Tag Archives: Pio Vatuvei

One Last Review Of UW-Stanford

I promised a more thorough review of last Thursdays game and here it is!  Five days, a trip to Yakima and about 8 hours of homework later.  I did finally finish watching the game last night and I had a few thoughts about the game.  I’ll go by position and add in some thoughts about coaching here and there.  Before I begin, I think this was probably the best coached Husky game since Rick Neuheisal was coach.  Seriously.  I’ll get into more detail as the post goes, but as a whole this was an incredibly coached game for the Dawgs, scheme-wise, personnel wise and on the motivational side.  Anyway, here we go, by position.

Quarterback – Keith Price has been a somewhat forgotten man through 4 games this year.  He doesn’t have the numbers that he had last year and won’t end up with as impressive stats but he has progressed.  Last Thursday, Keith played the toughest football game he’s ever played.  It wasn’t his best but it was very good.  He was tackled in the pocket over 10 times, while only three of those turned out to be sacks.  This is a testament to him standing in the pocket and not rushing things.  At one point it looked like he couldn’t feel his right arm.  I’m not sure why Stanford was never called for a roughing the passer penalty because they went high and hard many times.  Anyway, Price was accurate and threw well even with the amount of duress he was under.  He had 3 passes dropped that would have given him about 40 more passing yards and 3 more first downs.  He generally had less than 2 seconds to throw.  Three plays before the Huskies game-winning touchdown Price lined up under center and killed the running play that was called.  This audible essentially sent the receivers deep.  The ball was snapped, Price dropped back and was pressured from the outside so he stepped up into the pocket.  His outside receiver (I couldn’t catch the number) made a double move and was about to break free but a Stanford linebacker got a hand on the ball.  It was a brilliant call by Price and a beautiful play, it was just a .1 of a second too late.  The game winning touchdown could have come 3 plays earlier than when it did and it would have looked a lot more conventional.  Price was a great decision maker and game-manager.  I hope his body feels okay.

Running Back – It sure looks like Bishop Sankey has found his niche.  He’ll never be Chris Polk.  He’s not a bruiser and isn’t as patient.  But, he’s hitting the hole harder and faster every week.  Hugh Millen pointed out on KJR today that the Huskies use more of a zone-blocking scheme this year instead of a weak-side pulling guard, man-blocking scheme.  This allows Sankey to hit the hole faster than we saw the last few years because you don’t have to wait for that guard to come across.  So, maybe Bishop didn’t find his niche, maybe Sark found his niche for him?  It takes a humble and good coach to adjust his scheme to fit his players and Sark has continually done this.  That’s overlooked an awful lot.  Moving Kendyl Taylor provided an unexpected boost to the Husky offense and he did some good things on Thursday.  I’m guessing he’ll see more and more time as we go.  The fun thing to think about is that these running backs are only going to get better.  No one playing right  now is older than sophomore status.  Sure, they’ll cause a few headaches but the more I think about it, the more I think this year is setting up for a special 2013.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends – Quite a bit has been made of ASJ not getting only 2 receptions against Stanford.  There was no other tight end who caught a pass either.  What isn’t being said is that ASJ had a block on Chase Thomas that helped spring Bishop’s 61 yard run.  No one is talking about how Evan Hudson lined up at fullback a few times and got into the second level to give Sankey some other big runs.  The tight ends will be used in different ways as this season goes on but don’t think they played an insignificant role on Thursday.  Every receiver was fairly inconsistent aside from Kasen Williams.  Kasen turned 2 yard gains into 7 at least 3 times.  The plan was to get him the ball in space and he showed why that was a great game plan that Sark never went aways from even when it was getting frustrating.  Anytime another receiver wants to step up though, feel fee!

Offensive Line – Yes, the pass blocking was pretty horrendous.  It’s a big problem that needs to be solved right away.  But, they were playing a very good front seven.  To their credit, the line did run block well.  It doesn’t matter how you get yards and points as long as you get them.  No one expected the Huskies to be able to rush for 150 yards but they did and that was because the line opened few holes.  I do think they wore Stanford down a little bit.  Where the Oregon defense is used to being on the field a lot because their offense scores in a hurry, Stanford is exactly the opposite.  I imagine that the Cardinal generally win the time of possession battle and they didn’t on Thursday night.  The Huskies, especially in the first half generally were on the field for at least three minutes on offense every time they had the ball.  It doesn’t seem like much but that adds up, especially when your defense is getting three and outs.  I might be the only one, but I think the Stanford defense was tired and they looked it on the Huskies last drive.  Shane Brostek got his first career start at right guard and looked pretty good in run blocking.  Him and James Atoe next to each other is probably my favorite configuration of the line.  When they’re on the right side, holes seem to open up a bit more.  The Huskies most successful running plays were runs off-tackle or which would follow Atoe, Hatchie, and, on the final drive, Criste.  The right side of the line seemed to open more holes, as I mentioned earlier, but the left side of the line did pretty well too when I re-watched the game.

Defensive Line – Stopping the run starts up front, so here you go.  I don’t know much about defensive lines so I won’t try to explain anything and there wasn’t a ton that stood out.  Pio Vatuvei got extensive action.  Josh Banks saw his first action of the season and made a very good tackle on Stanford’s last drive.  Not a lot shows up in the box score from these guys but they freed up space for the linemen to make plays.  It took Josh Shirley about a half to get his pass rush going but he was definitely felt in the second half.  This group continues to get better.

Linebackers – The Dawgs haven’t had linebackers tackle like they did in this game since who knows how long.  If you think back to the game, think about how many times Stepfan Taylor broke free from a tackle for extra yards.  It didn’t happen.  Even re-watching the game, I can’t think of a time.  Tutogi, Timu, Fuimaono (although he didn’t play as much), Feeney, and Shaq were all in position and made the tackles.  I’m still amazed.  Their pursuit was incredible, their tackling was the best I’ve seen from a Husky defense, and their effort was off the charts.  I don’t expect them to be able to keep this up but if they do then what was thought to be one of the Huskies biggest weaknesses has all of a sudden become one of the best positions on the team.  As one of my favorite wrinkles that Wilcox threw in, Talia Crichton played a hybrid linebacker.  He rushed the passer some but he was used to stop the run a good amount.  It was just another big body who wouldn’t be pushed around.

Secondary – Desmond Trufant was the only corner on the field about 30% of the time for the Huskies.  What a responsibility that was and he handled it extremely well.  Right now he’s an all-conference player and is deserving of All-American recognition.  Two pass breakups, one interception and shutting down one side of the field.  The other corner spot is a bit concerning still but they did okay this game.  Marcus Peters saw quite a bit of time on the field.  Especially in the second half.  Sean Parker played a great game, blowing up screens and flying around.  The defense looks fast and he is one of the players that looks the fastest.  Travis Feeney lined up as free safety sometimes to stop the run which was another wrinkle.  Justin Glenn also played a good game with a couple of pass-breakups.  There were a few blown assignments but that’s to be expected especially when there was such an emphasis on stopping the run.

Special Teams – Travis Coons was the first half MVP.  He made a career long field goal, had a pretty good yards per punt average and punted one left-footed which saved the Huskies field position.  That was a great play that I’m not even going to try to explain.  Marvin Hall is fast and will break a return soon.  He’s been very close in the last two games.  He’s a game changer and I’m glad Sark pulled the red-shirt off of him.  Not literally.  They don’t actually wear red-shirts.

After watching the game again, this game was something that all Husky fans should feel proud of.  But, it’s time to turn our attention to our bitter rival down south.  It’s been fun to bask in this game.  I doubt we’ll have this feeling next week but it seems like these Dawgs like to surprise.

Andrew

 

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Getting To Know Your Dawgs – Defensive Line

Matthew wrote a post a couple of hours ago that is previewing the Husky team as a whole.  I’m posting over it a little bit too soon, so here’s the link because you should go read it.

We’re to the defensive side of the ball in this series and I’ll probably only keep the defensive side to three posts.  Like the offensive line post (which is a few scrolls down from this one), the player information will be less than a skill position.  Linemen don’t often have much to say and I am not able to analyze them as well.  Plus, there’s a lot of them.  I’ll try to cover everyone who will play and I’ll start with the guys who are listed as the starters.  The guys who are going to red-shirt or are buried on the depth chart probably won’t be listed.  If you have any questions about them, leave it in the comments.  Also, Hau’oli Jamora is injured and looks like he could be out all season so I’m going to leave him off on this post.  And here we go!

DE – Talia Crichton (Sr.)

Every time I’ve heard it mentioned this camp that Crichton was a senior I did a double-take.  It seems weird to me.  Talia was a guy who probably should have red-shirted his first year but the depth wasn’t so good and he was needed.  He was over-matched that year and never has been a huge factor on the defense.  Now, he gets his chance as a senior, with Jamora out, to make a real contribution.  The coaches all say that he’s had a good camp (although, what else would they say?) and has gotten better and better.  He has definitely beefed up since his younger years, playing at 265.  With that being said, he is probably the biggest question mark on the line and doesn’t have proven depth behind him.

NT – Danny Shelton (So.)

I think there are a few guys on the defense that we can expect to take a big step forward this year and Danny leads that charge.  A lot has been thrown at the big fella but he looks to be ready to handle it.  With the Dawgs switching to a quicker, smaller defensive line this year, Shelton has to be the guy that stops the run.  He needs to demand double teams so he can let the athletes at safety and linebacker to make the play.  The coaches wouldn’t have tried this defense if they didn’t think Shelton was capable so I think we have to trust their judgment.  I think by the end of the season, Shelton will be one of the three best players on the defense and he showed flashes of that last year.  This is all as a true sophomore, by the way.

DE – Andrew Hudson (RS So.)

This position could also be called defensive tackle.  If you look at the defense as a 3-4 (3 defensive linemen, 4 linebackers), then Hudson is the defensive end.  I think of it more as a 4-3, which I’ll get into more in a minute.  Hudson had to add some weight to play this position and will also be counted on to help against the run.  Just to reiterate the point, this is not a tradition defensive end position.  Hudson started 2 games last year at end and played in all of them.  He was another guy who got better as the season wore on and I think we’ll see a big improvement from him this season.  When the Huskies play against teams that want to pound the ball down our throat (think Stanford, LSU, and Utah) I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hudson move over and share time with Crichton, leaving this space for Tokolahi and Potoa’e  Before I move on, keep an eye on how young these guys are.  It’s the same theme as the offensive line, there are a whole lot of sophomores.  I think that’s when a good share of guys show the most progress (especially if they’ve red-shirted).

Rush End – Josh Shirley (RS So.)

This is a new position to the defense that many aren’t familiar with.  This position, in my mind, is still a part of the defensive line but the player may be standing up more (like a linebacker).  The focus of this position is to rush the quarterback so a guy who stands up and rushes off the edge will be playing here.  Josh Shirley is that guy.  He came to U-Dub after being kicked off the UCLA team a couple of weeks after he went to school there.  It turned out that the incident wasn’t a big deal and after a red-shirt year and a solid freshman campaign, people are expecting big things from Shirley.  This position was essentially made for him and he should be solid in it.  He’s a little undersized to be considered a conventional defensive end but his quickness is what will scare teams.  He had a great game against Baylor in the Alamo Bowl and looks to continue that going forward.  Don’t be surprised if once in a while he isn’t rushing, but will stand up and drop into coverage.  That probably won’t happen much but it will enough times to make the quarterback think of it.

5 Others To Watch:  DE – Pio Vatuvei (Fr.), N/DT – Semisi Tokolahi (RS Sr.), NT – Lawrence Lagafuaina (RS So.), DE/T – Sione Potoa’e (Jr.), RE – Connor Cree (RS Fr.)

Pio Vatuvei will probably be slowly mixed into the rotation.  He is a freshman that flipped from USC to U-Dub late last year in the recruiting game.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he had an impact like Hau’oli Jamora did his freshman year.  If he does, that would be a huge boost to this Husky defensive line.  Semisi Tokolahi was great in 2010.  He was one of the best lineman on the team and then he broke his leg in the Apple Cup and never made it all the way back last year.  I expect him to start (or play a lot) against running teams.  I’ve read from many places that he looks fully recovered from the injury.  Lawrence Lagafuaina is another big guy who could fill the middle.  He’s got a few guys in front of him on the depth chart but he’ll be used in goal line packages to stop the run.  Sione Potoa’e is a little bit of a forgotten man.  He came to U-Dub as a heralded recruit, and rightfully so.  He had to play his true freshman year and that may have hurt his development or confidence.  He still has the makings of a very good player.  He’s another guy I’d expect to see in against running teams quite a bit.  This is the most quality depth the Huskies have had at defensive tackle in quite some time.  I expect to see Connor Cree in on special teams more than anything else.  He is built like Josh Shirley and could be valuable rushing off the edge.

Thanks for reading!

Andrew

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Live Signing Day Thread

Notes From the Press Conference:

  • The only early player who will be here for spring ball is linebacker (who could play running back) Ryan McDaniel.
  • Kalei Auelua may greyshirt so all of the bloggers and writers can have an extra year to learn how to spell his name.  Actually he might greyshirt because of a knee injury.  (A greyshirt means that he would sit out this season and enroll for winter quarter next year).  Everyone else will enroll in the summer.
  • Sark discussed fans contacting recruits via social media.  In a nutshell, he said that he was against it.  That’s not very surprising and I think most coaches would take that stance.  The sad thing is that not everyone takes that stance.

Sark broke down every player that committed and it was very interesting.  You can rewatch it at GoHuskies.com or read about it on Condotta’s blog (although he hasn’t added much from the press conference yet, he will soon).  For now, I’m going to call it quits on here and take a nap.  I’ve heard sitting on a laptop from 6:30 AM – 3:30 PM isn’t exactly healthy!  Leave any questions in the comments and I’ll get to them soon.  If there’s anymore news I’ll get to it.  Thanks for following along!  It’s been fun.  Go Dawgs!

More On Beaver – Beaver is 6-0, 176 lbs.  He’ll play cornerback for the huskies.  What an amazing last 48 hours it’s been for the future of the U-Dub secondary.  Here’s some video.

Brandon Beaver Commits! – Sorry I was out to lunch… I should have known better.  Anyway, Sark announced at his press conference that Brandon Beaver is a Dawg.  Another great get by Sark and company.  I know we lost Payton, but this was a great day for the Huskies.  It seems to be all over now and Sark more or less confirmed that in his press conference.  I’ll have a few notes from his press conference in a bit.

Miles Video – Here’s a video of Miles.  Glad he’s a Dawg!

Cyler is a Husky – Right as I pushed update, Miles announced that he is still going to attend and play at the university of Washington.  So, the Huskies keep both of their 4-star quarterbacks and only lose one player today, Jordan Payton.  Overall, a great day.  I think there will be another two or three commits before it’s all said and done.

Still Waiting On Cyler – As of 1:26, we’re still waiting on a Cyler Miles decision.  No one seems to know what’s going on right now.  People are speculating that USC is close to running out of room in their class but I don’t think it’s an issue.  We should know any minute what his decision is.  Also, there’s a rumor that the Huskies might be in play for cornerback Alphonso Marsh.

Shaq Thompson On KJR at 12:20 – Tune into Softy’s show at 12:20 to hear the bright, new star for the Huskies.

Announcement Times – Cyler Miles will announce around 1.  Goforth will announce around 2.  Brandon Beaver will announce around 3:15.  Stay tuned for those.

That Could Be It – It’s possible the Huskies will receive more letters (the most likely are Cyler Miles, Goforth and Beaver) but that might be it. It’s been a pretty successful day and the Huskies have gained more than they’ve lost.  If Miles goes elsewhere, we may have to reevaluate that but as of now, it was a good day!  Things might slow down here for a little bit.  If any news breaks, we’ll let you know.

Jaydon Mickens’ Letter Arrives – There’s only so many ways to say a letter of intent has come.  Anyway, Mickens is a receiver who committed last night.  He’s 5-11, 175 lbs. and is known for his speed.  Here’s video.

Kalei Auelua Officially In – Auelua is a defensive end who’s 6-1, 233 lbs.  The Dawgman guys were just talking about him and said he has great speed for a defensive end.  Here’s the video.

Breakdown by Position – Over the weekend I’ll go in depth on the prospects at the positions.  For now, here’s the numbers (of course, there’s a few more guys that will probably join soon).

QB – 1 or 2 (Depending on Miles)

RB – 2 (including fullback, Wooching)

WR – 3 (including Mickens)

TE – 0

OL – 5 (6 if you include preffered walk-on)

DT – 2

DE – 2

LB – 3

DB – 2 (3 if we get Beaver)

S – 1

P/K – 2

Breakdown by State – Here’s the breakdown of players who have signed by state

California – 13 (Jaydon Mickens would be the 14th)

Washington – 5

Hawaii – 2 (But another one should be coming anytime with Aeulua bringing the total to 3)

Arizona – 1

Cyler Miles is from Colorado if he picks UW over USC.

Another Blog to Follow – Ted Miller’s ESPN Pac-12 blog is a great blog to follow if you want to know what’s going on around the conference.  You can find it here.

Brandon Beaver- Beaver is also one to watch, as he’s thought to be a UW lean.  Although he seems to not have any idea based on his twitter account.

Three Guys Left – With the announcement that Jordan Payton is going to UCLA, there are 3 guys on UW’s commit list who haven’t got their letters in yet.  They are Cyler Miles, Jaydon Mickens and Kalei Auelua.  Of course, there are rumors going on with Miles.  I don’t know what the deal is with Mickens but I haven’t heard any rumors of him going elsewhere.  Auelua lives in Hawaii and should be in shortly.

Softy on KJR – Softy is on KJR now with some recruiting experts and Dick Baird.  They have a lot more information than what was happening earlier on that radio station so listen along if you can.

Payton officially to UCLA – In one of the stranger things I’ve seen, Jordan Payton committed to U-Dub on national TV yesterday but has now changed his mind and is going to UCLA according to his high school AD.  This is a bummer, and the kid clearly doesn’t know what he wants.

Psalm Wooching, Best Name Nominee – This is my favorite name in the class.  Psalm Wooching is a 6-3, 217 pound fullback.  He’s a Hawaiian.  GoHuskies reports that he can also Fire Dance.  And here’s some real video.

Who’s All In?  If you’re just catching up, this is a list of guys who have got their letters in:

Kendyl Taylor
Darien Washington
Pio Vatuvei
Shaq Thompson
Nathan Dean
Taylor Hindy
Blake Rodgers
Dwayne Washington
Erich Wilson
Jake Eldrenkamp
Damion Turpin
Jeff Lindquist
Cory English
Ryan McDaniel
Cory Littleton
Korey Durkee
Shane Brostek

And add Cleveland Wallace to that, so it brings the number to 20.  I have video of most of the guys posted below, so feel free to scroll through.

Cleveland Wallace is Official! – Surprise number 3!  A DB from California, Wallace comes to UW because of the hiring of Keith Heyward.  He’s 5-11, 165 lbs.  Great pickup for the Dawgs.  Here’s some video.

Slowing Down a Bit – It seems that the letters are slowing down some.  There are a few rumors flying around that we have covered (Miles, Payton, and Wallace) but nothing new on those.  It’s been about 2 hours since the letters started getting reported.

Brostek Video –  I didn’t post this earlier with his name so here is some video of Shane Brostek.

Rumor:  Cleveland Wallace to UW – Oregon State verbal commit, Cleveland Wallace, sounds as if he’s decided on UW.  There hasn’t been a letter received but several sources say that’s where he’s headed.

Cozens to Arizona – One of the last guys the Huskies were in on, Dylan Cozens, has committed to Arizona.  This isn’t a big surprise but it would have been nice to get the defensive end.

Shane Brostek Is In –  Shane is the 19th guy who has a letter in.  I’m excited about this guy.  He’s a 6-3, 300 lb offensive lineman from Hawaii.  His dad was a Husky and he kept his recruiting quiet.  It’s thought he would be ranked higher by scouts if he had attended more camps.

Cyler Miles Will Decide at 1 P.M. – Multiple sources have confirmed that Cyler Miles will announce whether he’s going to UW or USC today at 1 P.M.

Josh Banks – Josh Banks is a defensive tackle from California.  He’s 6-3, 274 lbs. He was at a JC in California for 2 years.

Korey Durkee Punts His LOI In – Durkee is a punter from Gig Harbor and no, he didn’t punt his letter in.  Wouldn’t that be cool though?  He’s a big guy, 6-3, 215 lbs.  We’ve got some big special teams guys!

Jordan Payton Is Wavering – Sounds like UCLA might steal the coveted receiver away from the Huskies.  That’s 2 4-star commits that we’ll have to keep an eye on as the day continues.  Things are getting pretty interesting.

Cory Littleton Is In – With the 16th letter, Littleton comes to UW as a linebacker from California.  He’s 6-4, 218 lbs.

The Class is Shaping Up –  Just from writing this, I’ve become amazed at how solid this class is all of a sudden.  It’s happened in the last 3 days, but the class has really come together with linemen and play-makers.  If we can add some DB’s (mostly just Brandon Beaver) I’ll feel great about this.  Good  depth just about everywhere that it was needed.

Ryan McDaniel – With the 15th letter, McDaniel is a linebacker out of California.  He’s 6-0, 225 lbs.  Here’s his video.  McDaniel is one of my favorite under the radar guys in this class.

Adding Some English to the Kick! – And now the headlines are going down hill.  Cory English is now in as the 14th letter.  He’s a 6-3, 284 lbs. offensive lineman from Auburn.  I don’t see many video on English unfortunately.

Kicking Has Arrived! – Travis Coons, who was ranked as the top JC kicker by several services, now has his letter in. He’s big for a kicker, 6-2, 205 lbs.  I don’t think you want to watch video of a kicker.  If you do, you’re really cool or really lame.  I haven’t decided which yet.

Where We’re At – It’s a few minutes after 9 AM and the Huskies have 12 letters in, with more rolling in every minute.  12 is probably close to half the amount the Huskies will end up with.  We’ve had 2 surprised in Pio and Lindy.  Pio is one to be really excited about and Lindy seems to be a backup plan to Banner.

Jeff Lindquist With Number 12 – Lindquist, the big name quarterback from Washington has his letter in now.  He’s one to be excited about.  He’s 6-3, 215 lbs. and has a cannon.  Here’s some video.

Damion Turpin is In- That rhymed!  Turpin is a defensive tackle from California.  He’s 6-5, 265 lbs. so clearly he has a bit of weight to gain.  Welcome to the Dawgpack Damion!  Here’s some video.

Jake Eldrenkamp – The offensive lineman from Bellevue is in as number 10 and the third offensive lineman.  He’s 6-5 and 295 lbs.  Here’s some video.  Love the big guy.

Erich Wilson is In, Number 9 – Erich Wilson is 6-1, 190 lbs.  He will either play running back or linebacker and we’ll probably find that out during Sark’s conference.  He came from the same high school as Tom Brady and Barry Bonds.  If he plays like a mix of those two then he’ll be on steroids and really annoying.  I think I’ll like him a lot more than those two though. 

Here’s Some extra Info on Lindy – The relatively unknown Lindy, is definitely a sleeper.  I don’t mean he likes to sleep (although he might), I mean the coaches are rolling the dice on him.

Dwayne Washington In The Fold – This brings the number of letters to 8 and the number of players named Washington to 2.  He’s a 6-2, 210 lbs and a receiver out of California.  Here’s his video.

Cyler Miles Uncertainty – Sounds as if no one knows what Cyler is doing.  Hopefully we’ll know something soon.

Blake Rodgers, #7 – Blake Rodgers, 6-2, 215 lbs., a middle linebacker from California is in.  Here’s his tape.

Letter #6, Taylor Hindy! Surprise? – This seems to be a surprise? I don’t know much about him but he’s an added offensive line commit. He’s a big boy, 6-5 and 295 lbs.  Here’s his tape and I’ll try to add some information about him as we go.  He will bring the number of offensive linemen to 5 (6 if you count the walk-on).  Good news there.

Nathan Dean Is In – Nathan Dean, an offensive lineman from Juanita High School in Kirkland, is now in.  He’s 6-7, 274 lbs. and here’s some video.

Virtual Highlights- GoHuskies.com has some weird virtual highlight thing going on in their website.  It’s a bit strange but kind of cool too.  Check it out there if you’d like to.

Shaq Thompson Officially In – We’re up to number 4 now and it’s Shaq Thompson, which is awesome.  Here’s some video of Shaq, who clearly has some good film.

Jeff Lindquist on KJR – The Husky quarterback commit from Mercer Island is on KJR with Mitch right now.

Surprise! Pio Vatuvei! – The first surprise of the day is Pio Vatuvei.  He has committed to U-Dub after formerly being committed to USC.  He’s a defensive end out of California who is 6-3, 272 lbs.  Great get and way to start, here’s his video.

Cyler Miles may be Rethinking- The highly rated quarterback commit for the University of Washington may be rethinking his commitment to the Huskies.  Obviously, that’s not great news but we’ll see what happens.

Pretty Awesome Video – Here’s a pretty cool video of Darien Washington laying out some guy.

Darien Washington Next – Darien Washington (6-1), a receiver out of California, is now officially a Husky.  He’s listed as a CB by scout but it looks like GoHuskies may have him a receiver, which would come from Sark.

Kendryl Taylor is the First One in – Washington has just announced that Kendryl Taylor (5-10, 196 lbs.), a receiver from Arizona, has got his letter in.  Here’s some video on him.

Shaq Thompson’s LOI is Signed – According to Joe Davidson on twitter, Shaq Thompson has signed his LOI and it will arrive a U-Dub shortly.  That is good news because we won’t have to worry about him flipping to Oregon or anything like that.  This is at 7:58 AM.

Press Conference at 2 – Sark’s press conference is at 2 P.M. today.  I don’t think I passed that along until now.  I’m not sure where it will be streamed but I would guess GoHuskies will have it.

From the GoHuskies Live Chat –  “Folks, still waiting to hear official confirmation on the LOIs. Just need to make sure all the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted.”

Dumb Debates – One of the best parts of signing day ending will be the end of all the dumb debates about whether schools should stop talking to a recruit after they verbally commit.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s not going to happen unless there is an early signing period and only the NCAA will allow it to happen if they want it to happen.  ‘Stealing’ recruits has been happening for longer than any of know.

Also, KJR needs to stop comparing Shaq Thompson to Terrance Jones.  Completely different situation and there is not really a comparison in the way they changed their minds.

Michael Rector to Stanford – Rector had been a UW commit has decided to sign with Stanford.  He was thought to be leaning that way after getting accepted earlier this week.  This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, and due to the slew of wide receiver commits in the last 2 days, it seems as if the Husky coaches may have known.  It’s a loss, but not a huge one.

Where UW Ranks – As of right now (7:38) the Huskies rank 4th in the Pac-12 and 21st in the nation with their recruiting class on Scout.  Of course, these rankings don’t exactly matter but, you’d rather have a highly rated class than not.

Pac-12 Top Classes – Scout and ESPN have Oregon as the number one ranked class in the Pac-12, as Oregon has made an early push this morning.  Rivals has USC as number one in the Pac-12.

Number One Ranked Classes –  For those who are curious, Alabama is ranked as having the number one class by ESPN and Rivals.  Scout Recruiting has Texas as number one in the nation.

Live Chat – At gohuskies they have a live chat going on.  As far as I can tell that will be the first way to hear about a letter coming in.  As of right now, 7:27, there are no letters in.

Why Shaq picked us – Condotta linked this article a few minutes ago, and I found it pretty interesting so I will do the same.  Although, if you’re following this blog without following his I’d suggest changing that quickly.  Anyway, here is what Shaq said about why he chose UW. (Shaq Thompson is the highest rated recruit U-Dub and the number 1 ranked safety in the nation).

ESPN3 – ESPNU (which you can find on ESPN3) is also streaming live coverage of prospects announcing.  I’m not sure if any UW prospects will announce on there but it’s still fun to follow.

7:11 – It’s 7:11 and we’re waiting as far as I can tell.  7-11 and a doughnut doesn’t sound too bad.  Then again, it doesn’t sound too good either.

No Fax Cam – Unfortunately, Gohuskies.com has done away with the fax cam.  This camera strictly just was set on the fax machine at UW and showed any letters coming in.  It was quite boring.  But, it’s the end of an era and it’s all over.  Goodbye fax cam, we’ll miss you.

No recruits in different time zones – Letters can be signed at 7 AM by players, so some schools have had letters come in already (Trey Griffey, the son of Ken Griffey Jr. has had his letter come into Arizona at 5 AM this morning) but the Huskies all have players in the pacific time zone (aside from a few in the mountain time zone) who are deciding.  So, anytime some will trickle in.

The Day Is Here – Good morning all and Happy National Signing Day!  The letters of intent are just a few minutes away from rolling into the University of Washington, and we’ll soon know who will be the incoming freshmen of 2012.  I’ll cover today by putting all new information at the top of this post as everything happens.  As we’re about to start, here’s a list of links to some of the blogs and information that’s worth following.

Here’s the Good Guys Recruiting Thread from the last couple of days, if you need to catch up.

Gohuskies has a ‘Signing Day Central’ feature on their website.

Bob Condotta’s (Seattle Times) Husky Football Blog

Ryan Divish’ (News Tribune) Husky Insider

I’m not sure if they’re doing anything specific, but UW Dawg Pound is a nice blog to follow.

The recruiting services, Dawgman and Realdawg will have information as well.

There you go, and we’re off!

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UW Recruiting Thread

Update 1/31 10:25 P.M.  Matthew recapped the day pretty well below.  I’d recommend reading that because I won’t be analyzing any of these guys tonight (that will probably happen this weekend after they actually sign their letters of intent).  Needless to say, this was an amazing day.  The three weeks prior to this are the reason I hate recruiting.  There’s too much drama and too many fans up in anger about players they’ve never seen play, never researched, and don’t take the time to scout.  But, today was just simply fun.  We don’t know what Shaq, Payton, Brostek, or Mickens will do in the next 3, 4 or 5 years at U-Dub, but from reading scouting reports and watching plenty of tape there’s quite a bit to be excited about.

So, what will come in the morning?  A Good Guys running blog of signing day!  That’s what!  Oh, you were talking about the Huskies?  Well, the Dawgs sit at either 22 or 23 verbal commits.  The ‘or’ is because of Michael Rector, who is a receiver from Tacoma.  He had committed to the Dawgs but was accepted into Stanford and many think he will jump to them.  I believe UW will add 3-5 more guys tomorrow but I don’t know who they are.  Here’s some news on guys that will decide tomorrow and leftovers from a very eventful day:

Kenny Walker, who tripped to UW last weekend, has verbally committed to UCLA.  It sounds like he was offered as a receiver and his scholarship may have been pulled after Mickens and Payton committed today.

There is a rumor that there’s another big surprise commit tomorrow morning.  I think that it’s nothing more than a rumor, but at this rate anything is possible.

I think Brandon Beaver is a UW lean but no one knows for sure.  He may be the biggest name left out there that the Dawgs are in on.

Cleveland Wallace is also deciding between OSU and UW, but I think he is an OSU lean.  Both Wallace and Beaver are DB’s.

Devian Shelton, who seemed to have a little interest in UW, was offered by USC today and it sounds like he’ll be going there.

Dylan Cozens will be deciding tomorrow between UW and Arizona.  I don’t have much of a read on this one.  Matthew thought that earlier this week the Dawgs were a leader but I have no idea.

Pio Vatuvei was a former USC commit but has looked at the Huskies.  We won’t know until the morning on him either, but I don’t hear or read many rumors of him being a Dawg.

That’s some of what we have to look forward to tomorrow.  It should be a fun morning and I’ll try to keep the pace with the LOI that will be coming in.  I’ll be on here starting at about 6:45 tomorrow as I camp out here in Maple Valley.  Yes, I do proclaim tomorrow a holiday.  I suggest you should to.  That’s all for now.

-Andrew

Update 1/31 8:40 P.M. I wish we could have had some more updates throughout the day, but Andrew and I were almost as busy as I’m sure the Husky coaches and recruits were today.  And what a day it was.  The Shaq Thompson news broke last night, but if you throw him in with the other three commits today, that accounts for probably 4 of our 6 top recruits in this class so far.  I could talk about Shaq all day, but I’ll save that until he actually signs.  For now, here are the other three new Dawgs:

  • Jordan Payton is a receiver from the L.A. area who committed this afternoon on ESPNU.  He’s ranked the 15th WR in the country and sounds an awful lot like Jermaine Kearse: 6’2″, 205, good body control and leaping ability, not quite elite speed.  He’s said to have good hands, so hopefully those carry over to college and he doesn’t have Kearse’s drops problem.  Payton was a USC and Cal recruit previously who says UW felt like the place he was supposed to be.
  • Shane Brostek, the Hawaiian Bigfoot, as I saw him called today because of his lack of communication with the media, committed shortly after Payton.  His dad, Bern, was a Husky lineman.  Brostek is rated at 2 or 3 stars, but that’s probably partly due to lack of exposure.  They played his recruiting process as close to the vest as any I’ve ever seen.  I can’t vouch for this personally, but some people will tell you he’s a legitimate 5 star talent if he had gone to camps and stuff like most recruits.  Either way, Brostek’s a big boy with a lot of power and a reported nasty streak.  I’ve heard that he’s likely to start at center, but I wouldn’t be surprised by guard or defensive tackle either.  I’m excited about this one.
  • Jaydon Mickens, another wide receiver, just committed a few minutes ago.  He’s only 5’9″, but he’s quick and elusive.  Plan on seeing him in the slot and on end arounds and especially in the return game.  He’s another four star who had a big showing in a recent all-star game.  He should be a fun guy to watch.  We haven’t had a receiver who really makes people miss in a while.  Maybe I’m off, but I’m thinking in the mold of De’Anthony Thomas, although nowhere near as incredible.

As Andrew Tweeted a bit ago, this might be the best 24 hours of recruiting the Huskies have ever had.  I doubt they’ve ever had 4 players of this caliber commit in a day, anyway.  They’ve brought the UW class from about 45th in the country to the top 20.  That doesn’t mean a lot in the long run, but it gives you a good idea of their talent.  I’m betting Andrew will post his thoughts when he gets home in a bit, but if not, he’ll have a running blog up by around 7:00 tomorrow morning.  Go Dawgs!

-Matthew

Update 1/30 10:30 P.M.  SHAQ THOMPSON COMMITS TO U-DUB.  An absolutely huge get for the Dawgs tonight and seemingly out of nowhere.  I’m waiting for this all to be fake because of everything that’s happened lately on twitter, but this seems real since Sark just woofed.  I won’t be able to write anything very well right now because I’m too excited, but Shaq is rated as the top safety in the country.  He should get a chance to play right away.  This might be the biggest commit Sark has gotten since coming here.  I won’t completely believe this until his letter of intent arrives on Wednesday, but this seems real.

I’ll have more on him in the next couple of day, but this is huge.  It seems like this could be the start of some momentum to close this class.  Good night Dawg fans, today ended quite well. (I’ll be back on if anything else breaks tonight, but keep checking this thread tomorrow.)

Update 1/30 4:30 P.M.:  I’m about 2 hours late on this but, if you haven’t heard, Zach Banner has picked USC which is close to what everyone expected.  It really is unfortunate but we wish him well and it seems like he’ll have a good amount of success as a Trojan.

As Matthew mentioned in the comments, it sounds as if U-Dub has a chance with receiver, Jaydon Mickens.  In fact, it sounds like a good shot.

One more update is that Jordan Payton will announce his choice of school tomorrow at 1:30 on ESPNU.  Lets hope that the Huskies can land a few of these big names and finish in the middle of the Pac-12 recruiting rankings.

Update: 1/30 9:30 A.M.: Hi ho, Andrew here!  Happy Signing week.  I just have a few quick things to add to this recruiting thread, and I imagine we’ll be back on here at around 3 p.m. or so.

First off, I’d like to announce that we’ll have a live signing day thread starting Wednesday at about 7 AM.  We hope that you’ll follow along all day.  If you’d like to, add questions in the comments of that post (or this one) and we’ll try to answer them, preferably about recruits but anything about Seattle sports is fine with us.  You can also send us questions on our facebook page or twitter accounts.  I hope you’ll follow on what looks to be a very interesting day.

As Matthew mentioned last night (see below), Zach Banner, the last recruit in Washington who’s uncommitted and has an offer from UW, will announce his decision today at 2:30.  He’s a five-star recruit and would give this class a significant boost.  Unfortunately, it seems as if he is leaning towards USC.  I will say that most of everything that circles around right now is based on speculation and rumors.  As we learned in middle school, that’s not the most reliable source of information.  From the little I know about Zach Banner, he values family quite highly.  I think this is a big factor in his decision but I don’t know if it’ll be enough to go to UW.  He was often at Husky practices that I attended in the Spring and Fall and back then, I thought he would certainly be a Husky.  Right now, it’s not looking so good but I wouldn’t be completely surprised if he has picked to become a Dawg.

Dan always texts me and asks for a percentage or chance we have on a recruit.  Today, I think it’s around 30%.  So cross your fingers and toes Dawg fans and one of us will be back around 3 p.m. to give you the story of what happened.

-Andrew

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Signing day for recruits is three days away, with lots of news and rumors coming out all the time.  We’ll use this as a general recruiting post and update it as information comes out.

It’s currently Sunday night, and today saw the elimination of two major UW targets and a few interesting rumors.  The big news was five star lineman Arik Armstead of Sacramento announcing he would be an Oregon Duck.  I didn’t really expect UW to land the big man, but it would have been nice if he went to Cal instead of Oregon.  It’s easy to see why recruits like the Ducks right now, though, so I can’t really fault him.  We’ll see what happens if sanctions are levied and Chip Kelly leaves in the next couple of years.  Armstead seems like a good kid, and we wish him personal success and happiness with a whole lot of losses.

Also making news today was Lakes High’s Cedric Dozier.  Dozier has been committed to Cal, but has recently been looking at UW and WSU.  it was thought he’d take a trip to UW this weekend, but he stayed home and will now choose between Cal and WSU later this week.  It would have been great to have him as a Dawg, but there were a lot of variables here all along.  Originally, UW wanted him as a cornerback, but he wants to play receiver, which is why he chose Cal.  UW recently told him he could play receiver, but it’s hard to know the reason for that.  Add the fact that he hasn’t always lived in the state and has lots of family in California, and this is just one case where there was too much to get past for him to be a Dawg.  That’s the way it goes sometimes.

On a possibly more positive note, safety Shaquille Thompson reportedly took an unofficial visit to UW this weekend, possibly with receiver Jordan Payton.  Shaq is deciding between UW, Cal, Oregon and UCLA on Wednesday, and it would seem this is a good sign.  Or it might work out the opposite way.  There’s no way to predict these things.

Also, rumors are that lineman Shane Brostek told some people that he is planning to come to UW.  These are very unreliable rumors, as I read them in a comment on UW Dawgpound, and they were about third hand at that point.  Story goes that, while on a visit to U. of Hawaii this weekend, he told some other players he will be a Husky.  Who knows.  I’m really hoping he’ll be a Dawg, because he looks like a beast.

Tomorrow, Zach Banner is announcing his choice.  I’m expecting USC, but I think UW still has a good shot.  Which is a weird thing to write, because he’s already made his decision, he just hasn’t announced it yet.  If he’s picked USC or Oklahoma, the Huskies have no shot.  So I guess I’m just hoping he’s picked UW and think it’s possible.  I really know nothing.

We’ll have another update tomorrow.  Until then…

-Matthew

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UW Recruiting Insanity

Update: Follow our recruiting thread by clicking here.

I wrote earlier this month that things would get crazy before national signing day on February 1st, but I severely underestimated the situation.  The past month or so has been the craziest offseason stretch I’ve ever seen for the Huskies.  Since the Alamo Bowl, they’ve hired an entirely new defensive staff, added a few recruits, lost a few more, become players for several of the biggest recruits on the west coast, and pushed the entire California Golden Bear fanbase to the brink of insanity.  Here’s a recap and some recruiting updates.

In the article linked above, I said, “Who knows, the Huskies might hire Tosh Lupoi from Cal or Ed Orgeron from USC, considered the two best recruiters in the Pac-12 and they could bring 5 players with them.”  There were already rumblings that the Huskies were making a run at Lupoi, so this wasn’t any incredible prediction on my part.  Still, I never believed they would actually lure him away from Cal, his alma mater.  Nonetheless, they did, and everything immediately went crazy.  Cal’s recruiting class, which had been ranked at the top of the Pac-12 took an immediate hit.  They lost a couple of guys right away, most notably five star DT Ellis McCarthy to UCLA, and several more are still looking around.

One quick note.  Cal fans are understandably upset about Lupoi’s departure.  He was their golden boy, the guy who grew up miles from campus and had spent most of his adult life at Berkley.  In their idyllic dream, he was expected to work his way up the coaching ladder at Cal and eventually take over for Tedford as head coach.  It didn’t work that way, and no one can blame them for being disappointed and mad.  Since then, they’ve come up with lots of crazy theories and rumors, the craziest being that Sarkisian hired Tosh just to ruin Cal’s recruiting class.  That’s just crazy.  The UW staff probably doesn’t mind if that happens, but it would be shortsighted and dumb to hire anyone for that purpose.  They hired Tosh (and Eric Kiesau, Cal’s receivers coach and new UW offensive coordinator) because they are good coaches and recruiters.  This was about the Huskies, not about ruining Cal.  Besides, most of the players Cal is losing are going to other Pac-12 schools and not Washington, so it’s not like the Huskies won’t face them again.  Anyway, moving on. Continue reading

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