The Alamo Bowl also means the end of another season for the Huskies (which I realize is obvious, but hey, I have to introduce these things somehow).
And that seems like maybe a good time to review again all of the recruiting classes that made up the roster for the 2011 Huskies.
We’ll start with the Class of 2007 — players who now are fifth-year seniors or are long since gone — of which there are just seven active players remaining out of 27 who signed (including Devin Aguilar, pictured at right in a Dean Rutz photo).
This was the largest of the three full classes Tyrone Willingham recruited to UW. It 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, basically considered the second best of the classes Willingham signed after the 2008 group (which we will review later) .
So here we go with a review of that class:
CB Marquis Persley — Finishing career as a deep reserve in the secondary.
S Victor Aiyewa — A key contributor throughout his career, was a starting LB as a senior last season and played this year in the UFL.
DL Tyrone Duncan — Transferred to Montana after the 2009 season.
LB Cort Dennison — One of the stars of the class, a three-year starter and the leading tackler in the Pac-12 this season.
WR Anthony Boyles — Academic issues delayed his enrollment to 2008 and after playing sparingly, he transferred to Idaho State. He was a junior in eligibility this year and had 31 catches for 336 yards and two touchdowns this season. Due to receiving his degree at UW, he was immediately eligible at Idaho State.
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 before the 2010 season for what were reported as academic reasons.
OL Nick Wood — Wood began his career on defense but moved to offense before the 2009 season. He’s mostly been a reserve but started the Apple Cup at left guard after an injury to Colin Tanigawa and at the moment, looms as the starter at that spot for the Alamo Bowl.
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. He suffered a knee injury after one game this year at Sacramento State and didn’t play again.
OT Skyler Fancher — Fancher’s career has been derailed by injuries and he has been a backup other than starting the 2008 Apple Cup.
P Jared Ballman — A JC transfer, he 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. Has since found himself in legal trouble for his arrest last summer in connection with a slaying in southern California, which was highlighted in last week’s Sports Illustrated.
DE Kalani Aldrich — Hawaii native battled injuries throughout his career and after playing sparingly — though at times effectively, such as the 2009 USC game and the Holiday Bowl last year — gave up football prior to the 2011 season.
RB Willie Griffin — Saw action in 2008 and 2009, but after his time decreased markedly in 2009 he transferred to Portland State. He rushed for 314 yards on 76 carries this year at Portland State but had a solid game with 78 yards in a win at Eastern Washington.
FB Austin Sylvester — He was the team’s primary starter at fullback as a senior in 2010 and is now on the practice squad with the Broncos.
WLB Mason Foster — One of the biggest overachiever in the class, was a three-year starter and among the leading tacklers in school history and is on his way to a solid rookie season with Tampa Bay.
WR Devin Aguilar — He has been a key contributor as a receiver throughout his career and leads the team in receiving yards this season with 521 entering the Alamo Bowl on 36 receptions.
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 starting kicker the last three years and has made 42-56 field goals in his career.
RB Brandon Yakaboski — He saw his 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. Was released by the Ravens shortly before the season after being signed as a free agent.
OG Scott Shugert — Never saw significant action and transferred to Portland State in the summer of 2010, though he wasn’t on their roster this season.
CB Vonzell McDowell — A regular contributor throughout his career, including starting the first three games of his career in 2007. Like a few others, didn’t redshirt so his career was done after the 2010 season.
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. Had a solid senior season at Indiana State, leading the team to a 6-5 record, throwing 18 touchdowns.
CB Quinton Richardson — Started career as an OLB, then switched to CB by then-defensive coordinator Ed Donatell prior to the 2008 season. Has mostly been a starter since then
TE Chris Izbicki — One of the more highly-touted players in the class, his career didn’t quite match the hype, though he was a significant contributor at TE in 2009 and 2010 — main claim to fame could be having caught the first TD pass of Keith Price’s career at USC in 2010. He 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 in 2010 at North Idaho College.
So, as I wrote earlier this year in a similar review of this class, out of 27 signees, there were four players who were essentially starters five years later — Dennison, Aguilar, Folk and Richardson. And only three others who are still on the roster— Persley, Wood and Fancher.
There were six other players who didn’t redshirt and finished out their eligibility at UW — Foster, Williams, Sylvester, Ballman, Aiyewa and McDowell.
The rest had their careers end early due to injury, transferred, failed academically or never got admitted.