In part one of our spring recruiting update we discussed some of the prospects that project to offense that the Huskies are recruiting. In part two we take a look at the other side of the ball: defense!
Besides Byron Murphy, the Huskies are looking good for local stud DB Isaiah Gilchrist of powerhouse Bellevue H.S. The 4-star recruit projects as a lock-down CB. Long considered a heavy lean to Washington, he's deciding whether to commit this summer or wait to take some official visits first. While it would be a surprise if he doesn't end up a Husky, don't rule out ASU - he was very impressed on a recent unofficial visit.
Gilchrist's Bellevue teammate Isaac Garcia made an early commitment last September, but recently opened things up again prompting much speculation from Husky fans about whether he becomes a target for Chris Petersen. While he's listed as a 4-star recruit at TE, he's unlikely to play on offense and projects more as a DE/OLB type. His only other offer at this point appears to be from WSU, so he's not someone that currently appears to be a top priority for this staff, but check back in November - a strong senior season could change their minds.
Besides Tyler Vaughns, the Huskies are also hard after his Bishop Amat teammate Trevon Sidney. He's usually listed as an 'athlete' by recruiting services and some feel his best position will be CB, but he very much wants a shot at WR and the Huskies are open to giving him that shot. He's a terrific player and will likely succeed at either spot.
4-star athlete David Long out of Los Angeles projects on either side of the ball at WR or DB, and Washington is one of the schools that hasn't expressed a preference where to play him. He's planning to take all his visits, and while the Huskies are among a handful of teams making an early impression on him, Michigan and UCLA could be tough to beat.
One of the beneficiaries of Washington's increased emphasis in Texas is LB prospect Paddy Fisher out of Katy, TX (near Houston). He's intrigued by the offer, enough that he's considering a visit out west this summer (including a stop in Eugene) and could commit before the season starts. He has offers from Baylor, Maryland, Northwestern and Boston College (among others) and is hearing from the Ducks, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
On the local front, LB Andrzej Hughes-Murray out of Federal Way is hearing quite a bit from the Dawgs. He may need to camp with them before that offer is extended, but interest in him appears to be heating up. He's got a good-sized frame and could potentially even grow into an edge-rusher role, but for now he looks to be an ILB candidate.
Another local favorite is DL Amandre Williams out of Maple Valley. Williams has put up big numbers as a QB in high school but projects to DE at the college level. He's long been thought as a strong Husky lean, and that remains the case, but he's letting the process play out a bit longer to see what other offers pop up. As it happens, Oregon just put their hats in the ring - let the battle begin!
You always need beef in the middle, and DT Joe Wallace out of Dallas has the wide body that projects at the 1 or 0 technique. Washington jumped on him early with an offer, and while some worry about his lack of height (listed at 6' which probably means he's more like 5'10"), he was very effective last year in a strong 6A league. He's a serious student with interest in Harvard, so the "Built For Life" pitch seems like one that will resonate with him.
A local prospect to keep an eye on is O'Dea's Tiano Tialavea, a big-body at a listed 6'4", 345 lbs. He'll need to shed some bad weight, but he's a smart kid and knows he needs to prove himself and is in the process of trying to grab the attention of coaches. With a strong camp showing and a impressive senior season, he's one that could earn an offer late in the process depending on how things go with other prospects on the UW's board.
As things would have it, just a day after publishing the recruiting update for offense, the Huskies extended an offer to Cal QB commit Max Gilliam. This will definitely put a wrinkle in his decision-making process - he loved his trip up to Seattle earlier in the year but did not yet have an offer. Now that he does, things could get interesting.
Don't be surprised if recruiting appears to move slow over the rest of the month, but things should pick up in June. Washington will host two Rising Stars camps, one starting June 6th (followed the next day by a kicking camp) and the other on June 20th (followed by a passing camp). It also sounds like they'll do a few satellite camps down in California again. These will be great opportunities for the staff to work with prospects in person, and should result in some more offers being extended and potentially some commitments shortly after.