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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 6, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Recruiting update

The bye week means the UW coaches are hitting the road recruiting.

Which means it must be time to check in again on how UW’s recruiting is going, right?

That’s been a topic a lot of fans have asked as recruiting news has slowed a bit from the summer — though it would have been impossible not to given the pace then as UW got 11 commitments in June alone. A couple more in July gave UW 17 for the Class of 2012 — though the Huskies haven’t gotten any since.

As a refresher, here’s the players UW who have given reported commitments to UW:

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)

To catch up on where UW is now, I turned to Jake Worthen, the West Recruiting Analyst for Fox Sports/Scout.com.

Worthen says the fact that UW hasn’t gotten any commitments lately isn’t out of the ordinary, and that a lot of schools have seen things slow once the season hit.

“It has been slow lately,” he said. “Some of that is just the time of the year. Definitely a quiet time for the coaches, a lot of the kids they are waiting on are taking their time in making their decision and either haven’t decided or won’t decide for at least another month or two. There is kind of a lull in recruiting. The guys that haven’t decided are the guys that want to take visits, and that’s not just at Washington, but recruiting has kind of died-down across the board.

Worthen said UW coaches hitting the road this weekend means that there should be some news of offers, if not necessarily commitments.

Scout.com has the class rated at No. 31 overall and fourth in the Pac-12 (or if you prefer Rivals.com, that site has it at No. 37 and No. 5)

But Worthen says the ultimate rating of this class is very much still to be determined.

“This class is still looking, I would say, as if the in-state recruiting class will determine among fans and in recruiting circles the success of this class and how they want to rate it,” he said. “The big fish they kind of have on their line are all in-state kids and so especially significantly (Lakes OL) Zach Banner and (Puyallup OL) Josh Garnett are going to be how this class is judged, and those two are kind of taking their time in making their decision.

“Banner revealed this week he is probably going to decide in the next month or two but is only going to tell the coach of the school he is committing to and then wait to make the announcement at Lakes High probably right before the Army All-American Game (which is on Jan. 7). Garnett doesn’t have an official timeline but he is definitely going to take his time and take his visits until he is going to make an announcement, so that’s kind of why it’s been so quiet.

“But as well, Washington is looking at (OL) Cory English at Auburn, KeiVarae Russell (running back at Mariner) and then Cedric Dozier (corner/athlete at Lakes) are kind of the other bigger names on their board. I think they are in a really good place with English, Banner and Russell. I think right now I think they have some work to do with Garnett and Dozier. I think Garnett right now that Stanford would be the favorite for him and Cal would be the favorite for Dozier, so that’s the work they have to do in-state, and a lot of that goes toward the offensive line which may be the most important part of this class because as of now Nathan Dean of Juanita is the only offensive lineman they have for this class. Two of the three offensive linemen or three of the three will change the whole perception of that position group, if they can land even two out of the three I think that makes it a really strong class, but especially if they can get all of them.”

In assessing UW’s class so far, Worthen says don’t be surprised to see some of the names change by signing day.

“You see guys on UW’s commitment list taking visits, guys like Jeremy Castro, he’s taking a visit, Damontae Kazee is going to take some visits. Cyler Miles took a visit to Florida this past weekend and I think he is going to be someone watching through the process. I think it’s going to take a lot of work for UW to hold on to him, with the success of Keith Price kind of establishing himself at quarterback I think there are going to be a lot of coaches trying to get in Cyler’s ear and kind of turn him, so I think Washington is going to have a battle all the way to signing day on him.

“And you’ll see UW will get some of those visits, as well, but UW has kind of developed a policy of pushing visits back until after the season, you saw a guy like Shaq Thompson (cornerback, Grant High, Sacramento, Calif.) come and take a visit a couple of weeks ago. But in general they prefer to have kids come in December when they kind of have a more open schedule. I think they kind of got turned off a couple of years ago when they had a lot of kids come in during the season and they felt like they didn’t have enough time with them and then the kid can’t come back because the official visit is over, so I think you are seeing take a few visits during the season but they’d prefer to have most visits in December, that’s when you are seeing most of their in-state kids coming in in December for official visits because they can just come to the games (on Saturday) if they want.

“So I think it will be kind of quiet until about December and that’s when I can see kids like Russell making his decision, English making his decision, and then it kind of gets into the madness until signing day. There will be some kids on UW’s signing list now that will not be there on signing day whether they decommit or because of grades. They’ve had a couple of kids the last couple of years they’ve just backed off on so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this list change and then see them pick up some kids committed elsewhere. That’s just kind of the nature of the game in this day and age, I guess.”

As for whether UW’s fast start is helping recruiting, Worthen said it’s still a little early to definitively say but that it definitely can’t hurt.

“The 4-1 record is only going to help their case,” he said. “For some of the in-state kids it’s proving to them where the program is headed. For the out-of-state kids, it’s getting some attention. Obviously, I think that a win like USC was in (Steve Sarkisian’s) first year would be huge for them. A win over a program like Oregon or Stanford would get them the SportsCenter attention, the national media attention that the USC win got them a couple of years ago, that would go a long way, especially with some of the kids that UW is going after, really Stanford especially and Cal are the two schools they share recruiting attention with, so that would actually go a long way.”

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