Recruiting needs - offensive linemen

The Hosses. The Hogs. The BIG Uglies. The men in the trenches. Whatever you want to call them, the offensive linemen are always the players that help those smaller, faster guys score, yet get little credit for their efforts. They may not receive a lot of hype but the big boys are always a key ingredient when working on a recipe for a successful offense. Usually a team will go after 3 to 4 OL every year for depth and balance, and for the Washington Huskies it's no different.

Last year, the Husky coaches shored up the offensive line in a BIG way, landing perhaps the top prep tackle in the country in Bakersfield (Calif.) East prospect Nathan Rhodes. They also gobbled up two very solid and tough-minded guard prospects in Clay Walker from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Horizon and Robin Kezirian from Fresno (Calif.) Central. Add Stanley Daniels from San Diego (Calif.) Marian Catholic, a true two-way terror and you have arguably the best offensive line class on the West Coast.

UW will be hard-pressed to repeat a class that deep and talented on the OL but they are going to give it the ol' college try. This year's Nathan Rhodes looks to be Mission Viejo's Drew Radovich. At 6-5 and 275 pounds, Drew is a man-child that can move the pile. His shuttle at the USC NIKE camp was off the charts, displaying big-time quicks. Mission Viejo is the alma mater for current Husky center Todd Bachert, and the two know each other well. There's no question the Huskies are going to put a full-court press to nab Radovich, and will have to go through the LA schools, among others, to do it.

Tustin's Sam Baker is a big ugly that the Huskies are taking a long look at - for a couple of reasons. First of all, he's an incredible talent for a player his size. At 6-5 and 315 pounds, Baker earned all-state underclass honors and will be a road-grader for Tustin this fall. The other reason UW is high on Baker is because of the dreaded 'package deal'. Baker's teammate is super blue-chip TE/DE prospect Chris Barrett. Barrett is a freak of nature that could change the fortunes of a game on either side of the ball. Baker and Barrett are professing a desire to attend the same school? Will it happen? Historically, these type of deals fall through, but if you are the Huskies you can't take a chance against it happening. And Sam is an offensive lineman that deserves to be recruited strictly on his own merits anyways.

Other prospects from outside the Northwest that Husky fans should watch out for include RJ Willing, a 6-3, 290-pound prospect from Honolulu (Calif.) Kamehameha, Bobby Byrd, a 6-7, 285-pound lineman from Oceanside, California (he visited Washington this weekend), Mike Pollak, a 6-4, 275-pound prospect from Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol and Travis Draper, a 6-5, 255-pound prospect from Paso Robles, California.

Within the great Northwest, there are plenty of prospects that should keep Husky fans guessing this fall. At the top of the list are Pendleton, Oregon's Roy Scheuning and Issaquah (Wash.) Skyline OL prospect Brett Thielke. Both of these guys are D1 material and should play Pac-10 ball when it's all said and done. Roy is leaning towards the Oregon schools at this point, whereas Brett is still very open and willing to listen to anybody that offers a scholarship.

Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes lineman Viliamu 'Big V' Kuaea is a beast of a man at 6-4 and 315 pounds and he runs very well. His sub-par schooling is the only thing that's keeping the majors from banging down his door. To Kuaea's credit, he's working hard to overcome some mistakes made a couple of years ago, and if he can make it academically he'll have D1 offers. Vancouver (Wash.) Skyview prospect Josh Tschirgi and Mill Creek (Wash.) Jackson two-way star Richy Mulcahy are also linemen that will have to have 'make or break' senior stints to gain rides from the big boys. Washington State seems to be the hottest on Tschirgi's trail, while Mulcahy is still searching for that elusive first offer.

Other NW linemen to watch include Spokane (Wash.) University's Jacob Bouge and Auburn (Wash.) Thomas Jefferson's Aaron Gilbert.



Here's the earlier 'Need' articles:

Recruiting needs - receivers
Recruiting needs - running back
Recruiting needs - quarterback


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