2011 Husky Recruiting Priorities

Washington brought in 31 players with the 2010 recruiting class and since signing day, people have been asking where the Huskies' priorities lie as far as the 2011 class is concerned. They also have asked how many the staff plans to sign next February. Here's a quick overview of how many fans can expect per position as well as who some of the early targets are…

Quarterback: Jake Locker (Sr.); Keith Price (RS Fr.); Nick Montana (Fr.)

Locker graduates following the upcoming season while Price and Montana will battle it out for the primary backup position during the spring as well as throughout the season. Look for Washington to bring in at least one and probably two signal-callers with this next class. Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Ca.) QB Kyle Boehm appears to have piqued the coaching staff's interest early on, but they also have players like Brett Smith from West Salem (Or.), Brett Hundley from Chandler (Az.), Cody Kessler from Centennial (Bakersfield, Ca.) and Trey Wheeler from Liberty (Issaquah, Wa.) on their radar as well. Hundley is the only one with the athleticism necessary to play another position should he need to change positions, but there will be more that show up as the summer progresses and the Huskies get a look at them during their ‘Rising Stars' camp in June.

Running Back: Chris Polk (So.); Demetrius Bronson (So.); Curtis Shaw (Jr.); Johri Fogerson (Jr.); Deontae Cooper (Fr.); Jesse Callier (Fr.); Brandon Yakaboski (Jr.)

The Huskies appear to be in pretty good shape here with one of the top running backs in the conference already in the fold (Polk) and Bronson, Fogerson and Shaw promise to be pushed by two of the top running backs on the West Coast who will enroll early in Cooper and Callier. There could be some attrition in this unit after spring ball and possibly following the season, so expect at least one and possibly two to be brought in as well. The nice thing about running backs is that they can play a multitude of positions and because of his quickness and speed, Callier could be a candidate to move to cornerback if the need arises. Also, the Husky coaching staff will need to figure out where Yakaboski fits into the mix and whether he can finally stay healthy for an entire season.

Fullback: Austin Sylvester (Sr.); Kimo Maukala (RS Fr.); Zach Fogerson (Fr.)

This position is in good hands with Maukala and Fogerson being so young and talented. Both can catch the ball out of the backfield and both appear to be solid blockers. It will be interesting to see how Maukala fits into the depth. Is he an H-Back or a true fullback? Also, will Fogerson see time this fall? If Fogerson isn't able to redshirt, there is a chance the Dawgs could look to bring in another fullback prospect to give them a youngster to redshirt and be two years behind the other two. Don't expect them to take one though.

Wide Receiver: Jermaine Kearse (Jr.); Devin Aguilar (Jr.); James Johnson (So.); DeAndre Goodwin (Sr.); Cody Bruns (Jr.); Jordan Polk (Jr.); Luther Leonard (So.); Kevin Smith (Fr.); DiAndre Campbell (Fr.)

Probably the most talented and deepest position on the team, this unit is poised to have a huge 2010 season now that Kearse, Aguilar, Johnson and Goodwin have had a year in the system. Also, Smith is one of the most exciting and electric players to sign with Washington in some time and he has a huge amount of upside. We'll see how things shake out, but you could see some attrition from this position as well. Washington has already offered some big time wideouts and one of them has Husky ties. Will Skyline's Kasen Williams lead the way and commit to the Huskies early? There's a very good chance that could happen.

Tight End: Kavario Middleton (Jr.); Chris Izbicki (Jr.); Dorson Boyce (Sr.); Marlion Barnett (RS Fr.); Michael Hartvigson (Fr.)

From a "bodies" standpoint, this position is just fine. From a production standpoint, this position is a huge unknown. Middleton has a ton of talent, but he needs to amp-up his intensity and become a much better blocker. Izbicki and Boyce are known as better blockers than receivers, so it remains to be seen how they will fit into things. Barnett is an outstanding receiver and the coaching staff compared him to former USC standout Fred Davis who is currently playing for the Washington Redskins. Hartvigson is big and very physical and he possesses surprisingly soft-hands. Will he become the next great Washington tight end? Only time will tell. Expect the Huskies to look for one big body to plug in to this position, especially with Middleton and Izbicki becoming seniors in 2011. Two in-state prospects – Gig Harbor's Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Gonzaga Prep's Charlie Hopkins – are the early targets on Washington's list.

Offensive Line: T Cody Habben (Sr.); T Senio Kelemete (Jr.); G Ryan Tolar (Sr.); T Drew Schaefer (So.); T Skyler Fancher (Jr.); C Mykenna Ikehara (So.); G Mark Armelin (Jr.); G Scott Shugert (Jr.); G Nick Wood (Jr.); T James Atoe (Fr.); T Micah Hatchie (Fr.); T/G Ben Riva (Fr.); G/C Colin Porter (Fr.); T/G Erik Kohler (Fr.); G Mike Criste (Fr.); C Colin Tanigawa (Fr.)

Washington took a huge class of offensive lineman in 2010 and are looking to bring in five more in 2011. Three likely starters – Habben, Tolar and Greg Christine, who may or may not be on scholarship next year – will all be gone after the 2010 season and with the writing possibly being on the wall for players like Shugert and Armelin, you could see some attrition as well. Washington has already offered some of the top offensive linemen on the West Coast including Hamilton (Az.) OT Christian Westerman who is already considered one of the top linemen in the country. Stanwood OT Dexter Charles is the one in-state offensive line prospect with an early offer and he's already starting to think about when he wants to make his decision, but the Huskies have competition in Washington State who have also offered.

Defensive Tackle: Cameron Elisara (Sr.); Alameda Ta'amu (Jr.); Semisi Tokolahi (So.); DeShon Matthews (Sr.); Tyrone Duncan (Jr.); Chris Robinson (RS Fr.); Sione Potoae (Fr.); Lawrence Lagafuaina (Fr.)

There are two types of defensive tackles in Washington's system. One plays head up over the center and that player is known as the nose tackle while the other one is lined up at the three-technique where he is over the outside shoulder of the guard and is counted on to get penetration and provide a pass-rush inside. Ta'amu and Tokolahi are nose guards while Elisara, Matthews and Duncan play the three. Robinson is an unknown due to his recovery from knee surgery during the season, but the expectation is he will be a nose tackle when he does see the field. Potoae will end up playing the three-technique while Lagafuaina will be over the center as a nose-tackle. Elisara and Matthews run out of eligibility following this season and Duncan could be on the way out as well. That means the Huskies need at least two more and probably three interior defensive line prospects who can be plugged into the depth. Grant Union (Sacramento, Ca.) DT Viliami Moala and Lakewood (Ca.) DT Todd Barr are two prospects very high on Washington's list and in-state DT Danny Shelton, from Auburn, is another big-time target the Dawgs have already offered.

Defensive End: Kalani Aldrich (Jr.); Everrette Thompson (Jr.); Talia Crichton (So.); Andru Pulu (So.); Andrew Hudson (Fr.); Brent Williams (Fr.); Haouli Jamora (Fr.)

Thompson, Alrich and Crichton are the three returning players with experience, while Pulu played mainly special teams as a freshman in 2009. Hudson, Williams and Jamora are players who present a plethora of athleticism and skills, but obviously are unproven at the college level to this point. Fans can expect at least one defensive end in this class with the outside possibility of two being brought in. Washington has already offered the top defensive end on the West Coast in Greg Townsend from Beverly Hills High School in California. Skyline's (Sammamish, Wa.) Connor Cree, Archbishop Murphy's (Everett, Wa.) Taniela Tupou and Central Catholic's (Portland) Brennan Scarlett have also garnered early offers.

Linebackers: OLB Mason Foster (Sr.); OLB Cort Dennison (Jr.); OLB Matt Houston (Sr.); OLB Jordan Wallace (So.); OLB/MLB Tim Tucker (RS Fr.); Alvin Logan (Jr.); OLB Chris Young (Fr.); MLB Victor Burnett (Fr.); OLB/DE Darius Waters (Fr.); Cooper Pelluer (Fr.); Garrett Gilliland (Fr.); Princeton Fuimaono (Fr.)

The Huskies did a great job of addressing the depth issues at this position by signing six players to add to the depth. The top in-state linebacker available, Young, may not be ready to go right away due to likely qualifying issues, but all the rest should be able to enroll either in the spring (Burnett) or over the summer. Burnett and Fuimaono project inside, with Burnett having the inside track at the starting MIK (middle) spot following the spring. Dennison and Foster are the most experienced of the current players already on the roster while Tucker, Houston, Logan and Wallace will all fill in the depth and play on special teams. It's not out of the question for Washington to take up to four players at this position with the next class, but they will take at least three including at least one who projects inside. Washington has already offered Serra (Gardena, Ca.) LB Jason Gibson, widely regarded as the best linebacker on the West Coast, St. Bonaventure (Ventura, Ca.) LB Jalen Jefferson and Dorsey (Los Angeles) LB Matthew Lyons and several more players, like Corona's DeVonte Wilson, will likely receive early offers as well.

Cornerback: Desmond Trufant (So.); Adam Long (So.); Vonzell McDowell (Sr.); Quinton Richardson (Jr.); Marquis Persley (Jr.); Anthony Boyles (So.); Anthony Gobern (So.); Gregory Ducre (Fr.)

Washington has two youngsters penciled in right now as the starters with Long and Trufant performing well in 2009. They also have experienced depth in Richardson and McDowell who have both started at different times. Boyles, Persley and Gobern will all be fighting for time as well this spring. Ducre was the only corner prospect to sign with the past class, so the Huskies are definitely in the market for at least two or three this year. Vista (Ca.) CB Stefan McClure got the first offer, but more will be doled out soon enough. Another prospect we're hearing the Dawgs are high on is Charter Oak (Covina, Ca.) CB Dennis Rufus who is one of the bigger and more physical corners on the West Coast.

Safety: Nate Williams (Sr.); Nate Fellner (So.); Justin Glenn (So.); Victor Aiyewa (Sr.); Greg Walker (So.); Will Shamburger (RS Fr.); Taz Stevenson (Fr.); Jamaal Kearse (Fr.); Sean Parker (Fr.); John Timu (Fr.)

Williams and Aiyewa will be the only losses to the depth following the 2010 season and with the way Glenn and Fellner played last fall, the Huskies have two experienced players to plug into those positions. However, Parker should see time right away and with Shamburger at 100%, there could be some serious competition for playing time next fall. Washington will probably take at least one safety in the 2011 class, but remember, Timu will greyshirt because of his knee injury and that will help even out the depth as far as the classes are concerned. Serra's Marqise Lee is one of the most physically gifted safety prospects available this year while Skyline's Evan Zeger fits perfectly into the role of strong safety. One other safety prospect with an offer from the Huskies, Granada High School's Josh Atkinson from Livermore, Ca. , is a talented player who could play the free or strong safety position and play them well.

Specialists: P Will Mahan (Sr.); K Erik Folk (Jr.)

Mahan had a solid first year at Washington while Folk really proved his doubters wrong by having a strong season as a placekicker. Expect the Huskies to look at bringing in one of each next year to come in and compete for time. They need someone who can be a kickoff specialist for at least a year and then take over for Folk once he graduates following the 2011 season.

Here's a breakdown of what you can expect to see number-wise next February when the coaching staff unveils the 2011 recruiting class…

QB – 1 or 2
RB – 2
FB – 0
WR – 2
TE – 1
OL – 5
DT – 2
DE – 1 or 2
LB – 2
CB – 2 or 3
S - 2
P – 1
K – 1

Expect somewhere in the realm of 20 to 25 prospects signing with the Huskies next year. The list I've broken down has 25, assuming that they hit the higher number on some of the positions. Also, you can expect this staff to take a look at several players who will be classified as "athletes" who could end up at a number of positions.

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