Pre-season Breakdown - Insiders' Football News

In our series of pre-season magazine previews, the next on the list is the Insiders' Football News. As you'll see by the various rankings and ratings - and especially their take on the Huskies - the folks at IFN aren't holding out a lot of hope for Washington's chances at bouncing back from a disappointing 2004 campaign.

USC: Matt Leinart - 1st Team
Reggie Bush - 1st Team
Dwayne Jarrett - 1st Team
Darnell Bing - 2nd Team
LenDale White - 3rd Team

Arizona State: Grayling Love - 2nd Team
Derek Hagan - 3rd Team

California: Marvin Phillip - 1st Team
Ryan O'Callaghan - 3rd Team

Oregon State: Mike Hass - 2nd Team
Joe Newton - 2nd Team

Arizona: Darrell Brooks - 3rd Team

UCLA: Spencer Havner - 3rd Team

Pre-Season Top-26:
USC (1)
California (20)
Oregon (22)
Arizona State (26)

Pac-10 Predicted Order of Finish:
Oregon State
Washington State
Arizona State

Arne Lang's Inside Corner on Washington:
Some folks think that Tyrone Willingham is going to a better team than the one that cast him adrift. Those folks don't fully understand how awful Washingotn was that year.

The Huskies scored only 14 offensive touchdowns while leding the nation in turnovers. UW failed to forge a cover until the Apple Cup finale, wherein they lost to Washington State for the first time since 1997.

During the spring, no one emerged from the pack in the QB scrum. Oregon transfer Johnny DuRocher, a former Washington Gatorade Player of the Year, and holdover Isaiah Stanback appear to be the frontrunners. Stanback has the speed that is sorely lacking at WR. That may be his destination if he fails to win the QB competition.

Converted DL Ty Eriks joins leading rusher Kenny James in the backfield. Joe Toledo, now bulked up to 310 pounds, will anchor the OL. Toledo played TE last year, catching 19 passes, the second-most on the team.

The most noteable of the returning defenders is DT Manase Hopoi. San Jose State transfer Roy Lewis and Nevada transfer Chris Handy are the projected starters at CB. Handy was slated to join the team in January, but didn't yet have his academics in order. He has already scored a touchdown at Husky Stadium, via an interception return in 2003. The kicking positions are unsettled.

Willingham's predecessor Keith Gilbertson was described as hapless, but it wasn't his fault that his crew suffered an epidemic of injuries. Many carried over into the spring, with the consequence that 14 players were sidelined for the final practice. The UW recruiting class earned low marks, more reason to think that it will take Willingham several years to salvage this wreck.

Top 50 Recruiting Classes:
USC (1)
California (11)
Arizona (15)
UCLA (22)
Notre Dame (28)
Oregon (29)
Arizona State (40)
Washington State (43)

Top 100 incoming freshmen:
Patrick Turner - USC (4)
Mark Sanchez - USC (7)
Rey Maualuga - USC (11)
Jonathan Stewart - Oregon (12)
Desean Jackson - California (19)
Luthur Brown - USC (37)
Aleksey Lanis - UCLA (38)
Averell Spicer - USC (39)
Kyle Moore - USC (46)
Brian Cushing - USC (48)
Will Harris - USC (55)
Kevin Thomas - USC (72)
Anthony Felder - California (82)
Aaron Ware - UCLA (92)

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