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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 22, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Reviewing the Class of 2008

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I wrote a story on Luther Leonard for the Thursday paper and just finished another on Greg Walker that will run tomorrow.

Each are members of the Class of 2008 who could have returned for another season but will not, instead leaving after four years, beginning to pursue lives after football. Another member of the Class of 2008 who could also leave — though for vastly different reasons — is running back Chris Polk, who may declare for the NFL Draft.

And if he does, it could leave the Huskies with just a handful of players left next season from the Class of 2008. If Polk were to leave, UW would return just six of the 26 players who were originally part of that class as fifth-year seniors in 2012 — safety Justin Glenn (pictured in a Dean Rutz photo against Nebraska), center Drew Schaefer, running back Johri Fogerson, cornerback Adam Long, cornerback Anthony Gobern and receiver Cody Bruns.

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 — and obviously means that these players will be the last recruited by Willingham to play at UW.

The class was ranked as high as it was largely due to UW getting most of pretty good group of in-state recruits (among them Jermaine Kearse, Alameda Ta’amu, Kavario Middleton and Everrette Thompson) as well as the late switch by Polk to decommit from USC and sign with the Huskies.

The class includes four players who played as true freshmen and have used all of their eligibility — Kearse, Ta’amu, Thompson and Senio Kelemete — and in Walker and Leonard, two more who could have stayed five years but won’t.

But there were also 13 players who left UW before their four years were up, either due to injury, academic or other reasons.

Of the 26 players, I count 16 that started at least one game for the Huskies at some point, making it undoubtedly a productive class, yielding what is at least the second-leading rusher and second-leading receiver in school history, as well as potentially high-round draft pick linemen on each side of the ball (Ta’amu and Kelemete). But the early flameouts will also be a key reason the Huskies won’t have a real big senior class again next season.

Here’s a look at each signee:
S Justin Glenn — Recovered from a devastating lower leg injury to again be a productive member of the defense this season and will be a valued leader of the team next year.
OL Drew Schaefer — Has started every game the last two years on the OL.
OL Senio Kelemete — A three-year starter on the offensive line and a two-year team captain.
MLB Bradly Roussel — Spent one year at UW before transferring to Northwestern State, an FCS school in Natchitoches, La.
MLB Kurt Mangum — Spent two years at UW before leaving after the 2009 season for Howard, an FCS school in Washington, D.C.
OG Allen Carroll — Oakland native spent one year on UW roster before leaving in the spring of 2009. Was on the UNLV roster in 2011.
RB Chris Polk — Three-year starter at TB and at the moment, the second-leading rusher in school history.
OL/DL Alameda Ta’amu — Essentially a four-year starter on the defensive line and a probable high-round pick in 2012.
TB Johri Fogerson — After suffering a season-ending injury this year, slated to return for a fifth season in 2012.
CB Adam Long — Misses this season with a knee injury but scheduled to return in 2012.
WR Cody Bruns — Redshirted this year so he can return as a fifth-year senior and add experience to the receiving corps in 2012.
QB/WR Luther Leonard — Will move on after playing sparingly this season.
OL Mykenna Ikehara — Forced to retire after last season due to knee issues.
DE Everrette Thompson — A regular on the line throughout his four years.
TE Kavario Middleton — Starter at TE in 2008 and 2009 before being dimissed from the team prior to the 2010 season and finishing career at Montana.
WR Jermaine Kearse — Three-year starter at receiver and second-leading receiver in school history.
WR Jordan Polk — Kicked off the team due to legal issues following last season.
RB Terrance Dailey — UW’s leading rusher in 2008 but then left the team due to academic reasons in 2009.
CB Anthony Gobern — Backup cornerback who will have one year left in 2012.
S Greg Walker — Backup safety the last three years who won the Special Teams MVP Award the last two years and will move on after the Alamo Bowl.
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 transferred to Eastern Washington following 2010 season.
QB Dominique Blackman — Failed to enroll at UW and later landed at Idaho.
RB David Freeman — Played at UW in 2008, starting twice, before leaving team due to academic reasons and later landing at San Jose State.
OT Terence Thomas — Never saw action for UW and retired prior to 2010 season due to foot injuries.
S Vince Taylor — Never played, battling injuries throughout the 2009 season, and didn’t return for 2010.

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