Steve Sarkisian is harry. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
University of Washington lands a whopping eight verbal commits in the span of just a few days.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about the haul new Washington State head coach Mike Leach landed when he received verbal commitments from six recruits (another would commit after the article was posted, making it seven) in the span of one week. University of Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian decided to one-up Leach by landing seven in one day, and eight total. The influx of new commits has also bumped up the Huskies' class on a national scale as Scout lists them as having the 12th best class overall. An important thing to remember, though, is Scout values quantity rather than a per star average. Let's take a look at all eight prospects:
(All information via Scout.com)
Andrew Basham (6'4, 305, DT, Lynnwood, WA, ✯✯✯)
Basham is a giant human being, tipping the scales at over 300 pounds. He has great pass rushing instincts, and also gets off the line really quickly for a guy his size. When you first see his measurements, you assume he's a run stuffing nose tackle. While he can be stout against the run, I think his best skill is rushing the passer. Very nice feet, as well. Nice player all-around.
Also has offers from: Arizona State, Oregon State
Demorea Stringfellow (6'3, 195, WR, Moreno Valley, CA, ✯✯✯✯)
It's with a very heavy heart that I evaluate Stringfellow. As a proud Washington State Cougar, Stringfellow was on my short list of highly rated players who we actually had a shot at landing. Simply put, I love Stringfellow's game. Now I have to watch him in Purple & Gold for the next four years. That's heartbreaking.
Stringfellow profiles as a perfect compliment to Kasen Williams on the outside. He can play anywhere on the field, including in the slot. Sark can get creative and use him in multiple different packages on offense. I also think he has the lateral quickness to help in the return game if asked. He runs really nice routes, and his jumping ability is off the charts. Normally, I'm in favor of redshirting every incoming freshman, but I see Stringfellow challenging for playing time immediately. Very nice get.
Also has offers from: Arizona, Arizona State, Florida, Michigan, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Washington State
Poasi Moala (6'5, 265, OT, Moreno Valley, CA, ✯✯✯)
Moala is high school teammates with Demorea Stringfellow, but is a nice player in his own right. I think he's more raw than a finished product, but he's got the frame to get up to 300 pounds. He has good feet and moves well, but I'd like to see him get a little bit lower on his blocks. He gets a bit too upright at times, relying on pure strength rather than technique. Poor technique in the Pac 12 gets your QB killed. The good news for Husky fans is, his negatives are easily corrected with proper coaching. A prime candidate for a redshirt, as he should hit the weight room to add some muscle and try to add weight.
Also has offers from: Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Oregon State, San Diego State, UTEP, Washington State
Video Highlights: Here.
Caleb Tucker (6'2, 225, OLB/DE, Monroe, LA, ✯✯)
There are no public videos of Tucker available (at least, I didn't find any), so it's impossible for me to make an evaluation. His lack of interest from BCS schools is something I'd be worried about, but it's not necessarily the end-all-be-all. I'd be more than happy to give him an honest evaluation at a later date if/when more tape becomes available.
Also has offers from: Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, SMU, Southern Miss, Tulane, Louisiana-Monroe
Video Highlights: n/a
Elijah Qualls (6'2, 279, FB/DT, Petaluma, CA, ✯✯✯✯)
Qualls is coming to Montlake to play DT, but oh man, can you imagine him as a fullback? That's kind of ridiculous. Who is going to stop him on a goal line dive? I suppose he could be basically like an extra offensive lineman if Sark wanted to use him like that.
Qualls is crazy athletic for a guy pushing 280 pounds. He played RB in high school (but would project as a FB because, holy cow that's huge) and even ran the offense in the Wildcat. HE RAN THE OFFENSE AS A WILDCAT QB. AT OVER 260 POUNDS. That's ... that's just insanity. Qualls can play inside on first and second down, then swing outside to DE to focus on getting to the QB on third. Simply put, Qualls is one of the most athletic interior linemen I've ever seen. As a Cougar, I'm hoping he changes his mind and goes elsewhere. The thought of playing this guy four times isn't a fun thought. Great pick up by Sark & Co.
Also has offers from: Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Boise State, Cal, Colorado, Iowa State, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington State
Daeshon Hall (6'6, 220, DE, Lancaster, TX, ✯✯✯✯)
Hall goes to the same school as current WSU commit Demarcus Ayers. I thought that was an interesting little tidbit. These two kids from the DFW area will be rivals in college at universities roughly 2,000 miles away from their homes.
Hall has a really quick first step, and beats his man to the outside with what seems like very little effort. He's a high motor guy who would excel in being brought in early on in his career strictly on 3rd down before learning the intricacies of playing the position in the Pac 12. Scout lists him at 6'6 and 220 pounds, so I'd be worried he's a little to thin to play DE, but his frame certainly suggests he can add the weight. He's still a little raw, but very few DEs are completely polished coming out of high school. If I were Sark, I'd redshirt him to put some weight on. Overall, nice addition.
Also has offers from: Baylor, Missouri, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech
Video Highlights: Here.
Lavon Coleman (5'11, 210, RB, Lompoc, CA, ✯✯✯✯)
Coleman reminds me a lot of former Husky ball-carrier Chris Polk. He can bounce it outside, but he's also not afraid of contact. When he needs to get another yard or two, he lowers his shoulders and initiates contact with the defender. He has nice hands, and catches the ball out of the backfield well. He reads his blocks well and anticipates, rather than running full steam into his blockers with reckless abandon. I'd redshirt him if only to create separation between him and the guys already on the roster. Nice player.
Also has offers from: Arizona, Boise State, Fresno State, Hawai'i, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah, Washington State
Video Highlights: Here.
Andrew Kirkland (6'5, 290, OL, Portland, OR, ✯✯✯)
Kirkland played tackle in high school, but Scout projects him inside at guard. I'm not sure, to be honest. I think he can stick at RT if he works on a few things. Being so big already, he's just manhandling defenders. He stands way too upright most of the time and relies on sheer size and strength. When you're four or five inches and 80 or so pounds bigger than the guy lining up across from you, it's going to be a bloodbath, technique be damned. That's not to say he's not a good player, it's just that he relies a bit too much on his size. If he gets lower on his man (which may be difficult in part because he's just so much bigger), he can get better leverage, driving them backwards.
I think Kirkland is the type of offensive line prospect you want, though, because you can't teach size. He needs to work on stuff that's coachable, rather than stuff in the weight room. I think if he gets all of his technique down, he can start at RT for a few years as an upperclassman. I think he's a perfect candidate to redshirt, hit the weights, and learn the playbook. A good guy to gamble on.
Also has offers from: Colorado, Portland State, Wyoming
So there you have it, folks. These eight young men hope to help continue the recent resurgence at the University of Washington by head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff. Washington should have a Top 25 class -- again -- when all is said and done.