The final game of any college season also means the end of college careers for the seniors.
For UW, there’s some special significance this year with the senior class including five players who were on the team in 2008 — the last players left who played a season under Tyrone Willingham. Those five are WR Cody Bruns, C Drew Schaefer, FB Jonathan Amosa, S Justin Glenn and CB Adam Long. CB/S Anthony Gobern also signed in 2008 but delayed enrollment until 2009 so he didn’t technically become part of the team until after Steve Sarkisian took over.
Bruns was the only one of the group to see play on the field in 2008, redshirting last season to remain eligible for this year.
I wrote this story for the Monday paper on the senior class, and also figured it might be worth reviewing again what happened to every player who signed in 2008:
The Class of 2008 was the last full class signed by Willingham , and was the highest-rated of the Willingham Era, as well, rated No, 14 by Scout.com and No. 24 by Rivals.com.
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 Chris Polk to decommit from USC and sign with the Huskies.
The class includes four players who played as true freshmen and were gone after last season — Kearse, Ta’amu, Thompson and Senio Kelemete. Two others — Greg Walker and Luther Leonard — also gave up football after last season though they had a year of eligibility remaining.
But there were also 14 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 (Polk) and second-leading receiver (Kearse) in school history.
Here’s a look at each signee:
S Justin Glenn — Recovered from a devastating lower leg injury in 2009 to become a starter and team leader as a senior.
C Drew Schaefer — Has started every game the last three years on the OL.
OL Senio Kelemete— A three-year starter on the offensive line and a two-year team captain. Now with the Cardinals.
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 but not this year.
RB Chris Polk — Three-year starter at TB and at the moment, the second-leading rusher in school history. Now with the Eagles.
DL Alameda Ta’amu — Essentially a four-year starter on the defensive line. Now on the Steelers’ practice squad (he was re-signed after being waived).
TB Johri Fogerson — After four injury-plagued years at UW, transferred to Central Washington where he played three games before being dismissed after running into legal issues.
CB Adam Long — Started six games in 2009 before suffering some injuries, notably an ACL in the off-season in 2011, that limited him to sparing duty the last two years.
WR Cody Bruns — Played in 2008-09-10 before redshirting in 2011 and then returning for the 2012 season when he emerged as a key complementary receiver and special teamer.
QB/WR Luther Leonard — Signed as a QB, was moved to receiver but saw limited duty before moving on after the 2011 sesason.
OL Mykenna Ikehara — Forced to retire after the 2010 season due to knee issues.
DE Everrette Thompson — A regular on the line throughout his four years, graduating after the 2011 season.
TE Kavario Middleton — Starter at TE in 2008 and 2009 before being dismissed 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. Now with Seahawks.
WR Jordan Polk — Kicked off the team due to legal issues following the 2010 season.
RB Terrance Dailey — UW’s leading rusher in 2008 but then left the team due to academic reasons in 2009. Later played at Sacramento State.
CB Anthony Gobern — Backup cornerback who was a key reserve and special teamer the last three years.
S Greg Walker — Backup safety in 2009-11 who won the Special Teams MVP Award in 2010-11 and moved on to pursue medical school following the 2011 season.
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. As did Ikehara, stayed at UW and got his degree.
RB Demitrius Bronson — Saw some time as a backup in 2009 but transferred to Eastern Washington following 2010 season. Played at EWU the last two seasons.
QB Dominique Blackman — Failed to enroll at UW and later landed at Idaho. Started some games at QB before being kicked off the team for failing drug tests.
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.