Three Commitments by the First of March

Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff are wasting no time putting together their first real recruiting class. He understands the importance of getting the "Jimmies and the Joes" when I heard him speak about a week ago. He knows they will change this program with Jimmie and Joes and not x's and o's. Recruiting is his priority; coaching is his responsibility.

I don't think he is going to pay any attention to numbers when they go recruiting for the class of 2010. He's going to make having a scholarship at Washington a competitive thing again. I like that. Expect them to oversign every year and then play the numbers game. Kids weed themselves out and attrition is always a part of the game so plan on it.

Cut some kids if you have to.

I bring up numbers again because that is what building and maintaining a roster is all about. The program is already being handicapped by the fact that Tyrone Willingham blew off his transition recruiting class - the current senior class. Left over from that disaster of four years ago are Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Ben Ossai, EJ Savannah and Darrion Jones, as well as Donald Butler and Paul Homer, who played as true freshmen the following year, and Jason Wells, Morgan Rosborough, and Danny Morovick, who transferred in. That's only eight spots out of a team of 85, but because Ryan Perkins and Byron Davenport chose not to come back that number moves up to 10.

Now that is not a big number, but I won't be surprised to see them sign twice that many. Considering the state of Jimmies and Joes on this team and that of the rest of the conference, I will bet that Sarkisian tries to sign between 18-20 players.

They will create space by moving bodies that aren't performing.

For right now though, I can't remember a faster start for Husky recruiting. To have three verbal commitments by the start of March is almost unheard of. I know we never even offered kids until after spring recruiting was completed, and most of the time we didn't offer until our camp was over in June. Come to think of it, going back to the 80's we never even offered kids until December of their senior year.

That shows you how things have really changed in the world of recruiting.

Taking such early commitments means you are taking some risks. You have to maintain those pledges for the next 11 months, which isn't easy. And how can you possibly complete all your evaluation so quickly considering the academic evaluation is based upon only their freshman and sophomore years and one half of their junior year? Most probably don't even have a test score yet, and because of their youth most have not hit their physical maturity. You end up projecting prospects, and that is the bottom line. You are still guessing where they will be in three or four years.

Now I've seen the two local kids play in the state playoffs last year. Sione Potoae of Lakes is stout at the point of attack and played both ways for the Lancers. He is a beast and could play on either side of the ball in college, although I think he could be a great noseman in the making.

Zach Fogerson, out of Seattle - the younger brother of current freshman safety Johri Fogerson - actually committed to the previous staff, but he is a rangy fullback/athlete who could likewise help in a lot of places. He too has great growth potential. I would guess he will be at least 225 pounds before he graduates from Washington.

Their latest verbal commitment, Melvin Davis, a running back/athlete comes out of a southern California high school that has been good to the Dawgs. Narbonne High School had previously sent the Huskies players like Dashon Goldson and Roy Lewis and this last year Tim Tucker, who at 6-1 and 240 is a thumper-type linebacker. Goldson and Lewis are both playing in the NFL and Tucker was his league's Defensive Player of the Year.

Davis is an example of going after players who show the growth and development potential to become top prospects. His numbers were relatively modest for last year when he gained 458 yards and scored eight touchdowns on offense. He had 27 tackles, three sacks, and 1 interception on defense. He could end up playing defense for Washington. There has to be something besides statistics that would indicate he is going to be able to compete at this level.

Regardless, Davis shows that you can go back to a watering hole if you do things correctly. They obviously saw enough of him when they were recruiting Tucker and Tim no doubt helped influence his teammate's decision. That's just good recruiting.

Honoring Fogerson's commitment based upon family alone is another good move. This program has let too many relatives of ex-Huskies get away over the past few years. Chico Fraley's brother played for Cal, and Stafford Mays' son Taylor was a star at USC. Those are kids who should have played in Seattle, and I think this group of coaches will work harder to keep them in the Husky family. Certainly, Aaron Williams' son at Skyline - Kasen Williams - is another example.

The reality of recruiting for Washington's 2010 class is that if they only have a few more than a dozen spots left, they are nearly a quarter of the way done. Beyond that reality though is the fact that this program easily needs an infusion of twice that many and probably will even add another kid to this past signing class.

Like coach said himself, it's all about the Jimmies and Joes. Top Stories