Coach's Corner: Roster Breakdown

Here we go into the third season under coach Sarkisian and you really have to give these coaches credit for changing the culture of the program back to one of hard work, with a renewed expectation for winning. Nothing has to be said when you inherit a 0-fer team. You know going in there has to be some serious personnel holes to be filled, and that means weeding out as much as it does recruiting.

Addition by subtraction, if you will.

Recruiting the right kids and being real aggressive in the recruiting process has been their challenge. They have gradually increased the size of the team in two ways - physically and in total numbers. In the spring of 2010, this team listed an 80-man roster. Not only were there fewer bodies, there was literally no depth that understood how to win. Of that 80 number as of today, 38 already have quit, graduated, or otherwise left the program. That is almost a 50 percent turnover of personnel in a year and half. The current roster lists 105, but actually there are only about a 100 because of season ending injuries, admissions/clearinghouse hang-ups and the dismissal of another player.

One of the most obvious things that stands out about this Husky football team is that there are only 34 upperclassmen (18 seniors and 16 juniors). That means there are twice as many sophomores and freshmen (either red-shirt or true).

There are 49 kids from California, 42 kids from Washington, five from Hawaii, and a sprinkling from other states.

Of the Washington kids, 26 come from the greater-Seattle area, eight are from the Greater Tacoma/Kitsap area, five from the northwest Washington area, and only two from eastern Washington.

There are now eight players who are listed at 6-foot-6, and 11 more who are in the 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5 range. This team is more rangy and longer looking than they were five years ago. There are 29 kids who are 6-foot-2 or 6-foot-3, and 32 who are 6 feet or 6-foot-1. There are 12 who are listed at 5-foot-11 and only 12 who are 5-foot-10 or less.

There are 13 players who are 300 or more pounds, including four who are 330 pounds or more.

Roughly 55 percent of the team is African-American, and 22 percent are Pacific Islanders. What is tremendous to me is that the graduation rate amongst the minority student-athletes in this football program has gone up steadily since coach Sarkisian has arrived, so the message is simple; you go to school if you want to play. Because of that, almost the whole team enrolls in summer school now to ensure their graduation.

Here is the breakdown according to position, including those injured. Position moves also have been considered although rarely do you move kids from one side of the ball to the other.

There are 12 listed wide receivers, six quarterbacks, six tight ends, 11 running backs and 15 offensive linemen – so 50 on offense. On the defense there are 10 safeties, seven corners, 15 linebackers, and 15 defensive front guys – so 47 on defense. There are five kicking specialist. (2k, 2p, 1snp), so that means 102 total players on the active roster.

They can have up to 105, and were expecting 105. Kyle Lewis has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA, while Antavius Sims and Marvin Hall are both still working through their academics to get cleared to play.

The 2010 recruiting class continues to prove it was one of the best classes in the past ten years at Washington. They signed 26 kids that year and three failed admissions so that left 23. Zach Fogerson is already gone due to a permanent injury, so that leaves 22. Of that total, every single one is currently in their two-deeps. Wow! That's really hitting the jackpot with your evaluation system. It is rare that such a high percentage from any class plays that much that early. It also tells you what they started with.

In the 2011 recruiting class, Washington signed 22 players, and it is obvious that Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Kasen Williams, Danny Shelton, James Sample, and maybe even Marcus Peters are going to play this season. There are still two admission problems, but all the other kids look like they're going to be really good players down the road. Hopefully they will be able to redshirt the majority of those others, so that three years from now there will be a lot more 21 and 22-year olds and less 18-year olds playing for the Huskies.

There are 21 listed players who were initially walk-ons (although some have since been placed on scholarship). This number could increase once they play their first game. The NCAA limits everyone to a cap of 105 players for training camp, but you are allowed to bring in more once you play your first game or school starts. Unfortunately for UW, their quarter system doesn't begin until the end of September, so the Huskies will most likely end up with the smallest roster of any of the northwest schools.

Turnover - or attrition - is one of the things that you always have to account for with roster development, but hopefully it's not half your team in one year's time. This is still a developing team and a very young one at that. The reality is that UW has twice as many underclassmen as upperclassmen. When Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt had all the seniors stand at a recent defensive meeting, only six stood up. Those guys have been to hell and back with this program and hopefully they get to go out on a winning note. What is really positive though is that very few of the last two signing classes have left the program.


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