Any worries that the Huskies didn’t have more commitments for the Class of 2011 evaporated quickly in the last week.
A furious rush of commitments in recent days has UW now with 11, tied with Arizona State for the most in the Pac-12. UCLA and Cal have the fewest, at two, with everyone else somewhere in between.
Here is a list of UW’s commitments to date:
OLB Jeremy Castro, 6-3, 245, Murrieta, Calif. (Vista Murrieta)
S Jason Thompson, 6-2, 205, Burien (Kennedy)
S Taylor Lagace, 6-1, 200, Arcadia, Calif. (Arcadia)
DE Kalei Auelua, 6-1.5, 240, Honolulu (St. Louis)
CB Bryan Harper, 6-foot, 170, Ontario, Calif. (Colony)
P Korey Durkee, 6-4, 195, Gig Harbor (Gig Harbor)
WR Kendyl Taylor, 6-foot, 175, Chandler, Az. (Hamilton)
MLB Blake Rodgers, 6-2, 220, Las Flores, Calif. (Tesoro)
WR Michael Rector, 6-foot, 170, Tacoma (Bellarmine Prep)
DL Malcolm Jackson, 6-3, 255, Spring Valley. Calif. (Mount Miguel)
CB Damontae Kazee, 5-11, 170, San Bernardino, Calif. (Cajon)
OT Nathan Dean, 6-5, 270, Kirkland (Juanita)
WR Dwayne Washington, 6-foot, 170, Cerritos, Calif. (Gahr)
QB Cyler Miles, 6-2, 220, Denver (Mullen)
CB Darien Washington, 5-11, 175 Orange, Calif., (Lutheran)
QB Jeff Lindquist, 6-3, 225, Mercer Island (Mercer Island)
RB Tairen Owens, 5-9, 165, Pasadena (Muir)
Taylor, Rodgers and Rector all arrived (at least publicly, anyway) on Saturday, concluding a run of seven commitments in the past eight days, a stretch that has begun to put a face on this recruiting class, though it is far from being truly defined.
Some of the players remain unrated by one or more of the recruiting sites due to the fact that it’s still early in the process, which for some fans can make it difficult to get a sense of just how highly-rated this class may turn out to be. Reality is, until every school’s class begins to form a little more, there’s no real sense in rankings (assuming, of course, that there ever is).
UW appears set at quarterback and receiver for this class, and the group is obviously heavy overall on skill players — six are receivers, running backs or quarterbacks. That’s not a necessarily uncommon way for a class to begin to take shape. Quarterbacks, in particular, as a group tend to commit earlier since most schools take only one or two at a time, and spots close quickly.
That though, means the need for UW going forward is obvious — linemen.
UW has just two commitments so far from linemen, one on each side of the ball, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see maybe 10 total by the time this class is done. The top offensive line targets have been well-documented — Zach Banner and Joshua Garnett, specifically. And with those guys saying they are going to take their time to make a decision, it may be a be a while before it can be assessed how UW is doing in getting linemen.
I’d expect that UW is only roughly halfway done, and that the Huskies will take close to a full class of 25, if not right at a full class, by the time it’s all done. Even if it may appear UW doesn’t have the room at the moment to take that many, a lot can happen between now and September, 2012, when that number first really matters.
Some of the recruits so far have been regarded public as “under-the-radar” types. But they obviously weren’t “under-the-radar” to UW coaches, which ultimately is all that really matters. UW coaches insist they don’t pay much attention to star ratings, (though to be accurate, all coaches say that even if that doesn’t preclude some of them from referring to glowing recruiting ratings when it suits their purposes).
Coaches generally say they trust their own evaluations instead of those of recruiting sites, and fans don’t have much choice but to have just as much trust in their coaches that they know what their doing — if it proves that they didn’t, it’s the coaches who will pay the ultimate punishment down the road.
Early commitments also lead some fans to wonder if coaches don’t worry about taking too many now and not having enough spots open later if “higher-rated” recruits decide to jump in the boat. That’s definitely one of the juggling acts coaches constantly face in recruiting.
Since the NCAA requires that all of this happen behind somewhat of a cloak of invisibility, however, it can be hard at times to know exactly what the coaches are thinking. And again, in general fans just have to trust that they’ve already sorted those issues out before taking commitments. Maybe they already have a pretty good sense of where some of those later pieces are going to land. Reality is, it’ll be a few years before anyone really knows just how well the decisions bein