Recruiting Blog: 10/18

It's no secret – offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships and the tone-setter for any good defense is a strong defensive line. The Huskies lose a ton of experience along the defensive line at the end of the season and they've been working diligently to reel in some top prospects. Here's a look at who Washington already has committed and who they are closing in on this fall.

As stated in an earlier blog, Evergreen's Senio Kelemete is slated to move to the defensive line – most likely the Husky defensive end position. He's got the frame to be a monster three-technique (pass-rushing) defensive tackle though and he plays with fire and tenacity when he's on defense. Watching him play against state runner-up Kennedy in 2006 when the Lancers were loaded with D-1 talent was amazing and then watching him against Kennedy this past weekend, you see why he's so highly thought of.

The Evergreen athlete played strongside end and middle linebacker and literally took over the game. He caused a turnover on a sack and blew up numerous plays run to his side by getting up field before the play or the blocking could develop. He's got the potential to be one of the top defensive linemen in the conference before his career with Washington is over.

Kelemete committed so early – he was the earliest commitment ever to Washington – that he didn't have many offers when he committed, but since then Arizona State and Oregon State have offered and Arizona, Washington State and Oregon have also shown interest.

Their other commitment is from Taft (Woodland Hills, Ca.) DT/DE Craig Noble, who recently told me that he's firmed up his commitment to Washington.

Noble is a pass-rusher supreme who took USC commit Matt Kalil (the number one tackle prospect in the country) to school at the Scout combine in Los Angeles last spring. He's got wide shoulders and the frame to move up to about 300 pounds and still keep his incredible quickness and speed. He benches 370 already and he has a devastating rip move.

Noble also told me he's been working on even more moves and plans to have them down pat when he arrives at Montlake next year. Noble turned down offers from schools like Oregon, Washington State, Nebraska, Ole Miss among others and he expects to only take one official visit – Washington.

With those two wrapped up, Washington is probably in the market for two, possibly three more players to add to the depth along the line.

Locally, the Huskies are the favorites to nab three of the top players in the state as well as on the west coast.

Lakes (Tacoma) TE/DE Kavario Middleton is a player that could play a multitude of positions and be successful, but many feel, including his head coach Dave Miller, that he could end up being an All-American tight end.

Wherever, Middleton wants to play is where the coaches will put him so today we'll look at Middleton's skills on defense (we previewed his receiving skills in another blog).

He's got a big frame (6-6, 240) to go along with excellent feet and quickness. He's got a quiet demeanor, but when he steps on the field his true colors come out and he gets after it from the snap of the ball to the whistle. He holds strong at the point of attack and has the athleticism to be a very good pass-rusher although I haven't seen much of that when I've seen him in person.

Name the school and Middleton has an offer from it. USC is very close to offering and Miami, Michigan, Tennessee, Nebraska, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, California, Arizona, Arizona State and Oklahoma among others have sent their offers to the big man from the south sound. Washington and Oregon are believed to be the top two for Middleton's services and this one is likely to go down to the wire before he makes his decision.

The other local big-time defensive end is Kennedy's Everette Thompson who is also a very talented tight end in his own right. I saw Thompson as a 210-pound sophomore tight end/defensive end in 2005 and was amazed at his ability to seal the edge and his soft hands. What caught my eye even more was his strength, tenacity and quickness when he switched to defensive end. His tackle in the state championship game in the Bellevue backfield has become his calling card and he's a player that leads by both words and deeds.

His best friend is current Washington safety Nate Williams and he's been a strong Husky lean for a while. He recently narrowed his list of schools to three – Washington, Oregon and Oregon State – but he also has offers from Boise State, California, Arizona State and Washington State and he's getting interest from Arizona State, Arizona and Notre Dame.

Thompson will take his three visits to Montlake, Eugene and Corvallis and then he'll make his decision. Washington will be his final visit.

It's very recently come to light that the Huskies are looking at Rainier Beach's Alameda Ta'amu (a top guard prospect as well) as a defensive tackle prospect, which makes sense with his 6-2, 340 pound frame. He's super-quick and is almost immovable along the interior of the line. He won't get a lot of penetration, but he'll occupy blockers and clog the middle allowing the linebackers and ends to flow to the ball.

If his grades were a little better, he would probably have quite a few more than his three offers – Washington, Oregon State and New Mexico – but he's expected to be fine academically when it's all said and done.

A state player without an offer, but one to keep an eye on as the recruiting season gets into full pitch with official visits starting up is Mead (Spokane) DE Dan Spitz. He's hearing from Washington, but so far Washington State, Hawaii and Idaho have been the schools to step forward with an offer.

Spitz has a great frame (6-6, 250) and he's considered very intense and a tough player. He's got a motor that never stops and there's a very good chance that the Huskies will step forward with an offer if he doesn't end things before they can bring him in for a visit.

Fairfax (Los Angeles) DE Courtney Campbell is a SoCal player who has the Huskies on high on his list of schools.

Campbell is a versatile player who could project at either end or tackle. He's got a big frame (6-4, 260) and he could easily carry 285 or 290 pounds and maintain his excellent speed and athleticism. He's also close with current Husky S Mesphin Forrester and has noted that Washington is the school that has been recruiting him the hardest.

At tackle, Washington has a couple of Hawaiian prospects on their radar, but grades could end up being the determining factor in them getting an offer from the Dawgs.

Castle (Kaneohe) DT Solomon Koehler and St. Louis (Honolulu) DT Geordan Hanohano are players that have the skills, size and athleticism to be solid contributors from the defensive tackle position in college, but both have some academic concerns that are keeping schools from offering them – Washington included.

Another player to keep an eye on is Redlands East Valley's (Redlands, Ca.) Quintin Toailoa. He's an underrated player that has just begun to hear from several schools and Washington is one of them. The Huskies have told him they like him as a pass-rushing defensive tackle with the ability to play at 295 pounds and his natural strength – he already benches 360 pounds – means he should be able to hold up well against the run.

Other names to keep an eye on: Pac-Five DE Aaron Tipoti (Honolulu); Punahou DE J.J. Autele(Honolulu); Inderkum DT Greg Grimes(Sacramento); Murray DT Zach Brackus(Murray, Utah); Long Beach Poly DT Jordan Gross; Glendale DE Grant Valentine (Glendale,Ca.), Liberty DE Matt Akers (Bakersfield, Ca.), St. Louis DE Ikaika Cavaco-Amoy (Honolulu), Mount Tahoma DE Immanuel Satterwhite (Tacoma, Wa.) and Tumwater DE Hank Bryant (Wa.).

Other Blogs:
Quarterback and Running Back recruit analysis
Wide Receiver and Tight End recruit analysis
Offensvie Line recruit analysis

Check back again soon as we continue to look at the top prospects on Washington's radar at the linebacker and defensive back positions. Top Stories