Nebraska landed their 10th four-star commitment in the 2013 class, by landing California running…
UW Recruiting at a Glance
Depth is obvious. You need this to ensure that you can recover from injury. Thank GOD the Huskies took seven offensive linemen in 2009, or this year would've been a mammoth disaster in the trenches. While they struggled to keep Keith Price upright, they were able to open good holes for Bishop Sankey to run. With the retirement of Colin Porter an injuries to Erik Kohler and Colin Tanigawa, the drop off could've been much worse, had the Huskies not had a rapidly improving Mike Criste and raw but improving James Atoe step in. True freshman Shane Brostek was rushed into action, but no walk-ons were thrown into the fray.
At tailback, with Polk leaving early for the NFL and starter Jesse Callier going down in game one, thank GOD that the Huskies had Sankey in the depth to step forward and carry the rock.
So depth is an easy one to figure its importance to your team.
Age is just as important, unless you are trying to build success for just one year as Mike Price did at WSU. He would peak every 4 years or so but could never sustain it. In order to ensure that you can remain successful, you need to make sure there are no holes in your class depth. In other words, your underclassmen ranks need to have the same type of depth that your upperclassmen has. This has been an area the Huskies have struggled in, but that is somewhat expected after a coaching change. Still, it has caused the Huskies to be younger than they otherwise might've been.
You also have to keep scholarships available for kids that you project to have high ceilings, and won't show it for two to three years. Offensive linemen are rarely ready to go right out of the blocks and defensive linemen normally don't peak immediately either. Those guys you have to develop in your program.
So that being said, here is how I feel an ideal roster would be built, and how the current roster the Huskies are working with looks.
OFFENSIVE LINE: 18-20 scholarships is the goal.
You'd like to have four in each class, but should it not work that way, you try to have half of those scholarships be juniors and seniors and the rest allocated across your freshmen, redshirt-freshmen, and sophomores. Ideally you'd have a mix of about 8 linemen playing in the games, and the hope is that 75 to 100 percent of those are from your upperclassmen. You hope that your underclassmen can focus on scout team and learn the ropes that way. If you project 2013 for the UW (I am going to include Kohler and not include Tanigawa), you could possibly have this scenario:
Starters (5): WT Micah Hatchie (Jr), ST Ben Riva (Jr), C Erik Kohler (Sr), OG Mike Criste (Jr), OG Dexter Charles (So). Four upperclassmen and one underclassman - Not bad.
Depth (3): OG James Atoe (Jr), OG Shane Brostek (So), OT Jake Eldrenkamp (FR-RS). The fact that two of your three rotating players are underclassmen is not great, but somewhat acceptable since Atoe and Brostek have both started before. And Eldrenkamp can be moved back out of the playing mix and back down to scout team if Tufunga beats him out. That would mean all 8 linemen that will play in the games in 2013 will have had experience from 2012. If Tanigawa can return, that gives even more of a boost here and bumps the OL number up one, but I won't list him here.
Scout (4): C Siosifa Tufunga (So), OG Nathan Dean (FR-RS), C Cory Fuavai (FR-RS), Taylor Hindy (FR-RS).
Incoming (4): OG Andrew Kirkland, C Dane Crane, WT Jaime Bryant, ST Andrew Basham. Hoping for one more here, maybe two more. Basham and Bryant are both currently listed as defensive linemen but their frames look very suitable for tackle. And both are terrific athletes.
WIDE RECEIVER: 8-9 scholarships is the target.
Starters (2-3): Kasen Williams (Jr), Jaydon Mickens (So), DiAndre Campbell (Jr).
Depth (5): Kevin Smith (Sr), James Johnson (Sr), Josh Perkins (So), Marvin Hall (So), Jamaal Jones (So). Incoming (4): John Ross, Darrell Daniels, Demorea Stringfellow, Sammie Long.
This is outstanding depth across the classes. I don't expect this many receivers to remain on the roster though. Expect attrition here.
TIGHT END: 4 scholarships target.
Starter (1): Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Jr).
Depth (2): Michael Hartvigson (Jr), Evan Hudson (Jr)*.
Incoming (1): David Ajamu.
Washington will need two TE's in next year's class to address the lack of underclassmen here, but it's a solid mix because Hartvigson and Hudson will both return in 2014.
TAILBACK: 4-5 scholarships target.
Starter (1): Bishop Sankey (Jr).
Depth (4): Jesse Callier (Jr), Kendyl Taylor (So), Erich Wilson (So), Dwayne Washington (FR-RS).
Incoming (1): Lavon Coleman.
The depth here in the younger classes is almost staggering, and I'm not including Deontae Cooper, who has had to endure two knee surgeries. Hopefully Callier can return to bring the upperclassmen ranks up. The kid to watch here is Dwayne Washington. Holy cow what a talent! I am projecting Ryan McDaniel as a linebacker.
FULLBACK: 2 scholarships should be the target.
Starter (1): Psalm Wooching (FR-RS).
Depth (1): Dezden Petty (So).
QUARTERBACK: 4 scholarships should be the goal.
Starter (1): Keith Price (Sr)
Depth (3): Derrick Brown (So), Cyler Miles (FR-RS), Jeff Lindquist (FR-RS).
Incoming (1): Troy Williams.
Ideally you'd like one more upper-classmen here, but the talent in the underclass ranks is outstanding and deep. Price is listed as the starter, but he will have to earn it in spring and fall, and it isn't a given that he will win the job.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE: 4-5 scholarships should be good for a 3-4 alignment.
Starter (1): Danny Shelton (Jr).
Depth (3): Josh Banks (Sr), Lawrence Lagafuaina (Jr), Sione Potoa'e (Sr)
Scout (2): Damien Turpin (FR-RS), Taniela Tupou (So).
Incoming (1): Elijah Qualls.
The depth here is as good as it's been in a while. There are a lot of experienced interior linemen in the program, and Qualls is as good of a prospect as the Huskies have brought in along the defensive line in a decade. He could also move out to DE should Turpin and Tupou have big seasons.
DEFENSIVE END: 8 scholarships should be the goal.
Starters (2): Andrew Hudson (Jr), Josh Shirley (Jr).
Depth (4): Pio Vatuvei (So), Corey Waller (RS-FR), Jarett Finau (So), Connor Cree (So).
Incoming (3): Joe Mathis, Daeshon Hall, Marcus Farria.
I am not counting Hauoli Jamora, who is rehabbing another ACL, and Farria is a long shot in my opinion. That being said, the talent level here is very good. Still, if Jamora does return, you have a more rounded upperclassmen mix. Vatuvei has an extremely high ceiling and Waller will be a great pass rusher in 2013, he's really beefed up.
LINEBACKER: 14-16 should be your goal in a 3-4 alignment.
Starters (4): John Timu (Jr), Travis Feeney (So), Shaquille Thompson (So), Princeton Fuimaono (Sr)
Depth (7): Jamaal Kearse (Jr), Scott Lawyer (So), Corey Littleton (So), Taz Stevenson (Sr), Thomas Tutogi (Sr), Evan Zeger (So), Ryan McDaniel (RS-FR).
Incoming (3): Azeem Victor, Connor O'Brien, Sean Constantine.
A good solid mix between classes, but the addition of Miles Jack would make it perfect. I'm not counting Cooper Pelluer here and Blake Rodgers has already left the program.
SAFETY: 7-8 should be the goal.
Starters (2): Sean Parker (Sr), Will Shamburger (Sr).
Depth (2): Brandon Beaver (RS-FR), Antavius Sims (Jr).
Incoming (1): Trevor Walker.
There is a definite need here for at least one more safety. Dixon could be moved here if necessary and I'm forecasting Sims here because of the numbers. Washington needs a cover safety in this class. Maybe Patrick Enewally.
CORNERBACK: 7-8 is the target.
Starters (2): Marcus Peters (So), Tre Watson (Sr).
Depth (4): Greg Ducre (Sr), Travell Dixon (Jr), Darien Washington (RS-FR), Cleveland Wallace (RS-FR).
Incoming (2): Jermaine Kelly, Kevin King.
Because of the shortage at safety, don't be surprised to see either Kelly or Dixon move there in order to bolster the depth and for them to see the field sooner.
SPECIALISTS: 2-3 are the target.
Punter: Korey Durkee (So)
Placekicker: Travis Coons (Sr)
Incoming: Cameron Van Winkle.
Washington is set for years to come. After Coons graduates, Van Winkle will take over placekicking and kickoff duties. He will likely take kickoffs in 2013 just to give Coons a break, because Coons is also the best punter on the roster.
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