We start off today with recruiting. Washington picked up four JC verbals this weekend which will help the worst BCS defense in the country last season to have a fighting chance in 2009.
Daniel Mafoe, Johnny Tivao, Ryan Davis, and Will Mahan all fill some big holes for Washington.
Davis is a pure pass rusher that will really help balance out Daniel Teo Nesheim. Davis was a Cal commit so stelaing him away at the last minute is quite the coup.
Tivao is 5'11 320 pound defensive tackle or nose guard that has the ability to plug some holes in the middle and buy some time for the younger players on the roster to grow into their positions.
Mafoe is a guy that could slide into a starting job at OG or play opposite Tivao on the defensive line if needed.
Mahan is listed as one of the very best punters int he country. A consistent punting game goes a long way toward helping the defense with some field position.
Washington will try to finish the class with 2-3 more players. They want to bring in one more JC CB and David Batts just might be that guy. He will choose between UW and Kansas State.
WR James Johnson is expected to commit to Washington on LOI day but he is keeping quiet till then.
The Huskies impressed with Myles Wade last Friday on his visit. He met with Nebraska coach Bo Pellini in his home this weekend. He may trip Nebraska next week and delay his signing a bit. He is a soft Texas Tech commit at this point. Academics and the advantages of staying closer to home have become a factor.
If Washington can finish off the class with Batts, Johnson, and Wade you could say that Sarkisian did about as well as could be expected this recruiting season.
If Wade and Batts end up coming to Washington they will both be part of a dramatic facelift of the Husky defense led by Nick Holt.
Washington could begin next fall with seven new starters on defense. Jason Wells, Dominique Giese and David Batts could be in the secondary. Wells was a two year starter that has a RS season in 2008 to focus on rehabbing his knee.
At LB you have the return of All Conference talent EJ Savannah and the 6th year of a consistent Trenton Tuiasosopo.
On the defensive line you could have Myles Wade, Johnny Tivao, and Ryan Davis joining Daniel Teo Nesheim.
If Washington ends up adding that much immediate impact to the defense in addition to the experience gained last season the future of this group could be bright.
What about the offensive line?
Let me ask you this?
Is there a single offensive linemen on the roster who could start for another team in the Pac 10 based of of last years performance?
If you ask anyone close to the program where the biggest trouble spot remains and they will tell you the entire offensive line. Washington's offensive line performed terribly in 2009 and the forecast for 2010 isn't much better unless Jim Michalczik can perform some miracles.
UW did a great job filling out the depth at TE in this recruiting class. JC Dorson Boyce will come in this spring and immediately take over the starting job. His experience and blocking ability will be more important than Middleton's ability to make big plays.
The Huskies also being in Marlion Barnett and Kimo Makaula for the future so they now have five quality TE's to work with on the roster.
Ben Ossai and Cody Habben will line up as very experienced tackles who impressed nobody last year. Willingham should have installed springs on their butts so they could get up quicker after being run over on the way to the ball.
Scott Fancher and Mark Armelin enter their sophomore seasons as reserves at tackle. Redshirts Terrance Thomas, Drew Shaeffer, and walk on Nick Scott complete the depth.
On the inside only Ryan Tolar remains from last years underachieving group. Matt Sedillo and Mykena Ikehara will fight it out for the starting job at Center. Daniel Mafoe could be the guy flanking Tolar on the inside. So Scott Shugert, RS Allan Carroll, and SR Morgan Rosborough provide the depth.
To balance things out Washington is going to have to move a player or two over from the defensive line. Tyrone Duncan comes to mind because he has the right size and quickness for OG and he is going nowhere on the DL. Craig Noble is another possibility even though I really like him on defense., Nick Wood is probably too short to move. The need is so great that even a Senio Kelemente or Alameda Ta'amu could end up making the switch.
When spring football starts I would keep an eye on the offensive line. The changes they make over the spring will go a long way in determining if this team can be competitive next season.