2009 class a building block for Sarkisian

When he took the reigns of the Husky football program, new head coach Steve Sarkisian definitely had his work cut out for him. With very few commitments and very little time to pull some in, Sarkisian and his staff got to work and ultimately ended up with 18 signees and plenty of work ahead in rebuilding the relationships that the old staff let wane while they were at the helm...

Sarkisian made it known almost immediately that the Huskies are not going to shy away from going against the big boys of the Pac 10, USC and UCLA, when it comes to recruits.

"I'd give the class a 'C'," Sarkisian told the media at the signing day press conference. "I think we lost a couple of kids today I thought we should have gotten, in my opinion, and I'm going to take that on me. I don't think there's a kid in this country we can't get.

"This is a great place and I want people to know that we're out and about. U-Dub has a proud football tradition. It's a great university and we are going to be aggressive recruiters and we are going to be out on the road and we wanted to be seen."

As far as establishing relationships with the high school coaches within the state of Washington, Sarkisian said he and the staff have done a good job of getting their foot in the door to let them know the Huskies will be all over their top players.

"I think we've done well," Sarkisian said thoughtfully. "I've already spoken at a clinic and I've made pretty good contact with the high school coaches.

"Our coaches have gotten out and about and May is going to be a key for us. We have our clinic here and then our May or spring recruiting will be critical that we get out to all the high schools in the state of Washington and let them know that the top talent we need to keep in state and not leave on us."

Coming from a staff at USC that had a reputation for being relentless recruiters, Sarkisian admitted that there might be some coaches out there who don't enjoy recruiting as much as they should, but he said that won't be an issue with this staff.

"This is what we do, it's our livelihood and if you don't enjoy what you do you gotta do something else," Sarkisian said. "If you didn't enjoy to write, then why would you write? And if you love what you're doing you can work hard at it.

"It's who we are and what we've become. Who we recruit is who we become as a football team and it's important that we put the time and effort in. The old saying is ‘it's not X's and O's it's the Jimmy's and Joe's' and the better the players and character kids you get the better off your program will be down the road.

So what lies down the road? How about a home game versus LSU and Sarkisian said when he was recruiting players that he wanted to take into battle, he wasn't worried about the recruiting on-line recruiting services.

"You should always recruit the best players you can recruit," Sarkisian noted. "The best players that you can get that are not only your best players, but your best character kids. No offense to ESPN U or Scout.com or Rivals or anyone who rates these guys, I don't remember the last time they put a game plan together in order to beat LSU on Labor Day weekend.

"We're the guys who have to put a team together. They don't know what league they play in and a lot of things that go into this thing, they probably aren't that far off, but it's about putting together a team and not necessarily worrying about stars."

Some have been concerned that Washington was approaching the 85-scholarship limit, but Sarkisian said he wasn't worried about the numbers.

"I never looked at the numbers," Sarkisian admitted. "I always looked at it as getting the best players we could get and the best kids we could get. If we would have only signed 11 guys, but they were great players, then that's what we'd go with. We probably could try to sign a couple of guys today and make it work and make it fit, but if we didn't offer them before today they probably weren't good enough so let's move on and we'll make it work next year."

So now the focus turns to the 2010 recruiting class and Sarkisian mentioned that he and his staff offered 20 juniors yesterday, so they're already off to a good start on the next class of possible Huskies.


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