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The offensive line to nowhere

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Lambright was having trouble recruiting defensive and offensive lineman during his last years at UW. Things were getting thin when Neu arrived, but what was there was still high quality.

One of the things that seasoned observers noticed when Rick Neuhesel took over was that he wasn't bringing in enough offensive linemen. The recruiting numbers were there some years but the attrition was attrocious. Rick never really bonded well with big uglies as he did the skill players. He had a problem bringing in five star big uglies, they weren't buying his schtick. The guy that they were listening to was Pete Carroll at USC.

The Gilbertson class was a nightmare.

Willingham has followed form here just like at most positions. His first two years were dicey, but the last two have been solid on paper.

2001 Recruting Year (Neuheisel)

Sauu who was lightly recruited ended up being a pretty good lineman. Raines never qualified and I can't remember his first name. He ended up going to culinary school. Vandeman was one of the most average centers in the history of the program. Savicky transferred out. Meadow had an OK career. Kava played sparingly right away and then went on a two year mission. He came back and earned a degree but never played again.

  • Robin Meadow
  • Raines
  • Mike Savicky
  • Brad Vandeman
  • Willie Kava
  • Tusi Sauu

2002 Recruiting Class (Neuhesiel)

On paper this class looked great which was the problem with the 2002 class. Lots of style points but inadequate production.

Nathan Rhodes was one of the top linemen in the country but the California schools passed on him. Neu took a shot that he could recover from his congenital back condition. He never attended school. Tipoti took awhlie to qualify and arrived a big fat tub of goo. Kezirian tranfered to Fresno State citing lack of playing time. Clay Walker had a good career and was solid. Stanley Daniels who came in with Scott White also had a decent career. Neu stole Daniels from Nebraska at the last minute.

  • Nathan Rhodes (Blue Chip)
  • Francisco Tipoti (Blue Chip JC)
  • Stanley Daniels (Blue Chip)
  • Robin Kezirian
  • Clay Walker

2003 Recruiting Class (Neuhesiel)

Garcia is everyones favorite Husky but he hasn't been a fantastic center in my opinion. Berglund took a year off and returned under Willingham providing much needed depth. Macklin was lightly recruited but ended up starting a couple of years. This wasn't an exceptional class but all three of these guys stayed in the program and played. Word on the street back them was wait till 2004 when the state of Washington was producing one of those once in a decade recruiting classes. All three of these guys were two star recruits.

  • Erik Berglund
  • Chad Macklin
  • Juan Garcia

2004 Recruiting Class (Gilbertson)

On paper this was a big time class. UW got every single guy they wanted. This class ended being a big bust and it still haunts us in 2008. JWF, Bulyca, and O'Connor who is buried in the depth at DE survive.

Ashby from Ballard quit before the end of his first term of school. Bulyca has always battled weight and attitude problems. JWF's career was marred by a foot injury. Flowers who was promising flunked out. Bush never played much and quit last season. O'Connor may have never played a snap. Coaching changes, attrition, and turmoil really kept this class from developing.

  • Tyler Ashby
  • Jordan White Frisbee
  • Casey Bulyca
  • Nathan Flowers
  • Jovon O'Connor
  • Ryan Bush

2005 Recruiting Class Willingham

Ossai has been starting since his RS year but he hasn't been overwhlmingly impressive. Habben came in last year and gave him a run for the money. Morgan falls into the fat tub of goo category.

  • Ben Ossai
  • Morgan Rosborough

2006 Recruiting Class Willingham

Not a bad class with Tolar Sedillo, and Habben, the problem is Jefferson never got in and Mason never became a player before leaving early. Tough to get better when half the class doesnt get in. Jefferson was the key for this class because he was a NFL class type of lineman. Willingham failed to keep Steve Schilling in state. Cody Pope reneged and went to Tennessee.

  • Ryan Tolar
  • Aaron Mason
  • Matt Sedillo
  • Cody Habben
  • Brandon Jefferson (JC Blue chip)

2007 Recruiting Class (Willingham)

Iweeka never got in, but the other three seem to be progressing nicely. Schugert impressed last season but is buried under alot of veteran depth inside. Fancher is a backup and saw his first action when Habben went down. The coaches like Armelin but he has been injured the first part of the year. Nick Scott transfered from Drake and walked on to earn a scholarship at tackle. I always felt this class was too small because we all knew Iweeka was a long shot.

  • Scott Shugert
  • Imeka Iweeka (Blue Chip)
  • Mark Armelin
  • Skyler Fancher
  • Nick Scott (Transfer)

2008 Recruiting Class (Willingham)

This is a good class on paper but we won't know what we have for a year or two. Ikehara is proably a better player than Garcia at this point but why waste a year? We have heard good things about Shaeffer too. I haven't heard much on Thomas, and Carroll other than that they are a step behind the latter two at this point.

  • Drew Shaeffer
  • Mykena Ikehara
  • Allan Carroll
  • Terrance Thomas

Position Outlook

JWF, Bulyca, and Garica graduate this year. Mykena Ikehara will be the next great Washington center, I expect him to start for four years. Depth at tackle has stabilized but we really don't have any potential draft choices out there. Tolar returns and will claim one of the guard positions for the next two years. The other guard spot is wide open but I think Matt Sedillo will slide in here unless one of the young guys makes a move. UW needs to consistently recruit 4-5 guys on the OL every single year. Most importantly they need to keep them in school and develop them correctly.