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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 27, 2009 at 8:53 PM

Was Class of 2003 first to not have a draftee?

This weekend’s NFL Draft completed, with Juan Garcia left unselected, also closed the door on UW’s Class of 2003 in terms of producing NFL draftees.
And the grand total? Zero, making it one of few UW recruiting classes to yield not a single draft pick. I say one of the few since I don’t know for sure and it would require a lot of research to find out the last time that didn’t happen — which is different than just looking back at years when there weren’t draft picks since that doesn’t necessarily equate to just one earlier recruiting class. I may get around to doing that research someday, but for the purposes of this entry, I figure it’s safe to say it hasn’t happened since at least Don James took over in 1975, and may not happen again anytime soon.
The Class of 2004 yielded one draft pick in Dashon Goldson and the Class of 2005 still has some chances left with the likes of Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and E.J. Savannah possibilities to get selected next year. The Class of 2006 has Jake Locker, and the others are too early to even really begin speculating about much.
The Class of 2003 seemed to have a lot of promise at the time. It was the last signed to UW by Rick Neuheisel and rated No. 18 in the country and second in the Pac-10 by Scout.com.
Its highest-rated player, in the estimation of Scout.com, was JC tight end Jon Lyon, the only five-star player in the class.
Four-star players were QB Carl Bonnell (listed in this class after he got out of his WSU LOI signed the previous year), JC DT Mike Mapuolesega, PK Michael Braunstein, LB Tahj Bomar and WR Craig Chambers.
Among 13 three-star players, again by Scout.com, was RB Louis Rankin (here’s the entire list).
But of 28 players listed in that class, not a one ended up being taken in the NFL Draft.
Obviously, you can’t blame just Neuheisel since he never even had a chance to coach any of them — though worth noting now that his UW five classes yielded just nine draft picks (giving him the entire credit for the Class of 1999 which gives him credit for Cody Pickett, who committed to Jim Lambright but stayed on at the urging of Neuheisel).
Also surely to blame is the carousel of coaches that class had — signed by Neuheisel, but playing for Keith Gilbertson by the time they showed up and then finishing under Tyrone Willingham.
It’s also exhibit number 890,712 and counting about putting everything into recruiting rankings — at No. 18, that’s the highest-rated UW class since 2001 other than the Class of 2008, which was at No. 14.

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