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UWDP Roundtable: Which Transfer Stings the Most?

Dawg Pound staff mourns our most dearly departed

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 03 Kent State at Washington Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Player movement has changed college sports. Within the last five years, the nearly unregulated proliferation of immediately-eligible transfers has instantly removed the expectation that a recruit is signing on for four (or five) years with a program. In many cases, the greater mobility benefits players who have gained the ability to keep their options open the same way that coaches do. Nonetheless, it can be bittersweet for fans to follow a player from high school highlight film and never get to see them finish their story. Are any of these year’s UW portal entrants especially upsetting or troubling to our staff? Let’s take it to the roundtable to find out.

UW Outgoing Transfers

Player Position Recruiting Class Destination
Player Position Recruiting Class Destination
Taj Davis WR 19 TBD
Aaron Dumas RB 21 TBD
Siaosi Finau DL 21 TBD
Myles Murao OL 20 TBD
Demario King LB 22 (Juco) TBD
Sav�ell Smalls Edge 20 Colorado
Camden Sirmon WR 21 TBD
Sam Huard QB 21 Cal Poly
Jay�Veon Sunday RB 20 Abilene Christian
Victor Curne OL 18 Ole Miss
Daniel Heimuli LB 19 Arizona
Caden Jumper TE 21 TBD
Ruperake Fuavai LB 19 TBD
Jahleel Heath Edge 21 TBD
Lonyatta Alexander WR 21 Montana State
Kuao Peihopa DL 21 Hawaii
Cameron Williams S 18 Georgia Southern
Zakhari Spears CB 21 Connecticut

Of the players who have entered the transfer portal from UW this offseason, who would you have most wanted to remain a Husky?

Aaron Sieverkropp: I’m ok with the transfer portal losses. It could haven way worse. Taj was the biggest shocker. I’m still hoping we add another offensive lineman and possibly an edge.

Max Vrooman: I think there’s 2 ways to think about this question. The first is through a more long-term lens. Which one of these players when we look back 5 years from now is going to wind up having the best overall career. Then you can think about it in terms of who is going to be the biggest loss just for this upcoming season. Who would’ve been the most impactful for 2022?

Overall, I lean towards the latter. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say this team has the highest expectations for Husky football in potentially decades. The 2016 team was viewed as a dark horse but having a dominant passing attack with Browning/Ross/Pettis was outside the realm of realistic projection going into it. As we saw last week there are legitimate outlets pushing UW as a top-5 team. The Huskies are likely going to lose a huge chunk of their production after next year including their starting QB and maybe their OC. It’s about going all-in now.

That’s all a long way of saying that despite him not having lived up to expectations I think the answer is Sav’ell Smalls. The depth behind Bralen Trice and ZTF dries up in a hurry without Smalls providing a baseline of solid performance even if he isn’t a premium pass rusher. Washington is hoping their play in the secondary improves but they were terrible last year with a dominant pass rush harrassing QBs. If the pass rush takes a step back, will it negate potentially better health at CB? If there was an injury to one of the starters you’re relying on one of Maurice Heims, Zach Durfee, or a full-time move to edge for Voi Tunuufi which might work out but has a low floor as well. The cheeky answer might be Joe Moore even though he never signed with UW. Given that Smalls ended up leaving anyways it would’ve been really nice to have a player like that on the edge spot.

I’m not going with Taj Davis mostly because I don’t think he’s that much better than Bernard/Boston right now. If UW really had to tighten their WR rotation to 4 guys instead of playing a 5th or a 6th though because Bernard/Boston aren’t ready then they could do it without too much of an issue. I think you could also make realistic arguments for Vic Curne for O-line depth purposes or Sam Huard (for several reasons) as well.

Kirk DeGrasse: Agreed Max. While Smalls hasn’t yet had production on the field that matched the expectations of a 5-star recruit, he was in the 2-deeps last year and flashed at times and would have likely been the #3 Edge this season with significant snaps. There’s reason to think that Durfee & Heims could provide some quality depth this season behind Trice & ZTF, but both are relatively raw and untested at this level, and longer-term injuries to either starter could reveal potentially a major step-down in quality. That’s not to say Smalls was ready to break out with a big season this year - I suspect part of the reason he decided to leave is that he wasn’t necessarily pulling well ahead of guys like Durfee, Heims and others this spring - but his experience could end up being missed.

In comparison (as you note) it sure doesn’t seem like there’s much (if any) of a step-down from Davis to guys like Boston & Bernard. With Odunze, McMillan and Polk well established as the top-3 and with Jackson getting a lot of praise, snaps were going to be hard to come by for a 5th WR and it was clear from comments by the coaches that they really liked Boston, and we all know the pedigree that Bernard has. That Davis wasn’t necessarily a clear cut above those guys isn’t a knock on him, it’s a statement of how loaded the WR room is right now.

Valero Alamo Bowl - Washington v Texas Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

I think there’s another factor to consider here, and it’s the perception component around Smalls being a rare local 5-star that stayed home. Not only did he (and Sam Huard) represent a diminishing tally of local blue-chip recruits staying local, there was the added layer of the drama over his recruitment and the whispers of some rather nasty, negative recruiting done by Oregon that was critical Washington’s “Our Kind of Guy/Built For Life” approach under Chris Petersen and what that meant for recruits of certain demographics. That Smalls initially dropped the UW from consideration before then coming back around to choose the Huskies was an important PR win for the program in multiple ways. It was also a recruiting win that carried some risk: Smalls arguably was over-rated as a 5-star, and by most accounts he was more potential than current skill which meant there was not insignificant risk me might not live up to his recruiting rankings, which would in turn be fuel for rival programs to use against the Huskies in recruiting. The book on Smalls is not yet complete, but his chapter at the UW appears done and is short of what most hoped for. You can bet that program down south will have noticed and will make sure future recruits hear about it, especially if Smalls ends up showing out as a productive player for Colorado.

Coach B: I’ll come in with a dark horse pick. Technically Kuao Peihopa was a transfer in this past cycle, and I think a lot of the points on Smalls also apply to Peihopa.

After Tuli and Tuitele we don’t have much experienced talent on the depth chart. Tunuufi is more of a tweener than true DL at this point. Ale seemed to be finding his footing at DL based on last summer’s practice report, but he isnt experienced depth. It’s safe to say that Bandes hasn’t lived up to his top 100 recruiting ranking. The Parker brothers have talent and may be recruiting gems, but they are young and aren’t obvious instant impact players. Peihopa was slated last fall as one of the next guys off the bench until he ran into off field issues. DL/DT is such a hard spot to shore up with instant impact transfers or HS recruits, and while edge rushers are very important pieces to our defense, you can scheme up pressure from other positions if necessary. You can’t really scheme your way out of needing a couple anchor DTs.

I understand that the circumstances of his transfer isn’t the same as others, but I still think we’re going to miss his talent on the roster.

Andrew Berg: Max alluded to Victor Curne, who is at or close to the top of the list for me. Clearly, the current coaching staff does not rate Curne as highly as the previous coaching staff did, so I don’t hold it against him for leaving to find a regular starting gig somewhere else. At the same time, most of the arguments for why you want as much depth as possible on the 2023 roster apply to him as much as they would for someone like Smalls.

Curne wouldn’t be a one-for-one substitution for everyone along the line, but he does have versatility that would allow others to slide around to optimize various lineup configurations if the wrong guy got injured. For example, I don’t think Curne would step in for Troy Fautanu at LT, but perhaps he could play RT and let Roger Rosengarten flip to the left. I like that version of the OL better than one that forces Robert Wyrsch or Samuel Peacock into to the starting lineup. He would also provide more experienced depth at either guard spot than the combination of Gaard Memmelaar or Geirean Hatchett. Maybe some of those other second-string players will end up better than Curne, but for a team aiming for a conference title, it would be a nice luxury to have someone with experience as a competent starter in the chamber.

Cal v Washington Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Max: …and I am absolutely stunned that Coach B picked the player from Hawai’i. Flabbergasted.

Andrew: Our collective gast has been flabbered.

Gabey Lucas: The Everett Flabbergasters were 100% a Pacific Coast League baseball team from 1923 and you cannot convince me otherwise.

Their rival was the Victoria Crown Colonists (a company team of the Hudson’s Bay Company), a rivalry which culminated in a PCL 1st round bout where in the 6th inning, Victoria third basemen Orville Wyckoff was stabbed by Everett right fielder Rutherford “Stabby” Myrvang after Wyckoff kept yelling about Myrvang’s sister every time he loaded his stance to swing.

Coach B: *Note for the reader(s): And this is where the round table flew off the rails.

Gabey: After the benches cleared and three guys had to go to the hospital where their concussions were treated with blood-letting, Everett and Victoria were temporarily expelled from the league and the fledgling wild card Methow Valley Rail Men were chosen to take their place in advancing. The result of this was Methow Valley getting swept a combined score of 63 - 6 by the powerhouse New Westminster Caps, who would go on to win the next eight titles in a row and would later be discovered to have invented steroids.

Andrew: Dave Sims voice: “Ooh boy, Stabby Myrvang sure could drag a bunt down the third base line, couldn’t he?”

Gabey: During this time, New Westminster was better funded than the rest of the league combined, attracting top west coast talent with superior salaries and developing state of the art training techniques such as “not smoking a full pack of Lucky Strikes before each game” and “eating a vegetable.” This was largely due to their benefactor running a hugely profitable operation of rum running from Canada into the US, which was compounded by the fact that much of their supply went to other PCL teams, often right before game time.

Stabby Myrvang transferring to New Westminster for their sweet, sweet prohibition network NIL money. Gonna miss his productivity :(

Anyways.... what were we talking about?

Kirk: I’m changing my answer: we’re going to miss Stabby Myrvang the most.


Would you be interested in more installments of Gabey’s PCL History?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Hell yeah, what did Stabby get up to next?
    (63 votes)
  • 3%
    Go Colonists Go!
    (5 votes)
  • 50%
    Please never make me read this again
    (69 votes)
137 votes total Vote Now