As the roster reviews published here the last few days should have made evident, the Huskies won’t exactly be heavy with seniors next season — there could be no more than 15.
And of that number, just eight are fifth-year seniors who came in as members of the Class of 2007, which was the largest of the three full classes Tyrone Willingham recruited to UW, numbering 27.
Given that, I thought maybe it would be an opportune time to review that class, which was rated 29th nationally by Scout.com and fourth in the Pac-10, and 36th nationally by Rivals.com and also fourth in the Pac-10.
DB Marquis Persley — Looms as a backup safety heading into his senior season and has yet to start a game for the Huskies.
S Victor Aiyewa — A key contributor throughout his career, was a starting LB as a senior last season.
DL Tyrone Duncan — Transferred to Montana after the 2009 season.
LB Cort Dennison — A starter last season and slated to be again next year at MLB.
WR Anthony Boyles — Academic issues delayed his enrollment to 2008 and after playing sparingly, has transferred to Idaho State where he will have two years remaining.
CB Byron Davenport — JC transfer was starter for most of 2007 but injured in 2008 and finished career at the D-II level.
OT Mark Armelin — Never saw significant time and departed the team last summer for what were reported as academic reasons.
DT Nick Wood — Wood, who has since been switched to the OL, got a few starts in 2009 but projects as a reserve next season.
RB Curtis Shaw — Played as a true frosh in 2007, then left team in 2008, then returned in 2009, then transferred to Sacramento State after playing sparingly.
OT Skyler Fancher — Fancher’s career has been derailed by injuries and he was a backup last season and will enter 2011 again in a reserve role.
P Jared Ballman — JC transfer played two seasons before graduating.
RB Brandon Johnson — One of the highest-rated members of the class, seemed on track for a starring role with a 100-yard game against Cal as a true freshmen. Saw regular time against in 2008 but then was declared ineligible in the summer of 2009. Finished with 390 yards on 127 carries as a Husky.
DE Kalani Aldrich — Hawaii native has battled injuries throughout his career and will enter 2011 battling for time at defensive end.
RB Willie Griffin — Saw action in 2008 and 2009, but after his time decreased markedly in 2009 he transferred to Portland State.
FB Austin Sylvester — The team’s primary starter at fullback last year as a senior.
WLB Mason Foster — The biggest overachiever in the class, was a three-year starter and among the leading tacklers in school history.
WR Devin Aguilar — Has been a key contributor as a receiver for three years and will enter spring ball as a starter.
WR/DB Alvin Logan — Saw significant time in 2008 before battling injuries that eventually caused him to give up football prior to the 2010 season.
K Erik Folk — After battling injuries early in career, has been the team’s starting kicker last two years and will be again next season.
RB Brandon Yakaboski — Career derailed after suffering a knee injury in 2008 that eventually caused him to give up football prior to the 2010 season.
S Nate Williams — Had a solid four-year career at UW, the last three as a starting safety.
OG Scott Shugert — Never saw significant action and transferred to Portland State in the summer of 2010.
CB Vonzell McDowell — A regular contributor throughout his career, including starting the first three games of his career in 2007. Played four seasons and eligibility now exhausted.
QB Ronnie Fouch — Starter for eight games in 2008 after an injury to Jake Locker, but then transferred following the 2009 season to Indiana State, where he was the starter last season. Interesting to wonder, obviously, how he might have fit into the 2011 QB situation had he stayed.
CB Quinton Richardson — Regained his starting spot at CB last season and will be a starter heading into the 2011 season.
TE Chris Izbicki — A significant contributor at TE the last two seasons, though he didn’t live up to the lofty recruiting rankings, and then decided to retire from football prior to the Holiday Bowl.
OL Emeka Iweka — Never got eligible, then after attending Arizona Western JC decided to turn to basketball, and played last season at North Idaho College.
So, out of 27 signees, there are four players who figure to be starters five years later — Dennison, Aguilar, Folk and Richardson. And only four others who are still on the roster— Persley, Wood, Fancher and Aldrich.
There were six other players who finished out their eligibility at UW — Foster, Williams, Sylvester, Ballman, Aiyewa and McDowell.
The other 13 either had their careers end early due to injury, transferred, failed academically or never got admitted.
Given what’s happened at UW the last four years — an 0-12 season and a coaching change — some attrition was inevitable, and losing roughly half the class before the end of its eligibility would probably be about the norm. The best way to check would obviously be to compare this list with other conference schools and see how many fifth-year seniors are on their rosters — something I’ll try to do someday but haven’t yet.
For now, what’s most apparent is that UW will be depending as much on the Class of 2008 as it will the Class of 2007 for senior leadership in 2011.