Washington's recruiting class
Malamute, 3 February 2011;
updated 11 February
times my thoughts wander from the creaky wooden floors of Denny Hall and
the perfumed labs of Bagley Hall down to the old golf course and
the hunt for a lost ball.
second straight year, Coach Steve Sarkisian has hauled in a bumper crop
of student athletes. Washington's recent victory in the Holiday Bowl,
along with this year's recruiting bonanza, seems to say the program is
back on track after nine-straight non-winning seasons.
Sark's recruiting class puts a fence
around the State of Washington, adds height to the receiving corps, adds
durability to the quarterback spot, and bolsters the depth at the RB position, this,
too, along with shoring up the defensive line and safety position.
The official list
of signees can be found at gohuskies.com, as well as the
The class closets all five members of the Seattle Times' Blue
Chip list, highlighted by Parade All America Player of the Year,
5-star recruit, WR Kasen Williams (6-foot-3, 215, 4.60).
Including Williams, the Tacoma News
Tribune names eight UW recruits to its
Now for the bad news. Not signing a
4-star offensive lineman is perplexing; the Huskies need to sign at
least one blue-chip offensive lineman each year. Not enrolling a
punter/kicker into school could be a problem in 2012, and the same goes
for the cornerback position where only one player was signed. The
incoming line-backing corps was somewhat disappointing, considering the
two significant graduation losses at the position.
Table 1. Recruiting Services Rankings
in Pac-10 (2/14/2011)
Note that Washington's four competitors
from the table above each signed one or more 4-star recruits to the
offensive line, with USC inking two and Oregon three.
assigned grade below is based on ranking (number of stars given to an
individual player) and the need fulfillment at a particular position; we
rank the class as follows:
behemoth QB Derrick Brown (6-foot-3, 240; 3 stars) from Vista Murrieta was huge,
no pun intended. He
had originally committed to Utah before de-committing and committing to
Washington. Brown gives Washington
some much needed durability at the position. I expect him to play in
2011. Incidentally, he averaged 45 yards per punt in high school and is
said to be just as deadly with his legs as his arm, which should make
for an intriguing Wildcat possibility. He models his game after Tim Tebow
and has been likened to Jake Locker.
Brown ranks No. 7 among California quarterbacks, ahead, for instance, of
Westlake Village Oaks Christian's Trevor Gretzky (son of Wayne Gretzky)
at No. 11 and Los Angeles Loyola's Jerry Neuheisel (son of UCLA coach
Rick Neuheisel) at No. 12.
Brown is another student athlete from
the Inland Empire, now added to the Huskies' roster. Chris Polk out of
Redlands East Valley (Rev) is known for the IE tattooed on his right
(Update): QB Antavius Sims (6-foot-2,
200) from Ventura College has signed a letter of intent, according to
gohuskies.com, which lists him as an athlete. In 2010, Sims completed 165 of 299 pass attempts for
1,956 yards, and 13 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,014 yards and 15
touchdowns on 223 carries and led the Southern California JCs in total
offense with 2,960 yards. There is talk of him playing cornerback, as
well as quarterback.
Tight End: A
signing of 5-star TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (6-foot-6, 240, 4.68) ,
Washington plugs a gaping hole that has existed at tight end for a
number of years. Along with Washington, he had offers from Alabama, LSU,
Florida, USC, UCLA, Texas, and California. Seferian-Jenkins is a member
of the Seattle Times Blue Chip list and the Western 100.
landing the 5-star Williams, UW picks up added height at the
wide-receiver position with 3-star receivers Josh Perkins (6-foot-3,
200, 4.6) and Jamaal Jones (6-foot-2,180, 4.55). Although Dorsey high
3-star-recruit Marvin Hall is just 5-foot-10, he makes up for his lack
of size with speed and athleticism. He had offers from seven other
schools, most notably California.
Recruiting 4-star running back Bishop Sankey (5-11, 190, 4.46), also a
Times Blue Chip player, away from WSU was particularly gratifying.
Apparently, he wants to attend a school that teaches something other
than just the mechanics of rolling ice balls and the physics of
them (joke). Sankey
adds depth to the running back position, a position that can never have
enough studs because of its high risk of injury. Sankey is expected to
run kickoffs back in 2011. He rushed for 2,518 yards last season at
high's bullish Dezden Petty (6-foot-0, 212) is expected to play
fullback. He has the potential to be an 18-wheeler running down hill.
defensive line: B+
to the stats from last year, UW needs to stop the run this year to
ensure a winning season. Jake Locker is gone, and it's time for the
defense to pick up some slack. (Incidentally, Locker had a most
respectable passing-efficiency rating of 142.32 in the Senior Bowl, the
best rating of the three quarterbacks playing for the North; a defensive
pass interference penalty robbed him of a touchdown pass).
Uriah Grant to Old Miss was a blow to the D's mid-section. However, UW
picks up 4-star defensive end Taniela Tupou (6-foot-2.5, 260, 4.8), who
should add some speed to the outside pass rush. Tupou, along with 3-star
signee DT Danny Shelton (6-foot-3, 286, 5.3), is a member of the Times'
Blue Chip list. Unfortunately, Paramount's Maataua Brown (DT, 3 stars,
6-foot-5, 295), who didn't qualify, would have lent a big
frame and sheer athleticism to the defensive side of the ball.
The Huskies need to replace
outside linebacker Mason Foster, second in the nation in tackles (12.58
per game), and
Victor Aiyewa, who finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in
the Pac-10 and 11th (tied) in the nation with 1.50 tackles for loss per
Middle linebacker Thomas
Tutogi (6-foot-1, 235, 4.55), a JC transfer, is already enrolled in
school and is one of four incoming linebackers. Incoming 3-star linebacker Corey
Waller (6-foot-2.5, 210, 4.6) was named to the TNT Western 100.
In last season's recruiting
travails, losing kicker Alejandro Maldonado to Oregon was a big
disappointment. He had been committed to Washington for some time.
His loss is compounded by the fact
no one has been recruited to replace punters Will Mahan and Kiel Rasp or
kicker Erik Folk, all of whom will be seniors this year.
Off to the JC ranks next year or will walk-ons fill
the void? Or will Brown do some punting, a la Bob Schloredt?
Offensive Line: C
Sark hauled in seven offensive linemen last
However, he loses Cody Habben and Ryan Tolar -- 21
starts between them in 2010 -- to
graduation. Also, Greg Christine -- who started a total of seven games
on the offensive line: four at right guard, two at center and one at
left guard -- graduates.
On the offensive line, the Huskies have signed
Siosifa Tufunga (6-foot-1, 297) and Dexter Charles (6-foot-5, 280).
The loss of 4-star lineman Paulay Asiata, who
committed on January 24th and de-committed a week later, illustrates the
vagaries of the recruiting process.
Both starters are back, Quinton Richardson (Senior)
and Desmond Trufant (Junior).
Also seeing playing time this season, Vonzell McDowell, Jr. has graduated, and Anthony Boyles (scout team) has left the
Only one cornerback is listed on gohuskies.com: Marcus
Peters (6-foot-0, 179) of McClymonds High in Oakland. Peters is a member of the TNT
Western 100 and was the Bay Area News Group-East Bay Defensive
Player of the Year.
In his blog, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times quotes
McClymonds coach Curtis McCauley as saying: "He's a long player. He's
tall, about 6-2, about 180 pounds, runs like a 4.4 40-yard dash, has
tremendous closing speed and playmaking ability due to being able with
his instincts to anticipate and make plays and jump routes. So he played
man-to-man most of the year and it's hard to get a lot of picks out of
man-to-man, but he was very creative and made things happen out there.''
If you think Sims will play corner, give this
positional unit a B.
Nate Williams (105 total tackles in 2010) is
gone, however, Nate Fellner (79 total tackles) returns at safety. Last
year, U-Dub signed 4-star safety Sean Parker, and this year it has
signed another 4-star athlete at the position, James Sample (6-foot-2,
191), who is listed on the TNT Western 100.
Coaches' grade point average: 3.25 (Just under
The coaches put a fence around the state with a sign
affixed to the front gate that reads, "no-poaching, rabid-dawg-inside."
This is especially commendable considering the nation-wide interest sparked by
Williams, Seferian-Jenkins, and Shelton.
Adding height and size to the receiving corps was
noteworthy, as well as bulking up the quarterback position with a stud
from the I. E.
The foray into California produced some noteworthy
The punter/kicker and offensive line positions were
disappointing, but certainly remediable next time around.
The Name Game, 2011 (names taken from above)
Clue: A religious leader lost at sea.
Answer: Bishop Sankey.
Clue: A book in the bible, for instance.
Answer: James Sample.
Clue: An irritating capital city in Germany.
Answer: Kiel Rasp.
Clue: Brother of Nick, a folksy chap.
Answer: Erik Folk.
Clue: The Prez from Rev.
Answer: Chris Polk.
Clue: Those who call Polk "the Prez," might want to
call Derrick (who?) "the Guv."
Answer: Derrick Brown.
Clue: Think antivirus plus a popular computer game.