Washington is enjoying their 2nd and final bye week of the 2013 season, and while the players relax and enjoy a rare off-day, the coaches are on the road recruiting. With the season 3/4 done and Signing Day approaching in February, now is a great chance for the staff to touch base with current commits & recruits, evaluate them and identify any new prospects that might earn an offer. Let's take a look at where things stand for the Huskies for the 2014 football recruiting class. First thing to know is that this is expected to be a smaller class - with only 13 scholarship Seniors on the roster, look for this class to total less than 20. There's always some amount of attrition each off-season, and of course there's the possibility a few underclassmen could declare for the draft, but I'd guess we'll see ~17-19 kids sign. Here's who is currently committed and who the primary known targets are:
QB - Commits: none; Targets: none
Analysis: The Huskies have apparently decided to pass on taking a QB in this class, as they didn't offer anyone this past Spring or Summer. It's certainly possible they could take a late flier on a kid or pursue someone committed elsewhere, but as of right now Sark seems comfortable heading into next season with Cyler Miles, Jeff Lindquist and Troy Williams as his scholarship QB's.
Analysis: Sark definitely wants a RB in this class, and the home-run would be Mixon. He's officially visited (after earlier leaving the UW out of his top-5), and there's rumblings he could make it back up to Seattle on another unofficial visit. He's probably still a longshot, but the Huskies are still in it. Richard is very good in his own right, and it appears to be a battle between ASU and UW for him right now. Gray has moved back to Mississippi after spending a year in Arizona, and it's tough to get kids out of SEC territory. Penny doesn't yet have an offer, but appears to be a possible plan-B prospect. His older brother Elijah had been a UW commit but failed to qualify out of H.S.
Analysis: With two upper-tier guys already in the fold, Sark is mostly focused on maintaining those commitments, but if he can land someone of the caliber of Quick, he'd take him in a heartbeat. Johnson appears to be a solid commitment, while Brown is still taking official visits. He maintains he's still a UW commit, but he's clearly not 100%. Quick hasn't yet scheduled a visit with the UW, but they appear to be in the running for his final visit. Lauderdale is an elite talent and likes the UW, but the challenges they have in admitting JC transfers (the UW can only accept a limited amount of PE credits) will probably eliminate the UW from the race.
Analysis: The Huskies got their man early in the summer when Blakely committed, and the Idaho native is rock-solid. They are still in the hunt for the #1 TE prospect Shultz, and while Stanford is considered the front-runner, the Huskies don't appear to be out of it. You might see other names pop up later in the process, as these are the body-types that can often cover multiple positions - TE, DE, DT or even OT if they have growth potential.
Analysis: Bryant (a 2013 signee that has delayed enrollment to January and will count against the 2014 class) and James give the Huskies a couple of OT prospects for this class already, and they are primarily targeting OT's for this class. Tucker is the highest rated of the bunch, and while he's been quiet on the recruiting news front, expect Stanford & ASU to be the main players for him. Mike was thought at one point to be a strong Arizona lean, but Washington appears to be doing very well with him. Keep an eye on his official visits. Brown has seen a meteoric rise in his recruiting - he was mostly off the radar entering this season, but has played very well as a Sr. and seen a rush of offers. UW is in the running for his 5th official visit, but USC is thought to be the favorites. Frison is a Utah commit, but the UW has continued recruiting him - if they get him up on an official visit (and if they do, expect them to try to keep it hush-hush), all bets are off. Bailey is LDS and is likely headed to BYU. Delp and Richey project more on the interior; Delp has been considered a strong UCLA lean, but he's yet to commit, so the UW still has a shot at him. Richey doesn't hold a UW offer yet, and if they don't jump on soon they might end up out of the running.
Analysis: Curtis is a guy that projects at both OG and NT, but with his dimensions I'd expect he'll end up at NT for the Huskies. He's a highly-rated kid that saw his stock drop this year after he put on some bad weight that affected his play; if he gets back in better shape, he has terrific potential. Keep an eye on his recruitment - due to a family situation, the Huskies might be at risk of losing him to one of the Arizona schools if they come on strong for him. Pelon is a big JC kid that fits the mold of what Wilcox wants, especially at the 3T. He's taken his official visit and was reportedly close to committing, but has held off and taken more visits. He recently listed his top-5 on Twitter with the UW on top.
Analysis: Hill was an early commit for the Dawgs and looked like a candidate for the Cory Littleton RUSH role. Unfortunately for Hill he tore his Achilles tendon early this season and is rehabbing, but the Huskies appear to remain firm in their offer. If there ends up being a numbers crunch with this class, it's possible Hill could become a candidate to "greyshirt" and delay his enrollment to the following January. McGary is a big-time local talent that could play multiple positions. The Huskies are reportedly recruiting him for DE, though I would imagine it's the Evan Hudson role which is more of an interior position; he also projects as a high-level OT. He grew up a Husky fan in a household of Husky fans, but he's being patient with the process and planning to take all his visits. Mondeaux is a guy that could end up at either DE or TE; the Portland prospect took his official visit to the UW for the Cal game and it looks to be a battle between Oregon and the UW.
Analysis: Lewis was a guy the Huskies had in their Rising Stars camp, and after working him out at LB decided to offer him and he jumped on it. He's reportedly planning to take other visits, so his commitment can't be considered a lock, but if it sticks he gives the Dawgs a rangy, quicker LB that could potentially fit with how Wilcox currently uses Shaq Thompson. Williams is a high-level kid out of California, and is probably a longshot at the moment, but keep an eye to see if the UW gets a visit out of him. Murphy-Richardson is a kid with the kind of length Sirmon loves in his crew, similar to Azeem Victor last year. He doesn't have any known visits scheduled as of yet. This could be a position where you see some late offers come in as the staff continues to evaluate current H.S. Seniors.
Analysis: The Huskies are off to a good start with commitments from Lockett and Washington. Lockett is a terrific cover corner that reminds me a lot of Marcus Peters in that he's not the fastest guy on the field, but he sticks with his guy and makes plays. Washington is projected as a S and jumped on an early offer from the Huskies, but has seen his stock rise, but so far remains committed tot he Dawgs. Baker is the top recruit in the state and a terrific athlete - he's a kid that could make an impact at RB, WR or CB, but is primarily being recruited as a S despite not being the biggest guy out there. Oregon appears to be the leader, but the Huskies are still in the race. Smith has some family connections to the Dawgs via Johnny Nansen, but the top-ranked S prospect doesn't have an official visit scheduled for the Huskies and is an elite national recruit, so don't get your hopes up. Ihenacho appeared close to a commitment earlier in the year, but both sides appear to have backed off; keep an eye on him though, as he may yet circle back around to the UW. Plattenburg is another kid who was very close to committing this summer, but held off. The highly-ranked CB prospect has since moved to Texas, and while the UW is still in the running, they will have strong competition for him. Wadood is a Cal commit, but the CB prospect is taking visits to other schools, and the UW is one that could end up with a visit.
Specialists - Commits: none; Targets: none
Analysis: With Cameron Van Winkle and Korey Durkee on scholarship for next year, it doesn't appear as if Sark is looking to bring in any new specialists, though I would expect they'll work on bringing in a preferred walk-on or two to help flesh out the competition at both PK and P for 2014.
As always, recruiting is a fluid situation, and kids that are current commits or targets might fall by the wayside and new targets may emerge. There's also a fair amount of cloak-and-dagger involved, with coaches trying to get kids to visit without tipping off other schools (and recruiting websites), so there may be other targets we don't yet know about.
While the Huskies have two home games remaining, I would expect most of the official visits to take place in December and January. Washington is in on a number of high-level recruits, and they will likely have to wait until at least the all-star games in early January until many of them make their commitments known. I would expect January to be a very busy and chaotic time for this recruiting class as Sark & staff attempt to lock in their signees for the 2014 class.