It's been a while since we've talked recruiting, so let's take a look at where things currently stand and talk about recent visits. First off, here are the current commits as listed by the three main scouting services:
Washington currently has 18 commitments. With a small number of graduating Seniors and no obvious early-entry 3rd or 4th year players, there's a real question about how many recruits Sark will take this year. By my count there are currently 11 scholarship players set to graduate; typically there are a handful of players every off-season that leave the program either due to injury, loss of interest, lack of playing time or grades, so it's not terribly hard to imagine Sark fitting in 18 new players. But how many more can he realistically find room for? Call it "Sark Math", and hope that oversigning.com doesn't look too hard in his direction.
Looking at the breakdown of the current commits, it's a fairly balanced class. Given that a number of these kids could end up on either side of the ball at different positions, it's hard to know exactly how well this list fills needs, or which positions the staff is most interested in adding, but I'd guess they'd love to land at least one more OL, and preferably one with the feet to play OT. They also would probably like to land 2-3 more DB's.
I should also remind folks that the commitment list is going to prove fluid - each year, more kids commit earlier in the process, and more kids end up changing their commitments along the way (sometimes multiple times - remember Jordan Payton last year?) I would guess some current commits to end up elsewhere, and for Sark to peel away kids currently committed to another school, just because that's what recent history teaches us to expect. Many current commitments are planning to take official visits to other schools, so gird yourselves for the roller-coaster ride that's about to come. As crazy as the last recruiting season was, this one could rival or even surpass it.
On to the notes:
- Details are a bit sketchy, but it appears that there were only two official visitors this past weekend; one was LB/DE Caleb Tucker out of Louisiana. Word is he had a great time and is feeling very good about his commitment to the UW.
- The other was J.C. RB Cameron Artis-Payne who had previously visited Utah and was considered a strong lean to the Utes. He's racked up 1,116 yards and 14 TD's so far in 6 games at Allen Hancock J.C. in California. He plans to sign in the early transfer period in mid-December, so expect his decision to come in the next few weeks.
- There were several other "unofficial" visitors this weekend, including a couple of commits from California - DT Elijah Qualls and QB Troy Williams. This is the fourth time Qualls has visited the UW on his own dime, which should give you an idea of how sold he is on the Huskies. If you recall, he was a prime ringleader in orchestrating the public commitment of 7 players to the UW this summer during their Rising Stars camp. He has said he wants to take a few official visits to other schools, but I'd be shocked if he ended up anywhere other than the UW. It's also encouraging to see Williams take another unofficial visit to Seattle at his own expense - while he's sure to get a lot of attention from UCLA to flip his commitment, he appears to be very comfortable with his choice of the UW.
- OL Sean Harlow also took an unofficial visit; the UW commit will take his official visit after the season, and while he is considering taking one or two others as well, he sounds pretty solid to the Huskies.
- There were a number of local kids at the game too, including LB Myles Jack and TE/DE Danny Mattingly. Jack is currently committed to UCLA, but things are looking very positive for the UW in turning him around. Mattingly is committed to Notre Dame, but he also appears to be looking around, and the UW seems to be making a good impression on him. Is it possible that Notre Dame has cooled on him?
- Jack's Bellevue H.S. and current UW commit LB Sean Constantine suffered a broken forearm this weekend against Mt. Si, but is expected to return later in the season sporting a cast as the Wolverines attempt to win another State Title.
- There were also some 2014 recruits in the house, including RB/LB Devante Downs and OL/TE Kaleb McGary. Both received offers recently from Sark, and both appear to be heavy leans to the UW. Downs reportedly was close to committing on the spot when offered, and it's probably just a matter of time before he does. McGary comes from a family full of Husky fans, and while he may be more inclined to let the process play out longer, the Dawgs appear to have a strong early lead for him.
- One player who didn't make it up was DE JoJo Mathis; reportedly the coaching staff decided to postpone official visits for Qualls, Williams, Mathis and others until after the season so they'd have more time to spend directly with the recruits. Regardless of whatever he may publicly decide in the next month or so, I would expect that his actual decision will be on or close to Signing Day and for the UW to remain one of his top choices.
- It should also be noted that current commit DE Daeshon Hall officially visited WSU this past weekend with his H.S. teammate (and Coug commit) DeMarcus Ayers. Don't worry too much about it - it had been reported a month ago that Hall & Ayers were planning to take visits together to WSU, West Virginia and Washington. This appears to be a case of good buddies taking visits together rather than Hall having a serious interest in the Cougars. I'd be more concerned about USC or Oregon coming hard after him, but that doesn't currently appear to be the case.
- In case anyone was still unsure, DE Marcus Farria has been reiterating that he is still committed to the UW. He is still talking with Arizona State (his local school) and may take an official visit there, so this one isn't 100% yet despite his statements.
- There was some concern recently when commit OL/DL Andrew Basham missed a game for Lynwood due to what were termed "personal matters", but he has returned to action since then. Keep your fingers crossed that he's on the roster next Fall - he's a terrific physical specimen.
- Current Colorado commit TE Mitch Parsons appears to be softening on that decision and is reportedly strongly considering an official visit to the UW later in the year. He's someone to keep an eye on as Sark likely needs to land at least one TE in this class.