The Opening - UW Defensive Targets

This week, the best 2017 talent in the nation will assemble in Oregon to take part in The Opening. Here's a look at the defensive prospects that Washington has targeted and where things stand with them...

Analysis: Tuipulotu is athletic enough to play end in a 3-4 scheme, but he's probably a better fit inside at a three technique, able to use his quick first step to get penetration and wreak havoc when the opponent is trying to run the ball. He is one of the top defensive linemen in the country and it was a huge coup for Washington when they got him to commit. Now the key is holding off the in-state school, Oregon, which has made Tuipulotu a top priority to snag from their rivals to the north.

Analysis: Echols is one of the top pass-rushers in the country and his first step is one of the best we've seen in a while. He has a knack for getting after the quarterback and he is explosive when in pursuit. The UCLA commit was very close to choosing Washington back in February and he's been flirting with the idea of taking an official visit to Montlake this fall.

Analysis: Gumbs' stock soared this spring after schools got a look at his explosiveness and athleticism. Washington was one of the first schools to offer Gumbs and they have held a spot on his list of favorites for quite some time, but so has Oklahoma, UCLA and USC. A decision was expected this month, but some think he'll take it into the fall and exercise his right to take some official visits before he commits to a school.

Analysis: Another UCLA commit, Phillips is more of a traditional defensive end, able to play that position in an even or odd front. Phillips visited Washington twice and really liked what he saw from the Huskies, but back in May he opted to stick closer to home and commit to the Bruins. While he hasn't officially opened things up, don't be surprised to see him take an official visit or two before Signing Day next Feburary.

Analysis: UCLA and USC have to be considered the favorites to land Graham, one of the top cover-men n the country, but Washington has also made an impression on him. Graham was planning to take part in Washington's Rising Stars Camp last month, but his plans changed. He's hoping to make it up to Montlake this month for the second Rising Stars Camp.

Analysis: Pola-Mao is long and athletic and his ballskills are outstanding. He's physical enough to play close to the line, but he's at his best playing center field and using his athleticism and leaping ability to be a playmaker in the deep patrol. Pola-Mao has favored Washington for a while, but USC is also in the mix along with Arizona and Arizona State.

Analysis: The talented corner is long and physical and he's had an offer from Washington for a while. Molden is an Oregon legacy and most recruiting experts feel he's Stanford's to lose, but Washington made his top four recently and word is that he would like to take an official visit to Montlake at some point.

Analysis: Johnson is yet another great cover corner from the state of California that could visit Washington. At 6'2", 185 pounds, Johnson fits the prototype for today's corners and he would team with Keith Taylor to form one of the biggest corner tandems in the country should he decide to commit to Washington.

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