Crunching the Numbers: 12/30/2013 (UPDATED)

Now that the Washington Huskies have won nine games for the first time since 2000, it's time to look forward to 2014 and see exactly what new Head Coach Chris Petersen has to work with. There's no question Steve Sarkisian left Washington in a much better place than how he found it, and talent is found at nearly every position. How does it all break down? Here's how we see it.

Scholarship Breakdown - Offense (projected # of 2014 signees in parenthesis):
QB - 3 (1)
RB - 5 (1)
FB - 2 (0)
TE - 4 (2)
WR - 6 (2)
OL - 15 (4)
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Total - 35 (10)

Quarterback (3):
10 Cyler Miles - So.
5 Jeff Lindquist - So.
Troy Williams - RFr.


Departing Players: 1 (Keith Price)

Projected # of Signees: 1 (none currently committed)
Running Back (5):
24 Jesse Callier - Sr.
32 Deontae Cooper - Sr.
12 Dwayne Washington - So.
31 Ryan McDaniel - So.
22 Lavon Coleman - RFr.
Nick Zelle - RFr. walk-on


Departing Players: 1 (Bishop Sankey)

Projected # of Signees: 1 (none currently committed)
Fullback (2):
18 Derrick Brown - Jr.
28 Psalm Wooching - So.
35 Ralph Kinne - RFr. walk-on


Departing Players: 0

Projected # of Signees: 0
Tight End (4):
84 Michael Hartvigson - Sr.
82 Josh Perkins - So.
15 Darrell Daniels - So.
85 David Ajamu - RFr.


Departing Players: 1 (Austin Seferian-Jenkins)

Projected # of Signees: 2 (Committed: Chase Blakley, Drew Sample)
Receiver (6):
2 Kasen Williams - Sr.
4 Jaydon Mickens - Jr.
16 Marvin Hall - Jr.
23 Kendyl Taylor - So.
9 Damore'ea Stringfellow - So.
11 John Ross - So.
86 Taelon Parson - So. walk-on
83 Neel Salukhe - So. walk-on
81 Wesley Salyer - So. walk-on


Departing Players: 3 (Kevin Smith, DiAndre Campbell, Antavius Sims)

Projected # of Signees: 2 (none currently committed)
Offensive Line (15):
64 Colin Tanigawa - Sr.
72 Micah Hatchie - Sr.
78 Mike Criste - Sr.
75 Erik Kohler - Sr.
59 Ben Riva - Sr.
70 James Atoe - Sr.
76 Dexter Charles - Jr.
60 Shane Brostek - Jr.
65 Siosifa Tufunga - Jr.
62 Ross Dolbec - Jr. walk-on
52 Jake Eldrenkamp - So.
69 Cory Fuavai - So.
63 Taylor Hindy - So.
67 Michael Kneip - So. walk-on
55 Dane Crane - RFr.
73 Andrew Kirkland - RFr.
79 Coleman Shelton - RFr.


Departing Players: 0

Projected # of Signees: 4 (Committed: Matt James, John Turner)
Scholarship Breakdown - Defense/Specialists (projected # of 2014 signees in parenthesis):
DL - 12 (3)
LB - 9 (1)
CB - 4 (2)
Safety - 3 (3)
P/K - 2 (1)
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Total - 30 (10)

Defensive Line (12):
71 Danny Shelton - Sr.
80 Evan Hudson - Sr.
22 Josh Shirley - Sr.
52 Hauoli Kikaha - Sr.
97 Lawrence Lagafuaina - Sr.
57 Drew Schultz - Sr. walk-on
91 Connor Cree - Jr.
95 Jarett Finau - Jr.
90 Taniela Tupou - Jr.
66 Damion Turpin - So.
5 Joe Mathis - So.
23 Marcus Farria - So.
11 Elijah Qualls - RFr.


Departing Players: 4 (Sione Potoae, Josh Banks, Andrew Hudson, Pio Vatuvei)

Projected # of Signees: 3 (none currently committed)
Linebacker (9):
10 John Timu - Sr.
42 Cory Littleton - Jr.
41 Travis Feeney - Jr.
7 Shaquille Thompson - Jr.
47 Scott Lawyer - Jr.
25 Keishawn Bierria - RFr.
34 Sean Constantine - RFr.
29 Connor O'Brien - RFr.
36 Azeem Victor - RFr.
53 Eric Rauch - RFr. walk-on
54 Ronnie Espedal - RFr. walk-on


Departing Players: 3 (Princeton Fuimaono, Thomas Tutogi, Jamaal Kearse)

Projected # of Signees: 1 (Committed: Drew Lewis)
Cornerback (4):
12 Travell Dixon - Sr.
21 Marcus Peters - Jr.
6 Jermaine Kelly - RFr.
30 Patrick Enewally - RFr.
38 Kyle Nelson - RFr. walk-on


Departing Players: 2 (Greg Ducre, Cleveland Wallace)

Projected # of Signees: 2 (Committed: Lavon Washington)
Safety (3):
39 Thomas Vincent - Jr. walk-on
35 Brian Clay - Jr. walk-on
9 Brandon Beaver - So.
27 Trevor Walker - So.
20 Kevin King - So.
43 Caleb Taylor - RFr. walk-on


Departing Players: 4 (Sean Parker, Will Shamburger, Taz Stevenson, Tre Watson)

Projected # of Signees: 2 (Committed: Jojo McIntosh, Darren Gardenhire)
Punter (1):
46 Korey Durkee - So.


Departing Players: 2 (Travis Coons, Zach Grossnickle)

Projected # of Signees: 0
Kicker (1):
48 Cameron Van Winkle - So.


Departing Players: 1 (Travis Coons)

Projected # of Signees: 1 (none currently committed)
Overall Analysis:
Getting to 85: With 35 scholarships on offense and 30 on defense, the program is currently at 65 scholarships. That means as the numbers stand heading into the new year, new UW Head Coach Chris Petersen will have a minimum of 20 scholarships to work with to get to the maximum number of 85 scholarships. To recap: Washington can have 85 scholarshipped players at any point in time, and a maximum of 25 players enrolled in any one class. The 25 number won't be reached for 2014 without some major attrition, and there's always the school of thought that a new coach will work to simply salvage that first class, while work hard to make in-roads for their first 'true' recruiting class as a complete staff.

The Huskies already have two commitments for 2015 - Trey Adams and Jacob Daniel - and both are linemen, something UW fans always hone in on. Add to that the likely re-commit of Marysville-Pilchuck RB Austin Joyner - who de-committed from Washington when Sarkisian left for USC - and UW is already off to a solid start for the next recruiting class, especially in-state.

Defensive lineman Jaimie Bryant is still set on enrolling in January, so that takes the number to at least 19 when looking at the numbers for 2014 - assuming they reach the 85 number for that season.

Who Might Impact The Total Number: Clearly there's a number of things that could affect the total number Petersen has to work with when it's all said and done. The beautiful part of Petersen's situation is that he doesn't have to clog a ton of immediate needs; Steve Sarkisian and his assistants kept the cupboard really full of talent - the only glaring needs that need be addressed right away would be in the secondary and at specialist. Other than that, it's hard to think of players coming in for the 2014 class that would need to come in and fill a hole and be an immediate difference-maker.

First, there are still some decisions that need to be made as far as draft-eligible players. Austin Seferian-Jenkins announced right after the Fight Hunger Bowl Friday that he would be turning pro; Bishop Sankey's family announced to the media Monday that he will also enter the 2014 NFL Draft. Danny Shelton is the last eligible junior that could conceivably jump to the NFL right now even though he still has a year of eligibility at UW remaining. The junior defensive tackle sounds like he is already coming back, which is huge for a defensive line poised on even bigger and better things coming off a massive 2013 campaign.

Sankey's situation was a little muddier, although it's hard to find any fault with his eventual decision. With a third-round grade handed down through the early evaluation process, there's no question he would be a pre-season All-America pick heading into 2014 were he to stay at UW. He'd be as big a focal point in Petersen's offense as he has been under Sarkisian's watch the last two years - maybe bigger, if that's possible. But to counter, is there really anything that he hasn't already done at UW short of playing in a BCS bowl? He's already set tons of UW career rushing records, including most significantly the single-season rushing record. It's been widely documented how short a running back's career is in the NFL, so logic dictated Sankey would jump on an early opportunity to extend his time in the pros as long as possible to maximize the financial benefits for himself and his family.

Secondly - there's always going to be attrition in a coaching change. Taz Stevenson, Jamaal Kearse, Andrew Hudson and DiAndre Campbell are all seniors academically that had eligibility remaining, yet ran with the seniors in the 2013 Apple Cup - so they had made the decision to leave regardless of who was going to be at UW next season. Cleveland Wallace has already transferred to San Jose State - could there be more? I'd count on it. It may not happy right away; it may happen during spring ball or after players get a chance to talk to Petersen in the off-season and they assess their future. If they see the writing on the wall, they could leave at any time. The harder question is to guestimate just how much attrition there will be.

Since we are operating from an 19 number for 2014 assuming Bryant enrolls mid-year, it would only take a couple more to leave to give Petersen a solid number to begin recruiting 'Our Kinda Guys' to Montlake. Twenty prospects is pretty close to the same number of players Sarkisian signed in his first class at Washington. Sark signed 19 players for the 2009 class, and six of them became regular or significant contributors - Keith Price, Desmond Trufant, James Johnson, Will Mahan, Will Shamburger, and Nate Fellner.

Position Switches Can Impact Balance: It was talked about via Twitter that Kendyl Taylor switched mid-season to defense. We have him listed currently at WR (per gohuskies), but if he moves to safety, for instance - that could certainly impact the number of DB's Petersen takes. He already has three committed players (Lavon Washington, JoJo McIntosh, and Darren Gardenhire), while another - Drew Lewis - is projected as a safety. With UW losing six defensive backs after the 2013 season (Sean Parker, Will Shamburger, Taz Stevenson, Tre Watson, Greg Ducre, Cleveland Wallace), filling those spots as quickly as possible is paramount.

And vise-versa; if Taylor stays at WR, that might take one receiver spot from this class to make sure the Huskies take the number they need for the secondary.

Obviously if Jaimie Bryant enrolls as expected, he would bump that projected defensive line number by one, meaning since we're projecting three signees, that number would go to two. And if Petersen targets players like Kaleb McGary and Greg Gaines, for instance, and gets them to sign - job done.

Tight end is going to be another position where there are some bodies currently on the roster that could maybe end up just considered bigger receivers in Petersen's offense - Darrell Daniels and Joshua Perkins the two obvious names. That would mean guys like Chase Blakley and Drew Sample would slot right in as bigger, truer all-around tight ends.

The Specialists Are A Mess: UW reaped the benefit of having arguably the best three-way specialist in the history of the program in Travis Coons, and they are staring into 2014 with very few answers as to how to replace his production. Heading into 2013, Cameron Van Winkle was the clear heir apparent, but mid-season it was determined that a back injury was hampering his ability to kick the ball deep for touchbacks, and we are unsure about his availability for the future. If Van Winkle's future is in doubt, that could be a hammer blow. Add to that the lack of trust from the last coaching staff toward punter Korey Durkee, and it's unclear how his future is going to go - although he could certainly be one of those players that benefits from the 'clean slate' that comes with every coaching transition. If Durkee were to work out the kinks and become a serviceable punter in 2014, that would certainly take one potential headache off Petersen's plate.


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