Today the Huskies welcomed the signing of what looks to be one of the best recruiting classes in recent memory (it will get better by February). The class appears to be close to wrapped up with 18 commits and 2-4 more spots left depending on attrition. Here are my thoughts and a breakdown of the class and how each kid fits on the team.
On offense the Huskies are bringing in 2 highly recruited kids in Jacob Sirmon and Colson Yankoff. Both are 4 star commits and had offers from around the country. Sirmon is more of a prototypical quarterback who has a strong arm and the physical tools (standing at almost 6'4" and around 230 pounds) that NFL teams look for. He isn't the most accurate passer right now, which he will need to improve upon, but he has all the tools to be a great Husky QB. Yankoff is a dual threat QB that can break a long run at any time and also is pretty accurate. He doesn't have the cannon that Sirmon does but he makes plays for his team and can extend plays. Both QBs will show up ready to compete for the starting QB spot in 2019 after Browning leaves Montlake. The Huskies were fortunate to land 2 four star QBs this year due to K.J. Carta-Samuels leaving and Jake graduating in 2018.
At running back the Huskies added a versatile running back in 3 star Richard Newton, who has the breakaway speed that can be a true difference maker in the backfield. He is likely to redshirt and compete in his 2nd year on campus although if Gaskin leaves early he could end up playing early.
At tight end the Huskies added a versatile athlete in 4 star Devin Culp, who is an athletic freak. He is an all-state basketball player and can run and jump with any other tight end. He primarily ran the ball for his team, and after a year of learning how to block and run routes, he should contend for a large role in the pass offense.
At wideout the Huskies landed what is primarily their top incoming position group in 4 star commits Marquis Spiker, Austin Osborne, and Trey Lowe. Spiker is a 6'3" wideout who set the California state all-time record for touchdowns. He will contend for playing time from day 1 and will be a dependable touchdown threat. Osborne is more of a technician who is sneaky fast and runs very good routes. Lowe is slotted to play the Chico role for the Huskies. He was a great running back for his HS team and figures to add some wrinkles for teams to account for going forward.
On the offensive line the Huskies are adding size at the guard positions in 3 star commits M.J. Ale and Victor Curne, who are both well north of 300 pounds (Curne is around 6'3" and Ale is at 6'6"). At tackle the Huskies signed Matteo Mele, a 4 star prospect who until his senior season played almost exclusively at TE. He is 6'5" and has the quickness to play left tackle and protect the blind side. He will need a year or two to learn the fundamentals of the position but he has the raw athleticism to be a 1st round pick.
This class on offense is a well balanced class that adds size at the receiving core, a future starter at QB (either Sirmon or Yankoff) and talent on the offensive line. Overall the recruits on offense are the best collection of incoming talent in the Pac 12 in the 2018 class. If there was a grade to give the offensive class overall you would have to assign an A based on the talent coming in.
On the defensive line the Huskies added some intriguing players who are versatile and big. Draco Bynum a 3 star defensive end is a huge player who is listed at 6'5" and around 260-270 pounds. He also played TE in college which means he can move for his size. With his size and frame he could play a few different positions. At the Buck position the Huskies are bringing a lengthy pass rusher in 3 star Zion Tupuola-Fetui who is listed at 6'4" and 250 pounds. He is known for being able to rush the passer, which is a trait the Huskies are desperately looking for. At defensive tackle the Huskies brought in 4 star Sam Taimani. A player with his size will be able to clog the middle; at 6'2" and over 315 pounds, he was a big time recruit. 3 star Mosiah Liu, who is currently at 6'2" and 285 pounds, is less heralded but has a huge motor and is related to Vea. Both have tremendous potential to help fill the Vita Vea role after a season or 2 in the system and weight room.
At linebacker the Huskies added some serious talent that will make the legendary former Husky linebackers proud. 3 star (4 star on 247sports) Jackson Sirmon is a very instinctual player with good bloodlines (his dad is a former NFL linebacker and Husky coach, Peter Sirmon) who at 6'2" 225 pounds will be a major player for the Huskies. 4 star linebacker Ale Kaho (Brandon Kaho) was coveted by almost everyone in the country, and his sideline-to-sideline range will allow coaches a ton of flexibility. If you watch his film you will see why Alabama wanted him. 3 star inside linebacker M.J. Tafisi is a thumper who will bring the hammer when he hits guys; although he is only 6'0" 224, he hits like a Mack. All three guys should play in their first or second year and I could see all three starting in 2019.
At defensive back the Huskies continued the trend of having larger corners with 3 star Dominique Hampton, who at 6'2" is a very underrated recruit who plays similar to Jordan Miller. There are still a few more guys on Jimmy Lake's board and he is a heck of a coach and recruiter.
The defensive class still has some pieces that it can add before February, namely Kyler Gordon, Julius Irvin, Caleb Tremblay, and Jeremiah Martin. Without these guys the defensive class is still very good and adds some future stars on all three lines of the defense. With the guys the defense is adding, the defense should continue to contend for a #1 overall defense rating.
As of the writing of this article the Husky class is rated #11 in the nation via 247sports and #1 in the Pac 12. Kyler Gordon will make his decision public tomorrow on King5, which bodes well for the Huskies, if that happens the class will only get better. Clearly the Huskies’ playoff run helped them this recruiting cycle and this class especially shows that Coach Pete can win recruiting battles against other elite coaches. All in all the Husky coaches and fan base should be excited about this class.