It is still a little early to analyze all the pieces the coaches will have to work with in 2010 since they probably will sign up to six more players to fill out the 2010 class. Add a couple of kids to the defense such as Pullard, Fehoko, and Shirley could yield some more immediate impact. If they don't come to UW the class is far from being a failure because Scout currently ranks it as being the 7th best in the country and number one in the Pac 10.
Steve Sarkisian said it best when he remarked that Jake's decision to come back for another year was like signing a 10 star recruit. Make no doubt about it keeping Locker on the field one more year makes Washington a championship contender if they can fill a couple holes on defense.
The future looks bright on offense with the return of Jake Locker. A year of experience plus the loss of only two starters bodes well for this unit in 2010. With the skill positions intact the key to improvement is getting more productivity and depth out of the offensive ine.
QB: Jake Locker - Sr.*
Depth: Ronnie Fouch - Jr., Keith Price - Fr.
Newcomer: Nick Montana - Fr.
Possible Attrition: None
It is all about Jake Locker returning in 2010. Washington would have taken a step backwards if he hadn't decided to return. Locker will start the year as perhaps the leading Heisman candidate in the country. Even more importantly he gives Keith Price and Nick Montana an extra year to get ready to compete with Ronnie Fouch for the starting job when Jake leaves.
Washington doesn't have optimimum amount depth at this position but it is getting better. You usually like to see one QB for every class. With Jake returning Washington will have four on the roster next season.
RB: Chris Polk - So.*
Depth: Demitrius Bronson - So., Johri Fogerson - Jr., Curtis Shaw - Jr., Willie Griffin - Jr., Brandon Yakaboski - Jr.
Newcomers: Deontae Cooper - Fr., Melvin Davis - Fr., Jessie Callier - Fr.
Possible Attrition: Willie Griffin - Jr., Brandon Yakaboski - Jr.
Make no mistake about it Chris Polk is a star and he may end leaving UW as the schools all time career rushing leader if he stays healthy. Bronson didn't get a lot of carries and while he did look strong at times he had problems holding onto the ball, Curtis Shaw played sparingly so he could be a transfer candidate despite of his straight ahead speed which I think the coaches could have used more on kickoffs. Fogerson moved to TB from Safety and was used primarily as a receiver out of the backfield. His use diminished during the second half of the season.
Willie Griffin was MIA all season so I would guess that he is a probable candidate to move on. Yakaboski has been hurt since he arrived on campus and I don't expect to see him on the fall roster.
Washington has verbals from three of the better running backs in California. Cooper will compete for playing time in 2010 and could end up winning the backup job. Davis is a big back that may not qualify so keep your fingers crossed. Callier will arrive ealry this spring with Polk. His future could be at CB but expect the coaches to give him a long look at RB in the spring.
FB: Austin Sylvester - Sr.
Depth: Kimo Makaula - Fr
Newcomers: Zach Fogerson - Fr.
Possible Attrition: None
Makaula and Sylvester will fight it out this spring for the starting job. The coaches like both players but I think in the end Kimo gets the majority of the snaps next fall. The one thing he has in his favor is he can catch the ball. That type of versatility may also take playing time away from Johri Fogerson who had more of an H-Back type role last season.
Zach Fogerson arrives from O'Dea and I would think he would be a good RS candidate based on who is ahead of him. He could also be a kid they give a look at over on defense.
WR: Jermaine Kearse - Jr.*, Devin Aguilar - Jr.*, James Johnson - So.*
Depth: Jordan Polk - Jr., D'Andre Goodwin - So. Cody Bruns - Jr., Luther Leonard - So., Vince Taylor -So.
Newcomers: Keanon Lowe - Fr., DiAndre Campbell - Fr., Kevin Smith - Fr.
Possible Attrition: Luther Leonard - So., Vince Taylor -So.
Kearse, Aguilar, and Johnson may be the best returning receiving trio in the Pac 10. D'Andre Goodwin never got it going this season after getting injured last spring. It will be tough for him to supplant the guys ahead of him. The coaches like Cody Bruns but he didn't end up getting a lot of playing time because of the success of the kids ahead of him. Leonard and Taylor are both very good candidates to leave the program. Both of them are entering their third season and the prospects of them ever seeing the playing field is pretty slight at this point.
I could see all three frosh sitting out the year but if anyone does play it would probably be Lowe who could find a place on offense or defense. Smith is another kid that could see time at safety if the WR thing doesn't work out.
TE: Kavario Middleton - Jr.*
Rotation: Chris Izbicki - Jr., Dorson Boyce, Sr.
Depth: Marlion Bennett - Fr.
Newcomer: Michael Hartvigson - Fr.
Kavario Middleton can be an All American and a first round draft choice if he wants it bad enough. What he needs to do is spend a lot of time in the weight room this winter to transform his body. Izbicki is a depth guy who saw time on and off all season. Boyce was just OK and serves as filler for a year until UW builds up depth at the position.
Mike Hartvigson is going to be better than a lot of people think. He has the ability to block and catch the ball which is what the position is all about. I see him sitting out next season but being in the rotation all four years he is eligible to play.
OT: Senio Kelemete - Jr.*, Cody Habben - Sr.*
Depth: Drew Schaefer So.*, Skyler Fancher - Jr., Terence Thomas - So., Mark Armelin - Jr.
Newcomers: Erik Kohler - Fr., Micah Hatchie - Fr.
Possible Attrition: Terence Thomas - So., Mark Armelin - Jr.
The plan has always been to move Kelemete outside and I think it is a good bet that they do it this spring. Kelemete had a solid year inside and he gained some post season recognition. Habben is never going to be great but he has improved along the way and will continue to do so.
Drew Schaefer crashed the starting lineup during the second half of the season and will at the very least be in the rotation next year. Skyler Fancher is a potential starter while healthy. He missed the entire season after having three surgeries last year. If he can return at full strength this spring Washington will be in pretty good shape at tackle in 2010.
Erik Kohler and Michah Hatchie are the future of this position. I would like to see them both sit out next year and that will happen if Kelemete moves to tackle and Fancher comes back healthy. If that doesn't happen they are both prime candidates for playing time.
OG: Ryan Tolar - Sr.*, Nick Wood - Jr.*
Depth: Greg Christine - Sr., Scott Shugert - Jr.
Newcomers: Colin Porter - Fr., Ben Riva - Fr.
Possible Attrition: Scott Shugert - Jr.
I like Ryan Tolar a lot better at guard than center and I think the coaches are in agreement. Nick Wood surprised everyone with his early season switch to OG and starting time after former walk on Greg Christine went down with a broken leg. I don't think either Christine or Wood are great answers at the other guard position even though they both play hard.
That being said it gives an opening to true frosh Colin Porter to earn a starting job in his first year at UW. If you want to move Kelemete outside you have to take a long look at Porter and see if he is ready. The four star Husky legacy recruit from Bothell may be the first to play from this very talented OL class. Ben Riva will need a year in the weight room before he is ready to contribute.
This should be the year that Scott Shugert and Mark Armelin step up for some playing time. If they don't do it this spring you could see them leave the program.
C: Mykenna Ikehara - So.
Depth: Ryan Tolar - Sr.*, Greg Christine - Sr
Newcomers: Colin Tanigawa - Fr.
Possible Attrition: None
Mykena Ikehara is a stud. He is the nastiest kid we have but a virus cost him around 25 pounds so he spent the past season in a back up role. He started in the final game as Tolar's replacement when Washington pounded California. Once again if you want to move Kelemete outside Ikehara has to start at center next season.
Colin Tanigawa is a good looking recruit who needs a year in the weight room. Ikehara will be backed up Tolar and Christine who can step in if he gets injured.
The Huskies head into spring with some holes to fill at DE and LB. If Savannah gets a 6th year it will give the coaching staff some time and flexibility at LB. DE is not so easy to solve with all time sack leader Daniel Teo Nesheim leaving. the youth has to come through at DE and if I was Josh shirley I would be taking a long look at the opportunity to start for four years at UW.
DE: Everette Thompson - Jr., Talia Crichton - So.
Depth: Andru Pulu - So., Kalani Aldrich - Jr.
Newcomers: Andrew Hudson - Fr., Brent Williams - Fr (UW may take one more DE)
Possible Attrition: None
Washington has some serious questions at this position going into 2009.
Everette Thompson did a nice job this season inside and if his foot heals properly he could be in line for a big season in 2010. I think it is crucial that they move him outside since the Huskies graduate both of their starting DE's. Kalani Aldrich has looked promising at times but a chronic knee problem cost him plenty of playing time. A knee that has to be constantly drained is never a good thing.
Chrichton and Pulu got a lot of experience this past season but they played like freshmen. In other words they were playing way too early to make much of an impact.
On the recruiting front the Huskies picked up a couple of good one's in Hudson and Williams. I can see Hudson playing early. Williams needs a year int he weight room to contribute over here. Darius Waters is another kid they recruited who they could possibly move here even though they will look at him first at LB. Recruiting isn't over yet and a kid like Josh Shirley could compete for a starting job right away if he opts for UW.
DT: Alameda Ta'amu - Jr.*, Cameron Elisara - Sr.*
Depth: De'Shon Matthews - Sr., Tyrone Duncan - Jr., Semisi Tokolahi - So., Chris Robinson - Fr.
Newcomers: Sione Potoae - Fr., Lawrence Lagafuaina - Fr. (UW may take one more DT)
Possible Attrition: None
Alameda Ta'amu made a lot of progress in 2009. The type of progress he makes in 2010 will depend on how well he does in the conditioning program between now and next fall. If he can build up his stamina he could develop into an All conference type of player. If the last two games are any indication he may be well on his way.
Cameron Elisara is a hard worker who isn't going to live up to his hype coming out of HS. Stingers bothered him this season and when he was out of the lineup mid season you could feel the loss of his veteran presence. Deshon Matthews is another hyled recruit who has sunk into the depth but played more than expected this year.
Semisi Tokolahi should have sat out last season but he played in four games which blew his chance to redshirt. An injury cost him further opportunities in 2009. The coaches think he can be a force and with a year in the conditioning program he should be able to contend for time in the rotation.
Sione Potoae is one of the top recruits in the country and I could see him getting time in the roatation early and taking over for Elisara by mid year. Lawrence Lagafuiana is another big body from Hawaii the Kuskies are bringing in this fall. Chances are he will spend his first year in the weight room.
MLB: Tim Tucker - Fr.
Depth: Kurt Mangum - So.
Newcomers: .Victor Burnett - Fr.
Possible Attrition: Kurt Mangum - So
The loss of Donald Butler will be felt next season. Even in good years it is tough to replace a quality player like him. Cort Dennison will start somewhere next season and this is a possible spot if they coaches don't like what they have here right now. The coaches are also high on Tim Tucker. Kurt Mangum has been mired in the depth since he arrived at Washington so if he doesn't break into the rotation this spring I could see him heading elsewhere.
I could see Victor Burnett who plans to arrive by spring coming in and making an immediate impact at the position. Hayes Pullard is another guy UW still has a shot at that could come in and do the same if he chooses UW.
WLB: Cort Dennison - Jr.* (EJ Savannah Sr.)
Depth: Jordan Wallace - So., Alvin Logan, Jr.
Newcomer: Chris Young - Fr, Princeton Fuimaono Fr
Possible Attrition: Alvin Logan - Jr
Cort Dennison did a great job filling in for EJ when he was injured last year. IF EJ doesn't get a sixth year the position probably his. If EJ does get a sixth year they will move him inside to take over for Butler. The coaches like Wallace enough that he could be a potential starter. Alvin Logan made the move to the position during bye week and is still learning the ropes. Logan hit the field as a WR but most thought he would make more impact at safety and that experiment didn't work out. If he has a good spring it will be a plus for a position without a lot of depth.
If Chris Young gets his act together he could come and make an impact at the position. Waters could play here, WLB, or just grow into a DE.
OLB: Mason Foster - Sr.*
Depth: Matt Houston - Sr.
Newcomer: Darius Waters - Fr.
Possible Attrition: Matt Houston - Sr.
Foster is an all conference player so no problems here. The depth though is unproven so it will be interesting to see how everything sorts out between now and fall. Obviously if EJ comes back it will give the coaches a lot more flexibility and some time to season the young depth they are bringing in.
Matt Houston has played here and there without much of an impact so it will be interesting to see how things sort out after spring practice.
CB: Desmond Trufant - So.*, Adam Long - So.*
Depth: Vonzell McDowell - Sr., Quentin Richardson - Jr., Anthony Boyles, So., Anthony Gobern - So., Marquis Persley - Jr.
Possible Attrition: Anthony Gobern - So., Marquis Persley - Jr.
Newcomers: None yet but UW is expected to sign one true corner. Jesse Callier and Keanon Lowe could find homes over here.
I think Long and Trufant are going to end up being four year starters at Washington. Both of these players came a long way at the right time this season to emerge as starters with all league potential. Trufant seems to have more potential but Long actually was the more respected of the two by opposing teams.
Richardson and Mc Dowell return to supply experience and depth. I wouldn't write Richardson either because he ankle sprain was worse than publically revealed. Keep an eye on Anthony Boyles who should make a big move for playing time this spring. He has a ton of athletic ability but didn't make the cut at WR. A position where he doesn't have to think as much may be the right place for him. The coaches like him and he is going to get his shot.
Gobern and Persley were buried this season. I would think that it is a safe bet that Marquis never see's the field. I also think it is a safe bet that the coaches don't run him off because his HS has been a pipeline in recent years for Washington. If he leaves it will be on his own in pursuit of some playing time.
Safety: Justin Glenn - So.*, Nate Williams - Sr.*
Depth: Victor Aiyewa - Sr., Nate Fellner - So., Greg Walker - *So., Will Shamburger - Fr.
Newcomers: Jamaal Kearse - Fr., Taz Stevenson - Fr., John Timu - Fr. (UW may take one more Safety)
Possible Attrition: None
The defense took an audible hit when Glenn went down for the season against Notre Dame. He should be ready fall to take over the position again. The coaches love Nate Williams but Nate Fellner who showed a great nose for the ball last year could take over his starting spot.
Nate Williams has durability problems. He seemed to rebound late in the season when he was teamed with Jason Wells who will be missed. Greg Walker started early but the coaches lost faith in him. He is young so he has a chance to rebound. Anthony Boyes could get a look here too because he played safety in HS. Safety is a cerebral position and Boyles isn't exactly cerebral.
Kearse, Timu, and Stevenson will all probably RS. All are capable of playing either WR or S. UW is still looking at bringing in another big time safety. Timu's career could be delayed because of a knee injury.