I imagine you guys are kind of getting a little sick of stories on expansion. It is fascinating, and the question is dominating the national landscape, but lets slip back into what you all love, and that is Husky football recruiting.
Washington is off to a great start and they are going head to head with USC for the best players in the West. Their are going to be good days and bad days when you compete at this level. UW is not going to get every player on thier wish list but they will once again put together a class that ranks in the top 10-15 nationally.
I was talking to a long time Pac 10 assistant about Pac 10 football in general a few weeks ago and he told me he was surprised about the recruiting over the past decade at Washington. He couldn't understand why they were recruiting so many WAC type players. This reference just wasn't just specifically made toward Ty Willingham it went back to Rick Neuheisel also.
Obviously the talent level was low when Steve Sarkisian took over. The saving grace was Jake Locker and Willingham's last recruiting class which was extremely solid due to a great year in state. Sark is recruiting like Don James and Pete Carroll. His staff does a great job evaluating talent and they aren't afraid to compete with anyone.
As we slide into June the Huskies currently have 11 commits in a class that will total 25 according to the coaches. ESPN rates the class currently as #15 in the nation which isn't bad because the Eastern Sports Network always underrates anything out West that isn't happening in Los Angeles.
Here is a quick recap of where the needs are and who has committed
UW was close on Cody Kessler but lost him to USC. Washington is expected to take two this year and will be having auditions at the Rising Stars Camp later this month. We really don't have a clear leader at this point at the position so it will have to sort itself out at camp.
Washington will take at least two. Bishop Sankey from Spokane is a local possibility but Sark always has his finger on the pulse in Southern California where he pulled a couple of rabbits out of thehat in the last class.
RB Brendan Bigelow...One of the top RB recruits in the country has visited UW but is considered a bit soft since he is open to hearing from other schools. UW is still the favorite to hang on to him but they are going to have to babysit him till February. Recruiting is mostly about the relationships that are formed and UW has a solid and developing relationship with Bigelow.
FB Elijah Penny...This guy will be a load at RB, FB, or as a DE. He wants to run the ball so UW will start him off there and see where it goes. Penny is an impressive physical player.
It looks like Washington will take three and they already have two good ones on board. Kasen Williams from Skyline is the must have player this year in state and the feeling is he will stay home since his father and mother both were athletes at Washington.
WR Jamaal Jones...Everyone loves this kid and in most years he would be the best wide out recruit in Washington by a large margin. This year if Kasen Williams takes it to an entirely different level because he is a national recruit on the level of a Reggie Williams.
WR Josh Perkins...Josh is a guy that UW got on early that everyone is going to want as time goes on. He has great size, soft hands, and the all important ability of being able to go over the middle to make the catch. Ignore the published 40 time...he has great football speed and can get separation from DB's.
They could take two if they can find the right guys because they only have four on the current roster. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins has UW among his five finalists but insiders say that he is leaning toward heading out of the state where UCLA could be his destination. He spent a lot of time at UW this spring and one thing that could influence him to stay would be a big year in 2010 by Kavario Middleton. This kid wants the ball and he wants evidence that UW will liberally use the TE in its offense.
UW had one of the best OL classes in the country last year and they need to follow it up with another great one to get back to where they need to be. Washington will take five this year and the bulk of the class will come from out of state.
OT Dexter Charles...A solid local addition to the OL who will need a couple of years to work into the rotation. Like most OL he needs a couple of years in the program to build the strength and skills to contribute.
OL-DL Maataua Brown...He has a ways to go to qualify but he is one of the better lineman on the West Coast. He could play on either side of the ball.
UW is off to an exceptional start at DE which is a serious need position. They do need to start filling in the interior and local product Danny Shelton is a heavy UW lean at this point. Look for UW to pick up one more DE and 2-3 interior players. Maataua Brown could be one of those guys but he could also end up on the OL depending on need. Viliami Moala from Sacramento's Grant HS is a kid UW has an excellent shot at.
DE Taniela Tupou...One of the top recruits in the West this year. Good thing for UW that he wants to stay close to home. DE is a need position at UW and he fills the bill as a kid that could vie for early playing time.
DE Connor Cree...Connor has offers from nine schools at this point but he wants to be a Husky. He has the ability to mature into another Travis Richardson.I am really high on his potential.
DE Aubrey Coleman...This kid has the potential to be really good. He could be a big WR or TE but he will line up as a DE that will create a lot of havoc. Washington was in on him early but the rest of the West is catching on.
The Huskies will take at least three at the LB positions. Washington has a real good shot at landing Jason Gibson from Gardena, CA. and Corey Waller before the fall. UW really needs to identify another MLB type.
LB Matthew Lyons...This kid is just a beast and he is going to grow into something very special. He reminds me of the type of kid that DJ used to recruit oit of California.
UW is off to a good start with a pair of talented DB's already on board. S James Sample from Grant HS in Sacramento has been a Husky lean for quite some time and he would be a great get.
CB Kameron Jackson...A smaller but very talented CB from Long Beach Poly. Coach Martin knows the type of kids he wants and he was on Kameron early. Establishing connections at Poly is a very good thing.
S Evan Zeger...This guy was born to be a Husky. His father and grandfather both played for the Dawgs which is pretty cool. He has great size, speed, and instincts and will be a great fit at safety.
UW is going to need a punter and possibly a place kicker in this class. No candidates have been identified but I am sure the coaches have a good idea of what they are looking for.