Recruiting Blog: 3/24

In the last addition of the recruiting blog, I broke down the amount of scholarships the Huskies, along with the rest of the Pac 10, would likely have available for the 2009 recruiting class. In this one, I take a look at how those rides will likely be distributed by position and give you some ideas of who the Husky coaching staff has their eye on early in the recruiting process.

Washington will have 16 players use up their eligibility this fall…

TE Michael Gottlieb
TE Johnie Kirton
TE Walter Winter
OG Casey Bulyca
OG Jordan White-Frisbee
C Juan Garcia
DT Jovon O'Connor
LB Trenton Tuiasosopo
LB Chris Stevens
CB Byron Davenport
CB Jordan Murchison
S Jason Wells
S Mesphin Forrester
S Darin Harris
FB Luke Kravitz
P Jared Ballman


Judging by the normal attrition that every team goes through – non-qualifiers, academic casualties, players leaving, injuries – as well as the fact that some of the players that will be fourth-year juniors could opt to leave early or finish up their careers, Washington will likely have in the range of 20 to 23 scholarships available for the upcoming class that will sign in early February of 2009.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize the Huskies are short of experienced depth at the quarterback position heading into the 2008 season, but since they Dawgs signed two quarterbacks in the last class, the Huskies will have four on scholarship and, barring a surprising decision, starter Jake Locker will be at Montlake for at least one more season after this fall.

That being said, the Huskies offered Matt Barkley during the spring of his sophomore year (May of 2007). He's arguably the number one recruit in the country and he's already pledged to USC for the 2009 class.

The Huskies have been looking at several other junior quarterbacks, some locally and some down in California.

It's a boom year in the Golden State for signal-callers and the Huskies have already shown an interest in Gilroy QB Jamie Jensen, St. Mary's (Stockton) QB Cody Vaz and San Ramon Valley (Danville) QB Joe Southwick while, in the northwest, players like Bellarmine Prep's (Tacoma) Lucas Schindele and Highland's (Pocatello, Id.) Taysom Hill have gotten early interest as well.

With two in-state studs coming up in 2010's class – Skyline's Jake Heaps and Heritage's (Vancouver) Garrett Grayson – Washington's staff might determine they aren't in the market for a quarterback in this class, but it's prudent to always have a quarterback in each class so I still expect the Huskies to at least take a long look at several prospects over the coming months.

At running back, the Huskies have a bit of a logjam, as they've signed seven in the past two classes.

Brandon Johnson and J.R. Hasty both return, but pushing for time will be players like Willie Griffin and Brandon Yakaboski from the 2007 class and then you have prospects like Johri Fogerson (who I expect to eventually end up at safety or linebacker), Demitrius Bronson, David Freeman and Chris Polk, who is projected as a wideout, but could also see time in the backfield as well.

Another player move of note is Curtis Shaw's move back to tailback after getting some snaps at wideout toward the end of the season last year.

Washington has already offered the top running back on the west coast, Santa Clara (Oxnard, Ca.) RB Cierre Wood, but they are a longshot at best to get his commitment – yes I know they were a longshot for Polk as well – and at this time they aren't in Woods' list of favorites.

The Huskies will still probably take at least one true running back in this class while also hoping to find an athlete or two that can possibly switch to another position if depth concerns elsewhere necessitate a move.

At wide receiver, the Huskies have told several recruits they only plan to take two or three wideouts after signing three in February – Cody Bruns, Jermaine Kearse and Jordan Polk – as well as getting two from the 2007 enrolled in January – Anthony Boyles and Devin Aguilar.

In the state of Washington, Skyline's Gino Simone and Prosser's Kirby Moore are players that are already getting long looks and they will likely continue to get lots of attention from the Husky coaching staff, especially now that former Skyline head coach Steve Gervais is now on staff.

Recently, Washington also threw their hat into ring for Inglewood WR Shaquelle Evans who is possibly the top wideout in California and is currently listed fourth in the nation by Scout.

Evans is the protégé of two former Husky greats – Charles Mincy and Donald Jones – and he is close with David Freeman who will enroll at Washington in July. The Dawgs have some ground to make up, but they still have plenty of time to get back near the top of his favorites list which includes – Cal, LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State, USC and UCLA.

Tight end is a position that is in desperate need of more depth.

With Kavario Middleton and Chris Izbicki already in the mix, the Huskies have a solid combination of size, speed, hands and athleticism. What they don't have is experience.

Izbicki is already a standout blocker and he's got enough speed to hurt teams if they don't pay attention to him. Middleton will take a while to become a complete tight end since he's never really been asked to block much, but as far as being a receiver, there might not be a better freshman tight end in the country.

The Huskies will look to bring in at least one or, most likely, two tight ends in the 2009 recruiting class. They need to add another receiver at the position and getting one that is willing to do the dirty work in the trenches as a blocker is also imperative. If they can get both in one player, look for them to go with one and add another one in the 2010 class, if not…expect two to sign next February.

Over the past three classes, the Huskies have slowly started to build some depth along the offensive line.

Players like Ryan Tolar, Cody Habben and Matt Sedillo joined Washington's more experienced players and showed lots of improvement in 2007 over the group who manned the offensive line in 2006.

With youngsters like Scott Shugert, Mark Armelin and Skyler Fancher already in the program and soon-to-be Huskies Drew Schaefer, Allen Carroll, Mykenna Ikehara and Terence Thomas on the way this summer, the depth should look pretty good this fall. However, even with the lack of scholarships, I believe the Huskies will still look to bring in at least three, if not four, prospects with this class.

Bulyca, White-Frisbee and Garcia all leave after this fall so they need to bring in at least three. Look for them to concentrate on tackles as those prospects usually allow teams to move them inside if the need arises. Rarely are guard prospects able to move outside. Two tackles and one guard are likely, but if they can find a center prospect they like, I wouldn't be surprised to see them bring that player in allowing either Ikehara, who is slated to play center, or Sedillo to move to the guard position.

So far the Huskies haven't made the favorite lists of any of the top linemen recruits in the country, but in the northwest region, Charles Siddoway from Marist (Eugene, Or.), is widely considered one of the top lineman in the country and Washington has been in contact.

Kapolei OT Stan Hasiak is an impressive specimen who has an offer from the Dawgs. He's huge (6-6, 340) and he can project at four of the five front line positions. He's already got five offers to his name and that number should climb as we get into the May evaluation period.

Locally, Danny Kistler from O'Dea and Gonzaga Prep's Anthony Luna are pretty much the cream of the crop in-state. Kistler has a big frame and he's got plenty of room to get bigger, while Luna is a mauler who can be a beast on the inside.

Check back later this week for another blog, this one focusing on the defensive side of the ball.


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