Washington Recruiting: Receivers & Tight Ends

The wide receivers and tight ends are the second part of our series on the focus of the Husky coaching staff as official visits begin early next month. The Huskies lose a couple of playmakers, but they have several experienced seniors coming back in 2007, but unless they address the receiver corps with several recruits, the cupboard could be bare when 2008 rolls around.

Washington lost it's top receiver to graduation as Sonny Shackelford ended his four-year career with his best season. He showed much better hands and playmaking ability than his first three years and made some big catches in wins over Fresno State and UCLA.

Marlon Wood was the best return man on the roster and he made big play after big play, catching one touchdown during his career -- the Hail Mary from Carl Bonnell as time expired to tie Cal in Berkeley.

With those two players gone, the Huskies need some players to step up and toward the end of the season, especially the Apple Cup, several threw their hat in the ring as players who can be counted on for the coming season.

Wide ReceiverAnthony Russo (Sr.); Marcel Reece (Sr.); Cody Ellis (Sr.); Corey Williams (Sr.); Quentin Daniels (Sr.); D'Andre Goodwin (RS-Fr.)
Commits – Regis Jesuit WR Alvin Logan (Aurora, Co.); Mullen WR Devin Aguilar (Denver)
Targeted Prospects – Junipero Serra WR Anthony Boyles (Gardena, Ca.); Montbello WR Drew Davis (Denver); Edmonds-Woodway WR Eric Greenwood (Edmonds, Wa.); Gig Harbor WR Toney Henderson (Wa.)
Will take – At least three, possibly four

Reece blew up in the Apple Cup this year and the hope is, with a year of conditioning, he will be in the shape the team wants him in to start the season. When healthy and fit, Reece is a big-play receiver for this team.

Russo and Ellis are small, but shifty and both usually show good hands, although both had problems with drops in 2006. Ellis has more speed, but Russo runs better routes and is better in the open-field.

Williams, from a physical standpoint, has everything you want in a wide receiver. He's got the speed and size to be a real factor, but for whatever reason he just hasn't had that break-out season since he broke his wrist in 2004.

Daniels came on during the second-half of the season and showed good hands and a knack for finding the endzone with his limited opportunities. He used to possess great speed, but with two knee injuries, he's more of a possession guy now.

Goodwin is likely to remind people of Wood in size and speed, but he may be a better open-field runner. He'll likely take over for Wood as the main return man for the Dawgs.

Logan and Aguilar are both committed and they both bring similar skills. Aguilar might be the better athlete, but Logan is bigger and more versatile. Logan could end up in the deep patrol at free safety with his size and speed.

Boyles has said several times Washington leads for his services and he visits Washington last – most likely December 8th. Boyles is supremely confident and makes the plays to back up his words. He's got the attitude to be successful and his family wants him out of southern California which bodes well for the Huskies. Their main competition for Boyles will be Colorado and Oregon at this point.

Davis, like Boyles, will be deciding between the Ducks, Buffaloes and Huskies and there is an outside chance that Georgia Tech, his father's school of choice, could enter the fray.

Davis has excellent speed, good size and is a playmaker from anywhere on the field. He would add more speed to the unit. Aguilar and Logan are very close with Davis and both have said they are working to get their friend to follow them to Washington.

Greenwood and Henderson are both local products who could play somewhere else besides wideout.

Henderson has the speed and leaping ability to play corner, but his academics have held up the plans to offer him. If he gets those in order, he's likely to get an offer from the Huskies.

Greenwood is a legacy recruit (his father played for the Huskies in the 70's) who could end up at tight end eventually. He's tall and angular, but needs to add weight and muscle. He could be a lot like Eric Bjornson when he moved to wideout and eventually played tight end for the Dallas Cowboys for several years.

Tight EndRobert Lewis (Sr.); Michael Gottleib (Jr.); Johnnie Kirton (Jr.); Walter Winter (Jr.);Tim Williams (So.)
Commit – Lake Washington TE Chris Izbicki (Kirkland, Wa.)
Targeted Prospects – Lynden TE Chris Bolt (Wa.); Monrovia TE Eric Brooks (Ca.); Vancouver College Prep TE Trey Henderson (Vancouver, B.C.)
Will take – At least one, probably two if they find the right candidate

Lewis is a good receiver, but his lack of blocking ability makes him a liability the team just can't afford to have on the field on a regular basis.

Gottleib is the better blocker, but he's not a great athlete and he's limited with what he can do in the passing game.

Kirton is the best combo of the three, but he had limited time at the position until the 2005 season when he began the year at tight end. Toward the end of the 2006 season, Kirton was being used much more extensively in the passing-game and as another blocker in the running-game. There's hope he can be the main man heading into spring.

So far, Williams and Winter have been non-entities as far as contributions, but both are used on special teams and add depth to the unit.

The Huskies wrapped up their biggest target for the 2007 class very early when Izbicki committed to Washington shortly after spring practices finished. Izbicki is a tenacious blocker and athletic enough to be a threat down the seam on routes. He'll remind a lot of people of Mark Bruener or Ernie Conwell with his size and speed.

Washington missed out on another great local tight end prospect when Auburn-Riverside's David Paulson elected to become a Duck, but it sounds like they may be content to stick with Izbicki this year and turn to the 2008 class for more depth.

As stated above, Greenwood could end up at tight end if he's able to add some size and muscle.

If they choose to offer anyone else in this class, Henderson, Brooks or Bolt are the likely candidates for late offers.

Next up will be the offensive line and check back on Friday as we start on the defensive side of the ball.

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