FanPost

UW's Blue Chip Ratio for 2022

Now that we aren't getting multiple commitments per day, here's a topic to consider while we wait for fall camp to start.

Those fans that are into recruiting know about the ‘Blue Chip Ratio'; that is the ratio of ‘blue chip recruits' (those with a 4-star or 5-star rating) to all of the (scholarship) players.

Back in 2020, Bud Elliot of 247Sports had UW as one of the 15 teams with a ‘Blue Chip Ratio' of greater than 50%-which is considered the level at which you need to be to win the national championship. Last year I wrote a Fanpost where I looked at UW's ‘Blue Chip Ratio' for 2021; UW wasn't in his list last year. (In that one I mentioned that technically what is being called a ‘ratio' is actually a percentage.) I noted back then that while Elliot didn't have UW above 50%, UW's ratio was either just above or just below 50% depending on how you calculate it. With the changes (additions, transfers, losses, etc.) to the team, I decided to calculate it again this year.

You would think that this should be a simple question: How many ‘blue chips' does UW currently have on its roster?

Besides the obvious snarky answer ("not enough"), the answer really depends on where you look and how you want to count them. That's especially true when you try to deal with the players that have transferred in. While some of the methods yielded similar results, a couple of methods provided vastly different results. For transfers I first looked at their ratings out of high school. If 247Sports provided a ‘Transfer' grade, I included that as well in a separate category. For JC's, I used their grades when they signed with UW-if I could find one.

As a reminder, UW currently has 81 scholarship players. It is possible that DeBoer could add one or two before the start of fall camp. If so, I may update my numbers.

Blue Chip Totals

There were at least 11 players who I could not find a grade for on all of the recruiting services. For most, I found a grade on one or two, but not all of them. For the purposes of this exercise I just assumed that they were not considered a ‘blue chip'. That should be a good assumption since these were either transfers from lower-level schools (like Jordan Perryman) or walk-ons who were given scholarships or specialists (like Peyton Henry).

Here are the number of ‘blue chip recruits' by each of these services:

Service

Blue Chips

Blue Chip Ratio

Rivals

30

37%

ESPN

28

35%

On3

33

41%

247Sports

30

37%

247Sports Composite

27

33%

There is one service that some fans might not be familiar with, On3. This is one I only recently discovered. As you can see, UW fans might want to refer to it occasionally since it graded some of UW's recruits a bit higher than the others. In addition to the standard grades for recruits, On3 includes other information like NIL value (an estimate), the ‘Blue Chip Ratio' for each recruiting class, and a unique one: average distance for the recruits to UW (not sure how accurate this is).

The one place that many people most commonly look at for determining ‘blue chip' is the 247Sports Composite. (The Composite is a composite of many services, not just the grades by the people doing the evaluations at 247Sports.) According to the 247Sports Composite ratings for all of the players, UW has 27 ‘blue chip recruits'. You'll notice that this number is the smallest of the numbers above. The main reason for this is that if any one of the recruiting services doesn't have a recruit rated as a ‘blue chip', then their ‘composite grade' may not be high enough. There are some exceptions. Troy Fautanu and Kamren Fabiculanan were both 4-stars in the Composite, but neither were 4-stars on ESPN, and Fautanu wasn't a 4-star on Rivals.

So if you use just the 247Sports Composite, UW's ‘blue chip ratio' is 33%. If you want to use any of the others, it can go as high as 41%.

Alternative Views

Given the disparity between some of the grades from the recruiting services, I came up with a couple of other methods for looking at the ‘blue chip ratio'.

First, I looked at how many players were considered ‘blue chip' by all 4 services. (I did not include the Composite here since it isn't an independent evaluation.) Not surprisingly, this number is smaller since several players were rated 4-stars by some but just below 4-stars by others. The number that were unanimous ‘blue chip recruits' is 21, or 26%.

The other method that I used was to look at which players were rated a ‘blue chip recruit' by any of the four recruiting services plus the 247Sports Composite. I also looked at the ‘Transfer grade' for the transfers, so that added a 6th data point for some players. One player got added because of this: RB Aaron Dumas, who was not a ‘blue chip recruit' by any of the services out of high school, but 247Sports gave him a 4-star grade as a transfer. So the total number of players that were a ‘blue chip recruit' by any service is 41. That is a ratio of 51%.

As you can see, this method almost doubles the number of 4-stars. Here are the ones that were rated 4-stars by at least one, but not by all.

Player

Number of 4-star

Denzel Boston

1 (ESPN)

Parker Brailsford

1 (ESPN)

Devin Culp

1 (On3)

Aaron Dumas

1 (247Sports Transfer)

Tristan Dunn

2 (ESPN & 247Sports)

Kamren Fabiculanan

4 (Rivals, On3, 247Sports, 247Sports Composite)

Troy Fautanu

3 (On3, 247Sports, 247Sports Composite)

Daniel Heimuli

4 (Rivals, On3, 247Sports, 247Sports Composite)

Nate Kalepo

4 (Rivals, On3, 247Sports, 247Sports Composite)

Corey Luciano

1 (ESPN)

Matteo Mele

2 (On3, 247Sports)

Quentin Moore

1 (Rivals)

Kuao Peihopa

1 (Rivals)

Michael Penix, Jr.

1 (Rivals)

Ja'Lynn Polk

1 (On3)

Jabez Tinae

4 (ESPN, On3, 247Sports, 247Sports Composite)

Bralen Trice

2 (Rivals, On3)

Voi Tunuufi

3 (Rivals, ESPN, On3)

Asa Turner

4 (Rivals, On3, 247Sports, 247Sports Composite)

Cameron Williams

3 (ESPN, On3, 247Sports)

Depending on whether you go with a recruit needing all the services to say that he's a ‘blue chip', or any, or a minimum number, you get different values:

  • All: 26%
  • At least 4: 32%
  • At least 3: 36%
  • At least 2: 40%
  • At least 1: 51%

Misses and Surprises

There are probably a few players in that table above that some fans may be surprised could be considered a ‘blue chip recruit'. Denzel Boston was a surprise, especially considering that he was a low-to-medium 3-star in the other services. Corey Luciano may surprise some, although it appears that he may finally be able demonstrate that he deserves that if he starts this year as expected. Penix surprised me; obviously he's played well enough, but I didn't think that he was considered that good out of high school.

In going through the roster, there are some notable players who were not a ‘blue chip recruit' but are playing at that level, or are expected to. The obvious ones are Jaxson Kirkland, ZTF, and Eddie Ulofoshio. Some who were ‘blue chip recruits' have not played to that level yet, including Sam Adams, Daniel Heimuli, and Julius Irvin.

Transfers

One of the things that I noted in looking through this data was the transfers. There are 12 players on the roster that have transferred from other D1 programs (so not including JC transfers). Of those, 6 were rated 4-stars by at least one service: Lonyatta Alexander, Aaron Dumas, Giles Jackson, Jeremiah Martin, Michael Penix Jr., and Ja'Lynn Polk. That's 50%. And 3 were 4-stars in all of the services (Alexander, Jackson, and Martin); that's 25%. Those values are only one percentage point different than the roster as a whole. From that I'll conclude that the transfers (including last year and this year) have not significantly changed the ‘blue chip ratio' for UW either way.

Changes from 2021

An obvious question (and concern) should be about what has changed from last year. Here is a table that summarizes those changes.

Service

2021

2021 %

2022

2022 %

Difference

Rivals

38

45%

30

37%

-8

ESPN

31

36%

28

35%

-3

On3

42

49%

33

41%

-9

247Sports

36

42%

30

37%

-6

247Sports Composite

36

42%

27

33%

-9

Any Service

47

55%

41

51%

-6

All Services

24

28%

21

26%

-3

Depending on which you use, UW is down a net of between 3 and 9 ‘blue chip recruits' since last season. That should not surprise anyone since they lost 4 to the NFL draft (Gordon, McDuffie, Wattenberg, and Radley-Hiles) plus others that have transferred out. In addition, UW has only added a few ‘blue chip recruits' since DeBoer took over. Lonyatta Alexander and Ryan Otton are 4-stars on all of the services while Tristan Dunn, Michael Penix, Parker Brailsford, and Denzel Boston are the others that are 4-stars by at least one service.

Position Groups

I thought that an interesting way to look at UW's ‘blue chips' would be to break it down by position groups. Are there groups that have a large percentage of ‘blue chips'? Are there any that don't have any?

Position

Players

All Services

All Services %

Any Service

Any Service %

QB

3

2

67%

3

100%

RB

7

2

29%

3

43%

WR

9

4

44%

7

78%

TE

5

1

20%

3

60%

OL

16

6

38%

11

69%

DL

9

3

33%

5

56%

Edge

7

2

29%

3

43%

LB

7

0

0%

1

14%

Husky

2

0

0%

1

50%

Safety

7

1

14%

4

57%

CB

7

0

0%

0

0%

Specialist

3

0

0%

0

0%

I used the positions as listed on the UW roster. I grouped the punter, kicker, and long snapper into the "Specialist" position. Will Nixon is listed as ‘RB/WR' on the roster. For the purposes of this, I included him in WR.

The position that should be most surprising is CB. Based on the last several years, there have always been multiple ‘blue chip recruits' at that position. But with the departures of Covington, McDuffie, and Gordon, there are now no more. However, UW isn't lacking in talent there. Powell and Perryman will probably be the starters and we should expect that they will be at least decent based on past performance. Some of the others were very close to being ‘blue chip recruits'; Banks, McCutcheon, and Spears all had grades on 247Sports of 89 (one point more and they would have been 4-stars).

The lack of ‘blue chip recruits' among the specialists should not be a concern; most don't even get 3-stars.

With only 2 players at the Husky position, and it being a new position, I'm not concerned there.

The concerning, but probably not surprising to Husky fans that follow recruiting, position is LB. It has the lowest percentage of ‘blue chip recruits' (after specialist and CB). It should not be surprising that DeBoer got a couple of transfers to help out at this position. And while neither register as a ‘blue chip recruit', both Bright and Moll had transfer grades that were very close (.89 and .88 respectively). In addition, both Ulofoshio and Breuner have played at a very high level previously (and hopefully will again). So, while not ideal, I would say that there is still some decent talent in this position group.

Concluding Remarks

I don't think that any of the pundits who look at the ‘blue chip ratio' will use the ‘any service' method that I included, so I don't think that many people will look at UW's roster as having ‘blue chip ratio' of over 50%. Most would likely have UW with a value of around 33% (based on the 247Sports Composite). And again, if DeBoer adds any players, those numbers may go down slightly.

Somewhat ironically, the one year that UW had a 50% ‘blue chip ratio' recently (2019), they underperformed-especially compared to the previous 3 years. Many of the ‘blue chip recruits' on the roster that year appear to have been over-rated, or at least never played at UW up to the level suggested by their rating. This includes Marquis Spiker, Colson Yankoff, Jacob Sirmon, Austin Osborne, Draco Bynum, Brandon McKinney, and Ariel Ngata. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't want ‘blue chip recruits', only that they will not always perform to that level.

UW does still have a lot of talented players-at least based on their recruiting ratings. Plus they have several players that have exceeded their recruiting ratings. They should have more ‘blue chip recruits' than all of their scheduled opponents this year with the exception of Oregon. UCLA and Stanford may be close. Even Michigan State probably won't have over 20 (compared to 27 at UW). And most of their opponents may not even have half as many ‘blue chip recruits' as UW. Hopefully with DeBoer's staff those ‘blue chip' players that UW does have will play to at least close to their expected level, and that many of the rest will play above. If that happens, UW should be in the running for the Pac12 title or at least a good bowl game.

One final note is that, based on recruiting so far for 2023, it doesn't look like UW's ‘blue chip ratio' will get above the 50% level next year. So far they've only added 3 (out of the 12 commits: 25%). Some of the commits that UW has gotten look like they could grade out better after their senior seasons and UW could close on a few more ‘blue chip recruits' plus get some ‘blue chip' transfers, so it's possible that it could improve, but it's still not likely that the ‘blue chip ratio' will improve enough in a year.