Recruiting Needs - Quarterback

This is the first in a series of articles that will address recruiting need for the Washington Huskies as the process winds its way toward February. There's really no blueprint Rick Neuheisel, Steve Axman and staff utilize when recruiting their signal-callers. But one thing seems to be a certainty - the Huskies will take a QB this year. Who will it be?

Two years ago it was Casey Paus, a 6-5, 200-pound traditional dropback quarterback from New Lenox (Ill.) Lincoln-Way. Last year it was arguably the best athlete in the state in 6-3, 190-pound Isaiah Stanback from Garfield High in Seattle. The two quarterbacks of the future offer a lot of versatility and athleticism to the position, yet both get the job done in different ways. Paus is happy to pick defenses apart from the pocket while Stanback is deadly on the run - equally adept at beating the opposition with his feet or arm.

With the scholarships being offered so far by Washington, the coaches are definitely looking at both types of players. San Leandro, California's Dennis Dixon, Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison QB Tommy Grady, Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista QB Kyle Wright and San Diego (Calif.) Saint Augustine QB Richard Kovalcheck have all been offered rides by Washington. Dixon, and to a certain extent Kovalcheck, are considered exceptional athletes who happen to also be versatile quarterbacks. Grady and Wright are more of your garden-variety dropback QB's, but are considered by many to be the top-two field generals in the West.

Conventional wisdom suggests Dixon is the quarterback the Huskies covet most, and a lot of that could simply be because he's still very open in his recruitment. Grady and Wright are looking to the state of Florida, as well as other schools like Tennessee, Texas and Oklahoma. Kovalcheck is a wild-card as well, as he has not narrowed down his list of favorites to any measurable degree.

Of the quarterbacks that haven't been offered scholarships yet, Mission Viejo (Calif.) Trabuco Hills QB Brian White, Issaquah (Wash.) Skyline QB Brian Foreman, Vancouver (Wash.) Mountain View QB Ben Huebschman and Mount Vernon, Washington QB Kyle Kendrick just may be the ones that catapault into the elite category after outstanding senior seasons. Only time will tell.

Also, be aware of a couple of quarterbacks already committed to other schools. Washington will not give up on Johnny DuRocher, a 6-4, 200-pound QB from Spanaway (Wash.) Bethel and Cary Dove, a 6-2, 170-pound signal-caller from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft. DuRocher pledged early to Oregon, while Dove has already made it clear he's bound for California. Both of these quarterbacks have also been offered by the Huskies and Neuheisel will not back down from recruiting these players. As it is every year with certain highly coveted kids, the process actually begins when a player verbally commits, and that just might be the case with DuRocher and Dove. I certainly wouldn't be surprised.

The other thing to recognize with respect to quarterbacks is that even on the best prep teams, the QB is almost always the best pure athlete on the field. That is no more apparent when looking at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly and Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne. Their quarterbacks, Leon Jackson and Marc Hull are two QB's Husky fans should watch out for - not necessarily as future quarterbacks at the Pac-10 level, but perhaps at other positions. Locally, Mill Creek (Wash.) Jackson signal-caller Jason Morris and Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes QB Jeff Wells are also incredible athletes that just might be better defenders in college.

Many Division-1 schools utilize the athleticism, knowledge and savvy prep QB's bring to the game in other ways, and these four players could end up being the next Jordan Slye.

Then again, Slye could be the next Warren Moon. Top Stories