Current losing streak may not hurt UW football recruiting efforts
Despite UW's recent struggles on the field, recruiting analysts say that Washington remains in good shape in putting together its 2011 recruiting class.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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With no game until next Nov. 18 against UCLA, the Huskies will take Thursday and Friday off, something of a mini bye week.
For the players, it means a few days of rest before hitting the stretch run.
For the coaches, it also means a few days to hit the road recruiting.
And despite UW's recent struggles on the field, recruiting analysts say that Washington remains in good shape in putting together its 2011 recruiting class.
"It doesn't seem like what you do on the field ever has that big of an impact," said Greg Biggins, a West Coast recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. "Would it help if they were doing a lot better? I think it would help. But at the same time, I don't know that it's necessarily going to hurt just because they are losing. They are able to spin it as, 'Hey, if we had you, you would be starting now' — that whole thing. I still think they are going to finish well."
UW also got much of the heavy lifting done on this class before the season started, and has already amassed 18 commitments, an assemblage rated among the top 25 in the country by both Scout.com (No. 22 nationally) and Rivals.com (No. 24). Each has UW third among Pac-10 teams behind Stanford and USC.
Those ratings could change as other schools that don't have as many commitments fill in their classes.
But Biggins says of UW that "overall, they have done really well."
All 18 commits are high-school players, and the class is led by WR Kasen Williams of Skyline and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins of Gig Harbor, who each committed in August.
Biggins says there are no rumblings of any of UW's commits changing their minds, other than running back Brendan Bigelow of Fresno, Calif. Bigelow, though, committed, in February and has been rumored for months to be considering other options — he committed to UW after the Huskies became the first team to offer him a scholarship.
"I think most people feel he is going to be tough to keep and will probably end up at Cal," Biggins said.
The class includes commits from seven in-state kids — Williams, Seferian-Jenkins, DE Connor Cree of Skyline, WR Jamaal Jones of Graham-Kapowsin, TE Jarett Finau of Juanita, DE Taniela Tupou of Archbishop Murphy and OT Dexter Charles of Stanwood.
Scout.com lists only one other in-state player that is uncommitted as having an offer from UW — lineman Danny Shelton of Auburn.
Shelton has said he favors UW and Oregon but plans to take official visits later and likely won't make a decision until near the February signing date.
Biggins said he thinks UW has a good shot at landing Shelton but said that otherwise "I'm not sure they are a lock for anyone else."
UW's class includes commits from six linemen, and it is expected that the Huskies will sign a few more.
They have been reported to be interested in some junior-college players, and UW coach Steve Sarkisian said Wednesday that Huskies coaches will visit some JCs over the next couple days.
UW's class also includes a commitment from one quarterback, Joseph Gray of Dorsey High in Los Angeles, and it's expected he will be the only QB in the class.
It's expected UW will sign a full class of 25.
• Jake Locker and Mason Foster have been invited to play in the Senior Bowl, Jan. 29 in Mobile, Ala.
• UW will resume practice Saturday night when it begins game-week preparation for the UCLA game. Sarkisian said he still did not know if Locker would practice on Saturday or play against the Bruins.
• LB Cort Dennison missed the last two days due to a death in the family but should be back Saturday.
• RB Jesse Callier sat out this week with a shoulder injury suffered against Oregon but should also be back Saturday.
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