We’ll continue our look at UW’s recruiting Class of 2013 with the spot that may be gaining the most plaudits from analysts — the defensive line.
UW has commitments from six players listed as defensive linemen: end Daeshon Hall, 6-6, 220, Lancaster, Texas (Lancaster); end Joe Mathis, 6-4, 255, Upland, Calif. (Upland); end Marcus Farria, 6-4, 220, Peoria, Az. (Centennial); tackle Elijah Qualls, 6-2, 280, Petaluma, Calif. (Casa Grande HS); tackle Andrew Basham, 6-4, 305, Lynnwood (Lynnwood) and tackle Jaimie Bryant, 6-5, 260, Tumwater (Tumwater).
Hall, Mathis and Qualls are all rated four-star recruits by Scout.com. Hall is also the No. 6 end, Qualls the No. 11 tackle and Mathis the No. 16 end by Scout.com. Hall, Mathis and Qualls are also each four star recruits by Rivals.com. Mathis is also rated the No. 161 overall player by Rivals.com.
Scout.com also rated Mathis the No. 2 end on the West and Farria No. 4, while Qualls was No. 2 among tackles on the West.
“The defensive line class is definitely impressive,” said national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell of Rivals.com. “There’s a lot of power here and a lot of athleticism.”
As LOI day approaches on Wednesday, the one big question here is Hall, who is also seriously considering an offer from Texas A&M. Hall, who played his freshman and sophomore years at Garfield and whose uncle is former Husky Greg Lewis, is expected to make a final call on signing day, with analysts mixed on where he will end up.
“They’ve got to hold on to Daeshon Hall, obviously,” Farrell said Friday. “That’s a kid they’ve loved from day one and a lot of other schools are trying to steal him away. If they hold on to him it’s a terrific class, and it’s not surprise because (UW defensive line coach) Tosh Lupoi is a coach kids just gravitate to and want to play for.”
Indeed, while recruiting is a cooperative effort, if there is a real tangible “Lupoi effect” on this class, it is the defensive line, with Lupoi playing a key in recruiting each of the players at this spot.
Farrell said there is no question of the impact Hall can have if he sticks with his UW commitment.
“He is still raw,” Farrell said. “His best football is still ahead of him, which makes it even more impressive how good he is now. He’s a guy I think could be a pro someday if he continues to develop.”
Hall, Farria and Mathis are all players who could help with UW’s pass rush issues pretty quickly, Farrell said.
“Farria is a very strong kid who has got a lot of room to fill out,” Farrell said. “A strong, physical kid. And Mathis is a guy who could play standing up or with his hand down on the ground, and will probably do a little of both.”
Farria has not been rated as highly as some of the others in the class, but analysts say that’s in part because he didn’t hit the summer camp circuit real hard.
Qualls, meanwhile, has been one of the marquee names in this class since he was one of the seven to commit last June, and saying often since then he would do what he could to convince other players to also commit to UW.
“He’s a little under-sized for a defensive tackle, but he’s a superior athlete and moves so well to the football,” Farrell said. “He is a hard guy to get your hands on and block. And obviously also playing running back, you can tell he is a big, jumbo athlete.”
Basham and Bryant are each local players who aren’t rated quite as high nationally as the four out-of-staters, with some also theorizing one or both could be used on the offensive line, if needed.