The defensive line has been one of the biggest if not the biggest strength Washington has had for the past couple years and Chris Petersen and his staff will undoubtedly tout that success on the recruiting trail with the hopes of securing some of their top targets. Isaiah Chambers out of MacArthur High School in Houston is one of the top prospects coming out of Texas in 2016. He recently released his list of top 10 schools and UW made the cut. Playing in Texas' ultra-competitive 6A division, Chambers tallied 78 total tackles, 32 of those for loss including 21 sacks. Isaiah's interest in Washington is a product of Brent Pease and Jeff Choate's tireless efforts building up a recruiting presence in the Lone Star state. Chambers has said that Washington is the school recruiting him the hardest and that they've made the Houston sack specialist a top priority. As with any highly rated Texas recruit, it is best to keep levelheaded about the prospects of Isaiah spending his college years in Seattle because of how difficult it is to pull these kids out of the South. For now, though, Washington is certainly still a contender for Chambers.
Evan Weaver out of Gonzaga Prep is a kid most fans have been aware of for a while now. Evan has played his cards close to his chest so far and hasn't named any leaders or schools standing out to him, but most think UW has a good shot at landing the 3-star prospect. Washington is sending quite the contingent his way consisting of nearly the entire defensive staff with Jeff Choate, Bob Gregory, and Pete Kwiatkowski making up the group campaigning for his commitment. He says that he would like to take some of his allotted official visits, but that he's not opposed to committing early.
Amandre Williams from Tahoma Senior in Maple Valley is another local kid Washington coaches have made a priority. Williams is a 6'3" 225 pound end with offers from most of the northwest schools including UW, Oregon, and Boise State as well as Cal and Utah. Amandre is quick off the snap and he does a good job of using his hands to shed blocks. He had an impressive showing at The Opening regional camp in Eugene last week routinely winning battles against some of the region's top offensive linemen. He is planning on committing before his senior season and says UW will certainly be in the mix all the way through.
Other DEs to watch: Joel Dublanko, Levi Onwuzurike, Bronson Massie, Derriyon Shaw, Teton Saltes
Replacing All-American and first-round pick Danny Shelton is no easy task, but Washington has some good prospects to choose from. Boss Tagaloa out of De La Salle in the Bay Area is the top DT in the west and UW has been one of the schools recruiting him the hardest. He says that no particular schools are standing out to him at this point and he is still open to all the schools in his top 12, which Washington is included in. Tagaloa plans to take all of his official visits and will commit after his senior season.
Garrett Rand from Chandler, Arizona powerhouse Hamilton High School is ranked right below Tagaloa and he says Washington has been sending him a lot of love. Wisconsin seems to be the favorite for Rand, but for now Washington is still in the running. The 6'3" 275 pound defensive tackle had a productive junior season with 60 total tackles and 10 sacks. He says that he plans to take at least some of his official visits and will most likely commit on signing day.
Other DTs to watch: Joe Wallace, Chris Daniels, Tiano Tialavea
At linebacker in 2016 the Huskies have put a lot of focus on Oakland Bishop O'Dowd senior Camilo Eifler, making Eifler their top priority. And the interest is mutual. Camilo has already visited UW a couple of times with his parents and Mr. and Mrs. Eifler have given the Washington program their stamp of approval. They love the non-football opportunities their son will have at UW and the emphasis Chris Petersen puts on building discipline and character. It also can't hurt Washington's chances that Camilo's high school coach just happens to be a man some around here might know as ‘Nip'. Eifler told Lars Hanson this week that he is planning on committing after The Opening in July and Husky fans can expect UW to be in that final group of schools Camilo will be choosing from.
Lamar Winston out of Central Catholic in Portland released his top 4 schools a couple weeks ago and UW was joined by Stanford, Oregon, and UCLA on that list. Winston has told reporters that Washington has been one of the schools recruiting him the hardest with linebackers coach Bob Gregory making frequent trips down to Central Catholic to check in with the 4-star prospect. The biggest criterion Lamar is looking for in a school is strong academics and, while many expect him to stay in-state and sign with the Ducks, this is a big reason many others feel Stanford will be tough for Winston to turn down. UW is still in this race and Winston can't say enough about how much he enjoys talking with the Washington staff, but at this point Stanford and Oregon seem to be the most likely landing spots for the Portland prospect.
Federal Way product Andrzej Hughes-Murray (pronounced like Andre) is a kid who has really benefitted from the camp circuit. He doesn't yet have any Power-5 offers, but he is starting to get a lot of attention from Pac-12 schools including Washington. He plays mostly in the middle for Federal Way, but most people believe he will fit best on the outside and potentially as a ‘Buck' linebacker. At 6'3" 240 pounds Andrzej is a big and physical linebacker who is said to be a fantastic leader and fierce competitor.
Also, keep an eye on former Bellevue star Ryan Bowman. He took a gamble leaving the Washington state powerhouse and all the attention that comes with being a leader on that squad and transferring to the IMG Academy in Florida this past January to play on a team that has more talent in one class than I've ever seen before. He was a terror on the defensive line for Bellevue last season and I can only imagine being surrounded by an absurd amount of elite athletes and trainers at IMG will only make him better. His brother Shane is on the defensive line at Washington.
Other LBs to watch: Erik Glueck, Paddy Fisher, Kevin Meitzenheimer, Troy Cassidy, Lakota Wills
Bellevue corner Isaiah Gilchrist is the top uncommitted prospect in the State of Washington and UW is doing everything they can to make sure he doesn't leave the area. He is rated as the top corner in the Northwest this year. Originally offered by the Sark staff, his offer was reaffirmed after the Petersen staff took over and they have made him a priority. Isaiah is considered to be a Washington lean, but an Oregon offer in May has caused him to do a little more thinking. Gilchrist told Scout in May that he would prefer to let the recruiting process take its course and he'll likely take all of his official visits. Gilchrist is also strongly considering the Arizona schools and both Los Angeles schools.
Byron Murphy out of Saguaro High School in Scottsdale is one of the top corners on the west coast with offers from nearly all the major programs in the country and his interest in UW is serious. Murphy made the long trip from Arizona up to the Rising Stars camp last weekend and by all accounts was the top performer of the day. A superb athlete, he is also getting a lot of attention from schools looking to play him at receiver. Byron hopes to trim his huge offer list down to a top 10 sometime during his senior season and it would be a shock if Washington was not included in that list.
A kid to keep a close eye on is Myles Bryant out of Loyola High in Los Angeles. He's a small corner at 5'8" 170 pounds and that's a reason he only has a couple offers from Power-5 schools, but he plays much bigger than that. Bryant was up in Seattle with his dad for a visit this week and both of them really enjoyed their time on campus. It's safe to say the elder Bryant gave his approval of the Washington program as Myles told Scott Eklund, "I brought my dad up with me and I think he loved the school even more than I did and I really loved it." Lorenzo Romar even got in on the action paying the two a visit during their campus tour. Myles and his dad were really impressed with UW's ‘Built For Life' message. Myles was thought to be close to a commitment, but he says that he would like to visit a few more schools to make sure he knows which ever school he commits to is the best fit for him. Washington is believed to have good shot at landing Myles.
Other CBs to watch: David Long, Treyjohn Butler, Trevon Sidney, Kentrell Love, Darien Cornay, Zach Brown
With Taylor Rapp already committed, UW will probably only take one more safety for the 2016 class. The top safety target left on the Huskies' board is Lamar Jackson out of Franklin High in Elk Grove, California. Jackson said Washington assistant coach Bob Gregory was one of the first coaches to start contacting him and the two have remained in frequent contact since December. It took UW a while to finally offer Jackson as his grades were a bit of a concern, but he says once he got his academics up to par, Gregory was quick to extend the offer. Lamar says he is intrigued by the style of Washington's play and that he liked the way Shaq Thompson was used. Jackson says he will let the recruiting process play out and will likely commit live during one of the All-American games.
Leni Toailoa, a San Jose State commit out of Rialto, California, was recently offered by Washington. He originally committed to SJSU in March and since then he has seen his recruitment heat up. Arizona State and Oregon State offered him in May with the Huskies following the Sun Devils and Beavers earlier this month. As it stands right now it's hard to imagine him sticking with the Spartans now that he is getting Pac-12 offers. An interesting storyline in this is that now that he's getting more attention from bigger programs, he and his brother could become a package deal. His brother, Lokeni Toailoa, is a 4-star linebacker currently committed to UCLA who has stated that he would love to play college football with his brother. The Bruins, though, don't seem to be pursuing Leni very hard. If Leni flips to Washington, could his 4-star brother and top 100 prospect follow him up the I-5 to Seattle?
Other Safeties to watch: Keyon Riley, Eric Briscoe Jr, Gavin Robertson, Marcus Strong