For the Sunday paper, I wrote a story attempting to give an overview of where UW’s recruiting class stands right now.
Here’s the story.
As you can read, I talked to a couple guys who cover UW/Pac-12 recruiting year-round to get their perspective — Mason Kelley of ESPN.com’s HuskyNation, and Jake Worthen, the West Recruiting Analyst for Fox Sports/Scout.com.
I thought I’d pass along a bit more of what each had to say about UW’s class so far and their thoughts on some of the big targets still uncommitted.
Here are Kelley’s thoughts on the class so far:
“This is a very good class. They’ve addressed a lot of different needs at a lot of different position. They’ve done a fantastic job on defense with guys like Joe Mathis, Trevor Walker. Azeem Victor, a linebacker who flew under the radar but sounds like he could be a very good linebacker for them. And their latest commit, Jermaine Kelly. He’s another kid who was kind off under the radar a little bit but he has that great size that Washington likes in their defensive backs. Guys like Elijah Qualls, who played really well in the Semper Fidelis Game. Daeshon Hall is another really good player on defense. So you look at the guys that Washington has brought in on defense and they’ve really addressed every position really well I think. The defensive line is probably where theye are strongest right now, linebacker looks pretty good. Even in the defensive backs with two corners and a safety they have addressed a lot of needs.
“As far as looking at what this class is still looking for I think anything they get from here on out is just going to be a bonus and they could be some pretty big names with a guy like Eddie Vanderdoes, one of the top defensive tackles in the country, or a Myles Jack, who people are saying could contribute very early in his college career. Right now you are looking at a class that I think ESPN has it ranked No, 19 in the nation but you are looking at a class with a couple of kids that if you get a Vanderdoes you are looking at a top 10 class.”
Here’s Kelley breaking down some of the bigger-names left on UW’s board:
“I think at this point Myles Jack it looks like he is down to UCLA and Washington. He is taking these four trips, but he is going to UCLA before Washington and Washington can really hit a home run on that visit. I think there are a lot of things pushing him that way, hiring Marques Tuiasosopo certainly helps. Myles doesn’t have a ton of ties to Washington because he’s from Georgia originally. But he’s got friends who are going there already, like Sean Constantine, Ryan Turman the walk-on commit who is trying to recruit everybody is really good friends with Myles. So I think he is the most likely. A guy like Eddie Vanderdoes, I know he has 4-5 schools on his list, but it seems like from the people I talk to that UCLA is the favorite for him right now. But then again you never know. I think all Washington fans are hoping for a Shaq Thompson-like addition late to this group and it could be a Vanderdoes, it could be Reuben Foster, though I think it’s going to be really hard to get him away from those schools in the stuff. But who is to say that Tosh (Lupoi) doesn’t pull something out at the last minute.”
And here’s Kelley talking about what UW has done on its offensive line:
“I think Dane Crane is a fantastic addition. I think he’s going to be really good. He’s a talented prospect but he just really bought into this program early and kind of fell in love with it. He’s a California kid who wanted to get out of California and actually enjoys the wet, cooler weather here. So I think he’s a kid who will fit really well with what Washington already has. And Andrew Kirkland, while he flew under the radar a little bit, everybody that I talk to about him thinks he has great upside. So I think he is going to be a kid to look out for. And the other thing to pay attention to that could happen is if Jaimie Bryant ends up signing with Washington, I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point they try him on the offensive line. I know he is committed as a defensive lineman but he is the kind of kid that if they need more bodies on the offensive line they might try to switch him over. So I don’t think the offensive line is as much of a need as some people think. When you have guys coming in and you lose a Poasi Moala and a Sean Harlow (two players who had committed to UW earlier before committing, instead, to UCLA and Oregon State, respectively), that hurts a class. But at the same time they brought in a ton of guys the last few years. And there are still a few guys out there — there’s still an outside shot they get Nico Falah or Riley Sorenson (two uncommitted OLs still considering UW). If they just end up with these two guys they are two guys that can be very good and outside of that I don’t think it’s going to hurt them too much to only get two guys in this class. ‘’
Here’s Worthen on UW’s class so far:
“As it stands, Washington has the No. 11 class in the country which I think fans have to be ecstatic about. It would be their best class in the last couple of years if things stood where they are now. Within the conference, USC is 9, UCLA 10 and UW 11 and those are the top Pac-12 schools. USC is taking a far smaller class so in terms of star rating they are dominant but they are taking a small class due to numbers, and Stanford is also taking a small class but has a very good class. But so far fans should be very excited. But there is still a lot left to do between now and signing day.”
Here’s Worthen on UW’s chances at some of the bigger names left on the board:
“They are taking a shot at a lot of the bigger names left. Most of them I think will end up elsewhere. The names I think fans should really watch are Myles Jack — that’s not a new name for people, but really I think that is going to come down to Oregon, UCLA and Washington and obviously with Marques Tuiasosopo coming up here as his primary recruiter at UCLA, that can’t hurt Washington. I don’t think it guarantees him, but that’s a name to watch. Another name to watch is Nico Falah. He’s been a commit to USC for a long, long time and has limited things to USC and Washington so that’s a 50-50 shot. O-line is maybe the area that people would say is a little incomplete in the class. It’s the one area they have some work to do. He’s an offensive tackle and a highly-rated one for us so that would be a big one if they can pull him in. Other than that, I think most of the big names are headed elsewhere. Reuben Foster is taking a visit this weekend but from what I hear UW doesn’t really have a shot. A visit can’t hurt but it sounds like he’s going to stay in the south. Eddie Vanderdoes, they have a legitimate shot at. Brayden Kearsley (an OL announcing Jan. 23) I think is going to end up at Oregon State.”
Here’s Worthen assessing some of UW’s commits to date:
“John Ross, he made a huge jump in our final 300 rankings, he jumped from the No. 28 receiver to No. 15 and into the top 300. So he is a player, a four-star receiver that is someone to watch. Troy Williams was our No. 10 quarterback and they are excited he is already on campus so they don’t have to worry about him. The other guy who made a huge jump was Jermaine Kelly, he’s up to our No. 16 cornerback in the country, four-star. A lot of the guys they are in on have made big moves in the rankings and that’s the story of why they are already at No. 11 is some of those guys.”