Recruiting Round up

Recruiting is the time where coaches are attempting to do three things, really: First and foremost, they are attempting to increase the talent level at each position. The more competition you have across the board, the better athletes and football players you put on the field.

Second, you want to fill in the gaps and potential shortfalls you may have at any one position. If your roster is such that it cannot fill in for injuries, you cannot win on a consistent basis.

The third and final thing you must do is project those kids two, three, and four years down the road. This can prove to be the most difficult because you often cannot correctly measure the heart of a recruit, or prevent that recruit from becoming injured or distracted. So as a coach you do your best to do your homework, research, film study, and networking with your high school coaches in your area to find out as much as you can about the young men you are trying to decide to offer a scholarship to.

In the end, you hope to achieve a recruiting class that can improve your talent, add depth, and create good competition for the next few years while you are developing and coaching them. Some will immediately rise to the top while others it might take a little while for the light to come on. Others, the light may never come on and others may suffer injury or academic struggles.

Ideally, if you can get good solid production from about half of any one recruiting class, you've done pretty well. The average recruiting class will have from 23-24 kids in it, so if you can get 12 from each to rise to the top tier of the depth chart and contribute from each class, as long as you don't have a shortfall at any one position, your depth should be fairly sufficient.

Let's take a look at the current situation regarding recruiting and see how the current needs are being met or need to be met. The classes shown for each player are for the 2012 season.

OFFENSIVE LINE: OG James Atoe (6-6 337 Soph), OT Dexter Charles (6-4 295 RS-fr), C Michael Criste (6-5 285 Soph), OT Micah Hatchie (6-5 290 Soph), OT Erik Kohler (6-5 300 Jr), OG Colin Porter (6-4 325 Jr), OT Ben Riva (6-6 300 Soph), C Drew Schaefer (6-4 300 Sr) OG Colin Tanigawa (6-3 295 Soph), C Siosifa Tufunga (6-1 320 RS-Fr).

Ten total guys, nine of whom have at least two years of eligibility left is a very decent number. It may only be shy by one body to be a perfect situation. The fact that four of them are returning starters makes for an even better scenario. Walk-on Ross Dolbec (6-6 310) is impressive and could be that 10th guy. There is a reason he was invited to walk on from California. There is a need for probably four incoming kids in this next class but the Dawgs would take five if they can.

2012 Verbal Commits (2): C Cory English (6-4 285), OT Nathan Dean (6-5 275). Neither English nor Dean will be needed for the next two years at least, unless disaster strikes. Washington needs two more in this class, but would take commits from any of OT Zach Banner (6-9 300), OG Joshua Garnett (6-5 275), OT Jeremiah Poutasi (6-5 315), or OG Shane Brostek (6-3 300). English is a good one, as the Huskies had him in their camp and saw him up close.

QUARTERBACK: Keith Price (6-0 190 Jr), Nick Montana (6-2 200 Soph), Derrick Brown (6-3 220 RS-Fr). Depth here is pretty darn good. Price is one of the most accurate passers Washington has ever had, and he has two more years of starting. Montana got some meaningful back up minutes, and Brown opened a lot of eyes with his size and arm strength. He will figure in the mix in 2012.

2012 Verbal Commits (2): Jeff Lindquist (6-3 225), Cyler Miles (6-4 220). Two four-star quarterbacks in the same class, you cannot do any better than this. Give Sark an A+ for his effort here. Both are great athletes who can make things happen outside of the pocket. And both may be able to redshirt.

RUNNING BACK: TB Chris Polk (5-11 224 Sr), TB Jesse Callier (5-10 200 Jr), TB Deontae Cooper (6-0 199 Soph), TB Dezden Petty (5-11 218 Fr-RS), TB Bishop Sankey (5-11 195 Soph), FB Jonathan Amosa (5-11 230 Sr), FB Tim Tucker (6-1 240 Jr).

The depth is good, but the drop-off behind Polk is still considerable. Let's face it, he is an NFL back and should he choose to leave a year early, the Huskies won't have that war-daddy that they can hand the ball to and count on 100 yards per game. Callier is a good change of pace back but I cannot picture him getting 20 carries per game. Sankey looks like he could be a home run hitter. It will be fun to see his number of carries increase should Polk leave. Cooper is a wild card, having suffered two knee injuries. Amosa and Tucker give the fullback position good depth.

2012 Verbal Commits (2): Tairen Owens (5-9 170), Erich Wilson (6-1 185). Owens is the fly-back type of speedster while Wilson has good size. One more tailback with speed would be a good addition but not necessary if Cooper is able to contribute. The one wild card out there is Mariner's Keivarae Russell (5-11, 170). Russell loves UW, and if he does commit to Washington he could very much be what the coaches initially envisioned Chris Polk to be, more of a scat back, fly-motion type athlete you try to get out in space. Obviously from a local recruiting standpoint, you have to keep players like Russell home.

WIDE RECEIVER: Cody Bruns (5-11 175 Sr), James Johnson (6-1 200 Sr), Jamaal Jones (6-2 180 RS-Fr), Josh Perkins (6-3 200 RS-Fr), Kevin Smith (6-0 210 Jr), Kasen Williams (6-2 215 Soph), DiAndre Campbell (6-0 190 Soph). Seven receivers spread out between three classes are pretty good. Williams, Johnson, and Smith are all Pac-12 starter proven quality while Perkins impressed on scout team. Bruns returns for his final season and brings good hands in the slot. Washington needs to add two more, maybe a third if Jones isn't able to return to form after a leg injury.

2012 Verbal Commits (4): Dwayne Washington (6-2 210), Michael Rector (6-0 170), Kendyl Taylor (6-0 175), Marvin Hall (5-10 170). This is a good mix of size and speed. The Huskies could very likely be done here unless a home run hitter becomes available. Hall is the speedster that will likely become a return specialist. He is a late enrollee from last year's class.

TIGHT ENDS: Austin Seferian-Jenkins (6-6 265 soph), Michael Hartvigson (6-5 255 soph), Evan Hudson (6-6 260 soph). You can't really ask for much of a better mix than what these three bring to the field. All three are skilled and can hurt defenses in multiple ways. ASJ is going to be a first round draft pick. It is doubtful the Huskies will add anyone at this extremely deep position, although players like Taylor McNamara (6-5, 235) and Ian Taubler (6-5, 250) are in the mix.

?DEFENSIVE LINE: DE Connor Cree (6-4 231 RS-Fr), DE Talia Crichton (6-3 255 Sr), DE Jarett Finau (6-2 255 RS-Fr), DE Andrew Hudson (6-3 231 Soph), DE Hau'oli Jamora (6-3 245 Jr), DT Lawrence Lagafuaina (6-0 335 soph), DT Sione Potoae (6-2 275 Jr), DT Danny Shelton (6-1 335 Soph), DE Josh Shirley (6-2 230 Soph), DT Semisi Tokolahi (6-2 330 Sr), DT Taniela Tupou (6-1 285 RS-Fr).

Ideally you'd like 8 bodies that are Pac-12 ready that you can rotate in and out to keep fresh legs, and with the current line up you have that. Shirley, Jamora, Tokolahi, and Potoae all have started games and Hudson, Lagafuaina, and Shelton have all played significant minutes. Tupou really excited the coaches during practice. With injuries, you'd like to have a few more younger bodies in the mix to create solid depth.

2012 Verbal Commits (3): Cory Littleton (6-4 220), Kalei Auelua (6-1 240), Malcolm Jackson (6-1 260). Jackson could very well grow into a 3-technique. It would be nice to add one more true inside guy, and the Huskies would likely take a commit from San Joaquin Delta JC Josh Banks (6-3 285), or maybe another JC name we don't know about yet.

LINEBACKER: Princeton Fuimaono (6-1 215 Jr), Garret Gilliland (6-0 225 Jr), Jamaal Kearse (6-2 228 Soph), Scott Lawyer (6-2 200 RS-Fr), Matthew Lyons (6-2 200 RS-Fr), Cooper Pelluer (6-3 228 Jr), John Timu (6-1 220 Soph), Thomas Tutogi (6-2 230 Jr), OLB Corey Waller (6-0 221 RS-Fr).

The class spacing in this group is almost ideal. However one thing becomes clear, and that is some of the outside linebackers will need to be tried inside. Tutogi is the only one on the roster that really was recruited to play inside. Kearse looks to have the size to try it, as does Pelluer. Timu might grow big enough as well should he put on 10 more pounds. Fuimaono was really coming on at the end of the year on the outside and both Lawyer and Lyons have serious speed on the outside. Ideally Washington should add two more guys that are capable of playing inside in this class. I have no idea where Waller may wind up, he's kind of a tweener.

2012 Verbal Commits (2): MLB Ryan McDaniel (6-1 220), MLB Blake Rodgers (6-2 220). Both of these kids are big bodies, and can play inside. They should be a perfect fit for the current roster. Both should get the opportunity to redshirt as well. This was a solid job of recruiting by Sark for this position. They could add one or two more here just to hedge against injury, and there's some real studs out there for the taking, like OLB Seth Jacobs (6-2, 215) and OLB Jared Afalava (6-3, 220).

SAFETY: Travis Feeney (6-4 208 RS-Fr), Nate Fellner (6-1 201 Sr), Justin Glenn (5-11 205 Sr), Sean Parker (5-10 205 Jr), James Sample (6-2 195 RS-Fr), Will Shamburger (6-0 192 Jr), Taz Stevenson (6-1 203 Jr), Evan Zeger (6-2 210 RS-Fr).

Parker has emerged as a budding star and both Glenn and Fellner have played a lot of minutes with their ups and downs. Stevenson was injured and Shamburger had some good minutes last year. The two guys that have me looking down the road with excitement are Feeney and Sample. Those two have Pac-12 bodies already. Zeger may grow into a linebacker, we'll see. The depth here is good but it would be nice to see another player of the caliber of Parker emerge from the pack. The numbers are very good, now it's a matter of coaching up production from them.

2012 Verbal Commits (2): Taylor Lagace (6-1 200), Jason Thompson (6-2 205). Both of these kids are big and can really hit you. Thompson has very good speed and quickness in addition to a large frame. There's still one big plum out there in Shaquille Thompson (6-2, 210), Scout.com's No. 1 safety prospect, and UW is definitely in play here.

CORNERBACK: Greg Ducre (5-10 175 Jr), Anthony Gobern (5-11 187 Sr), Adam Long (5-10 173 Jr), Marcus Peters (5-11 185 soph), Desmond Trufant (6-0 185 Sr).

Trufant has been a mainstay on one side, and has had success mixed with some tough games. Opposite him Ducre had some nice games and if Long can return to form from a leg injury he would add nice depth there. Marcus Peters has good size and looks like he has a pretty bright future. Ideally you'd like to add two more bodies with speed and decent size.

2012 Verbal Commits (3): Darien Washington (5-11 175), Bryan Harper (6-0 170), Antavius Sims (6-2 200 Jr). Washington had 71 tackles this year, and is a real ball hawk. Also, Rector (listed as a wide receiver) could also be a corner in this class. Sims is a bounce back from last year's class and brings good size and legitimate speed to the position. Harper gives you another 6-foot, tall corner to develop. Because numbers are needed here, it's a good thing UW is in on a lot of studs: Davonte Neal, Ishmael Adams, Kevon Seymour, Brandon Beaver and Alphonso Marsh are all prospects UW recruitniks need to pay attention to as we get closer to signing day.

KICKER: Washington loses both their punters as well as their place kicker. There is a very big need at both.

2012 Verbal Commit (1): Korey Durkee (6-4 195). Durkee could very well wind up winning both jobs. He only missed one field goal attempt all year and had 50 touchbacks on kickoffs. In addition, he averaged 45 yards per punt. It is asking a lot of a true freshman to come right in and win both kicking jobs, so look for the Huskies to possibly scour the JC ranks for one to compliment Durkee, or try to entice a local kicker to walk-on, like Mercer Island's Alex Wood, for instance. The Huskies have historically done really well with walk-on kickers - Chuck Nelson, Jeff Jaeger, John Wales, etc…)

Washington really only has one more true need as they hit the home stretch, and that is on the offensive line. Should they close with any three from Banner, Garnett, Brostek, and Poutasi, it should be considered a very solid recruiting year. If they can get one more defensive linemen, capable of playing inside, it would be an incredible way to finish up.

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