Catching Up with the 2012 UW Freshman, Pt. 1

The Husky football season is largely over and temporarily stuck in that weird purgatory bowl game and the end of the season.  The Husky coaches spent most of last week out recruiting, and there are visitors scheduled for the next few weekends. We’ll get into recruiting more in the coming months, but I thought this would be a good time look at last year’s recruiting class to see what they did this past season.

I’ll start with the redshirts, the guys who didn’t play this past season.  Depending on how much I feel like writing, the guys who played might come in a later post.  We’re just going to have to see how this goes!

The Offensive Linemen
Jake Eldrenkamp, Taylor Hindy, Nathan Dean, Cory Fuavai
I’m lumping all of these guys together because they’re offensive linemen and I therefore know hardly anything about them. No offense, guys.  Eldrenkamp is the most highly thought of, and probably would have been the next to play if the Great Injury Plague of 2012 had continued. Dean was considered a tackle prospect during recruitment, and the Huskies need those.  Fuavai used to be Cory English, but changed his name last summer.  Still confuses me sometimes.  I look at the roster and say, Who’s that guy?  So confusing.  Hindy was a surprise commit right at signing day.

This group was conspicuous for the lack of some major local recruits like Josh Garnett and Zach Banner, but it’s a solid class still.  That redshirt year is standard and necessary, and hopefully the only reason any of this four will have to play in 2013 is for exceptional talent.  Another year to get better and stronger is almost always needed for players in this position.

The QB’s
Cyler Miles & Jeff Lindquist
Both Miles and Lindquist were among the best QB recruits in the country as big, mobile guys with good arms and intelligence.  Miles drew  raves all through the season and is reportedly further along than Lindquist.  I’ve even seen some suggest Lindquist might change positions, but that seems premature.  Both have outstanding talent, but it takes players different lengths of time to acclimate to college football.  Both will have a shot to find playing time in 2013, but it would be best for all involved if Keith Price could get back to good football.  Starting a freshman quarterback is rarely a good option, but these two are not the typical freshman quarterback, or so we’ve been told.  They were the highlight of the class on signing day and have done nothing to tarnish their appeal.

Fullback Psalm Wooching has the coolest name on the team and can twirl fire like a crazy guy.  He and the Huskies’ majorette (or Flipper of the Stick, as we call her), should have a twirl off sometime.  I’d watch.  On the field, Wooching leans more toward the ball-carrying aspect of fullbacking than the blocking side.  He’s a good, big athlete, and the hope is that he’ll become the Huskies version of Stanley Havili.

Dwayne Washington came in as a wide receiver, but Sarkisian just announced today that he’s transitioning to running back.  He’s about 6’2” 225 lbs, so they’re hoping for a shot at a big, powerful runner.  There were two D. Washington’s in this class (Darien is coming soon).  One of them had trouble getting cleared to enter school and missed most of fall camp.  I’m pretty sure it was Dwayne, but I could be wrong and I don’t feel like looking it up right now.  Sorry.

I guess we’ll talk about Darien Washington, while we’re here.  Shouldn’t take long.  He’s a cornerback, with decent size.  That’s all I know.  Also at cornerback is Cleveland Wallace, who has even better size at 6’1”.  Wallace got talked up a lot by the coaches and those watching practice, and was considered a pretty good under the radar guy when the Huskies landed him.  He’s a guy I’ll really be watching, when I can see him.

Fellow cornerback recruit Brandon Beaver now might end up at safety, according to Sark today.  He’s another big guy who was well thought of.  It seemed he was the leading candidate if they had needed one of the freshman DB’s to play, but it never came to that.  It doesn’t sound like a done deal that he’ll stick at safety, so we’ll see where he ends up next year.

The only other defensive redshirts are LB Blake Rodgers and DE Damion Turpin. I don’t really know much about either one of them.  Scout.com had them both as three star prospects, so they will hopefully be solid contributors in a couple of years.

Ryan McDaniel is an interesting story.  He enrolled early for spring practice, but he was rehabbing post knee surgery and never really got to practice a ton.  Maybe he is now, but I’m not really sure.  He hangs out with the running backs during practice, but lots of recruiting people liked him better at linebacker in high school, so I’ll be curious where he is next year.  He’d be another big running back if he stays there.

I think that’s it for the redshirts.  Kalei Auelua is a DE/LB who grey-shirted.  That means he delayed his enrollment for a year.  Players sometimes do it if they’re rehabbing an injury or if they get squeezed on numbers or something.  John Timu grey-shirted due to injury, for one example.  I can’t remember Auelua’s story.  He will in theory enroll for the winter quarter, but it’s possible he never becomes a Husky.  I know nothing of what’s going on with him, but that’s how these sometimes go.  The Huskies are tight on scholarships, so he might be encouraged to look elsewhere.  Or he might not.  We’ll just have to wait and see!

So there you go.  Out of 25 who signed and 24 who enrolled, 14 redshirted.  That’s a decent ratio, especially since there were a couple of junior college guys and a couple of major playmakers who had no business redshirting. I’ll be back in a few days with a look at the freshman who played. Go Dawgs!

-Matthew

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