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UW Football Roster Recap and Look Ahead- Offense

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Now that the 2019 class is wrapped up, what do the scholarship numbers look like entering spring ball and how many spots are available for 2020 on offense?

NCAA Football: Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 recruiting class is in the books and for the most part the roster is set as we head towards spring ball next week. Right now I count that there are 88 players on scholarship which would be 3 over the limit. There is some amount of wiggle room in that number though. The staff isn’t always super clear with regards to former walk-ons or transfers whether someone is now on scholarship. There are also multiple Huskies who suffered serious injuries and could be headed towards medical retirement if rehab doesn’t go as planned. And of course there’s always that pesky transfer portal.

We’ll see once spring practices start how things shape up with those last couple of spots but the roster is close enough to set that we can project and look ahead. I listed for each position how many players are currently on scholarship and how many are projected to leave after 2019 either due to graduation or early entry to the NFL draft. That will give us an idea of how many spots are available for the 2020 recruiting class and who we can expect the coaching staff to target for those spots given the information available.

Washington has offered between 86 and 106 players in each of the last 4 seasons. They have 52 out for 2020 at the moment. We can expect the number of offers to roughly double in the next 6-9 months so players who are currently off the radar will certainly end up in Purple and Gold a year from now. We’ll start on the offensive side of the ball and then later look at the defense. The Huskies took a defense-heavy approach in 2019 so they could either take an offense-heavy class in 2020 to compensate or go back to an even split and view it as a one year blip.

Quarterback

Current # on Scholarship: 5

# of Seniors: 0

Potential Early Entrants: 1

Washington is in an interesting (in a good way) position with their QB room. It seems like they’d ideally like to have 5 guys at all times, so that they can weather a transfer from someone who wants more playing time, and that’s where they are right now. Jacob Eason is the presumed favorite for the job as a redshirt junior. Given his physical tools coming out of high school, he’s already on NFL scouts’ radar and if he puts up even an above average year he could be one and done for Washington.

Meanwhile, Jake Haener (RS So), Colson Yankoff (RS Fr), Jacob Sirmon (RS Fr), and Dylan Morris (Fr) will all be jockeying for spots #2-5 with Haener having the edge as the incumbent backup. Since Yankoff and Sirmon are in the same class it wouldn’t be a shock to see whoever finishes lower on the depth chart this fall decide that they aren’t ever going to get a shot here and move on. Especially with 5-star Sam Huard coming in for the class of 2021. There’s uncertainty and the Huskies could lose between 0-2 QBs after this season so they’re going to just take one and pursue the middle ground

2020 Verbal Commitments: 3-star Ethan Garbers (0.865 composite)

The Huskies offered Garbers on February 9th and he displayed immediate and substantial interest and took an unofficial visit a week later. Less than a month later he was committed to UW. There hasn’t been a QB decommit under Coach Petersen at Washington and it’s unlikely that Garbers is the first so expect him to be the one and only QB in this class and the coaching staff can now shift their focus to other positions.

Running Back

Current # on Scholarship: 5

# of Seniors: 0

Potential Early Entrants: 1

Washington has a trio of juniors in Salvon Ahmed, Kamari Pleasant, and Sean McGrew who stand to be the primary backs in 2019. It seems unlikely that any of them take over the lead position quite as definitively as Myles Gaskin did but the most likely outcome is for Ahmed to be primary, Pleasant the big back, and McGrew the 3rd down back. I don’t consider it probable but it also wouldn’t be impossible to see Salvon Ahmed bolt for the NFL after this year. He definitely has NFL speed and if he has a breakout year (1500+ total yards) then it’s a smart long-term financial decision to save those hits to his body at that position. Redshirt freshman Richard Newton and true freshman Cameron Davis could factor in as well but given what we know right now and the way the staff has operated in recent years it seems most likely that Davis redshirts and Newton is 4th on the depth chart.

Potential 2020 Targets: 4-star Daniyel Ngata- 5’9, 180 (0.962 composite), 4-star Sam Adams II- 6’2, 200 (0.94 composite), 3-star Sevion Morrison- 5’11, 196 (0.868 composite), 3-star Jayveon Sunday- 5’10, 190 (0.853 composite)

There was a time when it looked like Washington might take 2 backs in the 2019 class so they should be expected to likely take 2 in 2020 if they’re the right pair. Washington missed out on stud WR Joe Ngata in the 2019 class but still have a good shot with the youngest Ngata who is much smaller than his brothers. Ariel Ngata is of course a LB for UW right now. Daniyel seems like he’d be a natural successor to Salvon Ahmed as he averaged 10 yards per carry and 20 yards per reception on 36 catches last season as a RB who was also a huge threat catching passes out of the backfield and is small but slippery.

Sam Adams II is out of Eastside Catholic and the Huskies will certainly get a long look although his father was a star at Texas A&M and he has offers from almost everyone in the country. A Ngata/Adams duo would make for a nice combination as each has different strengths on the field and seem like they could be a complementary thunder and lightning backfield. Both Morrison and Sunday are from outside the normal UW recruiting footprint but both, and Sunday in particular, have shown interest in Washington and if the Huskies strike out with Adams or Ngata then they can be solid options.

Wide Receiver

Current # on Scholarship: 12

# of Seniors: 4

Potential Early Entrants: 0

While there was some concern given they didn’t finish the season on the field, it appears Quinten Pounds and Chico McClatcher are set to return in 2019. But both will be seniors and so will still need to be replaced in 2020. They join Aaron Fuller and Andre Baccellia, who were #1 and #2 on the team in catches, as players that will move on after 2019. Alex Cook moved to safety this season as well meaning that 5 of the top-7 receivers in total snaps from 2018 won’t be around in 2020. There’s a lot of unproven talent in the receiver room that could leapfrog the seniors but none of it is a threat to head to the draft in the short term. The Huskies will look to take at least 2 receivers but could easily take 3 to allow for some attrition with new WR coach Junior Adams maybe having a different opinion on some of the underclassmen.

Potential 2020 Targets: 5-star Johnny Wilson- 6’6, 220 (0.989 composite), 4-star Jalen McMillan- 6’2, 181 (0.976 composite), 3-star Sawyer Racanelli- 6’3, 200 (0.89 composite), 3-star Rome Odunze- 6’1, 185 (0.875 composite)

With Adams in tow you can expect that the Huskies will look to “level up” at the receiver position like they did the last two seasons at DT. Johnny Wilson is just a flat out freak as he ran a 4.6 40-yard dash at 6’6 and currently has the Huskies in his top-5 along with Oregon, OSU, Texas, and UCLA and has played with several other UW commits/targets on the FSP 7v7 team. There’s also some thought that he might be better viewed more as a tight end given his height as he continues to grow.

Washington cracked McMillan’s top-10 and he has taken one unofficial to UW and is planning on taking another in the spring. He also joined the FSP team with Wilson. McMillan is now 247’s (non-composite) top-rated West Coast WR with their most recent ratings update and seems like a possible UW lean. The local Racanelli doesn’t have a UW offer yet but expect that to change over the next month or two and you’d have to think UW will be a heavy favorite as soon as they get involved (and he also could wind up at linebacker). Odunze was Adams’ first offer upon taking the job so it’s clear he was a priority and he is skyrocketing up recruiting rankings after standout performances in the last few months and has seen his offer list grow at a corresponding rate.

With a new position coach on board and a lot of open spots you can be sure that additional UW offers will be handed out in the next few months. 12 of the 34 top-rated prospects right now for 2020 in the state of California are wide receivers so it’s the most loaded position in the West region this year and the Huskies will look to take advantage.

Tight End

Current # on Scholarship: 5

# of Seniors: 1

Potential Early Entrants: 1

Since Washington got a commitment from WR Puka Nacua at the last moment, tight end wound up as the most disappointing position in the Class of 2019 with 0 new recruits. The Huskies lost Drew Sample to graduation who was a vital part of the offense and didn’t replace him although getting Hunter Bryant back from injury at the end of the year sort of did just that. Justiss Warren is listed as a tight end but he’s functionally a fullback and shouldn’t be expected to to contribute full-time at the position in the case of injuries to starters without a drop in flexibility.

That leaves 4 tight ends who could be expected to play heavily and one of them (Devin Culp) is a redshirt freshman who didn’t see the field last season. The Huskies like their 2 and 3-TE sets so expect Hunter Bryant and Cade Otton to be essentially starters with Jacob Kizer seeing a lot of time as well and Devin Culp seeing some occasional snaps.

The coaching staff will absolutely take at least one TE in this class with Justiss Warren graduating. There’s also a reasonable chance that Hunter Bryant departs for the NFL and so it’s almost a lock that the Huskies plan on taking a second TE as well given last year’s strike out.

Potential 2020 Targets: 3-star Mark Redman- 6’6, 250 (0.885 composite), 3-star Ben Yurosek- 6’5, 220 (0.88 composite)

The Huskies appear to be the favorite for Mark Redman who is HS teammates with QB commit Ethan Garbers. He’s pulled in offers from Alabama and Ohio State but plays like the perfect replacement in the Will Dissly/Drew Sample/Cade Otton mold as a multi-purpose blocking and receiving TE. Yurosek was a relatively recent offer and he needs to fill out but he has the frame to add weight and is originally from Bellevue despite playing in California now.

Offensive Line

Current # on Scholarship: 16

# of Seniors: 4

Potential Early Entrants: 0

Washington will have a very senior-heavy line in 2019 with Trey Adams, Nick Harris, and Jared Hilbers all projected starters with 10+ starts under their belt and Henry Roberts likely filling in as the swing tackle in case of injury. The 2020 O-line will have a whole new look although there is enough talented underclassman depth on the roster to back fill. The only guys who could even theoretically be early entrants to the NFL draft are Luke Wattenberg and Jaxson Kirkland but it’s a real stretch to imagine either successfully making the leap at this point. The coaching staff would like to bring in at least 3 guys in every class on the line but with 4 seniors graduating I think it’s reasonable to expect them to bring in another 4 to replace them.

2020 Verbal Commitments: 3-star Gaard Memmelaar- 6’4, 290 (0.878 composite)

Potential 2020 Targets: 4-star Tosh Baker- 6’8, 275 (0.979 composite), 4-star Myles Murao- 6’3, 270 (0.970 composite), 4-star Levi Rogers- 6’5, 270 (0.934 composite), 4-star Geirean Hatchett- 6’5, 275 (0.930 composite), 3-star Noah Nelson- 6’7, 295 (0.869 composite), 3-star Jeffrey Persi- 6’7, 265 (0.864 composite)

Washington already has one lineman in the boat in Gaard Memmelaar who was their first 2020 commitment. 2 of the top players on their board are Murao and Hatchett who both profile more as guards than tackles. Murao attends Mater Dei which is traditionally a USC feeder school but he’s spoken very highly of UW and it seems to be those two in front at the moment despite a number of national offers. Hatchett is from the Ferndale of Jake Locker fame and the Huskies are right there near the top of his list although Geirean hasn’t been shy about his interest in non-West Coast national powers such as Oklahoma and Ohio State.

It definitely seems as if they take at least one clear tackle prospect as Murao, Hatchett, and Memmelaar could all end up guard. Tosh Baker saw a huge boost in the recent 247 rankings update and is now viewed as a top-50 type prospect with a frame reminiscent of Kaleb McGary and Trey Adams. Levi Rogers doesn’t currently have an offer but has also zoomed up the recruiting charts and attends Woodinville HS. Although he moved there recently from out of the region so he’s not a traditional in-state recruit and so didn’t grow up watching the Dawgs. Nelson and Persi also have offers and the staff would be happy to have them if they made an early commitment to secure a spot.

FINAL OFFENSIVE TOTALS

Current Scholarship Spots: 43

# of seniors: 9

Potential Early Entrants: 3

Expected 2020 recruits: 11-13