Thursday, December 07, 2006

Putting together a Top 15 class of 30 PSA's

What a difference five victories, some impressive close losses, and winning your final game against your rival can do for a program. It allows coaches to go out on the road, and tell a much better story of what to expect in the future. The coaches can talk about future bowls, show drawings of new facilities, and most importantly talk about early playing time. The best want to get on the field right away, and Washington has that type of opportunity in the skill positions.

A lot of people complained when Willingham blew off a 13th game with Hawaii, but that game would have been last Sunday, and it would have complicated recruiting. Staying home another year rather than going to a minor bowl has it's benefits when you have as many as 30 openings to fill on your roster.

This weekend marks the biggest recruiting week of the season for the Huskies. A few more visitors will trickle in next weekend, and they will have the traditional big one's in from California after the first of the year, but this is the weekend that will define this years class at the University of Washington.

Last weekend the Huskies went 6-6, and they apparently went 6-6 because they brought in two signee's, and four guys who had high interest who were ready to make a decision immediately, or at least after they went home to talk to their parents. The first week is always a high success week. It gets the momentum building.

Typically the meat of the class is signed this weekend, the week after bring in any remaining JC's that can qualify to enter Winter Quarter. Winter JC's have to commit early so they can get into school after New Years.

Hilton Dawson is the only JC visitor so far scheduled the week before Christmas, but you could also see Tim Mixon, and Byron Davenport here also. The Huskies have a good shot at Mixon, but it is going to be gamble similar to Ashlee Palmer last year. He has an offer, and I am sure they are pouring over his transcripts. Putting Mixon in your defensive backfield is like adding Corey Dillon to your offense. The Huskies need to weigh that risk. Dawson, and Davenport are qualified and ready to go.

The week after New Years is when the biggest guns still out there arrive. This year UW will bring in at least four 4-star recruits from California that weekend. There could even be some 5-Star guys coming too. These are your Steve Schilling's, and Taylor May's type recruits.....The difference makers on paper, the icing on the cake. You hope Washington is the last visit they are going to make before making a decision.

UW is working very hard this year, and there will be some more big names popping up for that weekend that will surprise some people. One thing for sure, Washington will not have to scramble in January to fill holes like they did the last two recruiting years.

The Huskies have as many as 30 spots open this year for recruits which means they can build for the future, and still fill immediate holes for next season. UW can sign as many as five extra players if they can get in by Spring and be backdated to the 2006 class. There still may be some attrition on the current squad so those numbers could actually go up. One thing losing to Stanford did to this staff was create a real sense of immediate urgency. Suddenly the honeymoon was over, and the clock began ticking on Ty's tenure at Washington. Ty realizes he has to win next year, or he won't be around after year four.

We can only sign 25 frosh in any year, but you can already count LB Austin Sylvester, QB Ron Fouch toward the 2006 class since they both can get in early. Same with WR/DB Drew Davis if we can get him out of the clutches of UCLA, and Georgia Tech. Look for us to try to sign a couple JC DB's. UW may also oversign at OL because of potential qualification problems.

Ashlee Palmer is a real concern since he may not be able to get in and Washington may have to another route. No real word on him except he left Seattle to finish his last class in California. Who, and how many the Huskies sign at Safety will give us a real clue on Palmer's academic progress.

The Huskies will have 15 or more PSA's visiting this coming weekend making it the biggest recruiting weekend of the year. So far 13 are known to be coming.

This Husky coaching staff has shown that they are adept at indentifying talent, but this is the year they also need to excel at bringing in some blue chippers the USC's, Cal's, UCLA's, Notre Dame's or Oregon's are going after. Do that, and Willingham will have his first top twenty class at Washington.

The following is a list of players currently verbaled, visiting, or on the current Husky radar. Don't be surprised to see some big time late additions. We will update this list after this weekend, and again after New Years as we zero in on who the Huskies are going to end up with.

Offense (15)

QB Ron Fouch (Verbal-Red) California (Visits this weekend) (Counts toward 2006)
TB Willie Griffin (Verbal-Blue) California
TB Brandon Yakaboski (Verbal-White) Washington (Could play DB, or LB)
TB Curtis Shaw (Very High Interest-Blue) California (Visits this weekend)
TB Brandon Johnson California (Verbal-Blue) Washington
TB*Chike Amajoyi -Blue California, James Davis - Blue California, or Corey White - Red (High Interest) Nevada
WR Devin Aguilar (Verbal-Blue) Colorado (Visits this weekend)
WR Alvin Logan (Verbal-Red) Colorado (Could play DB)
WR Drew Davis (Good Interest -Blue) Colorado (Could play DB) (Counts toward 2006)
WR Anthony Boyles (**Projected Verbal-Blue) California (Visits this weekend)
TE Chris Izbicki (Verbal-Blue) Washington (Visits this weekend)
OL Imeka Iweka (Verbal-Red****) Washington (Potential Grade Problems?)
OL Scott Schugert (Verbal-Red) Oregon (Visits this weekend)
OL Pou Paleilei (High Interest-Blue****) Nevada (Potential Grade Problems?)
OL Fred Koloto (High Interest -Red)) California (Visits this weekend)
OL Skyler Fancher (**Projected Verbal-Red) California (Visits this weekend)
OL Taylor Dever California (UW or Notre Dame?-Blue)

Defense (13)

DT Nick Wood (Good Interest-Red) California
DT ***Tyrone Duncan (No offer yet-White) California
DE ***Billy Winn-Red Nevada, Lucas Barbosa - White California (Visits this weekend)
DE Kelani Aldrich (Verbal-Red) Hawaii
MLB Austin Sylvester (Verbal-White) New Jersey (Counts toward 2006)
WLB Mason Foster (Verbal-White) California (Visits this weekend)
SLB DJ Holt California - Blue, Howard Bowens - Red California (Visits this weekend)
CB Jared Campbell (Verbal-Red) Colorado
CB Vonzell Mc Dowell (Verbal-Blue) Washington
CB Byron Davenport Calfornia JC, (Counts toward 2006)
CB David Ross California - Blue, Eddie Wide - Red Nevada (Visits this Weekend)
S Hilton Dawson California JC (Red) (Count toward 2006) Omar Bolden California (High Interest - Red) Dion Bland (Med Interest - Red) California
S Quinton Richardson (Verbal - Red) Washington (Could play S, or LB)
S Nate Williams (Verbal - Red) Washington (Could play S, LB, or RB)

Specialties (2)

K Kevin Folk (Verbal - Red) California
P Jared Ballman (High Interest - Red) California JC
(Counts toward 2006) (Visits this Weekend)


* Chike Amajoyi is a kid that could end up at LB, or S. He has good size, speed and has a brother who plays at Cal. He has Stanford in the lead but the coaching change may affect that. Once again another example of recruiting RB's and moving them around the team to increase speed.
** We have two projected verbals listed. They are listed as projected since one site reports them as verbals, and Dawgman has them on the verge of verbaling. These guys are all pretty close to being Huskies and should be wrapped up by the weekend.

*** Tyrone Duncan is a name that has been bandied about, no word on when he will visit, and he doesn't have an offer yet. There are a couple of surprises they are recruiting away from other schools at this point but they haven't been made public yet. The Northwest, and West Coast isn't deep on the defensive line so it will be interesting to see how things develop. We originally had the Huskies picking up 4 DL, but I am thinking now they go with 3 so they can add depth elsewhere. The Northwest will have a very good class of linemen on either side of the ball for 2008.
**** Two kids that could be cornerstones on the offensive line are having grade/test problems currently. Washington could oversign to compensate here. Nothing concrete yet on Palelei, and Iweka. Iweka was an early signee, and Palelei is a former Washington resident who has been very high on the Huskies along with his teammate RB Corey White. UW cannot afford to make any mistakes with offensive linemen. Expect them to be fairly conservative and creative with these two guys. Once again some big name surprises are expected to emerge into consideration. Taylor Dever is still out there but Notre Dame has emerged as the leader for his services. He had a good visit at his HS with Weis, and a good on campus visit could sew it up for him.

Blue Chips, Red Chips, and White Chips

What would a recruiting preview be without ratings? We are including some just for fun. Since I have seen very few of these guys on film, and if I did just a few clips, it is tough to be objective, so we will just guess for fun based on the info that is out there.

If you have read my posts I don't think star ratings are all that important for Northwest schools. WSU won over ten games three years in a row with typically the 9th, or 10th best class in the years previous to that in the Pac Ten. Oregon while off to a good start this year always has classes that run in the lower echelon of the Pac Ten. Boise St is in a BCS bowl with a team recruited of guys Washington wouldn't sniff at. What does that mean? It means that there is more talent out there than you think, and that it is almost impossible to project what a HS athlete is going to mature into over the next five years in college.

By definition in this blog a Blue Chip would be a kid who is usually a four or five star recruit. We could slip in a three if we fail a player is underated. These players are your supposedly "Can't Miss" type of difference makers according to those in the know. These kids have the talent to play right away on paper if needed. For Washington this year they need the immediate help these guys can bring. In this class of 30 you need 10 guys that can come in and plug some holes. Your JC guys of course are expected to do just that, but with our blue's for the most part we are picking guys that can play right away.

A Red Chip is usually the three star players who make up the bulk of most rosters outside USC, Texas, Florida...etc. Have you seen the class that USC is putting together? Mostly five star guys. Not a lot of three stars get a chance with these schools. Washington lives on three stars, we get our four's and occasional five's, but the bulk of our roster is made up of three's.

A White Chip is usually a sleeper who hasn't been evaluated, or a kid who is being recruited mainly by the WAC, or Mountain West. Parity, and the 85 scholarship limit however have made this more of a thin line. UW always has a few of these guys each year. They are usually listed as 1-2 star guys by the recruiting services. Most schools will take a shot on a local kid they know well, and has been to their camp etc... . Evaluation, and familiarity is key.

Willingham has found a few white chip nuggets here the last two years. Homer, and Butler the only two frosh to play last year were in this category. It's nice for those type of kids to do well, but since they were the only frosh to earn playing time the Huskies didn't get over the .500 hump last year. Last years class lacked the Schilling, Montgomery, Mays, or Felder who could step right in and give you a lift. Locker of course was in this category, but UW wisely chose to preserve his eligibility. If you look at the the last two Willingham classes, the immediate contributors have been few, that needs to change in 2007.


hairofthedawg said...

Can't add much to that. Excellent post! I'm looking forward to this weekend.

Health Insurance Expert said...

It's kind of a all in one place guide of what to expect going into the weekend.

In the past four years we have entered this weekend with euphoria only to exiting it scrambling once it was done. Hopefully we sew up most of the spots this weekend and the coaching staff does a better job closing than in previous years.

prrbrr said...

Looking at who we have already, who we might get, its looking more and more like Eric Block will not get an offer. Too bad, he seems like a leader and winner, but we need the quick influx of talent to compete next year. Hopefully, 10 of these 30 will be able to contribute at least on STs next year. Great summary post, johnb, will be looking forward to next week to see the results. We need 6 more OL/DLs.

Health Insurance Expert said...

Every year we go into this weekend with pretty high hopes because the previous weekend we scored big. This weekend, and the one after the first of the year are different, the pickings won't be nearly as easy if history serves as a guide.

As far as Block goes, he may get an offer, if they don't find anyone to fill the slot during the next two weeks, but have to say that Yakabowski, and Williams may have grabbed his spot.

Right now, by looking at the board, there are quite a fe prospects ahead of him.