Time to continue our series examining some of the players that have committed to UW’s Class of 2011, and today we’ll make it a combo entry with the Long Beach Poly duo of Corey Waller and Kameron Jackson.
Waller, listed at 6-2, 210, didn’t put up huge stats this season, but his coach, Raul Lara, said that was mostly due to some nagging injuries.
“He was hurt a lot this year,” he said. “Wish he’d had a better year but he was just banged up this year, a shoulder and an ankle.”
He also had some knee issues and recently had arthroscopic surgery, but Lara said that all indications are that it is not serious.
Waller put up bigger numbers when healthy as a junior with 70 tackles and 9.5 sacks, which helped initially get him on the recruiting radar — he was listed as having offers from USC, Oregon State and WSU, among others, before choosing UW.
“He’s very explosive,” Lara said. “He has real great speed coming around the corner. The issue with him is he is kind of like a hybrid, whether he can be a defensive end or an outside linebacker, or he could even be a safety. It just depends on what Washington is going to end up doing with him, and it will be interesting. If he becomes a defensive end he obviously needs to become bigger. If he says at linebacker he probably just needs to put on a little more weight. If he ends up at safety, he just needs to learn that position because he didn’t really play it with us.”
Lara said Waller was primarily a defensive end and didn’t play offense.
Waller committed to UW in November and has been firm with the Huskies since.
UW has had to work harder with Jackson, a 5-10, 175-pound cornerback who initially committed to the Huskies in April, then re-opened his commitment this month, taking a trip to Colorado and considering Cal before firming things up with UW again last week, a key reaffirmation as he is one of two cornerbacks in Washington’s class.
Asked about Jackson’s dalliance with other schools, Lara said: “I think what happened is when you commit to one school, the other schools call and he was getting swept in all of that — they come hard after you. We had a nice little talk that he needed to make a decision and stop looking around and let’s go, and whatever decision he makes just go with it 100 percent, and that’s what he did.”
One reason schools kept calling is that Jackson’s stock only rose after he committed to UW in the spring, then turned in a uniquely standout year for Poly, being named the defensive MVP of the Moore League.
“That’s the first time a cornerback has ever done that,” Lara said, adding that Jackson had six interceptions “and pretty much shut down whatever receiver we told him to cover. He’s got such great feet and coverage speed, he is going to be a pretty good corner at the next level.”
However, Lara said Jackson may need a little time, saying that “I think every high school kid needs to get bigger and stronger, and with him he needs to because he will see a lot of big receivers in the Pac-10.”
Here is some video of Waller:
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And some of Jackson:
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