State of Washington Top 20: 10 - 6

This year promises to be a banner year on the recruiting front in Washington. There are already five four star prospects listed by Scout.com in the state and plenty have been drawing interest and offers from programs outside the region. Dawgman.com has come up with a top 20 and today we look at the prospects we have rated from 10 to 6 on our list…

#10 – Bellevue LB Mustafa Branch

Evaluation: At 6'1" and weighing in at 215 pounds, Branch is a great-looking prospect whose time has come for the Wolverines. Last year, he missed a lot of his junior season with a broken collarbone, so there isn't much in the way of film on him, but in camps he has shown very good ball skills and the ability to cover in space and make plays. This will be his year to really show what type of a leader he is as and how much he's improved from what was once a promising junior season.

Offers/Interest: Branch currently holds offers from Colorado, Northwestern, Oregon State and Washington State and he's getting heavy interest from other schools in the Pac 12 including UCLA, Cal and has seen Washington pick up their interest as well.

UW Fit: At this point, Branch doesn't appear to be a huge priority for the Dawgs, but make no mistake, the coaches are interested in what he brings to the table. He appears to be a good fit at the SAM (strongside linebacker) or, if he puts on more weight, he could move inside. With the loss of John Timu to graduation after the season, the Huskies will be in the market for a middle linebacker that can come in and fill in the depth for a couple of years before challenging for playing time and Branch just might be that player.


#9 – Lakes (Lakewood) DL Benning Potoae

Evaluation: Potoae showed up at the Northwest Elite camp as a eighth grader four years ago and he blew us away with his size, strength and pass-rushing abilities. He also was one of the most intense players on the field. Since then, he's been a rock on the edge for Dave Miller's Lakes squad, but his progress hasn't been what many of us thought it would be. Make no mistake, he's still a talented prospect, but because the Lancers' talent level hasn't been up to par the past couple of years, he's been the focus of most of the opposing offenses they have faced and he's struggled to put up the big numbers many expected. He hasn't grown much, although he has definitely filled out quite a bit and while he's still pretty explosive for his size, he didn't dominate like a player of his caliber should.

Offers: Potoae has offers from every school in the Pac 12 except Stanford and he also claims offers from Idaho and Boise State and rumors are he has offers from a few Big 10 and Big 12 programs.

UW Fit: Washington has brought in quite a few defensive line prospects in past few classes, so they are going to be selective in who they offer and go after in the 2015 class. Potoae is a great fit as a strongside defensive end, but if he keeps growing, he could easily wind up as a three-tech and move inside where his skills sure seem to be a good fit.


#8 – West Valley (Yakima) OL Shane Lemieux

Evaluation: When you talk about one of the fastest rising recruits in the region, Lemieux is the guy who comes to mind. He went from a relative unknown to a fixture on the "offer itinerary" of schools from across the country. He's big, he's got good feet and he's smart and those are great traits for offensive linemen. So far he's shown himself to be more of a finesse type, choosing to use technique and angles over sheer power, but with increased strength and size, he could turn into a very nice guard at the next level.

Offers: Lexieux currently holds offers from Arizona State, Boise State, California, East Carolina, Idaho, Miami, North Carolina State, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah and Washington State. He's also hearing from schools like North Carolina, Arkansas, Oregon State and Washington. South Carolina appears to be the favorite at this point, but Oregon has always been a school that the talented lineman has had his eye on.

UW Fit: So far, Washington's interest in Lemieux has been tepid to say the least. He's reached out to them several times, but they have yet to show him much attention. If he did wind up with an offer from the Huskies, he would be looked at as a guard type who could play tackle in a pinch.


#7 – Wenatchee OT Trey Adams

Evaluation: Last year, during the Rising Stars camp, Adams earned an offer from the Huskies. He looked a bit on the sloppy side, but he had good size and his feet were quick for a guy his size. Fast forward nine months and Adams is a completely different looking player. He's toned up, he's lost some of his baby fat and he looks primed to have an outstanding senior season for Wenatchee. Last year, Adams looked outstanding at his left tackle spot for the Panthers, able to handle speed and power pass-rushers with equal effectiveness. He still needs to work on his technique and he's still got a ways to go on the strength front, but he's got plenty of attributes that make up a solid collegiate offensive lineman.

Offers: Adams committed to Washington last year after the Rising Stars camp and has remained steadfast in his decision. That hasn't kept other schools from offering however and he now claims full rides from the likes of Oregon, USC, Arizona State and Washington State.

UW Fit: Adams looks like a perfect fit at right tackle in a couple of years after he adds the requisite strength and size to his frame. He's got long arms to keep pass-rushers at bay and he plays aggressively in the run game when called upon.


#6 – Newport (Bellevue) OT Calvin Throckmorton

Evaluation: Of the top linemen in the state, most people think that Throckmorton has the highest upside. Why is that? Because he's the least developed of the bunch. Throckmorton is an outstanding athlete who has very raw technique. He's solid in pass-protection and he likes to get after guys, but you could tell when you saw him that he was still trying to figure things out at times and that only bodes well for his future at the position as he's only played one season along the offensive line.

Offers: Arizona State, California, Oregon, Washington and Washington State have all offered and you can expect the rest of the Pac 12 to give him a long look this summer.

UW Fit: Throckmorton looks like a great fit at left tackle after a couple of years of seasoning. His long arms, outstanding feet and athleticism make him the ideal candidate to take over that spot eventually and Washington would welcome him with open arms.


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