Friday, November 09, 2007

Winning with Experience

One of the things I have been posting over at Dawgman for the last week or two is the theorem that you win with your fifth year seniors, seniors, and juniors. I'm not trying to make excuses for Ty, but it is simply a fact of life in college football.

Oregon State has twenty three seniors including Yvenson Bernard who will be playing their final game in Reser Stadium this weekend. While Washington went through three coaches the Beavers had relative continuity in comparison during the same time period.

The Beavers have a lot more experience and depth in the upper classes than the Huskies do. They have had some injuries and disruptions this year that have hurt them, but they can beat anyone. Give them Jake Locker at QB and this middle of the road Pac Ten team would have been a championship contender. The season can be marked by the redshirting of Sammie Stroughter do to mostly personal reasons, and the lack of an experienced starting QB. Mix in some injuries, and you have a good team that was only a couple of players away from being a top twenty team.

Let's take a look at the Washington senior class.

Rating System

A Plus - Consensus All American (0)

You don't see any do you? No Mark Breuner's, Corey Dillon's, Lawyer Milloys, Steve Emtman, and Reggie Williams. As you can see with Jake Locker having one or two of those guys in each class puts you in championship contention.

A - First Team All Pac Ten (0)

None of these either. No Larry Triplet's, Dave Hoffmann's, Tim Meamber's, or Joe Steele's.

A Minus - NFL Draft Picks (0)

Nope, not here either. I don't see any Cody Pickett's, Rashan Shehee's, or Chuck Nelson's.

B Plus - Conference honors (2) Lewis and Rankin are a couple of guys that will get good looks as NFL free agents. Put them in the same class as a CJ Wallace. You could even slip in Reese here, but I didn't see enough from him this year to think he has what is needed to stick in the NFL

B - Starters (7) Howell, Reese, Russo, Macklin, Gunheim, Afoa, Reffett, are all kids who have played a lot and have had varying degrees of success

C Plus (2) Rayford and Bonnell haven't been full time starters, but they have been key contributors when needed.

C Role Player (6) All these kids have contributed, some have even filled in starting a few games. Quinton Daniels was a pretty good player slowed by injury.

QB Bonnell (C+) Carl was a nice pick up and has been a good reserve.
TB Rankin (B plus) Will likely run 1000 yards in his senior year.
WR Reese (B) (Willingham) Has underperformed.
WR Ellis (C) Has provided epth and a few moments
WR Daniels (C)....Injuried have held him back.
WR Russo (B) Has been the most consistent WR.
TE Lewis (C) Has played here and there, was always a tweener.
T Macklin (B) The guy has been a rock, not a big rock, but a rock
T Berglund (C) Came back after quitting for two productive years in the depth

DT Afoa (B) Never got better after his sophomore year
DT Reffett (B) He really came on the 4th, and 5th years
DT Lobos (C) Has been inconsistent
DE Gunhein (Gilbertson) (B) Too stiff, never lived up to potential
DE Rayford (Gilbertson) (C+) Should never have played early
LB Howell (Gilbertson) (B) Has not had a good senior year
LB Trew (C-) Another tweener
CB Lewis (B Plus) Has developed into one of the better CB's on the coast

Oregon State

Take a good look at the quality and experience on the Oregon State defense.

DE Dorian Smith 6-3, 260, Sr., 1V
DE Naymon Frank 6-5, 288, Sr., 3V
DT Jeff Van Orsow 6-4, 262, Sr., 3V
DT Gerard Lee 6-1, 285, Sr., JC
DT W. Akauola Vea 6-2, 285, Sr., 2V
DT Curtis Coker 6-1, 302, Sr., 3V
LB Derrick Doggett 6-3, 210, Sr., 3V
LB Joey LaRocque 6-2, 235, Sr., JC
LB Alan Darlin 6-1, 238, Sr., 3V
CB Keenan Lewis 6-1, 199, Jr., 2V
CB Brandon Hughes 5-11, 177, Jr., 2V
CB Gerard Lawson 5-11, 196, Sr., 3V
S Daniel Drayton 5-10, 210, Sr., 2V
S Al Afalava 5-11, 209, Jr., 3V

Inexperience at QB, and the lack of All American Sammie Stroughter at WR this year has hurt the Beaver offense. Still when you look at this team you see a lot more talent in the upper classes on both sides of the ball than Washington in most positions.

RB Yvenson Bernard 5-9, 202, Sr., 4V
FB Andy Stewart 5-11, 235, Sr., 1V
WR Anthony Brown 6-1, 209, Sr., 3V
WR Brandon Powers 6-2, 218, Sr., 3V
OT Tavita Thompson 6-6, 293, Jr., 2V
OT Andy Levitre 6-3, 311, Jr., 2V
OG Adam Speer 6-3, 284, Jr., 2V
OG Roy Schuening 6-4, 320, Sr., 3V
C Kyle DeVan 6-2, 306, Sr., 3V

A Final Note

Things don't get easier for Washington experience wise. This program is going to grow up completely around current RS frosh QB Jake Locker. Next year Washington's team will most likely consist of over 60 players in the sophomore, redshirt, and true frosh classes. UW will only have 16 seniors with only five projecting right now as starters. They only will have ten juniors, but the good news is that most will start or contribute quite a bit. I think by Jakes junior year this program should be back in championship contention no matter who the head coach is.

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