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Analyzing today’s major roster announcements from UW football

Who’s in? Who’s out? Who’s left?

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when Sundays were slow news days? Those days are pretty much over. Luckily, we have POTUS taking the weekend off which frees up some of the news cycle for college football. Chris Petersen took full advantage as he held his traditional pre-camp press conference earlier today.

The big news coming out of the presser was the announced updates to the 105 man roster. Most of the moves finalized today were either announced or rumored, so no major surprises. But now that they are final, we can engage in a little roster-bation and work out the implications of these moves.

Before we look at the full roster, let’s address the big exits.

The Faithfully Departed

— WR Nik Little

Expectations were high in 2015 that the 6’4” Little, a transfer from Golden West college, would become a contributor in a position of need. However, Little never could find his rhythm at UW thanks in large part to a struggle with injuries that predated his arrival at UW.

Little is exiting the program due to medical retirement. He will continue to work with the program in an administrative capacity and be supported by the program. His absence from the roster takes away one more competitor vying for playing time as a perimeter receiver. Though the odds of him playing were already long, his absence all but ensures that at least one (if not up to three) of UW’s incoming true freshmen will play in 2017.

— S Trevor Walker

The former 3-star safety prospect from Texas has elected to transfer to Texas Tech to play out his final year of eligibility.

Walker played for Chris Petersen as a true freshman and even registered a few starts before suffering a major injury his sophomore season. He ended up taking a redshirt the following year before coming back and playing in 13 of 14 games as a reserve safety a year ago.

Walker’s transfer means that another young safety will get an opportunity to play. Fortunately for UW, this is a position of some depth.

— QB Tony Rodriguez

The transfer QB out of the City College of San Francisco was a former California JC player of the year before joining UW before the 2015 season. T-Rod was brought in as a legitimate contender for a role for Chris Petersen. As it turned out, he was not able to beat out then true freshman Jake Browning for the starting job. He did compete with KJ Carta-Samuels over each of the last two season for the backup role and saw action in four games last year without throwing a pass.

Rodriguez is retiring with one year remaining to focus on supporting his family. With four scholarship QBs still on the roster, depth will be minimally affected.

— DB Brandon Lewis

The departure of Brandon Lewis due to medical retirement was already announced and is no surprise. Lewis has elected to stay with the program in an administrative capacity.

Lewis played in five games in 2016 registered one tackle. His position is pretty well stocked and UW doesn’t project to have any depth issues created by his loss.

The Roster Today

By my count, the active scholarship roster comes in at 83 players. This includes the departures noted above PLUS the omission of 3 star defensive lineman Ali Gaye from the count. Gaye is rumored to be a gray shirt candidate and, as such, I’ve included him as a commit in the 2018 signing class. I’m also including DB Myles Bryant as a scholarship player. Bryant came to UW last year as a walk-on but Chris Petersen has confirmed that he has earned his scholarship starting this season.

Here is the full roster organized by class.

2017 UW Scholarship Chart -

Seniors Juniors Sophomores RS Freshmen Freshmen Commits
Seniors Juniors Sophomores RS Freshmen Freshmen Commits
13 20 19 14 17 12
Lavon Coleman 4* Jake Browning 4* Quinten Pounds 3* Daniel Bridge-Gadd 3* Jake Haener 3* Jacob Sirmon 4*
Dante Pettis 3* KJ Carta-Samuels 4* Andre Baccellia 3* Kamari Pleasant 3* Salvon Ahmed 4* Colson Yankoff 4*
KJ Young (txfr) Myles Gaskin 4* Aaron Fuller 3* Sean McGrew 4* Terrell Bynum 4* Trey Lowe 4*
David Ajamu 3* Chico McClatcher 4* Michael Neal 3* Jordan Chin 3* Ty Jones 4* Austin Osborne 4*
Will Dissly 2* Brayden Lenius 3* Devin Burleson 2* Luke Wattenberg 4* Alex Cook 3* Marquis Spker 4*
Andrew Kirkland 3* Drew Sample 3* Henry Roberts 4* Myles Rice 2* Jacob Kizer 3* Devin Culp 3*
Coleman Shelton 2* Matt James 3* Nick Harris 3* Levi Onwuzurike 4* Hunter Bryant 4* Matteo Mele 4*
Connor O'Brien 3* Trey Adams 4* Jared Hilbers 3* Amandre Williams 3* Henry Bainivalu 4* Victor Curne 3*
Keishawn Bierria 3* Kaleb McGary 4* AJ Carty 2* (snapper) Camilo Eifler 4* Jaxson Kirkland 3* Draco Bynum 3*
Sean Constantine 3* Jesse Sosebee 2* Ricky McCoy 3* Kentrell Love 3* Cole Norgaard 3* Ali Gaye 3*
Azeem Victor 3* John Turner 3* Jason Scrempos 3* Byron Murphy 4* Cade Otton 3* Jackson Sirmon 3*
Ezekiel Turner (JC) Vita Vea 3* Jusstis Warren 3* Myles Bryant 3* Joe Tryon 3* Nic Bolton 3*
Tristan Vizcaino 3* Greg Gaines 3* Benning Potoa'e 4* Isaiah Gilchrist 4* Ariel Ngata 4*
Shane Bowman 3* Kyler Manu 3* Van Soderberg Keith Taylor 4*
Jaylen Johnson 3* Brandon Wellington 4* Elijah Molden 4*
Tevis Bartlett 3* Bryce Sterk 3* Brandon McKinney 4*
Ben Burr-Kirven 3* DJ Beavers 4* Joel Whitford 2*
Jomon Dotson 3* Austin Joyner 4*
Jordan Miller 3* Taylor Rapp 3*
JoJo McIntosh 3*

The net effect of all of the changes announced today is that UW is, all of a sudden, a much younger roster than it was expected to be coming into the season. However, all of the departing players, with the exception of Gaye, were seniors. Thus, there really isn’t any impact on the size of the recruiting class expected for 2018. If things play out as they are now, UW will have room to add 15 players the scholarship roster next year excluding any underclassmen exits that may get announced between now and February.

Washington also announced its walk-on decisions. Notable players include:

WR Ian Biddle (junior, position switch from DB)

DL Josiah Bronson (sophomore)

DL Jarryn Bush (freshman)

PK Peyton Henry (freshman)

RB Nate Ihlenfeldt (freshman)

RB Ralph Kinne (senior)

OL AJ Kneip (freshman)

LS Luke Lane (freshman)

P Race Porter (freshman)

The only other storyline to note here is that Chris Petersen now has two open scholarships to play with for this season. These might well (most likely) will be used on deserving walk-ons. It’ll be fun to see if any of those cool “surprise, you just got a scholarship” moments happen during camp.

That’s what’s what. What do you think about the news coming from today?