Impact Report: Joseph Wicker

It didn't take long for Washington to get an early jump on their 2015 class when they got commitments from two juniors -- Long Beach (Ca.) Poly DL Joseph Wicker and Wenatchee (Wa.) OL Trey Adams -- following the Rising Stars Camp in June. Today, we look at what sort of an impact Wicker can have on Washington's 2015 class and where he fits into the roster once he arrives here two years from now...

The Decision: Wicker's decision came shortly after he spent a day under the tutelage of Husky defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi. He said that, while the Huskies are his only offer to this point, it definitely came down to him wanting to be part of what Washington has building along the defensive line.

"The decision was an easy one for me," Wicker told Dawgman.com back on June 29th, the day he committed. "I mean, yeah, it's my first offer and all, but I've got a lot more schools who like me and wanted me to come out and see them, but this place is just perfect for me.

"I love it here. The coaches are great and I love the school. The weather is awesome. It's not too hot and not too cold and I just really enjoyed myself here. It felt like home."

It would be folly to suggest that his decision is final, at least at this point, but make no mistake, the Huskies are going to be tough to beat for him. He will have plenty of other programs, most likely top 25 teams, to choose from before it's all said and done and you could likely see a scenario where his recruitment resembles Joe Mathis who made an early decision to commit to Washington, backed off of his decision and looked around and then, in the end, wound up signing with the Huskies.


The Skills: At 6'4" and weighing in at 255 pounds, Wicker already has the size of most college defensive lineman. He's got a quick first step and he uses leverage well against the offensive linemen he's facing. One thing the Husky coaches worked on with him during his three days on campus was extending his arms and using his hands better, which will allow him to get some separation, shed blockers and make plays using his outstanding athleticism. He didn't get a lot of playing time last fall, but when he did get in he made the most of it, totaling over 25 tackles and six sacks as a sophomore against some very talented opponents. He's considered one of the leaders of the Jackrabbits and will be counted on to be a real rock inside for them for the next two years.


Impact on the 2015 Class: It's tough to gauge things this early in the recruiting process, but if you look at how the numbers shake out, as of right now, the Huskies have 23 juniors still on their roster, so the 2015 class could be a very big one numbers-wise - but since we're projecting two years in advance obviously a lot can change between now and then, so please take the following projection as just that.

Josh Banks and Sione Potoae both exhaust their eligibility this year and, after the 2014 season, Andrew Hudson, Josh Shirley, Danny Shelton and Lawrence Lagafuaina all will be gone, so the Huskies will be in desperate needs for numbers along the defensive line. Also, Hauoli Jamora, should he not apply or receive an extra year of eligibility, he too could be gone as well.

You can expect a minimum of two defensive ends and likely three defensive tackles (with one being able to move outside as well) to be the target numbers in the 2015 class.

Wicker will definitely be one of the prospects in that mix and you can probably pencil in Juanita (Kirkland, Wa.) DT Thomas Toki for an eventual offer as well. Also keep an eye out for Clovis North (Fresno, Ca.) DT Jacob Daniel who attended the Rising Stars Camp and has an early offer from the Dawgs and considers the Huskies one of his early favorites. Other players with offers along the defensive line include Junipero Serra (Gardena, Ca.) DL Rasheem Green, Punahou (Honolulu, Hi.) DL Canton Kaumatule and Orange (Ca.) Lutheran DL Keisean Lucier-South as well as Fayetteville-Manilus (NY) ATH Tyrone Wheatley, who projects almost anywhere on the field, so the Huskies are definitely not taking a passive approach with their 2015 prospects. Then throw in Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wa.) DL Cody Baker, who has yet to get an offer but seems destined to get one at some point, and there are plenty of kids for Washington to focus on.


How He Fits: As noted, Wicks is already 6'4" and weighs 255 pounds, so it's very much within the realm of possibility for him to grow another inch or two and be 6'5" or even 6'6" and weigh in the 275 or 280 pound range. That would allow him to be a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme or even move inside to play some three-technique as a pass-rushing defensive tackle. With his ability to rush the quarterback, his skills make him a very intriguing piece to combine with the likes of Marcus Farria, Mathis, Pio Vatuvei and Damion Turpin, Jarrett Finau, all of whom can play multiple positions, depending on the scheme and the play call.


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