A popular question this time of year is what Washington’s scholarship situation looks like.
In the interest of trying to answer the question as quickly as possible — while juggling some other stuff today, as well — I won’t do a detailed breakdown by class. I’ll try to get to that at some point down the road.
But here are the basic numbers the way they appear:
— UW had 82 players listed on scholarship on its official Alamo Bowl roster;
— Of those, 14 were seniors with no eligibility left. Also, Greg Walker and Luther Leonard, listed as juniors, have decided to give up their last year of eligibility and won’t return. And Chris Polk has declared for the NFL Draft. So that’s 17 spots sure to open;
— And of the returning scholarship players, three are former walk-ons, who may or may not have scholarships in the future, as those scholarships are awarded on a single-year basis — FB Jonathan Amosa, RB Cole Sager and WR/holder William Chandler.
— And since the season ended, UW has officially added receiver Marvin Hall and cornerback/athlete Antavius Sims to the roster.
— So if I’ve calculated right, that’s 64 scholarship players currently on the roster. Schools are limited to 85 once a school year starts, so if you read that literally, UW has 21 scholarships to award for the Class of 2011.
But as any serious college football fan should know, numbers are rarely read literally this time of year. A lot can happen between now and next September when school starts — and when the 85-man limit actually matters — and coaches generally assume there will be some attrition along the way. That can seem a little cutthroat and all that, but it’s long been the way of the world in college football, and a coach’s ultimate responsibility is to the put the best team on the field each fall.
So I fully expect UW to sign at least a full class of 25 and figure that the numbers will work out, as they did this year as the Huskies were never at the 85-man limit during the season (and worth repeating that the 85-man limit applies to players in school, so being over that number in February doesn’t matter — it’s the scholarships you are paying for once school begins).
UW currently has 19 listed commitments by Scout.com (which rates UW’s class today at No. 38 overall and seventh in the Pac-12) and Rivals.com (which has UW at 41st nationally and eighth in the conference).
As for which class Hall and Sims fit in, the only sure way to know that is from the coaches, who aren’t available right now. But my hunch is they will count back toward the Class of 2011. UW signed 23 players in that class who ultimately made it in, including Hall and Sims, seeming to leave enough room there for them to fit in.