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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 27, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Huskies expecting big group of juniors at Spring Game

Tomorrow is not only UW’s Spring Game, but also the school’s Junior Day, when it invites a number of prospective recruits for the Class of 2013 to attend the game, meet with coaches and other players, etc., and generally get a first good look at the Huskies.

UW has often had recruits come to the Spring Game. But it has more commonly held its Junior Day a little earlier in the year, often coinciding with a basketball weekend.

Jacob Worthen, the West Recruiting Analyst for Fox Sports/, says it makes sense to center Junior Day around the Spring Game for a couple of reasons. One, he says, is the ability to show off CenturyLink Field, where UW will play its games in 2012. Another is that holding it later in the year means the players coming may be that much more serious about the Huskies, a few maybe already having been weeded out.

“This is a big weekend for them to sell a lot of out-of-state kids on what they have to offer,”’ Worthen said.

The tricky part, though, is that these are unofficial visits, meaning the players have to pay for and arrange transportation on their own. So as Worthen says, there’s always a little bit of a mystery of who will be there until they actually arrive.

Worthen said it is expected that “around 25” out-of-state recruits are expected, including many of UW’s top targets. Even more in-state players (many of whom may not have offers but will be invited to the game) are also expected.

Among the out-of-state players expected to make the trip are three quarterbacks: Cooper Bateman of Salt Lake City; Troy Williams of Harbor City, Calif.; and Johnny Stanton of Santa Margarita, Calif.

Worthen says Batemen is regarded as likely headed to an SEC school, but that the Huskies are high on the lists for both Williams (also considering UCLA and Arizona) and Stanton (whom UW is apparently recruiting as an athlete with a chance he could end up at QB). UW is definitely looking to sign at least one QB this year even though it signed two last season.

A few other top out-of-state prospects Worthen says are expected at UW this weekend include:

— RB Justin Davis of Stockton, whom Worthen says is “a heavy USC lean;”

— WR Sebastian LaRue of Santa Monica;

— OT Nico Falah of Bellflower, Calif.;

— OG Brayden Kearsley of Beaverton, Ore., who is a commit to BYU but continuing to look around;

— OG John Lopez of Orange, Calif. (and from the same school as current Huskies Garret Gilliland and Darien Washington);

— TE Christian Morgan of Plano, Texas;

— DT Elijah Qualls of Petaluma, Calif;

— and DE Joe Mathis of Upland, Calif.

Among in-state players expected are UW’s two public commits for the Class of 2013 — WR Sammie Long of Lakes and DL Jaimie Bryant of Tumwater.

Other in-state players expected are OL Mason Friedline of King’s High (Worthen says UW is recruiting him as a center and that Colorado and ASU are his two other heavy suitors at the moment); LBs Sean Constantine and Myles Jack of Bellevue (he says UW is in the lead for Constantine but Jack will be a battle, with UCLA “really big” on his list right now); and S Tere Calloway of Seattle Prep, who does not yet have a UW offer.

Besides Jack, Constantine and Friedline, the only other uncommitted in-state player with a known offer from UW is LB Danny Mattingly of Mead. Worthen says he is not expected at UW this weekend since he visited for the scrimmage at Memorial Stadium last weekend.

Worthen says another advantage of the big Junior Day weekends (which are common everywhere) is attempting to form a sense of camaraderie among the recruits.

“It’s a trend in recruiting to get these big recruiting weekends and get these guys to visit with the rest of the top talent and try to get them to want to play together as a group and get them all to come to your school,” Worthen said.

That was an obvious tactic of Tosh Lupoi when he was at Cal (remember the Calgang theme of last year). Lupoi, in his first year at UW after leaving Cal last January, now has the hashtag DawgPound13 on his Twitter page. The hope for the Huskies is that this weekend helps them add a few new members to that group.



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