Who is left on the board?

As with every top BCS program, Washington's recruiting is always going to be a bit of a mixed bag coming down the stretch. The upside - they have 20 commits, including two of the top prep quarterbacks in the country. The downside - they've lost out on some big in-state recruits and the chances they'll land some big studs during the next for days is muddled at best.

Will Steve Sarkisian be able to land some king salmon in the final days? That is the only question on Washington fans' minds right now as the final minutes tick down toward Wednesday's Signing Day.

With that being said, here's a quick primer on who Washington is publicly in on going down the stretch, and we'll take a stab at UW's chances at landing each prospect.

Shaquille Thompson - The Huskies are trying to take big swings with some of their final targets, and when it comes to a viable prospect they don't come more heralded than Shaq Thompson. Scout.com's No. 1 safety prospect, Thompson - the younger brother of former Cal safety Syd'Quan Thompson, visited Washington back at the end of September, and has been talking about them even though he is verbally committed to the Golden Bears.

When Tosh Lupoi left Berkeley for Seattle, things changed for Thompson. Instead of being solidly in Cal's corner, it suddenly became a 50/50 proposition. Washington recently sent an armada of coaches to Sacramento to make their final push for Thompson, and Lupoi - as well as new UW Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox - could hold the key to getting Thompson's signature on Wednesday.

There's a possibility Thompson could wait until after Signing Day, but I don't think that's going to happen. Shaq and his family have heard all the pitches and are ready to decide. Now it's just a matter of where. This one is really going to come down to the wire between the Bears and Huskies, and in cases like these the general rule of thumb is that when a recruit is torn he usually sides with the home school.

Arik Armstead - Scout.com's No. 1 tackle prospect has been looking at UW since de-committing from USC back in October. That being said, the 6-foot-8, 275-pound Armstead has already made his five official visits - Alabama, Auburn, California, Notre Dame, and Oregon - so Washington was left out in the cold. No matter; seven UW coaches - including Steve Sarkisian - made the trip down to Sacramento to pitch Armstead with a full-on power point presentation at a local hotel, complete with UW jerseys draped all over the room with Armstead's name and favorite number on them.

The visit apparently made a big impression on Armstead, but since he can't officially visit UW the only way Washington could get back in the game that way is to have Armstead wait until after Signing Day to take an unofficial visit to Seattle. That isn't going to happen.

So how do the Huskies possibly figure into the mix here? Well, if Shaquille Thompson announces for Washington, that could change things. Both have been communicating, and if both ended up going to the same school, it's thought that Cal and Washington would be in the driver's seat. But there's only one crimp in that plan; Armstead is planning to announce Sunday at 3 pm; Thompson is announcing on Signing Day.

So while the UW coaches went in with a couple heavy bats (Sarkisian and Lupoi) and took all their cuts, it's very, very doubtful Armstead would commit to a school without taking an official visit, and without knowing the future of his teammate? It's certainly possible Thompson could tell Armstead what he plans on doing as a matter of building momentum for Washington's signing class, but that's just assuming too many things fall into place at exactly the right time. I just think there's too many moving parts in this scenario for it to come true, as much as it would immediately bolster Washington's recruiting resume considerably.

Zach Banner - The 6-foot-9, 320-pound Banner is a behemoth that wants to play football and basketball at the next level (as does Armstead). Being from Lakes High School - a traditional UW pipeline - it's always been assumed that the Huskies would be right in the mix come Signing Day. And they are. The question is; how much damage was made by assistant coaches, and how much ground can Sarkisian make up?

Lakes has seen at least three different coaches handled the basic recruiting responsibilities during this last cycle, finishing up with Sark - who has taken over Banner's recruitment personally. From the outside looking in, that means the ball was dropped somewhere, and Sark is doing his best to pick it up. What really hurt Washington's chances with Banner was the fact that he canceled all his in-home visits this last week, including a meeting with Sarkisian.

Now on paper, all three of his finalists - Washington, USC and Oklahoma - suffered the same fate, but with UW it hurt more because Sark was not allowed his shot to pick up the pieces. UW has plenty going for it - it's close to home, his family can see him, and he would be an instant hero if he signed with the local school.

But Zach apparently wants to be in a situation where he's playing with guys that have rated and ranked in a similar fashion; deciphered, that means he would like to play with more five-star guys. And that means a place like USC. But word down in LA has boosters believing Banner will be one of those players that decides to stay close to home.

Either way, we'll know at 2:30 Monday, as Banner is set to make his announcement known at the LHS Performing Arts Center. My gut on this says UW, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if he thinks he has a better chance to win right away as a Trojan.

Cedric Dozier - Banner's teammate and part of a rapidly disintegrating #Calgang, Dozier committed to Cal early on, lured by the temptation to play receiver in the Pac-12. But then his recruitment hit a snag; Tosh Lupoi and Eric Kiesau - his two recruiters at Cal - left to coach at Washington.

So what's a great athlete like Dozier supposed to do? Open things up, just to be sure - and that's exactly what he did. He took a trip to Washington State last weekend, and is now on a trip to Washington as I type this.

Make no mistake; even though Dozier felt like Cal was initially the place for him, he holds no ill-will at all toward UW, and in fact appreciated their candor when they told him they saw him as a defensive back. But his first love is with the ball in his hand, and frankly he would make an amazing slot receiver in Mike Leach's offense in Pullman.

The one cloud hanging over Washington when it comes to Dozier is whether or not he'll be convinced they will give him a legitimate shot to play receiver first. With Kiesau in his corner, they may very well be able to get over that hump. He really likes California a lot, but I suspect UW will make up a lot of ground on his official visit and turn this recruitment into one that's too close to call.

There's one theory out there that Dozier will join Banner on Monday and both announce for Washington, much like when former Lancers Jermaine Kearse and Kavario Middleton did the same thing back in 2008. Could it happen? Absolutely. Is there empirical evidence that it will happen? Not yet.

Kenny Walker - Walker is another part of #Calgang, a 6-foot, 175-pound athlete who could play running back at the next level, but also wide receiver. After committing to the Bears in August, things looked rock solid for Walker until coaches started bolting Berkeley. His position coach, Eric Kiesau, is now in Seattle, and so that's why Walker is currently on an official visit to Montlake.

By bringing Dozier and Walker up on the same visit at the same time, they might be looking for which one is interested in taking a scholarship. In short, two guys for one ride. But Walker is an athlete that can do a lot of things, and he's the kind of physical specimen you'd love to have if you're Washington for things like special teams, for instance. Walker also took an official visit to UCLA, and they could be a player too, but you have to think his familiarity with Kiesau gives Washington the edge in this battle if he decides to de-commit from Cal.

Jordan Payton - Payton is another receiver prospect currently committed to California, and he specifically mentioned to Scout.com his familiarity with Lupoi and Kiesau as a huge motivating factor when he put on a Cal cap during the U.S. Army All-American game. Lupoi has been recruiting Payton for three years now, and it's clear Payton feels comfortable with the new UW defensive line coach.

Current UW offensive tackle Erik Kohler is a former teammate of Payton's at Oaks Christian High School, and the Huskies have always been recruiting him even when he made a verbal commitment to USC back in March of 2010. Sarkisian and some of Washington's assistants will be at Payton's house Saturday to give their final presentation to Payton and his family. The familiarity factor will be there, and the offense appears perfectly suited for a bigger receiver like Payton. Is it going to be a match on Signing Day? I think it is.

Randall Goforth - The Long Beach Poly athlete was one of three Jackrabbits to trip out to Washington the weekend of January 13th. It made a great impression on Goforth, who was initially committed to Arizona State before Dennis Erickson and his staff got blown out of Tempe.

But a trip back out to ASU to meet up with new head coach Todd Graham and his new staff has seemingly put Goforth back in a position where the Sun Devils remain his top option. Washington and UCLA are also in the mix, but based on what we're hearing it wouldn't be surprising to see Goforth re-commit to ASU any day now and sign on Wednesday.

Salamo Fiso - We weren't able to reach the Jackrabbit OLB after his official visit to Washington, but like Goforth Fiso had earlier committed to ASU before stepping back when the staff that had been recruiting him was fired. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound 'backer prospect is on an official visit to Hawaii as I type this, and while it wouldn't be a huge shock if he decided UW was the best place for him - there's a lot of Long Beach talent already on the Huskies' roster - there's just not enough information to know whether or not UW has targeted him as a 100 percent 'must-get' this close to signing day.

Alonzo Williams - Unlike Fiso, there's no doubt where Williams stands on UW's pecking order - they want him bad. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound defensive end, who is currently committed to Texas A&M, is visiting College Station right now. He has publicly said that it's a two-horse race between the Huskies and Aggies, but considering his connection with TAMU throughout the recruiting process, you have to give them the edge at this point. But there's a couple things going on here. First, TAMU has a new head coach - Kevin Sumlin - and Williams will have to figure out of the new coaching configuration jibes with his own thoughts. And secondly, don't put it past this retooled defensive staff for UW; they have some real DL recruiting muscle in Lupoi, and Johnny Nansen is from Long Beach. There's plenty of reasons for Williams to pick UW, and he could just as easily stay out west and join for LBP teammate Corey Waller on the Huskies' defensive line.

Devian Shelton - Shelton, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound safety prospect from Inglewood, Calif. was another Pac-12 casualty when Washington went hunting for coaches. Shelton was verbally committed to Oregon State before the Huskies hired his OSU position coach - Keith Heyward. When Heyward headed to Seattle, Shelton took an official visit.

Since that time, as soon as Shelton's decommit from OSU became public knowledge, all sorts of programs have come at him, curious if he wanted to visit them. He took a trip to Nebraska, and is reportedly on a current official visit to Tennessee. As of a couple days ago, Nebraska and UW appeared to be front-runners, and if Shelton's relationship with Heyward is as strong as it sounds like it is, the Huskies could be on the inside track. But Shelton may wait until Signing Day to announce, so it could be nip and tuck all the way to the wire with this particular prospect.

Michael Rector - Rector had been a solid Washington recruit for a long time, but Stanford had always been kind of lurking in the shadows. For the 6-foot receiver from Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, he was intrigued by what might be available at the Farm. So unbeknownst to Sarkisian and the UW staff, Rector officially visited Stanford.

When asked if he is still committed to Washington, Rector has said yes. When looking for information based on sources placed at Bellarmine Prep, they reiterate they believe Rector is still committed to Washington. But with players like Jordan Payton, Kenny Walker, and Cedric Dozier firmly in the mix, there may be a serious logjam on the offensive side of the ball.

Rector wants to make his final announcement at school, which is an interesting development considering he's been publicly committed to the Huskies for some time. Could he switch his pledge? Only time will tell…

Dylan Cozens - Cozens, a 6-foot-6, 245-pound big athlete from Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., is as big a riser up the recruiting charts as anyone out west. He went from a guy that had minimal interest until November to a prospect with nine FBS offers - Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Indiana, Missouri, UCLA, Utah, Washington, and Washington State.

The Huskies and Broncos have been firmly at the top of the mix all along, and Rich Rodriguez is trying to make a late push for the Arizona Wildcats, and if Cozens decides that close to home is his best option, he'll be a 'Cat. But UW was in-home this week with Cozens, and it sounds like they hit a home run with their presentation.

Cozens could make his decision at any time - including Signing Day - so UW fans will just have to wait and hope that what Wilcox, Lupoi and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon said all the right things. Also something I recently found out - baseball might be very high on Cozens' list of priorities. He's a phenomenal athlete, and some believe he has a better chance at carving out a career on the diamond. Either way, it'll be an interesting few days for Cozens and his family as they sort out all the different options.

Jaydon Mickens - Mickens, who had unbelievable rapport with UW-bound Jeff Lindquist at the Semper Fidelis All-American Game, told me at the game that Washington was ahead of Oregon 60-40 in his opinion. That was before Oklahoma State entered the mix, and now it appears the Huskies and Cowboys are ensnared in a good old-fashioned duel. He'll make his decision known Tuesday at the ESPNZone in Los Angeles. I would have thought the Huskies were the team to beat for Mickens after talking with him, but I think OKS has made up enough ground that they may actually be in the lead. We'll know Tuesday, but I'm not as confident in this one as I would have been a couple of weeks ago.

Brandon Beaver - The enigmatic Beaver, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback prospect, verbally committed to Washington on January 18th, but because he wants to make his decision 'official', he'll announce on Signing Day. We still believe he will be a Husky when it's all said and done, but he's still having dalliances with schools like Oklahoma and California. In fact he's on an official visit to Cal right now.

Beaver will be on the same Signing Day show as players like Jordan Payton, Bryce Treggs, Randall Goforth, Kenny Lawler, and Bryan Harper - so it'll be interesting to see if he's recruiting for UW, or if he has a change of heart and decides to stay closer to home. I still firmly believe he's UW's to lose, and has been for a long time.

Alphonso Marsh - Beaver's defensive back teammate at Dominguez, it was widely believed that Beaver and Marsh were going to commit to the same school as a package deal, but such notions have evaporated in the past few months, especially when the 6-foot-2, 175-pound safety has been looking at schools like Utah and Washington State. All three of those schools seem to be tied at the top for Marsh, but with rides at a premium who knows where the man known as 'phonzoo' on Twitter is headed.

Pio Vatuvei - The 6-foot-2, 275-pound defensive lineman has been committed to USC for a while, but with limited scholarships hampering the Trojans' ability to take everyone they want, Vatuvei may end up on the outside looking in. And that could mean good news for Washington. Justin Wilcox visited in-home with Vatuvei and his family, and Vatuvei has long held the Huskies in high-esteem. This may be one that comes down to Signing Day, but if there ends up being a scholarship crunch at 'SC, the Huskies could end up being the beneficiaries.

Shane Brostek - I've saved the most enigmatic one for last. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Brostek, from Hawaii Prep Academy on the Big Island of Hawaii, is the son of former UW center Bern Brostek. It's been a long-held idea that Bern wouldn't let anyone talk to Shane other than UW, but that may have changed a bit considering he officially visited Colorado, Oregon, UCLA and Hawaii, as well as Washington. With all five visits taken, now it's just a matter of whether or not the school he grew up following as a young boy continues to hold sway in his head as he listens to recruiters and what they have to say. In the end, there's nothing to suggest Brostek won't pick Washington, but because no one has actually talked to Brostek, there's no way to be 100 percent sure.

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