Friday, December 07, 2007

Early Look at the Class of 2008

Washington looks like it may have it's entire recruiting class wrapped up before Christmas this year which is quite an accomplishment for a 4-9 team which should have been headed to a bowl game. Blessed with a strong in state class the Huskies are turning in the best class since the early days of Rick Neuheisel, in fact you may have to go back a bit further to find a better class.

While the Huskies are doing well in state, as I said earlier they are not getting the job done in California this year. Washington went plan B early. Sometimes that works when you pick up a Donald Butler, or a Mason Foster, but this staff has really shied away from taking on the big guys. Usually you wait to offer some of the kids that have verballed from down there, but this year UW went for them early.

This presents a potential problem because right now UCLA is imploding because of a coaching change. A number of those kids who verballed to UCLA early our having second thoughts and there probably won't be room for them at Washington. It will be interesting to see how that works out over the next few weeks, but my gut instinct says that UW may have jumped the gun to early on some of the prospects they signed from the Southland.

Let's take a close look at what we have so far with the class nearly completed.

QB Dominique Blackman
QB Luther Leonard

Blackman was on top of most of the recruiting lists at the start of the season but he fell like a rock after getting in trouble and getting suspended for the first couple of games of the season. Leonard is a raw talent who needs lots of work. I was a bit surprised when we offered him before December. All in all it was a good class when you consider the Huskies have the starting QB position filled for the next four years with Locker and Fouch.

RB Terrance Dailey
RB David Freeman
RB Demetrius Bronson

UW picked up quite a few RB's that can play a multitude of positions. Speed is the quickest way to turn around your football program, and all four of these kids can play on both sides of the ball even though they will all get a look at RB first. Of the four I think Dailey is the guy who has the most potential to help out next season. Dailey signed early, but he picked up a lot of interest as the season went on. The Vacaville product may be the best RB in N. California. Bronson and Fogerson most likely are ticketed for defense, but like Yakaboski last year you just never know till they hit Fall camp. I know a lot of knowledgeable people who were very impressed with Fogerson even though I personally think he lacks speed. I see Fogerson as a Safety. Freeman was coached by ex Husky Charles Mincy who thinks the kid is the real deal. while this part of the class lacks the superstar quality it did last year we now have a very solid stable of talent to work with.

WR Jermaine Kearse
WR Cody Bruns
WR Jordan Polk
WR (Carl Moore JC)
WR (AJ Pickens)

UW was able to get commitments from the three top receivers in the Northwest this year. These are kids who couldn't resist the opportunity to play with Jake Locker over the next three years. UW is going to take at least one more, wither Carl Moore, or AJ Pickens. Actually the could take both since Moore would count against last years class. Picking up Moore would be incredible because you are talking about a kid with the size and maturity to get it going immediately. Pickens is a good friend of Blackman and I think UW will have a very good shot at getting a commitment from him this weekend. If UW brings in all five of these guys you have to give them an A plus. If Moore doesn't come, and most think he is headed to Florida the class still gets a solid A. Moore would be the icing.

TE Kavario Middleton
TE (Demetrius Guice)

UW needs to bring in two TE's this year. Middleton who is one of the top players in the country was a great way to start the class at TE. He can also play a very mean DE, but I think they keep him on the offensive side of the ball. We haven't heard a lot about Portland's Guice lately which makes me think he could be headed elsewhere. Corey MacKay from Eastlake was recruited as an OLB, but he played TE in HS. Everett Thompson is a kid who would make an excellent TE, but I think they put him at DE. He hasn't committed yet, but I bet he does this weekend.

OL Terrence Thomas
OL Drew Shaeffer
OL (Allan Carroll)
OL (Jonathan Solomon)
OL (David Decastro)

Thomas and Schaeffer are going to be fantastic players. Both of these kids are big and very athletic. One thing that worries me is they are the only two true OL verbals we have so far. Decastro would be a very big get if UW can change his mind about Stanford this weekend. Getting a visit out of him with all the local kids showing up this weekend is a big deal. Carroll is a good friend of Willie Griffin and I think he ends up a Dawg. Solomon is more of a late bloomer who picked up a lot of interest as the season went on. I'm not sure UW takes him if Decastro decides to stay home. Keep an eye on this position. With a 25 man class you really need five guys for your OL.

DL Alameda Ta'Amu
DL Craig Noble
DE (Everette Thompson)
DE Senio Kelemente

Most HS observers felt that at the end of the year Kelemente was the best prospect in the state. That's right, people felt he was better than Middleton because of the fire he showed on every down. this kid has a big frame so he could end up moving inside, or make a switch over to OL. The need however is on the DL, and he will likely start off as a DE. Thompson hasn't committed yet, but I think the chances are around 90% that he will this weekend. This kid is one of the best in the West and UW will be able to build a pass rush around this kid. Noble is the rock you build with inside. He is arguably the best interior DL on the coast. Ta'Amu is a kid I am more reserved about. He has a lot of size and needs a lot of work. UW is going to start him off on defense out of need, and also to help with his speed and conditioning. You have to give this part of the class another A.

LB Corey MacKay

MacKay came on strong this year to get an offer from UW. He may be the only LB the Huskies take this year. I thought the Huskies really needed an inside thumper this year and I don't see on yet. Panapa is still a possibility, but I think we may have run out of spots if UW takes two TE's. No knock on MacKay, but we need a thumper with speed for the middle to develop.

DB Justin Glenn
DB John Tate
DB Anthony Gobern
DB Vince Taylor
DB Greg Walker
DB Johri Fogerson

Washington filled it's need for young bodies with this class but the California guys may lack some of the star quality the competition has been focusing on. Glenn, and Taylor are the cream of the in state class and both should have fine careers. Glenn could actually see action next year if needed. Fogerson is a guy we talked about earlier who projects more as a Safety rather than a TB. Walker is a sleeper from San Diego who was a LB in HS. Gobern and Tate were HS running backs that Coach Williams projected as being good CB prospects. The class at this point lacks a true kid that can come in and help turn things around aright away though that could change with the fallout going on over at UCLA. My main concern is if UW will have enough room if a couple of those UCLA kids decide to head North now that Dorrell has been fired.


abg said...

Good, meaty post.
Will all the recruits be red-shirted, or will there be pressure to play them? What would the ramifications of that be?

John Berkowitz said...

Just like this year they are going to play the guys that are ready to play. In a class of 25 you would think that 7-10 would play early. Here is my early list on guys that could play early.

DT Ta'amu
DT Noble
DE Kelemente
DE Thompson
CB Glenn
RB Dailey
WR Kearse
WR Bruns
WR Boyles
WR Aguilar
TE Middleton

hairofthedawg said...

Exactly...if they're the best candidate for the job, they'll play. I think the pressure to play the best will be even more present than this year, but based on what just happened it's hard to exceed that sort of pressure. It's not going to be a walk in the park schedule wise next year either. Given the accolades Fouch has received during his redshirt year and his apparent ability, from these accolades, to step in for Jake next year, do you...sorry, long sentence...does Fouch fit Jake's style of play? Will Blackman or Leonard? I understand adapting the offense for Jake's talents, but will we be left in sort of a "Hawes" BB situation? Having to fill a big hole. I think Heaps will be the QB following Fouch and Blackman switches.

Does Mincy see Freeman as the real deal as a safety or RB, or both? I agree with everyone about speed, speed, speed, but they need to be coachable at whatever position they finally play.

That was a pleasant break from moving...back to work.

Sedihawk said...

FIRE Willingham! He's recruiting too good now. Jerks.


hairofthedawg said...

says something about the testicular fortitude of each program eh, sedi? Not sure I'm impressed...

John Berkowitz said...

Sedi....Today should be the day you name a new coach. I am thinking Wulff, or Smith.

rob said...

i haven't seen fogerson play, but i'm surprised to hear you say that he's slow. has his 40 timed at 4.5... faster than a lot of our receivers.

John Berkowitz said...

You have to watch Fogerson play and come to your own opinion. I watched the state championship game and he is a great athlete, but I'm not sure he has that extra gear.