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Recruiting Ranks and Player Impact, Part 3

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Assessing the past decade of DL/LB at Washington compared to recruiting rankings

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 27 Washington Spring Game Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Look, this is the UW Dawg Pound so of course I’m going to lead off with talking about the Huskies. I’ll remind you, of course, to first check out Part 1 and Part 2, to make sure we’re all on the same page for the concepts and terminology used here.

UW had a total of 103 DL/LB that signed with the team 2010-2020 (plus the signing class of 2021), and for the sake of some parts of this analysis (mostly just that related to recruiting rankings), that includes 21 DC players, for “don’t count.” These are players that were signed by the UW but for any number of reasons never saw the field (or haven’t seen it yet), including academic non-qualifiers, people who signed but transferred or had a career-ending injury before ever getting on the active roster, left the team during or after a redshirt year, or even just new recruits who haven’t seen the field yet. Those kinds of players are relevant for looking at who you signed (and what you thought you would get out of them) but don’t factor into the performance metrics unless they also spent time on the active roster before they left. A few examples to clarify:

  • Good examples of a DC are Ali Gaye or Drew Lewis, whose careers at UW ended before they began but went on to success at other schools, or players like Brent Williams or Kalei Auelua (who? exactly) who signed but as far as I can tell never enrolled and never appeared elsewhere either. In any case, players like these don’t count for performance metrics.
  • A 2020 recruit that redshirted, like Carson Bruener, wouldn’t count, nor would a player from an earlier year like 2010 3* Victor Burnett, who redshirted a year and then left the team. A recruit that redshirted their first year due to injury and then got hurt, or had a slow recovery from a redshirt-year injury (not hurt badly enough to get a medical hardship year, but not effective enough to win playing time), but was still on the team another year or more like 2019 4* Josh Calvert would count.
  • Jarryn Bush, a 2017 walk-on, redshirted one year and then was on the active roster for another year before leaving the team. He accumulated zero stats but was active for one season, so he counts.
  • Jason Scrempos, a 2015 3*, redshirted and then played 3 anonymous years, racking up a single tackle in his final year on the team before transferring to Montana State. He didn’t do much at UW besides provide a willing practice body and a few snaps on special teams and in blowouts, but he definitely counts.

The tables below provide the same information in three ways. The first lists Husky DL/LB by their position and by the year they were recruited. Reading across the table, the sections give the following information:

  • Player name, position, and recruiting ranking.
  • Career cumulative stats and per-game tackles, big plays, and IMPACT.
  • The MEDIAN column indicates the median value for a player with that recruiting ranking and that number of seasons on the active roster.
  • Variance is simple subtraction; for players that scored higher in IMPACT/Game vs. the median value, this is a positive number; for those that fell below the median value, this is a negative number. Variance % is simply the Variance value expressed as a percentage. Note that for this percentage comparison, 0% variance means performance is exactly equal to the median. A negative percentage is below the median, a positive percentage means above the median.

NOTE: Beware small sample sizes when looking at percentages. Faatui Tuitele and Jacob Bandes were both high 4-star players with one active season (with only 4 games). Tuitele recorded 2 tackles Bandes 3. Tuitele rates at -31%, Bandes at +4%. Yeah. It also means that low-rated players that really pop like Travis Feeney or walk-ons that become productive starters like Andrew Hudson show up with a huge Variance %, because they were expected to provide next to nothing and instead provided over 10 times what the typical 50th-percentile player at their recruiting ranking would have. That’s statistics for you. Don’t even get me started on Eddie Ulofoshio!

  • The MEAN-ALL column lists the IMPACT/Game to the mean value for all players that have played the same number of active seasons, while MEAN % compares each player’s performance to that mean. These columns offer some answer to the question of “Ok, sure, so-and-so did well for a low 3-star, but how well did they do period?” Doing better than isn’t necessarily the same thing as doing well, and while it’s nice to have players that outperform their rankings, if they’re still not actually excelling on the field that doesn’t help you win a lot of games.
  • For the truly dedicated (or deranged), there is a much bigger version of this spreadsheet, too large to load on the site, that includes player stats (tackles and big plays) by season for each individual season they played. You can find it here. On that spreadsheet. If a player has a double-zero, they accumulated no stats that year; however, if that double-zero is bold italics, that indicates a redshirt season, which does not count for performance metrics. Usually (but not always) that redshirt year is a player’s first year. That sheet also includes earned awards and honors, including All-Conference/All-American and draft status (if known).

This is a lot of information, so take a deep breath.

Table 1: UW DL/LB Performance by Recruiting Rating

Rank Star Pos Player Name Tackles Tk/Gm Big Plays BP/Gm IMPACT IMP/Gm Games MEDIAN Difference Variance % MEAN-ALL MEAN %
Rank Star Pos Player Name Tackles Tk/Gm Big Plays BP/Gm IMPACT IMP/Gm Games MEDIAN Difference Variance % MEAN-ALL MEAN %
0.9978 5 ILB Shaq Thompson 232 5.8 57.5 1.4 405 10.11 40 4.1 6.01 147% 2.76 366%
0.9843 5 DE Sav'ell Smalls 7 1.8 0 0 7 1.75 4 3.03 -1.28 -42% 1.58 111%
0.9609 4+ DT Faatui Tuitele 2 0.5 0 0 2 0.5 4 0.72 -0.22 -31% 1.58 32%
0.9599 4+ DT Jacob Bandes 3 0.8 0 0 3 0.75 4 0.72 0.03 4% 1.58 47%
0.9517 4+ DT Tuli Letuligasenoa 28 1.6 4 0.2 40 2.35 17 2.14 0.21 10% 2.23 105%
0.9471 4 DT Elijah Qualls 77 1.9 19 0.5 134 3.27 41 2.66 0.61 23% 2.76 118%
0.9435 4 DE Laiatu Latu 15 0.9 3 0.2 24 1.41 17 1.9 -0.49 -26% 2.23 63%
0.9368 4 ILB Camilo Eifler 6 0.2 0 0 6 0.22 27 1.9 -1.68 -88% 2.23 10%
0.9264 4 DE Josh Shirley (TR-out) 74 1.9 55 1.4 239 6.13 39 2.66 3.47 130% 2.76 222%
0.9219 4 DE Joe Mathis 78 1.4 28.5 0.5 164 3.03 54 3.33 -0.3 -9% 3.36 90%
0.919 4- DT Sam Taimani (OG recruit) 27 1.6 1.5 0.1 32 1.85 17 0.45 1.4 311% 2.23 83%
0.9187 4- ILB Daniel Heimuli 6 1.5 0 0 6 1.5 4 0.45 1.05 233% 1.58 95%
0.9144 4- ILB Josh Calvert 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0.45 -0.45 -100% 1.58 0%
0.9129 4- ILB Brandon Wellington 52 1 6 0.1 70 1.3 54 2.32 -1.02 -44% 3.36 39%
0.9099 4- DE Benning Potoa'e 117 2.2 31.5 0.6 212 3.92 54 2.32 1.6 69% 3.36 117%
0.9083 4- DE Jeremiah Martin (TR-in) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A DC DC -- -- -- --
0.9071 4- DE Pio Vatuvei 7 0.5 0 0 7 0.54 13 0.45 0.09 20% 1.58 34%
0.8997 4- DE Levi Onwuzurike 95 2.4 23 0.6 164 4.1 40 1.86 2.24 120% 2.76 149%
0.8929 4- DT Sama Paama 1 0.1 0 0 1 0.08 13 0.45 -0.37 -82% 1.58 5%
0.8907 4- OLB Ariel Ngata (TR-out) 22 0.8 3 0.1 31 1.15 27 1.86 -0.71 -38% 2.23 52%
0.8904 4- DE Draco Bynum 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 1.05 -1.05 -100% 2.23 0%
0.8863 3+ ILB Jackson Sirmon 59 1.9 5.5 0.2 76 2.44 31 1.96 0.48 24% 2.76 88%
0.8858 3+ DT Voi Tunuufi N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A DC DC -- -- -- --
0.885 3+ DE Bralen Trice 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0.76 -0.76 -100% 1.58 0%
0.8826 3+ DT Danny Shelton 200 3.8 41 0.8 323 6.09 53 2.57 3.52 137% 3.36 181%
0.8826 3+ OLB Jamaal Kearse 37 0.9 8 0.2 61 1.56 39 1.96 -0.4 -20% 2.76 57%
0.8801 3+ ILB Chris Young 0 0 0 0 0 0 DC DC -- -- -- --
0.8788 3+ ILB M.J. Tafisi 19 0.6 0 0 19 0.61 31 1.96 -1.35 -69% 2.76 22%
0.8787 3+ DE Marcus Farria 7 0.1 6 0.1 25 0.46 54 2.57 -2.11 -82% 3.36 14%
0.8777 3+ ILB Sean Constantine 37 0.7 6 0.1 55 1.02 54 2.57 -1.55 -60% 3.36 30%
0.8773 3+ ILB Victor Burnett 0 0 0 0 0 0 DC DC -- -- -- --
0.8766 3+ DE Taniela Tupou 59 1.5 8.5 0.2 85 2.11 40 1.96 0.15 8% 2.76 76%
0.8762 3+ DT Kuao Peihopa N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A DC DC -- -- -- --
0.8714 3+ DT Noa Ngalu 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0.76 -0.76 -100% 1.58 0%
0.8698 3+ DE Damion Turpin 21 0.4 3 0.1 30 0.56 54 2.57 -2.01 -78% 3.36 17%
0.8695 3+ OLB D.J. Beavers 69 1.7 9 0.2 96 2.34 41 1.96 0.38 19% 2.76 85%
0.8693 3+ OLB Miki Ah You 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0.76 -0.76 -100% 1.58 0%
0.869 3+ OLB Corey Waller 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 0.76 -0.76 -100% 2.23 0%
0.8681 3+ DE Maurice Heims N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A DC DC -- -- -- --
0.867 3+ OLB Thomas Tutogi 89 2.3 5.5 0.1 106 2.71 39 1.96 0.75 38% 2.76 98%
0.8653 3+ OLB Darius Waters 0 0 0 0 0 0 DC DC -- -- -- --
0.8649 3+ ILB Connor O'Brien 71 1.3 23.5 0.4 142 2.62 54 2.57 0.05 2% 3.36 78%
0.8621 3+ DT Vita Vea 99 2.5 31.5 0.8 194 4.84 40 1.96 2.88 147% 2.76 175%
0.8608 3+ DT Andrew Hudson 154 2.9 67 1.3 355 6.7 53 2.57 4.13 161% 3.36 199%
0.8606 3+ OLB Zion Tupuola-Fetui 22 1.3 19 1.1 79 4.65 17 1.54 3.11 202% 2.23 209%
0.86 3+ ILB Keishawn Bierria 249 4.6 42 0.8 375 6.94 54 2.57 4.37 170% 3.36 207%
0.8599 3 DE Ali Gaye 0 0 0 0 0 0 DC DC -- -- -- --
0.859 3 DE Brent Williams 0 0 0 0 0 0 DC DC -- -- -- --
0.8588 3 DE Connor Cree 11 0.4 2 0.1 17 0.65 26 0.93 -0.28 -30% 2.23 29%
0.8578 3 DE Jason Scrempos 1 0 0 0 1 0.02 41 1.75 -1.73 -99% 2.76 1%
0.8569 3 DE Jordon Lolohea 0 0 0 0 0 0 DC DC -- -- -- --
0.8569 3 ILB Ben Burr-Kirven 350 6.5 42.5 0.8 478 8.84 54 2.26 6.58 291% 3.36 263%
0.8556 3 OLB John Timu 329 6.2 55.5 1 496 9.35 53 2.26 7.09 314% 3.36 278%
0.855 3 DT Greg Gaines 149 2.8 36 0.7 257 4.76 54 2.26 2.5 111% 3.36 142%
0.8542 3 DE Hau'oli Kikaha 206 3.9 98.5 1.9 502 9.46 53 2.26 7.2 319% 3.36 282%
0.8538 3 ILB Carson Bruener 0 0 0 0 0 0 DC DC -- -- -- --
0.8529 3 DE Amandre Williams 13 0.5 5 0.2 28 1.04 27 0.93 0.11 12% 2.23 47%
0.8525 3 DE Joe Tryon 61 2.3 25.5 0.9 138 5.09 27 0.93 4.16 447% 2.23 228%
0.8524 3 DE Jaylen Johnson 74 1.4 19.5 0.4 133 2.45 54 2.26 0.19 8% 3.36 73%
0.8519 3 ILB Alphonzo Tuputala 7 0.4 0 0 7 0.41 17 0.93 -0.52 -56% 2.23 18%
0.851 3 ILB Princeton Fuimaono 187 3.6 27 0.5 268 5.15 52 2.26 2.89 128% 3.36 153%
0.8506 3 DE Mosiah Nasili-Kite 0 0 0 0 0 0 DC DC -- -- -- --
0.8498 3 ILB Cooper McDonald 2 0.5 1 0.3 5 1.25 4 0.93 0.32 34% 1.58 79%
0.8482 3 ILB Tevis Bartlett 179 3.3 49 0.9 326 6.04 54 0.93 5.11 549% 3.36 180%
0.8481 3 OLB Jusstis Warren 9 0.3 3 0.1 18 0.67 27 0.93 -0.26 -28% 2.23 30%
0.8465 3 OLB Garret Gilliland 29 1.1 4.5 0.2 43 1.63 26 0.93 0.7 75% 2.23 73%
0.8447 3 OLB Matthew Lyons 0 0 0 0 0 0 DC DC -- -- -- --
0.8423 3 DE Jarett Finau (TE recruit) 9 0.2 3 0.1 18 0.34 53 2.26 -1.92 -85% 3.36 10%
0.8412 3 DT Ricky McCoy (TE recruit, TR-out) 3 0.1 0 0 3 0.11 27 0.93 -0.82 -88% 2.23 5%
0.84 3 ILB Azeem Victor 205 3.8 37.5 0.7 318 5.88 54 2.26 3.62 160% 3.36 175%
0.8387 3 ILB Kyler Manu 11 0.2 0 0 11 0.2 54 2.26 -2.06 -91% 3.36 6%
0.8377 3 OLB Psalm Wooching 67 1.6 25.5 0.6 144 3.5 41 1.75 1.75 100% 2.76 127%
0.8376 3 DE Shane Bowman 20 0.4 5 0.1 35 0.65 54 2.26 -1.61 -71% 3.36 19%
0.8333 3 OLB Ryan Bowman 102 2.3 44.5 1 236 5.35 44 2.26 3.09 137% 3.36 159%
0.8323 3 OLB Cooper Pelluer 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 0 -- -- -- --
0.8305 3 OLB Drew Lewis 0 0 0 0 0 0 DC DC -- -- -- --
0.8282 3- DT Josh Banks 10 0.4 5 0.2 25 0.96 26 0.34 0.62 182% 2.23 43%
0.8281 3- DT Siaosi Finau N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A DC DC -- -- -- --
0.8257 3- DE Kalei Auelua 0 0 0 0 0 0 DC DC -- -- -- --
0.8219 3- OLB Bryce Sterk 2 0.1 0 0 2 0.05 40 0.51 -0.46 -90% 2.76 2%
0.819 3- OLB Travis Feeney 248 4.7 77 1.5 479 9.04 53 0.71 8.33 1173% 3.36 269%
0.8181 3- ILB Scott Lawyer 60 1.5 1.5 0 65 1.61 40 0.51 1.1 216% 2.76 58%
0.8114 3- OLB Cory Littleton 176 3.3 49 0.9 323 6.09 53 0.71 5.38 758% 3.36 181%
0.8053 3- DE Myles Rice 5 0.1 1 0 8 0.2 40 0.51 -0.31 -61% 2.76 7%
0.7999 2 DT Jaimie Bryant 0 0 0 0 0 0 DC DC -- -- -- --
0.7831 2 DT Josiah Bronson (TR-in) 42 0.9 9.5 0.2 71 1.57 45 0.27 1.3 481% 3.36 47%
0.7824 2 DE Will Dissly (moved to TE) 10 0.4 5 0.2 25 0.93 27 0.17 0.76 447% 2.23 42%
N/A WO DE Evan Hudson 49 1.2 15 0.4 94 2.35 40 0.15 2.2 1467% 3.36 70%
N/A WO DE Jared Pulu 8 0.3 1 0 11 0.41 27 0.17 0.24 141% 2.23 18%
N/A WO DE John Clark 6 0.1 0 0 6 0.15 41 0.15 0 0% 2.76 5%
N/A WO DE Jarryn Bush 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 0 0 0% 1.58 0%
N/A WO DT Drew Schultz 3 0.1 0 0 3 0.06 53 0.27 -0.21 -78% 3.36 2%
N/A WO DT Lawrence Lagafuaina (TR-out) 6 0.1 2 0 12 0.23 53 0.27 -0.04 -15% 3.36 7%
N/A WO ILB Tim Tucker 8 0.3 0 0 8 0.31 26 0.17 0.14 82% 2.23 14%
N/A WO ILB Eric Rauch 0 0 0 0 0 0 40 0.15 -0.15 -100% 2.76 0%
N/A WO ILB Ronnie Espedal 0 0 0 0 0 0 40 0.15 -0.15 -100% 2.76 0%
N/A WO ILB Matt Preston 7 0.1 0 0 7 0.13 54 0.27 -0.14 -52% 3.36 4%
N/A WO ILB Jake Wambaugh 18 0.3 0 0 18 0.33 54 0.27 0.06 22% 3.36 10%
N/A WO ILB Edefuan Ulofoshio 104 3.3 18.5 0.6 159 5.13 31 0.15 4.98 3320% 2.76 186%
N/A WO ILB Ben Hines 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 0.17 -0.17 -100% 2.23 0%
N/A WO ILB Ruperake Fuavai 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0% 1.58 0%
N/A WO ILB Drew Fowler 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0% 1.58 0%
N/A WO ILB Anthony Ward 0 0 0 0 0 0 DC DC -- -- -- --

To start making sense of that game, first we want to look at the players that truly stood out in terms of their performance, whether their careers were long, short, or in between. Thus, the next table looks at IMPACT/Game. You can probably guess #1 and maybe #2, but #3 will SHOCK YOU!

Table 2: UW DL/LB IMPACT/Game

IMPACT/GAME Player Stars
IMPACT/GAME Player Stars
10.11 Shaq Thompson 5
9.46 Hau'oli Kikaha 3
9.35 John Timu 3
9.04 Travis Feeney 3-
8.84 Ben Burr-Kirven 3
6.94 Keishawn Bierria 3+
6.7 Andrew Hudson 3+
6.13 Josh Shirley (TR-out) 4
6.09 Danny Shelton 3+
6.09 Cory Littleton 3-
6.04 Tevis Bartlett 3
5.88 Azeem Victor 3
5.35 Ryan Bowman 3
5.15 Princeton Fuimaono 3
5.13 Edefuan Ulofoshio WO
5.09 Joe Tryon 3
4.84 Vita Vea 3+
4.76 Greg Gaines 3
4.65 Zion Tupuola-Fetui 3+
4.1 Levi Onwuzurike 4-
3.92 Benning Potoa'e 4-
3.5 Psalm Wooching 3
3.27 Elijah Qualls 4
3.03 Joe Mathis 4
2.71 Thomas Tutogi 3+
2.62 Connor O'Brien 3+
2.45 Jaylen Johnson 3
2.44 Jackson Sirmon 3+
2.35 Evan Hudson WO
2.35 Tuli Letuligasenoa 4+
2.34 D.J. Beavers 3+
2.11 Taniela Tupou 3+
1.85 Sam Taimani (OG recruit) 4-
1.75 Sav'ell Smalls 5
1.63 Garret Gilliland 3
1.61 Scott Lawyer 3-
1.57 Josiah Bronson (TR-in) 2
1.56 Jamaal Kearse 3+
1.5 Daniel Heimuli 4-
1.41 Laiatu Latu 4
1.3 Brandon Wellington 4-
1.25 Cooper McDonald 3
1.15 Ariel Ngata (TR-out) 4-
1.04 Amandre Williams 3
1.02 Sean Constantine 3+
0.96 Josh Banks 3-
0.93 Will Dissly (moved to TE) 2
0.75 Jacob Bandes 4+
0.67 Jusstis Warren 3
0.65 Shane Bowman 3
0.65 Connor Cree 3
0.61 M.J. Tafisi 3+
0.56 Damion Turpin 3+
0.54 Pio Vatuvei 4-
0.5 Faatui Tuitele 4+
0.46 Marcus Farria 3+
0.41 Jared Pulu WO
0.41 Alphonzo Tuputala 3
0.34 Jarett Finau (TE recruit) 3
0.33 Jake Wambaugh WO
0.31 Tim Tucker WO
0.23 Lawrence Lagafuaina (TR-out) WO
0.22 Camilo Eifler 4
0.2 Kyler Manu 3
0.2 Myles Rice 3-
0.15 John Clark WO
0.13 Matt Preston WO
0.11 Ricky McCoy (TE recruit, TR-out) 3
0.08 Sama Paama 4-
0.06 Drew Schultz WO
0.05 Bryce Sterk 3-
0.02 Jason Scrempos 3
0 Jarryn Bush WO
0 Josh Calvert 4-
0 Draco Bynum 4-
0 Bralen Trice 3+
0 Noa Ngalu 3+
0 Miki Ah You 3+
0 Corey Waller 3+
0 Cooper Pelluer 3
0 Eric Rauch WO
0 Ronnie Espedal WO
0 Ben Hines WO
0 Ruperake Fuavai WO
0 Drew Fowler WO

Look, the plural of “anecdote” is not “evidence,” but it might say something that, of the Top 20 highest IMPACT/Game numbers from Husky DL/LB the past 11 seasons, only THREE were recorded by 4/5* players: #1 Shaq Thompson, #20 Levi Onwuzurike, and at #8 the often forgotten Josh Shirley, who racked up a lot of big plays for UW. There were as many low-3*/walk-on players (Travis Feeney, Cory Littleton, and Eddie U.) as there were 4/5* at the top of the list.

If we’re thinking about how players stack up vs. expectations for a typical 50th-percentile player at their recruiting rankings, we can measure the Variance for each player compared to the Median value for their recruiting ranking. I’m going to use the raw variance rather than the variance percentage, because otherwise the low Median values for the lowest ranks become wildly skewed. What we really want to know is actual value added, and that’s expressed better through the raw number.

Table 3: UW DL/LB Performance vs. Median for their Recruiting Rating

Variance Player Stars
Variance Player Stars
8.33 Travis Feeney 3-
7.2 Hau'oli Kikaha 3
7.09 John Timu 3
6.58 Ben Burr-Kirven 3
6.01 Shaq Thompson 5
5.38 Cory Littleton 3-
5.11 Tevis Bartlett 3
4.98 Edefuan Ulofoshio WO
4.37 Keishawn Bierria 3+
4.16 Joe Tryon 3
4.13 Andrew Hudson 3+
3.62 Azeem Victor 3
3.52 Danny Shelton 3+
3.47 Josh Shirley (TR-out) 4
3.11 Zion Tupuola-Fetui 3+
3.09 Ryan Bowman 3
2.89 Princeton Fuimaono 3
2.88 Vita Vea 3+
2.5 Greg Gaines 3
2.24 Levi Onwuzurike 4-
2.2 Evan Hudson WO
1.75 Psalm Wooching 3
1.6 Benning Potoa'e 4-
1.4 Sam Taimani (OG recruit) 4-
1.3 Josiah Bronson (TR-in) 2
1.1 Scott Lawyer 3-
1.05 Daniel Heimuli 4-
0.76 Will Dissly (moved to TE) 2
0.75 Thomas Tutogi 3+
0.7 Garret Gilliland 3
0.62 Josh Banks 3-
0.61 Elijah Qualls 4
0.48 Jackson Sirmon 3+
0.38 D.J. Beavers 3+
0.32 Cooper McDonald 3
0.24 Jared Pulu WO
0.21 Tuli Letuligasenoa 4+
0.19 Jaylen Johnson 3
0.15 Taniela Tupou 3+
0.14 Tim Tucker WO
0.11 Amandre Williams 3
0.09 Pio Vatuvei 4-
0.06 Jake Wambaugh WO
0.05 Connor O'Brien 3+
0.03 Jacob Bandes 4+
0 John Clark WO
0 Jarryn Bush WO
0 Ruperake Fuavai WO
0 Drew Fowler WO
-0.04 Lawrence Lagafuaina (TR-out) WO
-0.14 Matt Preston WO
-0.15 Eric Rauch WO
-0.15 Ronnie Espedal WO
-0.17 Ben Hines WO
-0.21 Drew Schultz WO
-0.22 Faatui Tuitele 4+
-0.26 Jusstis Warren 3
-0.28 Connor Cree 3
-0.3 Joe Mathis 4
-0.31 Myles Rice 3-
-0.37 Sama Paama 4-
-0.4 Jamaal Kearse 3+
-0.45 Josh Calvert 4-
-0.46 Bryce Sterk 3-
-0.49 Laiatu Latu 4
-0.52 Alphonzo Tuputala 3
-0.71 Ariel Ngata (TR-out) 4-
-0.76 Bralen Trice 3+
-0.76 Noa Ngalu 3+
-0.76 Miki Ah You 3+
-0.76 Corey Waller 3+
-0.82 Ricky McCoy (TE recruit, TR-out) 3
-1.02 Brandon Wellington 4-
-1.05 Draco Bynum 4-
-1.28 Sav'ell Smalls 5
-1.35 M.J. Tafisi 3+
-1.55 Sean Constantine 3+
-1.61 Shane Bowman 3
-1.68 Camilo Eifler 4
-1.73 Jason Scrempos 3
-1.92 Jarett Finau (TE recruit) 3
-2.01 Damion Turpin 3+
-2.06 Kyler Manu 3
-2.11 Marcus Farria 3+

BBK won conference DPoY, but Travis Feeney and John Timu show up as underappreciated Super Dawgs who really racked up impressive careers. Four of the top five are 3-stars who massively outperformed their median expected values. Feeney and Timu weren’t blessed with ideal NFL measurables (though Feeney did get drafted in the 6th round), but they balled out hard for four awesome seasons. Meanwhile, Shaq, Shirley, and Levi are the only 4/5* players in the Top 20, though you’d expect that (and their slightly lower ratings here), since as players with a presumptive higher floor, they’d have to go farther to really blow away expectations.

That does the beg the question of what we’re comparing players to. It’s all well and good to look great compared to others at your level (according to recruiting ratings anyway), but as we said before, doing better isn’t the same as doing well. How did UW’s players fare compared to the overall mean of all players who had careers of the same length as they did?

Table 4: UW DL/LB Impact/Game vs. Mean of All Players

VS. MEAN Player Stars
VS. MEAN Player Stars
366% Shaq Thompson 5
282% Hau'oli Kikaha 3
278% John Timu 3
269% Travis Feeney 3-
263% Ben Burr-Kirven 3
228% Joe Tryon 3
222% Josh Shirley (TR-out) 4
209% Zion Tupuola-Fetui 3+
207% Keishawn Bierria 3+
199% Andrew Hudson 3+
186% Edefuan Ulofoshio WO
181% Danny Shelton 3+
181% Cory Littleton 3-
180% Tevis Bartlett 3
175% Azeem Victor 3
175% Vita Vea 3+
159% Ryan Bowman 3
153% Princeton Fuimaono 3
149% Levi Onwuzurike 4-
142% Greg Gaines 3
127% Psalm Wooching 3
118% Elijah Qualls 4
117% Benning Potoa'e 4-
111% Sav'ell Smalls 5
105% Tuli Letuligasenoa 4+
98% Thomas Tutogi 3+
95% Daniel Heimuli 4-
90% Joe Mathis 4
88% Jackson Sirmon 3+
85% D.J. Beavers 3+
83% Sam Taimani (OG recruit) 4-
79% Cooper McDonald 3
78% Connor O'Brien 3+
76% Taniela Tupou 3+
73% Jaylen Johnson 3
73% Garret Gilliland 3
70% Evan Hudson WO
63% Laiatu Latu 4
58% Scott Lawyer 3-
57% Jamaal Kearse 3+
52% Ariel Ngata (TR-out) 4-
47% Josiah Bronson (TR-in) 2
47% Amandre Williams 3
47% Jacob Bandes 4+
43% Josh Banks 3-
42% Will Dissly (moved to TE) 2
39% Brandon Wellington 4-
34% Pio Vatuvei 4-
32% Faatui Tuitele 4+
30% Sean Constantine 3+
30% Jusstis Warren 3
29% Connor Cree 3
22% M.J. Tafisi 3+
19% Shane Bowman 3
18% Jared Pulu WO
18% Alphonzo Tuputala 3
17% Damion Turpin 3+
14% Marcus Farria 3+
14% Tim Tucker WO
10% Jarett Finau (TE recruit) 3
10% Jake Wambaugh WO
10% Camilo Eifler 4
7% Lawrence Lagafuaina (TR-out) WO
7% Myles Rice 3-
6% Kyler Manu 3
5% John Clark WO
5% Ricky McCoy (TE recruit, TR-out) 3
5% Sama Paama 4-
4% Matt Preston WO
2% Drew Schultz WO
2% Bryce Sterk 3-
1% Jason Scrempos 3
0% Jarryn Bush WO
0% Josh Calvert 4-
0% Draco Bynum 4-
0% Bralen Trice 3+
0% Noa Ngalu 3+
0% Miki Ah You 3+
0% Corey Waller 3+
0% Eric Rauch WO
0% Ronnie Espedal WO
0% Ben Hines WO
0% Ruperake Fuavai WO
0% Drew Fowler WO

Shaq, unsurprisingly, remains in a class by himself. However, since this measure of performance is stacking up Impact/Game vs. all players with careers of the same length (so, comparing Shaq to other 3-year players, BBK to other 4-year players, Daniel Heimuli to other 1-year players, etc.), I’m a little surprised that more of the 4* players didn’t move up the list.

The above measures are based on per-game averages, but in terms of total impact (in the literal sense) on the team you could argue that cumulative value is the ultimate test, more so than per-game averages. What did the player do for OUR team? It’s awesome that Corey Dillon knocked it out of the park in the 1996 season and then went on to make his pile in the NFL, but Napoleon Kaufman and Chris Polk and Bishop Sankey and Myles Gaskin kept plowing the field with value at Montlake instead of taking their talents elsewhere and excelling on Sundays. That’s no knock on Dillon or others like him with one great season, but this whole project is about trying to determine the players that give value to the program that recruits them.

Table 5: UW DL/LB Career Total IMPACT

IMPACT Player Stars
IMPACT Player Stars
502 Hau'oli Kikaha 3
496 John Timu 3
479 Travis Feeney 3-
478 Ben Burr-Kirven 3
405 Shaq Thompson 5
375 Keishawn Bierria 3+
355 Andrew Hudson 3+
326 Tevis Bartlett 3
323 Danny Shelton 3+
323 Cory Littleton 3-
318 Azeem Victor 3
268 Princeton Fuimaono 3
257 Greg Gaines 3
239 Josh Shirley (TR-out) 4
236 Ryan Bowman 3
212 Benning Potoa'e 4-
194 Vita Vea 3+
164 Joe Mathis 4
164 Levi Onwuzurike 4-
159 Edefuan Ulofoshio WO
144 Psalm Wooching 3
142 Connor O'Brien 3+
138 Joe Tryon 3
134 Elijah Qualls 4
133 Jaylen Johnson 3
106 Thomas Tutogi 3+
96 D.J. Beavers 3+
94 Evan Hudson WO
85 Taniela Tupou 3+
79 Zion Tupuola-Fetui 3+
76 Jackson Sirmon 3+
71 Josiah Bronson (TR-in) 2
70 Brandon Wellington 4-
65 Scott Lawyer 3-
61 Jamaal Kearse 3+
55 Sean Constantine 3+
43 Garret Gilliland 3
40 Tuli Letuligasenoa 4+
35 Shane Bowman 3
32 Sam Taimani (OG recruit) 4-
31 Ariel Ngata (TR-out) 4-
30 Damion Turpin 3+
28 Amandre Williams 3
25 Marcus Farria 3+
25 Josh Banks 3-
25 Will Dissly (moved to TE) 2
24 Laiatu Latu 4
19 M.J. Tafisi 3+
18 Jusstis Warren 3
18 Jarett Finau (TE recruit) 3
18 Jake Wambaugh WO
17 Connor Cree 3
12 Lawrence Lagafuaina (TR-out) WO
11 Kyler Manu 3
11 Jared Pulu WO
8 Myles Rice 3-
8 Tim Tucker WO
7 Sav'ell Smalls 5
7 Pio Vatuvei 4-
7 Alphonzo Tuputala 3
7 Matt Preston WO
6 Camilo Eifler 4
6 Daniel Heimuli 4-
6 John Clark WO
5 Cooper McDonald 3
3 Jacob Bandes 4+
3 Ricky McCoy (TE recruit, TR-out) 3
3 Drew Schultz WO
2 Faatui Tuitele 4+
2 Bryce Sterk 3-
1 Sama Paama 4-
1 Jason Scrempos 3
0 Jarryn Bush WO
0 Josh Calvert 4-
0 Draco Bynum 4-
0 Bralen Trice 3+
0 Noa Ngalu 3+
0 Miki Ah You 3+
0 Corey Waller 3+
0 Cooper Pelluer 3
0 Eric Rauch WO
0 Ronnie Espedal WO
0 Ben Hines WO
0 Ruperake Fuavai WO
0 Drew Fowler WO

Any career measure, of course, favors 4-year players over 3-year early-entry superstars like Shaq Thompson, and that’s what you see here. Career IMPACT is also a counting stat, so players who were part of last year’s abbreviated 4-game season are at a handicap right now (since it still counts as a season), though any who want to stick it out will have an advantage since they get a bonus year of eligibility to add to career totals.

In any case, Shaq no doubt would top the list if he came back for a 4th year just like Chris Polk would’ve broken the UW career rushing record if he had come back, but they didn’t. That 4th year is always “what might have been.” Kikaha stands alone atop the Husky leaderboard in terms of performance, with that LB trio right behind him, because he (and they) had an epic 4-year run, with devastating injury and a name change right in the middle of it. His score is not the highest in the study, but he and the rest of the top 4 rank #4, 5, 6, and 7 among all DL/LB at UW, USC, and UO. So who ranks above him at USC & UO?

You’ll have to read the next installments to find out! Next up, it’s time to FIGHT ON!