Editor's note: Please welcome regular poster REP206 to the writing team as he has agreed to help out on the football recruiting beat.
With Jacob Eason, Matt Fink, and Max Gilliam all turning down the Huskies, UW has been forced look a little further down on their board for a signal caller. Luckily there are some good prospects still available. Kevin Davidson out of McClymonds High School in Oakland is a big-bodied pro-style QB who doesn’t currently possess any Power-5 offers, but make no mistake he is a talented and accurate passer. He didn’t put up mind-blowing stats in 2014 with only 74 pass attempts for 1,100 yards and 20 touchdowns, but he held a 70% completion rate and threw only 2 interceptions. Davidson has been on the Huskies’ radar for a while now, but he did not make it to any of Washington’s camps and that could hurt his chances of landing an offer from UW.
Another signal caller Petersen and his staff have had their eye on is Justin Herbert out of Sheldon High School in Eugene. Herbert is another lightly recruited QB, but that is largely due to the fact that a broken femur caused him to miss most of his junior season. In the 3 games he did play last fall he passed for nearly 700 yards, 10 touchdowns, and no interceptions. The 6’5" 215 pound Herbert is considered a dual-threat, rushing for 160 yards and 1 touchdown before his injury last season. Justin visited UW in March and was very impressed with the facilities as well as the coaching staff. He attended the Rising Stars camp over the weekend and if Petersen and his staff liked what they saw Herbert very well could receive his first major offer.
Other QBs to watch: Harley Kirsch, Tayler Jensen
Washington received great news in May when Sean McGrew, the top rusher on the west coast, committed to the Huskies. Even though UW is expected to take a smaller than usual class in 2016 it’s not likely that McGrew will end up the lone running back in this class. A couple of RBs worth keeping an eye on are Alexander Mattison and Romello Harris. Mattison is a 5’11" 200 pound rusher out of San Bernardino High School. He had a hugely successful season in 2014 with over 2,000 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns and also showed good hands with 400 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. Washington was one of Alexander’s first offers and he has said the Huskies will remain among his top teams because of that. Coach Bhonapha and Mattison have formed a good relationship and they keep in weekly touch.
At 5’10" and 175 pounds Harris is similar in size to Bishop Sankey when the former Husky was coming out of Gonzaga Prep. Romello had an extraordinary junior season rushing for just over 2,500 yards and 31 touchdowns. Despite his superb sophomore and junior campaigns, Harris currently sits with only three Power-5 offers: Washington, Duke, and Washington State. In addition to his impressive skills on the gridiron, Harris is also a top student posting an overall 4.0 GPA his sophomore year and continuing that success in the classroom this past school year as well.
Other RBs to watch: Chase Jasmin
Receiver is one of the positions fans are most concerned with heading into the 2015 season. Coming into the summer UW was already down its most explosive player after it was announced John Ross would miss the entire 2015 season due to injury, leaving the Huskies with only 4 returning scholarship receivers. Receiver is expected to be a major focus for Washington in 2016 and they have quite a few good options to choose from. N’Keal Harry out of Chandler High School in Arizona is a kid that they have been on for some time. One look at him and you can see why college coaches across the country have been pulling for his attention. He’s a big receiver at 6’3" 210 pounds and has impressive speed to go along with his size. Harry didn’t blow up stat sheets in 2014, but make no mistake he is one of the top receivers in the country and certainly on the west coast.
Steffon McKnight out of San Diego is one of the top receivers in the west and he loves Washington’s coaching staff. Back in May he listed UW among his top 5 schools and has said he would like to visit Seattle sometime this summer. McKnight has a slender build at 6’ and 160ish pounds, but he is very speedy and runs good routes.
Salt Lake City Brighton receiver Simi Fehoko attended Washington’s junior day back in February and enjoyed his experience enough to include UW in his top 5 along with BYU, Utah, Michigan, and Stanford. Fehoko really liked the city of Seattle as well as receivers coach Brent Pease. He had a highly successful junior season with 1,600 yards receiving and 24 touchdowns. His long 6’4" frame gives him a wide catching radius and though he won’t wow you with speed, his route running skills and long strides contribute to his exceptional ability to get open.
A local prospect to keep an eye on is Tyson Penn. Penn is a 6’4" 195 pound Bellevue product who has seen his recruitment heat up this summer, earning his first major offers from Washington State and Oregon State. He says he’s also hearing quite a bit from Washington and UCLA. Besides football, Penn is also an accomplished track athlete having won a total of five state titles in both the high jump and triple jump. Tyson has said that he would love for his family to be able to see him play in person in college and with UW just across the lake from Bellevue, a UW offer would be hard to beat from that perspective.
Other WRs to watch: Trevon Sidney, Matt Laris (committed to Cal this weekend), Kofi Boateng, Chase Claypool, Easton Trakel
With 2015 being Josh Perkins’ final season and Darrell Daniels being a senior in 2016, UW is looking to pick up another tight end in the 2016 class. Washington’s top target at tight end is Devin Asiasi out of Bay Area powerhouse De La Salle. Asiasi is the top ranked tight end on the west coast and he loved what he saw from UW when he visited in April, noting that he felt at home up in Seattle and he’s formed a strong bond with tight ends coach Jordan Paopao. At 6’5", 265 pounds he already has the build to be an imposing mismatch in the Pac-12. He’s a complete tight end who is a reliable blocker and is also a talented route runner and pass catcher. A lot of people think Asiasi could also have a bright future on the defensive line so it will interesting to see at what position he eventually makes a name for himself in college.
Chase Claypool out of Abbotsford, BC is listed as a receiver on most sites, but at 6’5" and 215 pounds he has a good chance of being moved to tight end in college. He visited Washington in May and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the facilities and was impressed with the coaching staff. It will be a challenge for Petersen and his staff to reel in Claypool with teams like Oregon, Notre Dame, and Michigan high on his list, but expect Washington to be in it for the long haul.
Jacob Kizer out of West Salem High School in Oregon is another prospect to keep a close eye on. Kizer visited UW in March and it was on that visit that he was offered a scholarship. Similar in build to Darrell Daniels, Kizer is an athletic tight end with surprising speed. Jacob is a prototypical Chris Petersen recruit in that he is a workhorse on the field, in the film room, and in the classroom. He really enjoyed his time on campus and with Oregon State and Washington State being his only other Power-5 offers, expect UW to have a good shot at landing him. Kizer plans on taking some official visits and has said he likely won’t commit to a school until after his senior season.
Other TEs to watch: Parker Dumas, Bryce Mortenson, Tangaloa Kaufusi
Washington has already secured the commitment of one of the top tackles on the west coast in 4-star Luke Wattenberg. It’s expected that UW will take couple more linemen to join Wattenberg. Michael Eletise out of Kaiser High School in Hawaii is one of the most highly recruited offensive linemen in the 2016 class with over 40 offers and he happens to be very high on Washington. He has already visited UW unofficially and loved Seattle, UW’s facilities, and the coaching staff. Eletise commented on how he loved that Chris Petersen sat down with him and his parents to discuss the moral standards of the Washington program. He doesn’t plan on committing until around the Under Armour All-American game which he will be participating in.
Mike Alves is a guard from San Diego with offers from most of the Pac-12 including UW. He’s a physical player who, to paraphrase Greg Biggins, doesn’t just want to block defenders, he wants to punish them. Alves wants to take at least some of his official visits and he says one of those will definitely be to Washington. He says he doesn’t have a timeframe of when he wants to commit just that he’ll commit when it feels right.
Other OL to watch: Jared Goldwire, Conner Crist, Scott Peck