Thursday, January 11, 2007

Picking up the Final Pieces in Recruiting

Washington has given out 23 scholarships and has five to six left to go as we near the end of recruiting season. This is the time that drives most recruiting followers crazy because there are still some big time decision makers left on the board that can up the ante in the class. UW can only take five more September enrollees. If we go over 28 in this class it will be because we close a Spring eligible JC or prep school guy who would count towards 2006. Tongues is a possibility, as is Dawson.

Historically Washington doesn't close, or finish very well in January. The bulk, and quality of the class is usually determined a week before Christmas. Usually the guys we end up with in January are the types of guys who fill out the class like OL Mark Armelin who committed last night. He was way off the radar like Mike Sedillo was last year. Armelin, and Sedillo were obvious plan B guys. When Pou Palelei possibly dropped Washington on Friday UW moved into sign Armelin.

DT....Matt Masifilo, Tyrone Duncan (Duncan hasn't been offered yet, but he is the back up to Masifilo. Tyrone is probably the best bet if Matt chooses Stanford, or Cal and they take another DL. Duncan could also play offense if needed and his chances of being offered go up if UW doesn't get another OL . Masifilo hasn't announced a favorite, but is waiting to meet the new Stanford coaches. Ty of course will be in Hawaii to visit him next week.)

OL....Pou Palelei, Darrion Weems, Mike Tomczyk (UW would love to take one of these guys, but if all three decide to go elsewhere they will just wait for next year. Weems is most likely to head to Florida, while Tomczyk leans more toward Louisville. The Huskies haven't given up on Palelei either who was recently attracted to Texas A&M, and Arizona St. Washington is working these guys hard.)

DE....Scott Smith, Useka Uweka, Dan Knapp (Smith who surprised us last week is reportedly on the verge of committing.)

LB....Chike Amajoyi (He is choosing between UW and Stanford. The Huskies really don't need another LB but he is an athlete worth having, and he really likes UW. He would be hard to pass up on.)

CB....Eddie Wide, Omar Bolden (Wide seems to be the Huskies first choice, and they could take Bolden if they think he can play Safety.)

S.....Hilton Dawson, Shane Horton (Neither have written offers yet but UW needs a Safety or two. Dawson is a JC so they are being careful to make sure he can get in by Spring.)

WR....Reggie Dunn, (The Huskies surprised folks with the late pickup of Aaron Goodwin. "The Flea" turned out to be a good January pick up. Logan could always move to Safety so why not take another receiver? Reggie Dunn is a big talent with grade problems, he is scheduled to visit this weekend. We will see if it happens. I wouldn't be surprised for something to pop in late depending on how the chips fall. Remember Anthony Boyles isn't a sure thing.)

Now back to our most recent verbal Mark Armelin. Not much is known about the kid from Mission Hills other than he has the right size, quick feet, and needs to spend a lot of time in the weight room by his own admission. Mike didn't have an offer from any other Pac Ten team, but Pat Hill from Fresno thought enough about him to offer at Fresno State. It will be interesting what the DM staff thinks of his film. I know one thing, and that is Ty, and Tormey are good at finding diamonds in the rough. A team filled up with those rough diamonds finished #5 in the country this year and beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

How is Washington currently doing? We were making a drive for second in the Pac Ten but right now we are around #25 in the country and falling toward the middle of the Pac Ten, but not out of the top 30 nationally.

In the best case scenario UW would finish like this. This would be an exceptionally strong finish that would likely vault UW into the #2-3 spot in recruiting, and perhaps even inside the top 20. A finish like this would fill a lot of future holes with some highly rated talent.

DT Masifilo
DE Smith
LB Amajoyi
CB Wide or Bolden
S Dawson *
OL Tomczyk *
OL Palelei

*Spring Enrollee

I think Washington ends up with something closer to this. Yep, you are looking at it right I don't think we pick up another OL unless they have another plan B guy out there that we don't know about. This isn't a bad way to finish, and will yield a strong class, but you have to like the top option.

DT Duncan
DE Smith
LB Amajoyi
S Dawson*
S Norton
CB Wide or Bolden

* Spring Enrollee

Locker #1 Going into Spring

According to Bob Condotta Jake Locker will be #1 going into Spring because Carl Bonnell has to undergo shoulder surgery that could force him to miss some time to start the session. Good bet that Carl will wear a red jersey throughout most of Spring practice allowing Locker to get most of the work. UW might have a tough time putting any type of a Spring game together with only one active QB on the roster if Carl takes awhile healing.

Keauntea Bankhead

How about a blast from the past. I read an interesting on the former Ballard All Stater that he wanted to enroll at WSU this Fall but still had some work to do academically, and what from I hear physically since he is pretty out of shape at last report. I guess he has put his rap career on hold for now. If he can't get into WSU this Fall he will play at a JC somewhere and open up recruiting again next Winter.

The Lopez Twins

We have to go way back to the days of Bob Bender if you want to research this story. Fortunately Bob Condotta does it in his blog. The Stanford Lopez twins have Washington connections.

In case you've forgotten, Alex Lopez played for the Huskies in the 1994-95 season and into January of the 1995-96 season before transferring due to a lack of playing time. He finished his career at Santa Clara. What I hadn't known was that the entire Lopez family moved to Seattle when Alex first became a Husky, including little brothers Brook and Robin.

Huskies and Cougars both in the top 25 at the same time.

The new rankings are out and the big news locally is that Washington State is in the rankings for the first time since 1983, when it was actually still just the top 20 and George Raveling was the coach and Craig Ehlo a player. Gonzaga has fallen out of the top 25 and hasn't received a single vote. Looks like a lower seed for the Zag's when they hit the tournament. The other Division One team in the state, Eastern Washingon is 8-8 and not likely to make the big dance.

Look for Seattle U to make an announcement this spring that they are headed back to the big time, and will apply for entrance in the WCC. Being a big Chieftain fan since I was a kid, I look forward to their move back to Div One. The scuttling of the SU basketball program was pretty stupid. I went to HS with Clint Richardson, and saw every game he played as a Chieftain. I am sure such former Chief's such as Elgin Baylor, the O'Brien twins, John Tresvant, Eddie Miles, Tom Workman, and Stu Jackson are excited about the return of SU Baketball. Over at gonzaga they have to be uncomfortably nervous even though it will take awhile to build the program. Here is an interesting article on the glory days of Seattle U basketball in the late 60's when they beat UTEP.

A Couple of Site Changes

If you look over in the side column we have added links to Boise St, Ohio St, and Syracuse football blogs. Those are the out of conference opponents for Washington next year. I think I just might take in the Syracuse game next year since it is on this side of the country.

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