Recruiting 2006 – Christmas Update

With 12 verbal commitments most likely in the fold, the Washington Huskies will look to add 10 to 12 more prospects to this class to build on the foundation they've already put in place to date. I expect the Dawgs to add four more offensive linemen, a fullback, a tight end, another wide out, another defensive linemen, one more linebacker, and two to three more athletic kids that will likely head to the defensive backfield.

Let's take a look at who I think will wind up as Huskies, and some of the kids that are still looking hard at Washington.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Get five every year.
Ryan Tolar is already committed. Brandon Jefferson appears to be all but committed to Washington. He is a ready made tackle at 6-5 310, but he may be an academic risk. The top guy on this wish list is Bellevue stud Steve Schilling. Schilling is 290 pounds of badness and also a ready made tackle. He may be good enough to break the cardinal rule of not playing true freshman on the offensive line. He and Tolar will make nice bookend tackles in future years. Cody Habben is a 280 pounder from Skyline High on the Issaquah Plateau. I fully expect him to wind up a Husky, potentially as a guard. Assuming Jefferson comes and makes it, and also assuming that Schilling and Habben become Dawgs, the last opening may go to Cody Pope. Pope, a 6-5 275 pound road grater, has stock that is skyrocketing faster than any other OL in the country right now. Pope is looking at Tennessee hard and Cal is going to offer very shortly. The Huskies have done a nice job so far and did extremely well with him during the in-home visit.

QUARTERBACK: Always bring in one per year.
This year, Jake Locker is the guy. Interesting to watch, however, is Jason Harris. He is still on the Husky list and I think this one will be hemmed and hawed all the way until LOI day. He was all-KINGCO as a junior DB and as a senior was the offensive player of the year. He has a lot of intangibles and could very well wind up as a safety or linebacker in the class.

TAILBACK: Take one or two every year, even if they wind up playing a different position.
Tailbacks touch the ball often, and are usually your most skilled player on offense in high school ball. So you load up on as many as you can that could play TB, FB, S, CB, or LB every recruiting season. James Montgomery is the pure TB guy the Huskies will take here. Washington is still looking at Rodney Glass and Andre Crenshaw in case Montgomery heads to Cal as his family wants. However even with Montgomery in the fold, they'd love to add Glass and/or Crenshaw's speed to the defensive backfield.

FULLBACK: Take one as need dictates.
Justin Robertson or Paul Homer will likely wind up as the Husky fullback in this class. Homer appears to be more sold on the Husky program at this point. Both will visit Seattle though. Homer is former Husky OL Aaron Dalan's cousin, and his film was well received by Husky coaches, who have told Homer they'd love to see him at fullback.

TIGHT END: Take one every year if you can.
Washington has a need, yet this may be the biggest mystery at this point as to who the guy will be. Kevin Kooyman has to remain in the backs of the Husky coaching staff's minds because he is a local. If they aren't sold on Kooyman, there may be a late sleeper that is waiting to be taken that winds up being the guy. And even though the Huskies didn't get a tight end in the mid-year JC signing period, don't be surprised if a JuCo kid gets this spot as a May graduate. There are some available.

WIDE RECEIVER: Take two every year, three if one can return kicks.
If you take two to three per year, you never wind up in a depth bind. Neuheisel took SEVEN one year. I won't say anything more about that.

With Reece in, Washington could use one more. The likely top kid on the Husky wish list that is still flirting with them is Jamere Holland. At 6-1 180 and 4.4 speed, Holland would be an amazing get if they could land him. However, Holland may be close to qualifying academically, and once that happens, USC will be all over him. Washington really did a nice job of getting on him early despite academic risk, and if he keeps his late scheduled trip to Seattle, it's anyone's ball game. Holland is the fastest kid in southern California. Richard Sherman is probably Stanford's to lose, but he's not committed yet and has an offer from the UW. Tyquan Knox and Chris Wellington also have offers from Washington. Knox is being wooed by UCLA while Wellington has interest from Florida.

DEFENSIVE LINE: Always take four every year.
With Cameron Elisara, Anthony Atkins, and DeShon Matthews all in, Washington has room for one more. Conan Amituanai is visiting Seattle from Long Beach Poly. He could play tight end, but he has that 280-pound frame that would be easily play defensive line. He is probably the top of the heap. Toby Turpin, a 6-4 250 pounder from Los Alamitos, will visit next month, and has an offer from the Dawgs. With nine sacks and two picks, he's got the skills you love to see coming off the edge of the defense. Spanaway Lake's Jason Brace is a local kid and will visit Seattle as well. An offer may be forthcoming on that visit.

LINEBACKER: Take three every year.
With Donald Butler in and Jake Merrill possibly projecting here (by me, not the coaches), there is room for another. Travis Goethel visited last weekend and has an offer. Washington will battle Utah and Oregon State for his services, and Goethel should decide very shortly. He loved his visit to the UW and is very close to committing. As I mentioned under the quarterbacks, Jason Harris may wind up being the third LB in the class if they offer.

DEFENSIVE BACK: Take four every year.
Jordan Murchison is in as is Leilon Myers. They've got half of their class here, and if Merrill sticks at safety, that would make three. Aaron Gant from Orchard Lake, Michigan, just got offered. Gant will visit Seattle in January and has offers from Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State. That is heady competition. Andre Crenshaw could be a nice corner in this class and will visit in January. Matt Moseley appears interested as does Tyreace House, but they have been illusive. Both are corner prospects. Rodney Glass could make an awesome defensive back. He is a Ty recruit all the way - hard working, tough, and a family that appears to really like the atmosphere he's creating here in Seattle. Andre Harris also is a guy that likes the Huskies and he may get an offer. At 217 pounds, he would be a smash-mouth safety in the mold of Tommie Smith.

PROJECTED CLASS FOR 2006:
5 OL: Tolar, Schilling, Habben, Pope, Jefferson*
1 QB: Locker
1 TB: Montgomery
2 WR: Reece, Wellington
1 FB: Homer
1 TE: Kooyman
4 DL: Elisara, Atkins, Matthews, Amituanai
3 LB: Butler, Merrill, Goethel
3 DB: Murchison, Myers, Glass
1 DS: Morovick

* assuming academically eligible
To read part I of this article, Click here

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