The current Huskies have been frustrating to follow of late, so I’m here to give an update on the future Dawgs. Recruiting is starting to pick up as high school seasons end. While the Huskies have nine current commits and dozens more scholarships offered, much of the coaches’ work will come in the next two and a half months before signing day in February. December and January will be filled with official visits by prospective Huskies.
To give some info for those who don’t follow recruiting closely, the NCAA allows schools to take 25 new players per year. Teams get around this by having players enroll early or late, but most classes won’t go over 27 or so at the very most. Schools are also limited by only being allowed 85 scholarship players per season. This is where the Huskies are facing some trouble. Due to a small senior class this year, the Huskies are expected to only take 15-20 players. It’s no big deal and happens to every school once in a while, but it does effect the coaches’ strategies and the types of players they’re after.
I’m mainly going to run through the current commits in this post. It’s still pretty early to talk much about others. There’s no guarantee these nine will even sign with UW come February. Nothing is binding until then, and several of the current commits have visited or plan to also visit other schools. All that said, here are the current guys.
- WR Rashead Johnson – Johnson committed well over a year ago, and while he’s taking some visits, most expect him to be a Dawg. He’s in the Mickens, Ross mold, speedy and hard to bring down. Very well-regarded, and a guy who could at least challenge for playing time early.
- WR Erik Brown – Brown’s a bit bigger. Think Jermaine Kearse, maybe. He’s a funny one, because his high school team is fairly bad and he hasn’t put up the numbers one would expect from the 18th ranked receiver in the country. Brown has impressed in camps and could really blossom with better QB play. He’s also taking trips and seems like a possibility to go elsewhere.
- TE Chase Blakley – An excellent receiving TE prospect from Coeur D’Alene, Blakley sounds like a poor man’s ASJ: not as big or athletic, but who is? That’s no knock, as Blakley’s one of the top TE’s in the country and could play early and often at UW.
- OT Matt James – Blakley’s teammate, James is currently the Huskies’ lone OL commit and a guy who should grow into a solid tackle. He purportedly has good athleticism and just needs to get bigger and better.
- DE Don Hill – UW’s third Idaho recruit, Hill unfortunately suffered an Achilles injury that’s wiped out his season. When healthy, Hill is a guy who figures to man the rush end spot. He’s a bit under the radar, but he has the length and athleticism UW is seeking.
- DT Natrell Curtis – A big man out of Arizona, Curtis could also play OG, but he seems like a good bet to replace Danny Shelton at nose tackle eventually. Some recruiting guys think he might never become a Husky due to a combination of grades and family issues, but that’s speculation at this point. If he makes it to Seattle, he could be a cornerstone of this class.
- LB/S Drew Lewis – A local boy, Lewis plays safety in high school but will likely be a linebacker at UW. He fits the mold of linebackers UW is after, as a lanky guy who can run and cover.
- S Lavon Washington – I don’t really know much about Washington, but he’s a sleeper who’s raised his standing quite a bit over the season. It seems to be required for the UW to take a guy named Washington every season or two.
- CB Jonathan Lockett – Growing up, it seemed like CB was always a trouble spot for UW, but that has changed dramatically since coach Keith Heyward came aboard. Lockett could be another star. It’s good to see the Huskies getting at least one potentially elite CB prospect each year, and Lockett keeps that tradition going.
This is a good group but lacks any surefire stars. They are drawing interest from a lot of guys still, so there’s little to worry about yet. Expect at least a couple more OL, a DL or two, a running back, and a DB or two. They might hold steady with receivers, but they’re actually a little low on guys at that spot, so don’t be surprised by 1-3 more guys there. While numbers are tight, the Dawgs are recruiting plenty of guys for whom they would clear space if they needed to. Something can always be done to make room for the right guys. Unless something changes, this class will not include a QB.
Surprisingly, the Huskies have received more commits recently for the 2015 class than for 2014. Last weekend, DL Jacob Daniel from California committed, which is huge if it sticks. He’s the top D lineman on the west coast for his class. Tonight, Marysville Pilchuck RB Austin Joyner pulled the trigger. He’s the top running back in state and a monster pick-up. The 2015 class is loaded in Washington, particularly at RB and OL. Joyner is one of three top RBs in state, along with O’Dea’s Myles Gaskin and Federal Way’s Chico McClatcher, all of whom are high on the Dawgs. OT Trey Adams from Wenatchee has already committed as well. He’s one of three top OTs to already have UW offers. There are plenty of players at other positions who could be major players in college as well. February 2015 is a long way away, but UW is off to a great start.
That’s all for now. I’ll check back in a month or two, when rumors are flying and there are a few more commits to discuss. The most important thing for recruiting is for UW to keep winning. Three wins to finish out the season would go a long way toward a strong finish for this recruting class. Go Dawgs!