Recruiting needs - receiver

This is a pretty easy article to write. Heck, Washington has verbal commitments from three receiver prospects for 2003 - Craig Chambers, Bobby Whithorne and Corey Williams. So what's the point of this piece? Well, I'm not sure they are done. And of course we can't forget about one of the more underrated positions on the field, Tight End.

The Husky coaches made short work of this area of need by already securing three verbal commitments from receivers. Mill Creek (Wash.) Jackson WR Craig Chambers, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita Catholic WR Bobby Whithorne, and Las Vegas, Nevada's Corey Williams will make up this class. Yet there are still some incredible prospects to choose from in a year that finds more high-profile receivers than ever before. That's why I feel they may take a fourth prospect, especially if a blue-chipper decides to tip their way.

Also, Corey Williams was recruited as a wide-out, but he has the athleticism to be a tough safety or even outside linebacker down the road if the need arises. If that does happen, Washington has several interesting choices.

At the top of the pass-catching pile there is Whitney Lewis from Ventura (Calif.) Saint Bonaventure. Having seen the 6-1, 205-pound Lewis twice in person, I can attest to his athleticism. He's simply on another level. Academics may be an issue here, but if Whitney can get things together in the classroom he'll be the number-one guy to watch on the West Coast. Hot on his heels is Woodland Hills (Taft) WR Steve Smith. Another underclass All-American, Smith can make all the catches.

But it is Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison athlete BJ Vickers that has the eyes of the Huskies. Fact is, Vickers has been eyeing them back for some time. He has been a regular participant in the summer Husky camps the past two years, and at 6-3 and 210 pounds offers up some very intriguing possibilities. He could be a big receiver in the Reggie Williams mold. He could be a tough slotback matchup with smaller safeties. He could bulk up and be a pass-catching tight end. And we haven't even scratched the surface about his potential on defense.

If Vickers doesn't pan out, Los Angeles (Calif.) Fremont athlete Mark Bradford would certainly be another possibility. The beauty of Bradford's game is that he's doubly dangerous as a football player and basketball player. Like Charles Frederick and Nate Robinson, Mark plans on playing both sports in college and obviously has the versatility to play offense or defense. He's being recruited as a WR, however, and is arguably the top receiver in the greater LA area.

Some other prospects to be on the lookout for include Bellflower (Calif.) Saint John Bosco's Joe Cowan (son of former Husky QB Tim), Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola's Quintin Daniels and Honolulu (Hawaii) Saint Louis' Jason Rivers. Locally, Mercer Island's Brandon Burmeister is a very intriguing prospect. At 6-5, he's not only an effective receiving option but he's also a top in-state basketball talent. I happen to really like football players that also are top hoopsters - their athleticism is always apparent from the get-go. He also has a purple and gold pedigree, as his father Bob played DB for the Huskies and was a two-year letterman in 1969 and 1970.

In regards to Tight End, a lot will depend on whether or not Jason Benn works out, so there's the possibility they could take two players at the tight end position. Burmeister is an intriguing option here, if he could add about 50 pounds. The national prospect that is a clear target for Washington is Tustin, California's Chris Barrett.

Barrett, at 6-5 and 225 pounds, was the MVP of the 2001 Stanford NIKE camp as a high school sophomore. His athleticism is phenomenal and he has offers from the four corners of the globe to prove it. Washington's chances here are slim, but never count out Neuheisel when battling for a national prospect. If he can work his way in the door and get Barrett to commit to an official visit, all bets are off.

One local prospect that has the body to fit in right away is Edmonds (Wash.) Edmonds-Woodway TE Casey Tyler. Tyler, at 6-6 and 265 pounds, has the body to be an eventual offensive lineman if he keeps growing, and much like Burmeister he plays hoops so the athleticism is there. Tyler clearly likes the Huskies and they have offered, so this one is looking pretty good for the Dawgs. Other regional TE's to remember include Bellevue's John Markus Pinard, Kentridge's Joey Henley and Keith Robertson from Lake Oswego, Oregon.

A dark horse pick here just might be Great Falls (Mont.) Russell TE Jason Goodman, arguably the best player in Montana regardless of position. Remember his name.

Here's the earlier 'Need' articles:

Recruiting needs - running back
Recruiting needs - quarterback Top Stories