Tag Archives: Troy Williams

Your 2014 UW Husky Offensive Preview

Hey readers, long time no write! New content here has been next to non-existent for a while, but college football season always inspires The Good Guys. I can’t promise the inspiration will last, but we’ll at least get the season started right.

With Seahawk fever now a permanent Seattle epidemic, the Huskies aren’t getting a lot of attention yet.  I don’t know whether that will change at all, but they deserve some buzz. This team has the potential to be the best Husky squad since the Tui-led Rose Bowl team. That’s not saying a ton, and this team has questions, but there’s the chance of something special on Montlake.

I debated what type of preview to write, but I think I’m going with a good old position-by-position write-up. While a lot of these players have been around, some of the focus is shifting from the departed offensive stars to lesser-known guys. I’ll start with the offense tonight. Here we go!

Quarterback

Most fans would say this position is the key to the Huskies season, and it’s hard to disagree. I don’t know that the Dawgs need elite QB play this year, but they need an unproved guy to be dependable and reasonably mistake-free. Who the QB will be is still somewhat in doubt. Jeff Lindquist gets the opening start in Hawaii. He’s big and athletic with a good arm but next to no experience. There’s no reason he can’t be effective, but game action is the only true determiner. Lindquist narrowly beat out freshman Troy Williams, who has maybe the biggest arm and most potential of the group, but the least experience. Should Lindquist struggle, Williams could see some time. Hopefully more likely, he’ll see mop-up duty in Hawaii.

Lurking behind these two is Cyler Miles, suspended for the opener for his off-season shenanigans. The common assumption is Miles will take over week two, but I don’t consider that a fait accompli. Miles brings a bit more experience and excellent running ability, but he’s generally considered to have the weakest arm on the roster and missed all of spring practice. Should Lindquist impress at Hawaii, it’s no given he’ll lose the spot just because Miles is available.

Running Back

Replacing Bishop Sankey is impossible, but the Dawgs have the talent to maintain an elite running game. Dwayne Washington will get the first carries. He’s taller for a back and fast, but runs with a good amount of power and violence. Fumbling issues held him down early last year, but he recovered to log the most yards of any back besides Sankey. His time as a receiver should theoretically be of benefit in the passing game. RS freshman Lavon Coleman has garnered raves since arriving in Seattle. He’s a big back with star potential.

Deontae Cooper and Jesse Callier are still around and should see plenty of carries. I’ve never been a huge Callier fan, but he’s a dependable change of pace from the bigger Washington and Coleman. It’s hard not to continue to hope for Cooper to regain everything he was rumored to have before his injuries. If he were to do so, he could easily take over the starting job and be one of the best in the conference. More likely, he’ll get a decent share of carries but not quite have the burst to be a star. No matter what, he’s one of the great stories of perseverance the Huskies will ever have.

Shaq Thompson looms in the shadows, awaiting the day the Dawgsignal summons him to the offensive backfield to deliver justice and retribution to Ducks and Bruins alike. 

Receivers

This is a talented and fairly deep group, but how dominant they are could depend on how effectively Kasen Williams returns from last year’s injury. He’s not yet at full strength, but he’s close enough to play this week. Kasen’s size and experience is needed as a counterpoint to the speed of Jaydon Mickens, John Ross and friends.  Mickens matured into a go-to receiver last year, and he could be a monster in 2014 if he can diversify his game a bit. Ross is the most electric player on the roster and could make a huge jump himself. There are capable bodies behind the three, but a breakout or two would be welcome.

Tight end is a little hard to figure, due to Austin Seferian-Jenkins departure and questions as to how a new staff will use the position. Josh Perkins showed himself capable of making big catches a year ago. Michael Hartvigson has never had the impact many expected, but he’s valuable as a blocker and might catch a few more passes this year. Darrell Daniels is easily the most talented guy here and one of the better athletes on the team. Hopefully he can translate all that into football skills. If he can catch the ball, he could be huge as a bigger threat to complement Kasen. 

Offensive Line

For the first time in a long time, UW is deep, talented and experienced on the O Line. Six guys have extensive starting experience, and there’s some young talent behind them. Tackles Micah Hatchie and Ben Riva are dependable if unspectacular. LG Dexter Charles, the lone junior starter, has been considered an awards candidate in waiting since his freshman year. Colin Tanigawa supplanted Mike Criste at C this fall, potentially a good sign since Criste was a solid starter all of last year. That move could be largely about getting mammoth James Atoe into the line-up at RG. This line might not be as dominant as some of the great lines of Husky days past, but they should be better than anything the Dawgs have had lately. Count me as one who believes the coaching change could have a huge effect here too, both in performance and recruiting. Dan Cozetto’s lines never seemed to reach their expected level, and new guy Chris Strausser is renowned as a teacher.

That’s enough for tonight. Defense is next in a day or two. Go Dawgs!

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Looking At The Dawgs – Offense

In past years, I’ve tried to do position previews before Husky football season kicked off.  Usually these previews fizzled out somewhere between the linebackers and the secondary.  In an attempt to end this, I have simplified the previews this year.  I will be previewing the offense in one post and the defense in the next.  I will do a general overview of each side of the ball first and then break down the position groups (although I’m not going to make those all that in-depth).  I don’t plan on listing all 90-plus guys on the roster over these but I will try to give an idea of what I think about the starters and the depth at each position.  With these things in mind, let’s get started with the offense!130318123323-keith-price-top-single-image-cut

Offensive Overview:

Heading in to 2012, the Husky offense was thought to be a strong point of the team.  They had lost their top receivers and one of the great Husky running backs of all time but they had a stud tight-end, a few exciting prospects at running back, a returning offensive line, a decent receiving group, and a Heisman contender at quarterback.  Things didn’t exactly go to plan.

Before the season began, the Huskies were already down a few offensive linemen.  That continued throughout the season and caused the offense to fall apart.  The tight-end was great.  A star was found at running back.  But, the offensive line couldn’t pass block, a second, third and fourth receiving option was never found, and Keith Price went from a Heisman dark horse to a guy that some people wanted benched.  The offense was a disappointment, but it was one that people could make excuses for.

In the spring, the Huskies started to implement a no-huddle offense.  This has continued and will be used this season.  Apparently, the playbook is close to the same.  While they may have simplified it some, Sark has not moved to a spread offense.  I will talk about how this affects the defense in the next post but it has yet to be seen how it will affect the offense.  If the playbook really hasn’t changed much, I think the offense has a chance to special.  Sark has always been good at taking advantage of match-ups on the offensive side and as long as this is the focus of the offense and not just ‘going fast’ I feel confident in what the team can do.  The offensive line returns almost everyone and the depth of the whole offense could make running the no-huddle effective.

Position Previews –

Quarterback:
Starter – Keith Price (RSr.)
Keith Price was extremely efficient and productive in his first year as a starter in 2011.  Last year, he was a shadow of himself.  Price couldn’t move around very well, was constantly pressured, and made questionable decisions.  His efficiency in the red-zone, which was what made him great in 2011, slipped dramatically.  Price seemed to want to be too perfect at times and played scared at other times.  I’m hopeful that playing in the no-huddle offense will limit his thinking and get him back to just playing ‘Keith Price’ football.  He is only a few touchdown passes short of breaking the UW career record.  He’s had an amazing career, regardless of the last two games of 2012.  Here’s hoping he gets back to his improvising, accurate ways.  I’m glad he’s our quarterback.
The Depth – Cyler Miles (RFr.), Jeff Lindquist (RFr.), Troy Williams (Fr.)
It seems like what is listed above is the pecking order.  Miles has separated himself as the backup.  He is a good athlete and a play-maker.  His weakness seems to be his arm strength.  Lindquist came in with Miles and, while he may have fallen behind him now, appears to be in the running for the starting job next year.  Jeff is from Mercer Island and has a stronger arm but maybe not the big play ability of Miles.  Williams is a true freshman and was highly recruited around the country.  He is mobile and said to throw the best ball out of all of the quarterbacks (maybe not the most accurate, but the strongest and best spiral).  Expect Williams to redshirt unless everything falls apart.  Unlike last year, the quarterback depth appears to be in solid shape and they seem to be capable backups.   Continue reading

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Live Signing Day Thread

A Class Review By Positions –  No real news coming out of the press conference.  Here is the number of players at each position.  I may sign off for the day after this, so thanks for sticking around.  As always, if something happens we’ll let you know.
QB – 1, RB -1, WR – 3, TE – 1, OL – 3, DL – 4, LB – 4, DB – 4, K – 1, Total – 22

Notes From Sark – One of the points of emphasis was that this class is about quality over quantity in the press conference.  This is probably the first time in Sark’s tenure that he could say that.
Lavon Coleman (RB) is now 220 lbs. fitting the bill of a bigger running back.
Length was a point of emphasis for the class, as it has been for the last year or two.  The staff likes tall players.
Cameron Van Winkle (K) will enroll early and will participate in Spring practice.
Sark says that he would like to red-shirt more players this year.
Sark says, “We have room to expand” in talking about the class.

We’re Back – I’m awake from my nap and am ready to roll now.  Sean Constantine did get his papers in.  Jack went to UCLA.  Falah signed with USC, in a bit of surprising news.  The Huskies weren’t able to swing him but he had been committed to the Trojans all along.  The press conference starts soon so I’ll pass along anything that’s really interesting.  I’ll leave most of that to the professional writers though.  Also, if there’s any more commits I’ll pass that along as well.

Break Time – With that, I’m going to take a bit of a break.  If anything significant happens one of us will update the blog but I don’t expect anything out of the ordinary.  Constantine will go to U-Dub and Jack will probably go to UCLA.  After Constantine, that should put the Huskies at 22 for the day.  The press conference is at 2, if you’re wondering.

Kelly’s Officially A Dawg – Jermaine Kelly just sent in his LOI and is now officially a Dawg.  I wrote a little snippet about him below so check that out.  A good pickup for the Dawgs.

Kelly Announcing Soon – We should hear on Jermaine Kelly any minute and it’s all but confirmed that he’s going to be a Dawg.  From what I’ve read, USC had been talking to Kelly for about the last month and offered him a scholarship yesterday.  This is big for the Dawgs to hold on to him.  He’s a 4-star corner out of California.

11 A.M. Update – Sorry, I had to make Matthew breakfast.  He’s so lazy.  Anyway, nothing has really happened as of late.  Here are a few bits of information.  Jamie Bryant will grayshirt next season.  It’s unclear if he’ll sign today.  Joe Sanders will not be signing with UW, he is signing with a junior college.  It sounds like academics played a part.  The Bellevue guys (Jack and Constantine) will announce at 1 P.M. but don’t expect any surprises.  Jermaine Kelly will announce in about half an hour.  I may take a break after Kelly announces and then come back for the press conference.  The rest of the announcements will come later this afternoon or early evening.  I’ll keep you updated until Kelly announces though.  Thanks for following along!

Keyshawn Bierria Is In – Bierria signs with the Huskies, which, again, isn’t a huge surprise.  Bierria had Oregon State as his favorite before coming to U-Dub on a visit last weekend.  He’s a linebacker from California.

Oops – As Matthew pointed out, Kelly is still expected to sign with the Huskies.  I forgot him down below his comment, so three verbals to go plus Bierria.  That would put the Huskies at 23 commits if all four of those guys sign.

More on Enewally – Matthew here for a second. Enewally has supposedly secretly committed to UW and UCLA numerous times, and had offers pulled at several schools because of how he handled his recruiting.  That said, he’s a talented guy.  He’s expected to play safety, so it shouldn’t say anything about Jermaine Kelly.  Everyone expects Kelly to UW still, just taking a while.

Two Verbal Commits To Go – Unless I’m missing something, the Huskies only have 2 verbal commitments who haven’t signed their letters of intent.  Those two are Sean Constantine (LB) and Jamie Bryant (DT).  Constantine is from Bellevue and I’m fairly sure they do some sort of Signing Day celebration.  I’m not sure what the hold up is for Bryant but I haven’t heard anything about him not getting in.  Of course, it sounded like Bierria will be a Husky.  Aside from those three, I don’t really know who to really expect.

Lavon Coleman signs – The Huskies get their running back as Lavon Coleman signs from Lompoc, California.  Coleman is 6’0, 210 lbs. and I’ve heard him described as a poor man’s Chris Polk.  Coleman is the only running back who verbally committed to U-Dub, so the Dawgs are probably done at that spot.

18 and Counting… The Dawgs are up to 18 signed players counting Williams and Walker.  I’d guess there’s about 7 more to go.  I’ve been saying 22-25 today, but at this point I’m thinking it will be 25.

More Surprises to come? – It sounds as if that won’t be the only surprise today.  It looks like the Dawgs may be trying to fill the spots they left open for the Robinson twins and Hall.

Patrick Enewally is the surprise – Enewally had a very strange recruitment but has decided to sign with the Huskies.  I hope this doesn’t mean anything bad on the Jermaine Kelly status.  Enewally is a corner from California who is 6’1 and played safety in high school.  He’s ranked as a 3-star recruit by Scout.

Connor O’Brien Is In – O’Brien is from the same school as Crane so no surprise that these came at the same time.  This also isn’t the ‘surprise’.  Connor is a linebacker who is 6’3, 205 lbs.  He did play safety in high school but it looks like he’ll be a linebacker.  Scout ranks him as a 3-star recruit.  UPDATE:  The school website lists O’Brien as 230 lbs.  That’s a big discrepancy between Scout and the school so we’ll see.  He could be a rush end type player at that weight.

Dane Crane Signs – This isn’t the surprise.  Dane Crane was ranked the number 3 center in the country by Scout.  He’s from California and is a very good pickup.  Crane might be the best of the offensive linemen the Huskies have so far.  He is the highest rated, at least.  Crane has been fun to follow throughout the process as he seems very excited to be a Husky.

“A Surprise Is Coming In a Few” – The Husky chat just said these words.  I don’t know what this means and it might not be anything different from what we’ve already said.  But, stay tuned.

Kevin King Pushes It To 15 – We have our first defensive back of the day (if you don’t count Trevor Walker).  Kevin King has signed with the Huskies.  He’s a cornerback out of Oakland, California.  He is 6’2 and was ranked as a 3-star by Scout.

Notre Dame Saying “That Was A Mistake” – So, I guess Vanderdoes isn’t supposed to be on that list.  Either that’s a rule infraction or he has sent in his papers to Notre Dame and they accidentally let it slip before his conference at 5 P.M.

Vanderdoes to Notre Dame? – It sounds as if Notre Dame just released that Vanderdoes has sent in papers to them.  That takes out some of the intrigue if it’s true.  Not many thought he would sign with the Huskies so this isn’t really a loss or anything and it’s nice that he didn’t sign inside the conference in that case.

We’re Up To 14 – If you include Troy Williams and Trevor Walker, who are enrolled, the Huskies are up to 14 guys who are in.  The Dawgs won’t take more than 25 (unless all the big names decide to pick him) and probably won’t take less than 22.

Oregon Up, USC Down – Oregon has picked up some good prospects today and it seems like USC is losing a guy about every hour or so.  Oregon could be ranked pretty closely to U-Dub at the end of the day but that was somewhat expected.

Kevin Shelton to Idaho – Kevin Shelton, who is a tight end from Auburn, was thought to be a preferred walk-on for the Huskies but it looks like he took a scholarship at Idaho.  It’s hard to blame a guy for taking a scholarship, so good for him.

Andrew Basham signs – The Dawgs break the dry spell with a big boy from Lynnwood.  Basham is a defensive tackle who is 6’4, 305 lbs.  Apparently he’s really good at shot-put, as well.  Basham is ranked as a 3-star recruit by Scout.  It’s possible that he will be switched to the offensive line.

Slowing Down – For whatever reason, things seem to be slowing down.  The Huskies have about 10 guys left to sign and they will trickle through here at some point.  We’ve gone about 20 minutes without a new letter in though.

UW’s Overall Class – I think it’s easy to get caught up with the ceremony and decisions on Signing Day and forget about the overall class.  So, while losing Daeshon Hall is bad, the overall class still looks very good.  It’s a top-15 class and top-3 in the conference.  Most of the verbal commits will sign with the Huskies.  So, don’t get caught up if a guy has a Husky hat on the table but picks up a different one.  Most of the groundwork for this class was laid a long time ago.

What We’re Missing – The Huskies are waiting on about 12 more guys to sign.  None of the DB’s have signed.  Jermaine Kelly was offered by USC last night, so that’s a guy to keep an eye on (although he seems pretty firm to U-Dub).  The Dawgs are also missing 3 linebackers and 3 defensive linemen.  So, most of the offense is filled up (missing C Dane Crane and RB Lavon Coleman) but the defense still has quite a few guys to add.

Bob Condotta on KJR – Condotta is on KJR right now if you’re by a radio.

UW’s Gained and Lost – So, the Huskies have lost out on some big fish so far.  The Robinson didn’t switch and stayed at Oregon.  Daeshon Hall chose A&M.  The Huskies do appear to be picking up Keishawn Bierria and Joe Sanders though.  Those aren’t quite as big of names but are still solid pickups.

Damore’ea Stringfellow signs – The Huskies appear to have all of their wide receivers locked up for the day.  Stringfellow is probably my favorite wide receiver of the group, but they all are ranked highly.  Stringfellow is 6’3, 215 so another big, outside guy.  11 guys have signed.

10 Letters In – As of 8:08 A.M. there are 10 Letters of Intent in.  So, we probably have 12 to 15 to go.

Joe Mathis signs – Joe Mathis is a defensive end out of California.  He’s 6’4, 255 and is ranked a 4-star recruit by Scout.  Mathis is a really good player and also helps soften the blow of Hall.

More on Bierria – I’m guessing that Bierria took the scholarship that they were holding for Myles Jack as Jack sounds like he’ll be going to UCLA.  I doubt there’s much chance that Jack is going elsewhere, although he hasn’t signed as of 8:05.

Coleman Shelton signs – OL Coleman Shelton, who committed this weekend has now signed with the Huskies as we’re about an hour into the day.  Shelton is the second offensive linemen in the fold, and we’re only waiting for Dane Crane now.  Of course, the Dawgs could add another guy later, hopefully Falah.

Hall to A&M – Daeshon Hall just announced that he is going to Texas A&M.  That’s the first real bad news of the day.  This will hurt the Dawgs in the recruiting standings but if Bierria and Sanders sign (as well as Falah) then it will soften the blow.  Nonetheless, bad news for the Dawgs.

Keishawn Bierria to U-Dub – The Huskies pick up a commitment from California linebacker Keishawn Bierria.  This isn’t really a surprise but he had yet to commit.  His LOI isn’t in yet but it sounds like it’s only a matter of time.

Van Winkle Stats – The Husky website is reporting that K Cameron Van Winkle made at least 6 kicks from 42 yards or farther.  His long is 49 yards.

Spring Practice Update – The Go Huskies chat says that the Huskies will announce the spring practice dates in the next week or so.  They don’t know where the spring game will be yet but will soon.

8 Players Have Signed – Victor, Qualls, Kirkland, Daniels, Farria, Ross, Ajamu, and Van Winkle have signed.  So, not counting Walker and Williams the Dawgs have 8 in.

Cameron Van Winkle Signs – The Huskies have their kicker as Mt. Si’s Cameron Van Winkle signs with the Dawgs.  He is a good kicking recruit and has range to about 55 yards from what I have read.  I had heard that he’d be enrolling early but I’m guessing that this won’t happen.

More on Daniels – Via the school’s live chat, Daniels is 6-4 and ran a 10.74 100 meter.  No real news there but that’s the time and sizes the coaches have on him.

David Ajamu signs – Ajamu is a TE from Washington who had been committed to Oregon State before flipping a few months ago.  He gives the Huskies some depth at TE and will probably red-shirt this year.  Ajamu is 6-4, 255.

Hall to Texas A&M – Lots of rumors out there that Daeshon Hall is headed to Texas A&M.  This would obviously be a big loss but we’ll wait and see.  Official news should come any minute.

Darrell Daniels is in – Daniels is another 4-star receiver.  This is a class that should keep the U-Dub receiver group strong for the next 4 years.  Daniels is a bigger guy than Ross and is more likely to play on the outside while Ross is more of a slot guy.

Andrew Kirkland signs – The first offensive lineman of the day signs.  Kirkland is out of Portland, Oregon.  He is listed as an offensive tackle by the school so that may or may not be telling.  He is a 3-star commit.

John Ross Signs – John Ross, one of the 3 4-star wide receiver commits, has sent in his LOI.  John Ross is supposedly the fastest of the receivers and is a little smaller than Daniels or Stringfellow.

A Surprise? – Rumors are swirling that Joe Sanders, who visited when Reuben Foster, is going to sign with Washington.  This is a big surprise if it does happen.  I don’t know if this bodes well for Hall signing but you take all the good players you can get.  Sanders is a 3-star defensive end from Georgia.  Here’s his Scout profile.  If he is signing with U-Dub, a tornado drill is holding up the process.  That’s a new one.

Robinson Twins Going To Oregon – I can’t say I’m really surprised, but the Tyrell and Tyree Robinson showed up to their signing wearing all Oregon gear so it looks like they’re headed there.  It’s too bad but it’s not really a loss since the Huskies never had them.

Azeem Victor Is In – Azeem Victor, a linebacker from California, has signed his letter and is in the fold.  Lots of letters starting to come in now.

Elijah Qualls Signs – The big 6’4, 280 DT/FB is the second guy to get his fax in.  He is one of my favorite players in the class.  He hits people really hard and is athletic for his size.  He is a 4-star recruit and a very solid new player for the Dawgs.

Robinson Twins Going To Oregon? – There was a tweet just sent out that makes it sound as if the Robinson’s are headed to Oregon.  Nothing official but I’m guessing that it’s correct.

Hall Announcing at 7:30 – It sounds as if Hall will announce at 7:30 so we should know soon on him.

More Farria – Farria is ranked as a 3-star commit by both big recruiting services.  He may have gone up in those rankings but didn’t attend many summer camps.  He seems to have some upside.  Here is his scout profile.

7:05 A.M. – Now seems like an appropriate time to remember that S Trevor Walker and QB Troy Williams have already enrolled in school.  They still have to send in papers today, but their isn’t much drama there.

7:00 A.M. – And we’re off as Marcus Farria is the first to get his letter in.  Farria is a defensive end out of Arizona.  One of those long, lean guys that the Huskies have recruited in recent years.  He’s about 6’4, 220 and will look to add weight when he comes into school.  He’s a part of a very strong defensive line class.

6:54 A.M. – I just realized this is my 300th post at the blog.  It’s fitting that it comes today on one of my favorite events to cover.  Thanks for everyone who has followed along over the last few years!

6:40 A.M. – Good morning, Dawg fans.  We’re up and running now at just past 6:30 for one of the more interesting sports days of the year.  Today, the Huskies, and about 120 other teams will add around 25 players to their roster.  In no other sport does that happen and that’s why this day is interesting.  Sure, people over-hype players but it’s somewhat ignorant to say that it doesn’t matter where these kids sign.  These ‘kids’ will be a teams core in 4 years and, while coaching is probably the most important aspect of college football, you can’t teach a player true talent.

Anyway, throughout the day I’ll be posting updates here about the NLI’s that come in.  They should start rolling in here any minute.  The Robinson twins are supposed to announce anytime although they just sent out a tweet that said, “Would that b crazy if I don’t sign today.  That’s how I’m feeling.”  So, who knows what will happen there.  Daeshon Hall is supposed to announce at 8:30.  Eddie Vanderdoes is announcing at 5 P.M. today so we’ll have to wait a while for that one, although it doesn’t sound like the Dawgs will get the big man.  Others will decide throughout the day, although I don’t think the Huskies will get more than 1 or 2 surprises.  We’ll keep you updated here and hopefully everyone will decide early so that way I can take a nap.

There’s plenty of other places to catch the information today.  Bob Condotta always does a great job covering whatever comes his way.  The school website has some cool formats and information on the new players.  UW Dawgpound has some player profiles that are well done.  I’ll pass along more links throughout the day.  So, here we go!

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Signing Week Thread

Update 2/5 10:30 a.m.

In the previous update, Matthew asked me (Andrew) the question, ” who’s your favorite player or position group in this class?”  Normally I have a hard time with this question.  How can you pick out a favorite player in the class when you have only seen highlight films?  With that being said, Elijah Qualls is easily my favorite player in this class.

Qualls is a defensive tackle out of California.  He’s 6’2″ and 280 and ranked the number 11 DT in the nation by Scout.  People really like his athleticism, as he also lined up at running back and fullback in high school.  If he doesn’t redshirt next year, I would expect to see him in on some goal-line formations on offense.  He’s got a great motor and as he adds some weight, I think he’ll be a difference maker.  I imagine he’ll play in the tackle spot that’s opposite of Danny Shelton (so, a little farther away from nose tackle than a defensive tackle usually is).  As well as being a high ranked recruit, Qualls has been a recruiter in this process.  He was one of the ring leaders in getting seven players to commit to the Huskies one day last summer.  Judging by his Tweets, he’s very excited to move up to Seattle and put on the purple and gold.

My favorite position group of this class is between wide-receiver and defensive line.  I tend to get a little more excited about the wide-receivers as a group because I think they’re easier to project.  As Matthew wrote a few weeks ago, it’s hard to know which of the incoming freshmen will be the best.  Demorea Stringfellow, Darrell Daniels, and John Ross should have the Dawgs loaded at receiver for the next few years.  After watching last year, I think that’s not something we should take for granted.  Stringfellow and Daniels are both big guys that are athletic but Ross is the burner.  Stringfellow is probably my favorite out of the group but I can’t say without hesitation that he’s any better than the other three.  These guys are all 4-star recruits.

As we move closer to the big day, here’s another question to bounce around (mainly for Matthew to answer but if you have an answer or a question, leave it in the comments), who is a commit that you like that is flying under the radar a little bit?

There’s a lot to choose from in that question.  For some reason, Troy Williams (a highly-ranked quarterback who has already enrolled) hasn’t gotten a lot of hype even though he’s one of the best QB’s on the West Coast.  A true under the radar guy I like is Coleman Shelton.  He’s the offensive tackle that committed this weekend.  While offering a kid this late in the season may point to him being a back-up plan, Shelton has a very impressive highlight tape and is a big guy.  He also seems to be an actual offensive tackle, which differs from past years where the Dawgs have recruited offensive linemen and then put them where they saw best.  Sure, he may end up at guard but Coleman seems to have the body for tackle.  What do you say, Matthew?

Update 2/4 7:30

I’m sitting watching Twitter, waiting for MLB Reuben Foster to pick a school.  Such is the life of recruiting-watchers.  Foster, if you remember, is one of the top few players in the country and made the surprising trek from Alabama to visit Washington twice in the last year.  The Huskies are reportedly in his top three, with Alabama and Auburn.  I expect there is next to no chance he becomes a Husky, but we’ll see.  He should announce before I finish writing this, so keep reading!

The week of signing day is crazy, but this year the Huskies’ craziness is mostly behind the coaches doors.  Rumors leak out if you follow this stuff, but there’s not a lot of solid news.  Really, there’s no solid news, other than the commit Andrew talks about below and an offer going out to LB Keishawn Bierria while he was on campus this weekend.

Last year, things were much more exciting right now.  Shaq Thompson had just committed, rumors were all over about a number of guys, Jordan Payton still had five schools to commit too, and the Huskies still had holes to fill in their class.  This year, they are still in on a lot of guys, but it’s not a whirlwind like last year.  There are a couple of reasons.  Last year, the Huskies had a mediocre class until they hired half of a new staff.  Once Lupoi, Wilcox and the rest came aboard, everything picked up, and the Dawgs ended with a solid class.  This year, the class has been excellent for a long time and keeps getting better.  They currently have 22 commits, with DE Daeshon Hall looking like the only one who they could possibly lose.  More on him later.  The class doesn’t have major holes.  It could use another offensive lineman and a safety, but if they signed the exact class that is currently publicly committed, it would be one of the best in the country and probably the best for UW since Neuheisel signed Reggie Williams, Charles Frederick and friends.

That’s not to say they’re not in on some major players.  The most likely appear to be twins and current Oregon recruits Tyrell and Tyree Robinson.  They were on campus this weekend and are reportedly torn between the two schools.  Both are phenomenal athletes.  One would likely play LB, the other receiver or in the secondary, and both would also play basketball, where they legitimate prospects.  Rumors are that one of them favors UW, and one Oregon, so we’ll see.  OL Nico Falah still has a chance to be a Dawg.  He’s announcing Wednesday.  Same for DT Eddie Vanderdoes, maybe the best player in the west.  There are some others, and there might be surprises, but there’s not a lot to say right now.  We just have to wait and see.

By the way, Reuben Foster just picked Alabama.  Oh well.

Before I sign off, I’ll throw a question to Andrew, the other Good Guys, or anyone who wants to comment.  We’ll start with an easy one: who’s your favorite player or position group in this class?

I like a lot of these players, which is what makes this class excellent.  It’s loaded with potential playmakers and elite athletes.  If I’m picking a single player, it might be CB Jermaine Kelly.  I think he might have the best chance of being a star.  He’s tall, fast, with instincts and athleticism to make him one of the top receivers in the west, as well.  What I really like about this class, however, is the defensive line, especially the defensive ends.  They need to keep Hall, but that looks likely.  He’s a 6’6″ edge rusher with potential to be the best pass-rusher UW has had in years.  Jo-Jo Mathis is bigger, with potential to shift inside at times.  He’s big, mean, athletic and talented.  Marcus Farria has great size and supposedly would be one of the top few defensive players in the west if not for some off the field issues.  It sounds like those are getting cleared up, leaving only the academics as a barrier between him and Husky Stadium sacks.  Mathis has some grade issues as well, so keep your fingers crossed.

Most years, the Huskies would be happy to have any one of these three.  This year they have all of them, hopefully.  A pass rush might finally be on its way.  Who’s your pick, Andrew?

-Matthew

If you have been a follower of the Good Guys for a while you know that Signing Day for college football is one of our favorite times of year.  I will be doing my annual ‘Live-Blogging Extravaganza’ on Wednesday starting around 6:30 AM.  I’ll be cooking up some chorizo in Maple Valley and then sitting at my laptop for around 8 straight hours, trying to stay awake.  If that sounds appealing to anyone, you’re welcome to join me.  I’m looking into doing a live chat sort of things so then we can get all of the Good Guys involved, but we’ll see.

For now, we’ll have this thread.  The 2 days leading up to Signing Day can bring a good amount of excitement so Matthew and I will be on this thread updating whatever comes our way.  There are a few big fish left that the Huskies have been trying to catch and news could break before signing day about who’s going where.  I’ll leave you with some bullet points for now, but we’ll update this thread over the next 2 days.  Stay tuned!

  • We might as well start with the real news, instead of the mass rumors.  The real news is that the Huskies picked up a commitment from OL Coleman Shelton.  He’s rated a 3-star recruit by Rivals and is a nice pickup for the Dawgs, who were short on lineman.  Shelton comes from the same school as Sean Parker, Troy Williams, Dashon Goldson and a few other former Dawgs.  Shelton is termed as a late-bloomer (think along the lines of James Atoe) but offensive linemen are so hard to project that if the Husky coaches think he’s worth a scholarship than they are probably right.  He’s said to have an offer to Colorado, Nevada and a few other lower-conference schools.  This is a really down year for West-Coast offensive linemen but it looks like the Huskies have picked up 3 decent ones, thus far.
  • Nico Falah is another offensive lineman that the Huskies are recruiting.  He’ll announce where he’s going on Signing Day but things seem to be looking up for the Dawgs.  Falah is highly touted and had verbally committed to USC before opening his recruitment again.  This would be a great pickup for the Dawgs.
  • There are a few other higher profile recruits who the Dawgs have offered but they are far less likely to get them than Falah.  These include Myles Jack, Reuben Foster, the Robinson twins and Eddie Vanderdoes.  Out of those five, I’d Foster is the only one who the Huskies don’t really have a shot at.  The Robinson twins visited this weekend and rumors are that one could go to Oregon and the other to U-Dub.  Vanderdoes is probably the most likely at this point.  I’ll leave you with some predictions of where a few players that the Huskies are recruiting will end up.  I don’t really have any inside information, I just read a lot so take that into account.  I will try to get Matthew to add his in later.  I’ll probably get all of these wrong but here it goes:
  • Reuben Foster LB (announcing tonight):  Auburn
    Myles Jack 
    LB:  UCLA
    Eddie Vanderdoes 
    DT:  USC
    Nico Falah OT:  Washington
    Tyrell Robinson
     Ath:  Oregon
    Tyree Robinson
     Ath:  Oregon
    Keishawn Bierra LB:  Washington

That’s all for now, folks.  We’ll keep you updated as much as possible!  Go Dawgs!

Andrew

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Husky Recruiting Chit-Chat

While the Seahawks are storming through the NFL, the Huskies ended their season on a down note with tight losses in the Apple Cup and Vegas Bowl.  Despite the disappointing end, the outlook for the 2013 Huskies is bright.  They only lose a few starters, and with improved offensive line and quarterback play, both of which I would consider likely, they should be ready to make a run at the top of the conference.  Right now the Husky coaches are locked into recruiting season, and it’s looking a lot more promising than the end of the football season was.

Signing day is the first Wednesday in February, about a month away.  Right now the Huskies have a class of 20 commits, and it’s an excellent group.  Most recruiting rankers consider it among the top 10-15 classes in the country, for whatever that’s worth.  They’re likely to take a class of about 25 players, although I would expect some turnover among the 20 current commitments.  The last month of recruiting is crazy, like that November Saturday when the top four teams all lose. Kids will change their minds, and unfortunately some will be encouraged to look elsewhere by coaches, either because they haven’t progressed as much as expected or because there’s someone better to take their place.

I’m not going to go too in-depth with this post since a lot will change before signing day.  The Huskies already have a quarterback in the boat. Troy Williams is supposed to start classes at UW tomorrow, taking him off the market and letting him participate in spring practices.  He’s a good one, compared to a bigger and more polished Keith Price at the same point in his career (although that was a bigger compliment 4 months ago).  I doubt he’d play this year due to the Huskies’ depth, but it wouldn’t be a shock if he made a run at replacing Price in 2014.  S Trevor Walker is also supposed to enroll early, but probably not until spring quarter. Continue reading

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Some Random News

The Mariners are winning 2-0 right now, but they’ve done little else lately to make me want to write about them, at least at the big league level.  So, here’s a post about a whole bunch of other stuff!  By the way, did anyone make it to the Sonics rally?  None of us could make it, and I’m really regretting it.  It sounds like it was incredible.  If you were there, please put your thoughts in the comments.  Would love to hear a first hand account.  On to the news!

Mariners Draft

The Mariners have signed the majority of the draft picks they are likely to sign.  Of their top 11 picks, only two are unsigned.  One is Mike Zunino, the third pick overall.  He’s currently playing in the college world series and will likely sign immediately after it’s finished.  The other is 8th round 1B Nick Halamandaris (I think I spelled that right).  He’s likely to not sign and go to college at this point.

If you read any of our posts or any thing else about the draft, you’ve probably heard about the new bonus pools to which teams have to adhere.  Simply, each pick through round ten has a value attached to it, and teams have the sum total of their pick values to spread around to those guys.  This led to some strategic drafting, with some teams taking guys they knew they could sign for cheap who aren’t as talented, so that they would have more money for other guys.  The Mariners went the opposite way and took a lot of the better players that other teams were passing on.  Right now, the Mariners are also way over their budget right now.  That should be rectified when Zunino signs, because it’s expected he’ll sign for quite a bit under slot value.

It’s been interesting to watch their signing and draft strategy, but it’s not really important that you know any of that if you don’t care.  All that’s important is that the Mariners don’t spend more than 5% over their bonus pool, because then they start losing picks.  I would be absolutely shocked if they do that.  If you hear anyone panicking about this, just disregard them and realize that the Mariners know what they’re doing.  They can’t play baseball, but they can definitely handle a budget!

By the way, lots of the draft picks are playing in Everett, if you’re in the area.  Zunino should be higher up, depending on when he signs, but the Aquasox have an interesting roster this year.

The Minors

I’ll keep this short, but Danny Hultzen is essentially the most dominating pitcher for his level in all of organized baseball at the moment.  The other day he struggled a bit and still threw a shutout.  He’s starting his league all-star game and will likely go to Tacoma, if not Seattle, immediately after.  Nick Franklin is also having a pretty ridiculous year and could be at shortstop in Tacoma before long.  Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, the rest of the Big Three, are struggling and injured respectively, but it’s nothing to be too concerned about.  Not a lot of other pressing news at the moment.

Husky Recruiting

Husky football received a huge commitment today from Cali WR Darrell Daniels.  He’s 6’3″ 210 and the best WR on the west coast, according to Scout.com.  They have him as the 5th best WR in the country and 35th player overall, and he’ll be a 5-star guy when they update their rankings.  This is a huge pickup.  He’s similar to Kasen in size and prestige, but looks a little faster on his tape.  It’s a long way to signing day, but if Sark can hang onto him, he should be an immediate contributor in 2013.

Daniels was visiting this weekend with a few other top prospects, including DE Joe Mathis.  I’ve seen speculation that they could have another commitment or two before long, so we’ll keep you posted.  The Huskies now have 8 commits, and it’s shaping up to be one of their best classes in a while.  They added a 4-star QB, Troy Williams, last week, who is often compared to Keith Price, but more advanced coming out of high school.  Half of the group is from in-state, which is good, although the top two uncommitted guys, LBs Myles Jack and Danny Mattingly, from Bellevue and Spokane respectively, could be tough to land.  Still, the Huskies are in on a lot of big time guys from California as well and shouldn’t have any problem filling what’s expected to be a smaller class with elite talent.

-Matthew

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