Our recent review of the Class of 2007 brought a request for a similar look at the Class of 2008.
We aim to please, so here it is. And a review of the Class of 2008 is a little happier topic for UW fans as it’s proving to be maybe the best for the Huskies of the past decade, yielding at least six players who will be starters next season, including such high-profile players as Jermainie Kearse, Chris Polk and Alameda Ta’amu (pictured to the right forcing a holding call for a safety in the Holiday Bowl in a Dean Rutz photo).
The Class of 2008 was the last full class signed by Tyrone Willingham, and was the highest-rated of the Willingham Era, as well rated No, 14 by Scout.com and No. 24 by Rivals.com (proof that ratings sometimes get it right). Class was ranked as high as it was largely due to UW getting most of pretty good group of in-state recruits (among them Kearse, Ta’amu, Kavario Middleton and Everrette Thompson) as well as the late switch by Polk to decommit from USC and sign with the Huskies.
Of 26 players, I count 16 that started at least one game for the Huskies so far (including a couple no longer with the team). There also, however, are 11 players no longer at Washington, leaving 15 (most of whom, as you can see, could have key roles for the Huskies next year).
Here’s a look at each signee:
CB/S Justin Glenn — Started four games at safety in 2009 before suffering a broken leg. Served as a backup and on special teams in 2010 and will contend again for playing time in the secondary in 2011.
OL Drew Schaefer — Started every game last season (11 at center, two at tackle) and projects as the starting center again in 2011.
OL Senio Kelemete — After playing on defense in 2008, has been a full-time starter on the OL the last two years, last season at LT, the spot he figures to again play in 2011.
MLB Bradly Roussel — Spent one year at UW before transferring to Northwestern State, an FCS school in Natchitoches, La. He had 17 tackles in seven games, no starts, last season for the Demons.
MLB Kurt Mangum — Spent two years at UW before leaving after the 2009 season for Howard, an FCS school in Washington, D.C. Had 76 tackles last season for Howard.
OG Allen Carroll — Oakland native spent one year on UW roster before leaving in the spring of 2009. He has since signed with UNLV.
RB Chris Polk — Two-year starter at TB and should contend for All-Conference and maybe even All-American honors in 2011.
OL/DL Alameda Ta’amu — Has 29 starts on the DL and after a breakout Holiday Bowl game, could contend for All-Conference honors in 2011.
S/TB Johri Fogerson — Started three games at safety in 2008 before moving to TB, where he has been a reserve. Missed all but one game last year with a hip injury and school is said to be appealing for a redshirt.
CB Adam Long — After starting last six games in 2009 he was a reserve last season as well as playing on a lot of special teams. Will contend to be in the rotation at CB again this year.
WR Cody Bruns — A reserve WR the last three years (and has officially started twice) and also has carved out a key special teams role as a holder and returner.
QB Luther Leonard — Switched to WR and has worked primarily on the scout teams.
OL Mykenna Ikehara — Started the Cal game in 2009 and then was a reserve all of last season at guard/center. Should contend for openings on the OL this year.
DE Everrette Thompson — Started every game on the DL in 2010 and projects as a starter again in 2011.
TE Kavario Middleton — Starter at TE in 2008 and 2009 before being dimissed from the team last summer and is now at Montana.
WR Jermaine Kearse — Two-year starter at receiver and an all-conference second team pick each of last two years.
WR Jordan Polk — Has been a reserve receiver the last three years, officially getting one start, and will contend to again be in the rotation in 2011.
RB Terrance Dailey — UW’s leading rusher in 2008 but then left the team due to academic reasons in 2009. Later transferred to Sacramento State but is no longer on the roster there, either.
CB Anthony Gobern — Backup CB who was a regular on special teams in 2010.
S Greg Walker — Backup safety the last two years (with one start) and also a key special teamer who shared the team’s MVP award for special teams in 2010.
DT Craig Noble — Highly-touted player who signed with UW after also considering UCLA, had to give up football before getting into a game due to heart-related health reasons.
RB Demitrius Bronson — Saw some time as a backup in 2009 but didn’t see any action last season and has since transferred to Eastern Washington.
QB Dominique Blackman — Signed with Idaho on signing day.
RB David Freeman — Played at UW in 2008, starting twice, before leaving team due to academic reasons. How at San Jose State and had 163 yards on 39 carries this season for the Spartans.
OT Terence Thomas — Never saw action for UW and retired prior to last season due to foot injuries.
S Vince Taylor — Never played, battling injuries throughout the 2009 season, and didn’t return for 2010. Not sure where he is right now.