Recruiting needs and wants - Defense

Yesterday we looked at the offense. Today, we take an in-depth look at the defense, projecting the number of prospect for each position, as well as the likely candidates for each spot. As has been the case with Washington's recruiting over the past five years, athletes have been at a premium. So in that spirit, we'll keep the positioning simple, allowing for the fact that certain players may get recruited to a certain position, but might also move to another position.

Defensive linemen (6)

With the Huskies still keeping their basic 4-3 alignment intact and losing Jerome Stevens, Terry Johnson and possibly Josh Miller and Junior Coffin, expect the coaches to look for a lot of help on the DL. The other reason why is because there is legitimate talent out there, especially locally. Here are the prospects to watch:

Jordan White-Frisbee 6-7, 275 pounds, Bothell (Wash.) Inglemoor. Committed to Washington and when he did the Husky coaches breathed a collective sigh of relief. He was a big priority for them. Very few big men run as well as White-Frisbee does, who is also a basketball standout.

Matt Eichelberger 6-5, 320 pounds, Bellingham (Wash.) Sehome. Big Matt has kept a tight lid on things when it comes to his recruitment, but expect Washington to be in the thick of things. He started out a bit slow, but reportedly had over 20 tackles in his last game so it looks like the engine is really revving up.

Greyson Gunheim 6-6, 240 pounds, Sebastopol (Calif.) Analy. A freak of nature, Gunheim plays running back for Analy and has legitimate 4.4 speed. Offers from Washington, USC, UCLA and Nebraska attest to his abilities and athleticism. We'll see what schools he wants to visit, but if Greyson is interested in leaving the state the Huskies' chances stack up nicely against the competition.

Ra'Shon Harris 6-5, 270 pounds, Pittsburg, California. A big body with quick feet, Harris ran a 4.45 shuttle at 270 pounds this spring. Add 20 reps of 185 pounds to his resume, and you can see why Ra'Shon already has three Pac-10 offers, including one from the Huskies. He's already tripped to Washington State, and expect him to take a trip to Seattle.

Norris Malele 6-4, 290 pounds, Carson, California. Norris is the cousin of Mathew Malele, who ended up picking Cal over Washington and others. But I'm sure Matt had good things to say about the Dawgs to Norris, who is another big, tough, physical defensive lineman from the Los Angeles area.

Gino Cruse 6-4, 310 pounds, Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista. Cruse exploded onto the scene with a dominating performance at the Seattle Nike camp. He stayed for Washington's team camp and pretty much did the same. Will the rest of the Pac-10 take notice of Cruse's exploits, or will he be Washington's without a fight? Watch this one closely.

Lawrence Miles 6-3, 260 pounds, La Quinta, California. Miles is a long-shot, but has been offered by the Dawgs. A tough pass rusher, Miles had 11 sacks as a junior. Expect this season to be even better. If he leaves the Los Angeles area, I'd be surprised.

Eugene Germany 6-2, 250 pounds, Pomona, California. I remember meeting Eugene when he was a sophomore and he was big even then. Coming from the same school as Eric Shyne doesn't seem to be as big a drawing card as it used to. Good friends with Keston Cheathem, but doubtful they'll go to the same school as some sort of package deal. Another long-shot.

Antonio Lindsey 6-2, 275 pounds, Federal Way, Washington. Could Antonio end up being the next Ron Holmes? Lindsey certainly has the same size and demeanor. But with as many great tackles as there are on the board, will the Dawgs pass on one of their own?

Alan Branch 6-3, 315 pounds, Albuquerque (NM) Cibola. Branch is another out-of-state lineman offered by UW and he also has offers from other big schools such as Michigan, Arizona State and Texas A&M. Here's a situation where Washington has had success recruiting a top high school player from the state (Adam Seery), and he's interested enough that he's seriously considering a visit. If he does, watch out.

Erick Lobos 6-3, 285 pounds, Venice, California. Lobos is an intriguing prospect. He's lept on to the scene recently, and UW is the first to have offered him. That carries a lot of cache to a player that, until his season started, was receiving marginal attention. Probably the Huskies to lose in the long run, unless the Los Angeles schools make a huge push.

Keioshe Jones 6-2, 290 pounds, Venice, California. Lobos' teammate, another run-stopper that could be another D1 player on a team already loaded to the gills with talent. Has smaller offers (SJSU, SDSU), and will probably get Pac-10 offers when it's all said and done. A package deal with Lobos? No indications of that so far.

Linebackers (3)

With the loss of Joe Lobendahn for the year, the need for a healthy inside linebacker with some experience looms as a need. Add the losses of Marquis Cooper, Greg Carothers and Tyler Krambrink, and there's a definite need for at least three to take their places. Here are the likely candidates for those spots:

Walter Winter 6-5, 235 pounds, Kirkland (Wash.) Juanita. Committed to Washington early on. There's a very good chance Walter will move to the rush end spot or may end up playing at the opposite end spot when he's ready to go in a couple of years. Can run like a deer for his size and has a good feel for the game.

Trenton Tuiasosopo 6-2, 225 pounds, Everett (Wash.) Mariner. The cousin of Matt Tuiasosopo, Trenton has spent his childhood watching his other cousins, Leslie, Marques and Zach, all have success at Washington. So it was no surprise to see him make a verbal commitment to play football for the Huskies. Can't go wrong with Trenton's size, speed and bloodlines.

Alan Darlin 6-1, 225 pounds, Elk Grove (Calif.) Laguna Creek. Darlin took an unofficial visit to Seattle during fall camp, so you know the interest is there. He has also been offered by Nebraska and Oregon State, so there will be competition for him if UW is sold on his abilities as a MIK.

Worrell Williams 6-0, 245 pounds, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant. The cousin of current Husky C.J. Wallace and half-brother of current Miami Hurricane D.J. Williams, Worrell is built like a fire hydrant and has the tenacity of a junk-yard dog. Had over 90 tackles after missing three games as a junior. Like his brother Gerwin, USC and UW have offered Worrell and family ties might play big.

Ryan Powdrell 6-1, 235 pounds, Saddleback (Calif.) College. Washington offered Powdrell out of Mission Viejo High School, but academics forced the Fresno State signee to take the JC route. He was a stud in high school and he's a stud in college. There are musings that if USC offers Ryan, he'll go there, but the Huskies won't give up without a fight.

Patrick McKillop 6-3, 230 pounds, Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep. The local 'backer, McKillop is known for racking up tackles and bent facemasks. He had 120 stops as a junior. Oregon State is the only Pac-10 team to offer, and he's waiting for the Dawgs to show the love. Will they?

Slade Norris 6-3, 210 pounds, Portland (Ore.) Jesuit. Slade might be the most athletic of the linebacker candidates. He also plays receiver for Jesuit, runs a 4.53 40, jumps almost 34 inches and had 16 repetitions of 185 pounds at the Seattle Nike camp. He has two high school teammates that have already committed to Oregon State, so the temptation is there, but Norris insists he'll take visits, and has UW included in that list.

Defensive backs (2, possibly 3)

The Huskies lose Roc Alexander, Chris Massey and Owen Biddle from the secondary after the 2003 season. There appears to be depth at safety, so corner is probably the place Washington will focus their efforts towards. But they can't ignore Goldson and Bankhead at safety, with the idea that hopefully another spot or two can open up to allow for some balance.

Dashon Goldson 6-3, 200 pounds, Coffeyville (Kansas) CC. Dashon is a UW bounce-back, having gone to Coffeyville for academics. He's coming back to Washington as a player with 3 years to play 3. Coffeyville coaches are comparing Goldson to Kenny Easley. Enough said.

Keauntea Bankhead 5-11, 200 pounds, Seattle (Wash.) Ballard. 'Key' is one of those players that can break a game open with his play-making abilities. While he can score touchdowns running and catching the ball for Ballard, he's much happier laying the lumber. Probably the hardest-hitting safety to come out of the Washington high school ranks since Lawyer Milloy, Bankhead will be a tough sell to keep home. There are a lot of teams clamoring for his LOI, including Arizona State (cousin Keandre Magee plays there) and Washington State (his sister goes to school there) that are going to be tough to beat.

Myrio Davis 6-3, 190 pounds, Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton. A big-time athlete who would be a ball-hawking free safety in college. Arizona State, and their want of safeties, is already all over Davis and have an official visit set up. He insists that he's still open to the recruiting process and UW has offered a scholarship. In my opinion, he's the Devils to lose.

Keston Cheathem 6-2, 185 pounds, Pomona, California. Cheathem is making the official visit rounds right now. He's already been to Seattle, just tripped to Pullman, and has official visits still set up with Oregon State, Colorado and Michigan. The Wolverines are high on Cheathem's list and will be tough to beat. The other hit against the Dawgs is that he reportedly had a better time on his visit to Washington State than UW, so if he decides to stay in the Pac-10 it's conceivable he'll go crimson and gray.

Jerome Boyd 6-2, 200 pounds, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey. Boyd has been on Washington's radar for some time and is arguably their top safety priority in the Los Angeles area. But with an offer from UCLA, Boyd may be tough to lure from SoCal. Oregon is also hot on his heels, so there will be competition for Boyd's LOI. But if you want to focus on one guy the Dawgs will make a huge push for, this would be the guy in my opinion.

Reggie Foster 5-11, 190 pounds, Long Beach (Calif.) Millikan. Foster is a bit of an enigma. He plays quarterback for Millikan, but probably would play either receiver or safety in college. And really, he's being offered by Pac-10 schools because of his athleticism. Getting QB's and putting them in other positions has certainly worked for other Pac-10 teams, just on intangibles alone. ASU and UW are the only schools that have offered, but Foster doesn't appear to be in a rush to decide.

Mesphin Forrester 6-2, 195 pounds, Venice, California. Wale Forrester's brother, Mesphin is another Venice player to garner a scholarship offer from the Huskies. Mesphin's brother, as well as other Venice products like B.J. Vickers, have attended Washington's summer camp and have made in-roads with the Venice program, so we'll see if any of them actually end up in Seattle when it's all said and done.

Willie Glasper 6-0, 180 pounds, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle. Getting Glasper would be huge in shoring up a cornerback corps that is starting to stockpile some youthful talent, but it's going to be hard to get him away from the Bay area. He has an offer from California, and he was there when the Bears shocked USC. But Rob Meadow is a Dawg and it's about time the Huskies landed another Spartan. Willie has UW in his top-5.

Uriah Marshall 6-0, 175 pounds, Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep. Michigan has their paws all over Marshall, having offered, but Uriah is one of 13 children in his family and admits to wanting to stay close to home. With an offer already from ASU in his back-pocket, he could be considered a Devil of a lock, but wants to take visits. UW is one of the schools he wants to check out.

Anthony Stewart 5-7, 165 pounds, Seattle (Wash.) Garfield. The younger brother of Nate Robinson, he's basically Nate but shorter by a couple of inches, and if there was ever a part of Nate you didn't want to be less than, it's height. But reportedly the man they call 'Chicken', can dunk a basketball with two hands. Does UW need a Spud Webb? Maybe Lorenzo Romar does, but does Keith Gilbertson?

Adarrious Ross 5-9, 165 pounds, Culver City, California. A teammate of Michael Bumpus and Jaison Williams, Ross is a shut-down corner that has upside. Considered the best corner Culver City has ever produced. Washington was the first school to offer, and that means something to him.

Wopamo Osaisai 6-0, 175 pounds, Pinole (Calif.) Pinole Valley. A track performer with speed to burn, Osaiai is from the Bay area and it will be tough to get him out of there. Washington and Stanford have offered, and all that stands in the way of a Stanford commitment is having his application accepted. If that doesn't happen, watch the feeding frenzy begin.

Virdell Larkins 5-11, 190 pounds, Oakland (Calif.) Tech. A reach, as Virdell will 'package' himself with teammate and cousin Marshawn Lynch. They have already traveled to Washington State for an official visit and are looking toward visiting Oregon officially during the Ducks' bye week. If the Huskies get in the game and are able to swing an official visit from this dynamic duo, their odds swing in a hurry.

Recruiting needs and wants - Offense Top Stories