And they are only going to get better

Now that the euphoria of "Signing Day" has worn off, it's reassuring to look back at the first year of Steve Sarkisian and realize this program is only going to get better and better and better. This guy gets it and doesn't seem to miss a beat, especially when it comes to recruiting.

He re-established southern California as a primary focus in Husky recruiting and used previous relationships to again make the Huskies a major player for kids from that area.

His first two hires were assistant coaches, Johnny Nansen and Demetrice Martin, and they made a haul in greater Los Angeles by bringing in and signing 14 kids after only one full year of recruiting. That might be the most ever out of SC.

Years ago, under coach James and coach Lambright, we recruited Washington, southern California, Hawaii, northern California and the Pacific Northwest - in that order. That was the primary emphasis of our recruiting effort but we would always make a run at a kid from outside those areas who was interested in us or had some connection to the UW or the Northwest. It just worked out that we had our best success at home and in LA. I've always thought Seattle as a big city had an appeal to city kids from California as opposed to the other smaller college towns in this conference.

Sarkisian had already locked up the majority of quality Washington players and ended up signing nine local kids, including eight of the top 10 in-state prospects. The state kids were the first targets and among first to commit.

When Jake Heaps went to BYU, Sark immediately brought in quite possibly the biggest name ever to commit to Husky football in Nick Montana. All Montana did his senior year was beat Heaps along the way and grow a couple inches and gain some pounds. Oh, and he lead his team to a 27-1 record over the last two years and into the state championship game both years. His name not withstanding, Montana shows promise to become a top flight quarterback at this level. He is expected to enroll spring quarter and that will give him a great learning advantage. He is a winner.

Realizing an obvious need to bring in more linemen, Sark proceeded to sign seven offensive linemen; that's right - seven - and with the exception of one, all are tall road graders that represent the finest line ever brought into this school in at least the past 20 years or so. There is an opportunity for as many as two or three to get into the depth come fall, and then they added a 6-foot-6, 235-pound blocking tight end to along with them. That's a lot of beef up front.

Skill-wise, Sark signed two receivers and two backs, both of whom will be participating in spring ball. Considering Chris Polk will be sitting it out they will have every opportunity to get into the depth. Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper combined for 5879 yards and 77 touchdowns this year, with Callier leading the entire state of California in rushing. Cooper finished his career with 7,450 yards and 107 touchdowns. These two are dynamic runners and promise to be big play kids down the road - maybe even next year.

The receivers, DiAndre Campbell and Kevin Smith, are both tall and appear to have incredible upsides. Smith is impressively built and may be mature enough physically to help immediately.

Defensively, the Huskies added 14 kids and many will probably help on special teams as well as in the depth. One of the linebackers, Victor Burnett, will also enroll early and thereby have the 15 practices of spring to learn the system.

The development of squad depth was upgraded to the point where there will be an obvious improvement in position competition. That is what makes a team better. The better the quality of your practice teams, the better the varsity becomes. Signing 30 kids means that even if they lose a few to academics they will still be adding a substantial increase in numbers. If they can get 12-15 walk-ons to join as well they will be bringing in over 40 new faces come fall.

These numbers allow them to field more than one scout team and thereby to not have to play against each other so much in practice. The number of big running and hitting athletes in this class will only improve the special teams and make the Huskies even stronger in that all important area.

The signing of Sean Parker was also a wonderfully orchestrated coup by the Dawgs and further enhanced an already excellent class. It was sort of like the cherry on top. I would guess it was decided on well before he put on the Husky hat, but the drama was exciting and put the Huskies in the national spotlight to start the recruiting day. He is indeed a tough hitter and probably the highest-ranked player they signed. He reminds me of Tony Parrish in size and hitting ability and hopefully becomes that kind of safety.

The day started with him and ended after two parties and lots of laughs. It was so great to see the excitement and pride return to Husky football and its followers. To attend the sold-out signing day event and take in the energy and enthusiasm that permeates from Sarkisian's staff was simply overwhelming. It further proves he is doing all the important PR moves as well.

This program is so refreshing now for us fans that we cannot help but get caught up in the expectations of the team. I think we all expect at least a winning season and a bowl game for next year and considering we got the best player on the team to return for his senior year, why not make it the Rose Bowl?


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