Salvon Ahmed (Brandon Huffman)

Recruiting Scorecard - Offense 

Now that Signing Day is done, it’s time to tally up how the Washington Huskies did. Did they address needs? Did they get top talent? How did the 2017 recruiting class fit into the current roster?

Quarterback 

http://www.scout.com/player/203494-jake-haener?s=147

Currently with four scholarship quarterbacks, ideally you’d want to have a scholarship taken for every class. They’ve done that this year with Haener, and they’ll need to do it again next year when Tony Rodriguez graduates. 

So in filling needs Washington did just fine. Did they get the guy they wanted? That’s certainly debatable. There were eight quarterbacks ranked by Scout ahead of Haener with Washington offers. That doesn’t mean all eight were higher on UW’s board than Haener, but it’s probably fair to assume at least half were. Tua Tagovailoa, Jack Sears, Chase Garbers, and Tristan Gebbia were all quarterbacks with offers before the May evaluation period. 

GRADE: B-

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Running Back

http://www.scout.com/player/186129-salvon-ahmed?s=147

It’s always important to get an impact running back in every class, and Washington did that with Salvon Ahmed. Lavon Coleman will graduate after the 2017 season and most likely Myles Gaskin will leave early for the NFL too if he has another big season. 

That will give UW four scholarship running backs with at least a year in the system starting in 2018: Jomon Dotson, Kamari Pleasant, Sean McGrew, and Ahmed. And you’d expect Keith Bhonapha will add another stud running back for the 2018 recruiting class. Class balance is good with this group, and the quality for having a couple of potential impact backs is there too. 

GRADE: A

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Receiver 

http://www.scout.com/player/193353-terrell-bynum?s=147

http://www.scout.com/player/201411-alex-cook?s=147

http://www.scout.com/player/197906-ty-jones?s=147

With the departure of John Ross and the uncertain future of Brayden Lenius, it was important to get at least a couple difference-makers in the fold for 2017. Going for three prospects that could potentially impact the roster was a big bonus. We’ll see if the position suffers any attrition between now and the fall, but if it does they now have basically replaced like for like numbers. That’s key. 

The other key when looking at the three receiver signings is just how talented they are as prospects and their potential for impacting Washington’s offense in 2017. At least one of the signings needs to help pick things up in terms of trying to replace Ross’s sizable receiver numbers. Of course they won’t be able to do it by themselves, but this is a situation where the group reproduces those numbers in the aggregate seems the most likely scenario. And it might take at least one true freshman to do it, and in that case they have the talent to pull that off. 

GRADE: A

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Tight End

http://www.scout.com/player/204764-cade-otton?s=147

http://www.scout.com/player/198115-jacob-kizer?s=147

http://www.scout.com/player/195465-hunter-bryant?s=147

Darrell Daniels and Jeff Lindquist have graduated, leaving UW with four scholarship tight ends - Drew Sample, Will Dissly, David Ajamu, and Michael Neal. Given how often Washington Offensive Coordinator Jonathan Smith used two and three-tight end sets, there’s no doubt the Huskies will have to use at least one tight end from the 2017 recruiting class, and maybe more. 

In terms of the talent taken with this class, it’s superb. It’s a blend of size, speed, good hands, good blockers, and good receivers. Hunter Bryant is clearly the gem of this class, the number-two ranked 2017 tight end prospect nationally according to Scout.com. Jacob Kizer is the wild card here. A 2016 signee, he delayed his enrollment to rehab a back injury. Scott Eklund reported in late October that Kizer is 100 percent recovered and is now currently enrolled at UW so he will participate in spring football. 

Adding Kizer to a player like Bryant means Washington should have plenty of numbers in 2017 to allow Otton to redshirt. This breaks things up a little bit and also balances the classes out too. 

GRADE: A

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Offensive Line

http://www.scout.com/player/191677-henry-bainivalu?s=147

http://www.scout.com/player/207198-cole-norgaard?s=147

http://www.scout.com/player/203713-jaxson-kirkland?s=147

Washington Offensive Line Coach Chris Strausser has talked about signing like-for-like numbers, and on first glance UW may have oversigned their offensive line numbers. They signed three offensive linemen for 2017, yet only two UW offensive linemen graduated - Jake Eldrenkamp and Shane Brostek. But, if you also add in valued backup walk-on OL Michael Kneip, the numbers balance out quite nicely. 

As far as the talent UW signed, they did a nice job of balancing out inside and outside linemen but they clearly didn’t land the really big fish they were trying to. Foster Sarell, Austin Jackson, Wyatt Davis, Alijah Vera-Tucker were four big fish offered early by UW and those prospects had serious interest in the Dawgs at some point during their recruitment. 

Henry Bainivalu would be considered the one offensive line prospect that UW offered early and were able to close successfully on. 

Obviously determining how an offensive lineman will project down the road is very tricky. You just don’t know. And given Strausser’s record, you have to believe that Bainivalu, Norgaard, and Kirkland will end up being very solid players. 

But striking out on their top, top targets stung, and will continue to sting for a while as all of them, save Davis, signed with Pac-12 rivals. 

GRADE: B


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