Today we’ll tackle the receiver position.
Before I get to the analysis, I feel like this whole piece demands a preface. Everything that has to do with Washington’s recruiting effort for the 2016 class with regard to receivers should be directly attributed to Brent Pease.
Brent Pease was let go.
That should tell you how well it went, and honestly that should not be seen as a reflection on Aaron Fuller or Jordan Chin. Now that Bush Hamdan has taken over as Washington’s Receivers Coach, I fully expect an uptick in the play of ALL the Husky receivers going forward.
But when you look at who Washington targeted at receiver for 2016 and then you look at who they ended up with, it mirrors the results on the field - which are far from brilliant. In fact, it’s a bit distressing, especially when you look at the quarterback Washington could trot out there to all the top receiver recruits. Look! You can catch passes from arguably the best freshman quarterback in the country.
But that never materialized, and that is all on Pease.
Let’s look at the positives - and there are a couple. For one thing, Washington loses Jaydon Mickens and Marvin Hall, so they needed to replace like for like in terms of numbers and they were able to do just that. So they maintained class balance.
If you look at Aaron Fuller, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a player of his caliber coming to Washington. He’s a solid player, productive, comes from a competitive prep situation in Texas, the son of a coach. That is OKG all the way around. He’s not going to necessarily wow people right out of the gate, but he should be, at worst, a minor contributor in 2016.
But Jordan Chin was a reach. Again, not a poor reflection on him, because he was a San Diego State commit before switching his pledge - so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a flyer on an athlete of Chin’s caliber. He could end up being a long-term steal. But at 151 pounds, Chin is going to need to get bigger, faster, and stronger the first day he’s on campus. It’s difficult to envision a situation where he would be able to last a full season without getting banged up in an aggressive Pac-12.
But to come to a grade that reflects the recruiting effort by Washington at this position group, one has to look at all the prospects offered by the Huskies. Here they are:
That’s EIGHTEEN prospects, rated by Scout.com as receivers or athletes that Washington offered for 2016. Eighteen swings and eighteen misses.
So while I give the UW coaches all the credit in the world for identifying the top prospects, evaluating them early and trying to get them - especially the glut of great receivers available on the west coast - the specter of Pease’s failures as a coach and recruiter ultimately crushed any hopes the Huskies could pick up a top talent at the end of the process.
Time will tell if Fuller and Chin are developed into capable receivers, but the receiver class was absolutely stocked with big-time playmakers - and UW didn’t get one. I don’t expect that to happen again under Hamdan’s watch, but Pease’s fingerprints are all over this. And that’s not a good thing.