Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Let's Talk Some Recruiting

The second season has begun, and Ty Willingham has reached his moment of truth with a full class of 25 or more scheduled to come in. Let's take it position, by position and analyze the needs and figure out who we are in on at this point. This first article will focus on the offensive backfield.

Quarterback (1)

RS Jake Locker, and SR Carl Bonnell return next season to fight for the job in the Spring. It is really no contest because Carl can't stay healthy longer than two quarters, and Jake is the probably the second coming if he can get a little protection. With Durocher done the Huskies don't have much depth here.

Ronnie Fouch is already signed and will probably be the only QB signed this offseason. Does this spell trouble to you? It does to me since UW was almost down to Felix Sweetman against WSU. Problem is who wants to sit behind Locker for four years? UW needs to pick up a walk on, and a transfer to hedge against injuries.

What is Ty going to do?

I don't think he ends up with a JC transfer or another frosh QB with a rich in-state class coming up in 2008. I do think he will try to pick up a transfer from another program if available, and a walk-on frosh to groom for the scout team. Picking up walk-ons, and transfers isn't as easy to do as it once was because a kid like that can drop down a couple of levels and play quite a bit for a school like Western, or Central and get a significant amount of aid. The bottomline is Washington cannot enter 2007 with only three QB's on the roster so they need to get creative.

Tailback (5)

Rankin, Hasty, and Houston return. On paper that looks pretty good but only "dancin" Rankin can be counted on to take the first snap of the Fall. Houston has legal problems but is still on the team, and Hasty who blew a full year of eligibility can't be counted on to be around next Fall. If he screwed up once the odd's just aren't in his favor for him to be a guy they can count on.

Ty initially has nailed a couple in state tweeners in Mt Si's Brandon Yakaboski, and Kennedy's Nate Williams. Both are good athletes whose future may be on defense if Washington can nail some speedy California talent. Williams had an excellent year at Kennedy carrying the rock, but insiders feel he will grow into a LB, or Safety since he lack's breakaway speed. Yakaboski is a football player who is a little slower at this point than Williams coming in with a 4.6 40. He reminds me of Shane Pahukoa who was a dominant safety during his career at Washington.

Look for UW to bring in three more running back types. The quickest way to improve a team is to bring in speedy RB types you can fit in all over the field. They tried to do that last year and finished second on around six guys to round out a less than stellar 2006 recruiting class.

Curtis Shaw from Stockton is the type of big play speed back the Huskies crave. Brandon Johnson from compton is the other speed guy they are in on. The staff is all over these two guys and realistically needs to land one of them to have a solid class. Willie Griffin from Skyline in Oakland, and Corey White from Las Vegas are a notch below speed wise. Both are very high on the Huskies at this point. the Dawg's are also looking at a couple of JC's who will be able to enroll this Winter. Richard Murrell from Riverside is a huge 240 lb back that could give the Huskies some muscle in short yardage situations.

UW really needs to hit some HR's here because the position is so full of question marks. This team needs speed, and the quickest way to boost team speed is to bring in fast guys that have the potential to play on both sides of the ball. UW will take five or more TB types and move them around if they don't stick at RB.

Fullback (0)

Mark Palaita graduates after starting the past two season as a walkon. The heir apparent is Paul Homer who will be a sophmore next year after having a good true frosh year on special teams. He will be backed up by Kravitz who has failed to emerge fromt he depth due to injury. Both are talented FB's who are ready to play. I doubt Washington takes another one this year since the need for FB has really diminished with the reliance on West Coast type offenses. Johnnie Kirton can always be moved over for a few plays if depth is a problem, same with a LB type.


hairofthedawg said...

I think the second season has begun pretty well. I like the guys we've gotten. Weren't we in a similar QB situation with Fortney, Brock and Tui? My memory could be off but wasn't it Fortney leaving that forced us to use Tui when Brock got hurt? We survived, but it wasn't fun.

I don't know if this is a serious thing to consider, but it is a possibility. In the past I mentioned Block from Bellevue, but that was, in my mind, as a DB. Do you think he has enough skill as a QB to be a serviceable emergency type player there? Then, when we have the depth, send him to the secondary. I think it should be considered because I think he's just waiting for an offer. Be up front about what's going on if they try this. Opinion only...I "know" nothing.

I'd love it if Yakaboski learned to play like Pahukoa, but sadly you're right about the returning RB's. Rankin yes, but nothing we can count on from the backups. I hope they'll contribute though. It sounds like we've got chances with the type of players we need so close the deal! It sounds like a lot of visits in Dec. will tell the fate of this class and I think things are looking up.

I know we can't realistically expect another Pat Conniff, but do either Kravitz or Homer have the potential to do so? I so want to see some demoralizing quick hitters on first down. I lean toward Homer because I heard nothing but good things about his special teams play and attitude and like you say, Kravitz hasn't had a chance to make a statement. Which has better hands?

Are your numbers in addition to those already committed or total numbers? I think the latter, but just making sure. I also think at least a couple of LB candidates will have some offensive experience...just in case.

Health Insurance Expert said...

We were in a similar situation, but Fortney, and Huard had a lot more experience.

I think Block has safety written all over him. As far as QB goes the offense Bellevue runs is pure HS and would have little translation to the West Coast offense run in the Pac Ten. As far as an offer goes I think he is way down the list right now.

I think Homer has the ability to be th enext Conniff, and I was surprised he wasn't untilized much on offense this year. Both have good hands.

The numbers include those that are committed. The Huskies seem to have around 30 spots open for next year and will try to fill around 24-27 of them and add the balance to the 2008 class which will be about the same size.