Steve Sarkisian's first class at Washington is made up of 18 players and consists of twelve high school players and six from the JC ranks. The class is rated near the bottom of the Pac 10 by all the ratings services. What that means is no four or five star players which can boost your ratings. It also means way too many two star players for the critics likings.
A rule of thumb while recruiting is that you want your class to average over three stars if you want anyone to take it seriously. Not acheiving that average doesn't mean you have a bad class. It just means that the experts feel that the other teams recruited players with more overall upside.
The key to the success of Sarks first class is how many of the JC recruits are going to actually make it in? How many of them will be here this spring? How many will be struggling to compete their AA degree in late August?
If they all get in by fall camp it is going to give Sarks first team some immediate firepower that Willingham never experienced.
Sarkisian's First Recruiting Class
- TE Dorson Boyce JC (2)
- CB Dominique Gaisie JC (2)
- CB David Batts JC (3)
- P Will Mahan JC (3)
- OL Daniel Mafoe JC (3)
- DT Johnny Tivao JC (3)
- DT Semisi Tokolahi (2)
- TE Kimo Makaula (3)
- SS Will Shamburger (2)
- SS Nathan Fellner (3)
- CB Desmond Trufant (3)
- LB Tim Tucker (3
- DT Chris Robinson (2)
- DE Talia Chrichton (2)
- QB Keith Price (3)
- TE Marlion Barnett (3)
- DE Andru Pulu (3)
- WR James Johnson (3)
Willinghams First Recruiting Class
You look closely at this class today and the absence of Jonathan Stewart, and Anthony Felder really stands out. They were obviously a couple of local guys that could have helped turn things around in a big way.
The biggest short term need at the time was at defensive back. Only bringing in two DB's who didn't qualify crippled the squad going into the next season and the effects are actually still felt today.
Long term this class is a disaster only contributing 3-4 players who will start going into their 5th year.
- LB EJ Savannah (4)
- DE Daniel Teo Nesheim (3)
- OT Ben Ossai (2)
- OL Morgan Rosborough (2)
- DE Darion Jones (2)
- DT Tyrone Davis (3) Never Qualified
- TB JR Hasty (4) Asked to Leave
- LB Chris Stevens (2) Graduated
- K Ryan Perkins (4) Graduated
- TE Tim Williams (2) Quit the program
- WR Marlon Wood JC (3) Graduated
- QB Johnny Durocher (Transfer) (3) Graduated
- RB Michael Houston (Transfer) (3) Asked to Leave
- DB James Handy (Transfer) (2) Never Qualified
- DB Qwentin Freeman JC (3) Never Quallified
Sarkisian versus Willingham
There were ten freshmen in Willingham's first class and only five members remain on campus currently. Two of them are all conference caliber players in EJ Savannah and Daniel Teo Nesheim. Ben Ossai has been starting at OT for three years. Darion Jones started part of the season at DE last year.
Sarkisan at most will have twelve members of his first recruiting class left on campus in five years. If you factor in average attrition/early graduation he will probably end up with 8-9 who will be around that long. (I think all the frosh will redshirt this year).
Sarkisian's most immediate needs are on both the lines and in the defensive backfield. He recruited one JC defensive linemen that could start in 2009 augmented by two JC cornerbacks who should also compete to start.
On the offensive side he brought in a JC TE and a JC OG who will also compete for starting jobs. In a perfect world you would have liked at least a couple more offensive linemen and another defensive linemen or two. In the interim they are going to look at moving some DL types over to the offensive line this spring.
2006 vs 2010
Willingham was obviously waiting for next year. He had the security of a five year contract and was looking ahead at players like Jake Locker, Taylor Mays, Steve Schilling, Cody Pope, Fenuki Tupou, Cameron Elisara, Brandon Jefferson, Ashlee Palmer, and James Montgomery. Even though Willingham was succesful in getting Locker to come to UW he missed out on a lot of critical difference makers.
Willingham didn't go at it hard his first year and that carried over to his second recruiting season when huge building blocks like Schilling and Mays went elsewhere. Willingham's fate at Washington was sealed by year two. Willingham had the resources to put together a top ten recruiting class and he finished at an inflated 35 thanks to Jake Locker. Take away Locker from his second recruiting class and you have another disaster.
Sarkisan has been agressive since the first day he set foot on campus. He even said he would try to bring in a full class. His first class brings lots of immediate help if they all can qualify.
What has been impressive about Sarkisian is the tone he is setting for the 2010 class. He already has offered 20 players in the 2010 class. Washington will continue recruiting during the spring evaluation periods as hard or harder than they did this winter. Look for Washington to bring in a top 10 class in 2010.