Recruiting Impact Report - Offense

With Signing Day done, it's time to see what all the pieces of the puzzle look like. Where do Washington's 25 signees fit - on offense, defense, and special teams? Where is the cohesion with Steve Sarkisian's offensive philosophy, one that was incredibly prolific in 2011? We'll break it down, position by position.

Clearly offense - if you were to chose one side - was the side that needed to keep the momentum going from the successes of the 2011 season. Sarkisian had it rolling last year, and led by quarterback Keith Price there's no reason to assume the Huskies can't pick up right where they left off.

From a balance perspective, everything fell in line for the 2012 class: UW lost one quarterback (Nick Montana) but gained two; they lost a running back but gained one back; they lost three offensive linemen but gained five; at the receiver position they lost two but gained three.

Depth is being constructed with care.

Quarterback: Jeff Lindquist, Cyler Miles - Per, Washington had the top quarterback ranking in the country, and for good reason; when you can sign the No. 8 and No. 13-rated signal-callers in the same class, that's not just a testament to the salesmanship of the UW coaching staff, but it ultimately points directly to the kind of respect Steve Sarkisian commands as a quarterback guru. People are taking notice of what Jake Locker and Keith Price have done under his watch.

The impact here is direct, due to the departure of Nick Montana. It means that either Lindquist or Miles will be the third QB after Price and Derrick Brown. Ideally it would be nice to redshirt both players and let them get acclimated to the system, but Sarkisian may have to make one available - if for no other reason than to stagger them out between classes. But make no mistake, Lindquist and Miles are more than capable of handling the spotlight.

Running Back: Erich Wilson - With the RB position, it seems relatively straightforward; lose a back, replace him. And so Erich Wilson replaces Chris Polk…not so fast. Actually it'll be ball carriers like Jesse Callier, Bishop Sankey, Johri Fogerson and Deontae Cooper that will have to shoulder the load, but this is how you deal with replacing prolific backs - you keep shuffling through the list and keep cycling through those players whose should be able to take over by the time their turn comes up. That means Wilson should be fully ready in a couple years, which again is how it should be.

And let's not discount the fact that other recruited players, like Jaydon Mickens, Kendyl Taylor, and Ryan McDaniel, could also be used in various ways. It's all about versatility, and Sarkisian has a lot of different bodies and a lot of different ways here to skin the cat, so to speak.

Fullback/H-Back: Psalm Wooching - This position is one where Wooching could make an impact in a big way his freshman season simply because he embodies exactly what you want in that position - a big body that can block, run, and catch when necessary. Tim Tucker and Jonathan Amosa have done a serviceable job at the spot, but this is a place where it feels like things have gone wanting a bit. I expect with a guy like Wooching now in the mix, not only will the competition pop up a notch or two, but Sarkisian should have more options when it comes to including the fullback in his play calling. Anyone that remembers Stanley Havili at USC knows that when Sark has the kind of athlete he believes in, he'll utilize that player in a variety of ways.

Offensive Line: Shane Brostek, Nathan Dean, Jake Eldrenkamp, Cory English, Taylor Hindy - It's not these guys' fault, but unfortunately history is going to look at this group as one that will be maligned not for what they have, but for what UW didn't get. Losing Joshua Garnett and Zach Banner was a crushing blow to a group that looked to be a potential home run going into the 2012 recruiting cycle. And now that everyone has seen what Stanford's offensive line class was, UW had the chance to be that team. But the upside of this group of big uglies is readily apparent; they roll with some serious nasty.

Brostek is the enigma; because no one knows that much about him, other than he is a UW legacy and hasn't really talked to anyone since becoming a recruitable athlete - that means we can create whatever myth we want to about him, and as long as we say it often enough - it's true! Knowing his Dad Bern, I suspect Shane was locked in a weight room since birth - hence the inability to communicate with the outside world - and has been eating a steady diet of raw meat and cow blood while routinely tackling a workout regimen that would make Ivan Drago blush!

All kidding aside, if you just go by the scant highlights that are available on the Big Islander, you can see the aggressiveness and the natural power he exudes while playing the game. You just get the sense that he's been training all his life for the opportunity to take his talents to a bigger stage to answer the age old question…Josh who?

Shane isn't the only unknown here - Taylor Hindy is a lightly-recruited kid the coaches clearly fell in love with. They were able to keep his recruiting on the down low (like James Atoe a couple years ago), and now not only have a potential star along the OL, but also a long-snapper for the next four years. Again, not much is known (yet) on the outside about the Chaminade Prep star, but he seems to love pancakes for breakfast and seems to have a nose for the facemask of the guy closest to him - at least that's true just moments before he puts said guy on his backside.

The best part about his OL group - besides their collective attitude and upside - is their numbers, as Washington needed to get at least 4-5 players to keep pace with losing three scholar shipped kids. And they achieved that. Add in preferred walk-on Michael Kneip, who could be the steal of the whole day, and now things are looking better than they did before Signing Day. But oh, what could have been…!

Receiver: Jaydon Mickens, Kendyl Taylor, Dwayne Washington - Again, another group where, when compared to the group that graduated - Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar - have big shoes to fill. But Mickens, Taylor and Washington could fill those shoes with quicker feet, at least on paper. Add a grayshirt in Marvin Hall, and one thing they have done is upgrade the speed quotient without question. Mickens, Taylor and Hall can flat-out burn; they haven't had collective speed on the edge this quick since Ja'Warren Hooker. They aren't faster than the world-class speed of Hooker, but they are quicker in a 10-15 yard box.

Washington fits the bill when looking for the bigger possession guy that has a chance to break big plays with YAC; He had well over 1300 yards receiving as a senior and knows how to find the end zone when in the open field. Mickens, Taylor and Hall are the three Amigos in the slot that can also be spread out wide to find mis-matches with bigger, slower defensive backs. A few years ago the Huskies thought they had a similar star-in-the-making in Jordan Polk, but the Portland speed merchant never panned out.

If those three can provide a dynamic presence with the ball in their hands in the open field - whether that's through the passing tree or run game with plays like fly sweeps, it would add just another wrinkle to a Sarkisian offense that's developing more creases and crinkles than a crotchety reporter's old notebook. Top Stories