prospects in the country – D.J. Shoemate, Brice Butler and Joe Adams – and we're hearing that Polk may be looking around again.

Polk is an excellent receiver with outstanding quickness and hands. He's also got a connection to Washington as one of his best friends and his former quarterback – Ronnie Fouch – is a Husky and don't think for a second that Fouch isn't in contact about the Polk about the receiver situation at Montlake.

Another Polk, this one's name is Jordan Polk from Portland (Lincoln High School), is an intriguing prospect who could end up playing corner or receiver at the next level. He's a big-play receiver with outstanding speed, but he's a bit slight (5-9, 170) so he'll likely be a receiver and punt-returner at the next level. He looks a lot like Goodwin and offensive coordinator Tim Lappano loves to utilize the speed of his wideouts.

Polk is very high on the Huskies and wanted to attend the "prospect day" at the beginning of camp, but he was taking summer school courses to get ahead of his credits (he's a fine student) and was unable to make the trip north. Expect a visit or two during the season for a game and for him to take his official visit in December. It appears Washington is in very good shape for Jordan.

Another in-state player the Huskies have offered who is an excellent receiver is Prosser WR Cody Bruns. The talented wideout from eastern Washington has put up ridiculous numbers the past few years in head coach Tom Moore's offense, but he lost one of the most prolific quarterbacks to ever play in the state of Washington when Kellen Moore, the coach's son, graduated and is now at Boise State. So it remains to be seen if he can still put up the monster numbers.

Bruns' quickness is his biggest asset and the fact that he understands defensive schemes and uses that quickness and his above-average speed (4.45) to find the open spots in the secondary.

Because of Boise State's system and his comfort level with Moore, I believe they are the leaders for his services, but the Huskies along with Washington State will have a lot to say about that before it's all said and done.

To tell you how impressive Bruns' abilities are one need only look at the fact that shortly after every camp he attended he received an offer from that school. The same thing happened over a two week period when Bruns received offers from Washington, Washington, Oregon and Oregon State shortly after leaving their camps.

If the Huskies show well early in the season, they have a very good chance with Bruns, but right now they are in the mix with the Cougars and Broncos.

An out-of-stater the Huskies are very much in the lead for is Flint Southwestern (Mich.) WR Tyrone Ward. He's a big and angular receiver (6-4, 202) who has flown under the radar, but with his teammate, Mark Ingram, receiving so much attention it's likely that Ward will receive some more offers in the near future. As it is, he's gotten offers from the Huskies and Cincinnati and he's getting serious looks from Michigan State, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Washington is likely to get a visit from Ward for the USC game and if everything goes well he's likely to commit on his trip. He's also working on Ingram to commit with him so the Huskies may be in good position to get a package deal.

A.J. Pickens from Don Lugo (Chino, Ca.) is another player the Huskies are in on that is talented and could play a number of positions. His father is a former teammate of J.D. Williams and Pickens is very close with Dominique Blackman who has already committed to the Huskies. Expect the Huskies to be in the hunt for Pickens all year.

Two in-state players that don't have offers yet, but could earn them depending on how their senior seasons go and what players end up going where are Kentridge ATH Brandon Turner and Ferris WR Jared Karstetter.

Both are physical players who are outstanding athletes.

Turner's athleticism and leadership are his biggest assets and he's starting to hear a lot from Air Force. The Huskies are his dream school though and if they offer, it's likely he'll commit on the spot. He's been told by the Huskies and the Cougars that they want to see more of him before they decide to offer, but they won't see much of him at receiver because he's scheduled to play quarterback for the Chargers this fall.

Karstetter is a big wideout who doesn't have a lot of speed, but he understands how to run routes and how to position his body between the ball and the defender.

Both of these outstanding players will be on the Washington radar this fall. Oak Harbor's Roderick Rumble is another player to keep an eye on as well.

Tight End

The Huskies are going to be in the market for at least one tight end and likely two this year. Last year they pulled in the best tight end in the state and one of the best on the west coast in Chris Izbicki, but they need to add some more depth and talent to this position.

First and foremost among Washington's target at any position is Lakes TE/DE Kavario Middleton. The young man from the south Puget Sound could easily be All-Conference anywhere he played and he is being recruited by several schools at tight end.

The Huskies would take him wherever he wants to play, but it's unclear which side he prefers so I'll analyze him here at tight end and also when we focus on the defensive line I'll take a look at him there as well.

As a tight end, there aren't many with his size and athleticism anywhere in the country. He's an amazing athlete able to jump over defenders or run away from them at 6-4, 260.

Middleton also has the frame that could see him grow into a great offensive tackle or a physical interior defensive lineman.

The problem with Middleton is he isn't really a secret and Washington has its work cut out for it if they want to get him. Michigan is always a tough competitor in recruiting battles in the state of Washington – see Steve Schilling – and Miami has also offered and they will also be competition for the Huskies.

Cal, Washington State, Arizona State, Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, Tennessee and many others have offered, but this looks to be a battle between the Huskies, Wolverines and Hurricanes.

Three other players with offers that need to be mentioned are Poway TE Ryan Deehan, Central Catholic (Portland) TE Demetrius Guice and St. Bonaventure (Ventura, Ca.) TE Rafael Washington.

All three have offers and all are athletically gifted players who can block and be good receivers down the field.

Deehan appears to be the best of the three because of the level of competition he plays against and the offers he has to his name. He runs well and has very soft hands. Where he needs work, and he admitted it to me when I talked to him, is in his blocking, but he said that's something he's focused on quite a bit this summer

Guice is a big, physical presence who looks a lot like Ernie Conwell when he plays. He blocks well and is athletic. Washington would have to be considered an early favorite for his services.

Washington could end up at defensive end or tight end, but he's probably not in the same athletic realm of the other two.

Three in-state players who don't have offers, but bare watching this fall are Kamiak's (Mukilteo) Skylar Stormo, Meridian's (Bellingham) Andrei Lintz and Kentridge's Chris Washington.

Of those three, Washington is the most intriguing. He suffered a knee injury and didn't play in 2006, but he's an excellent athlete and, had he played last year, he probably would be in the top 10 prospects within the state and he could even have a few offers on the table right now.

Next up in the positional analysis will be the offensive line prospects the Huskies are after.

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