BY SPNW Staff 04:25PM 02/01/2012

Huskies recruiting wins late, loses late

Washington’s new class of recruits has two quality QBs, but coach Steve Sarkisian seemed most excited about the talent in the secondary, where the Huskies were woeful.

Boosted by a spate of eleventh-hour commitments, which offset a handful of late defections, University of Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian announced a full class of 25 new recruits, headlined by a pair of top-rated quarterbacks, Jeff Lindquist of Mercer Island and Cyler Miles of Mullen High in Denver, and Shaquille Thompson, top-rated safety in the nation.

“With everything that has gone around here in the past month, the staff changes, hiring guys, and getting guys into place, our staff’s ability to close and finish the way we did, especially in the last 48 hours, well, I couldn’t be more proud,” said Sarkisian. “When I look at this class, I see that it’s a very complete class.

“It fills a lot of our needs. It’s a complete class because it covers all the positions. At the end of the day, we’re better for it. Ultimately, this will push us toward becoming a championship-level football program. I couldn’t be more excited.”

Washington went right to the wire with several, landing late signees OL Taylor Hindy (Chaminade Prep, West Hills, CA.), OL Shane Brostek (son of former Husky center Bern, Hawaii Prep, Kamuela, HI.), CB Cleveland Wallace (Oak Grove, San Jose State), WR Jaydon Mickens (Dorsey, Los Angeles), DE Pio Vateuvi (Patterson High, Patterson, CA.), and CB Brandon Beaver (Dominguez, Compton, CA.)

The Huskies also had  late defections, including Tacoma’s Michael Rector, who committed to Washingtin last June, but finally opted for Stanford; linebacker Malcolm Jackson, who switched to San Diego State; and wide receiver Jordan Payton, who wound up at UCLA. During the recruiting process, Payton verbally committed to four schools, including UW  Jan. 31.

As a senior, Lindquist completed 141 of 255 passes for 1,908 yards and 22 touchdowns, with just seven interceptions. He also rushed for 826 yards and 12 scores on 147 carries in helping lead the Islanders to an 8-3 record and a berth in the state playoffs. He was the  KingCo 3A/2A Offensive Player of the Year and first-team Associated Press 3A All-State.

“He’s just a tremendous kid with all the physical tools,” Sarkisian said. “He’s got the arm strength and the smarts. Now it’s just a matter of him making the transition to college. But what a special person he is.”

Miles, Washington’s 25th commitment who strongly considered USC, was named co-MVP of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl after throwing for one touchdown and running for another. Many have compared him to Stanford’s Andrew Luck.

“We’re fired up about him,” said Sarkisian.

“I appreciate everything from the city of the Seattle,” said Miles. “It has been hectic for me the past few days, but I know I made the right decision. I’m in the best place to be and  excited. Let’s get this going. I think special things are going to happen with Washington.”

The signing of Thompson, the five-star safety from Sacramento, particularly impressed Sarkisian.

“For us to get him is just awesome,” said Sarkisian. “He’s a tremendous football player and he brings a great work ethic to the table. An awesome kid.”

Sarkisian seemed particularly pleased over the quality of the defensive backs he recruited, perhaps because Washington allowed so many passing yards in 2011.

“We just nailed that in every capacity,” Sarkisian said of his DB recruits.

Date Player Pos. *Rank Ht./Wt. Hometown
4/29/11 Jeff Lindquist QB 8 6-3/225 Mercer Island
5/17/11 Darien Washington CB 131 5-11/175 Orange, CA.
6/12/11 Dwayne Washington WR 171 6-2/210 Cerritos, CA.
6/13/11 Nathan Dean OT 68 6-5/270 Kirkland
6/18/11 Blake Rodgers MLB 48 6-2/220 Las Flores, CA.
6/18/11 Kendyl Taylor WR 72 6-0/195 Chandler, AZ.
6/25/11 Korey Durkee P NR 6-4/195 Gig Harbor, WA.
6/28/11 Kalei Auelua DE 89 6-1/240 St. Louis, Honolulu
10/31/11 Erich Wilson RB 112 6-1/185 San Mateo, CA.
12/4/11 Ryan McDaniel MLB 23 6-1/220 North, Torrance, CA.
12/7/11 Cory Littleton DE 145 6-4/220 Spring Valley, CA.
12/8/11 Josh Banks DT JC 6-3/285 Stockton, CA.
12/11/11 Cory English C 21 6-4/285 Auburn
12/14/11 Damion Turpin DE 66 6-3/255 Compton, CA.
1/20/12 Psalm Wooching FB 9 6-3/205 Kailua Kona, HI.
1/24/12 Jake Eldrenkamp OG 60 6-5/295 Bellevue
1/24/12 Cyler Miles QB 13 6-4/220 Denver
1/26/12 Travis Coons PK NR 6-2/195 Walnut, CA.
1/30/12 Shaquille Thompson S 1 6-2/210 Sacramento
2/1/12 Taylor Hindy OL NR 6-4/295 West Hills, CA.
2/1/12 Shane Brostek OL 71 6-3/283 Kamuela, HI
2/1/12 Cleveland Wallace CB 42 5-11/165 San Jose, CA.
2/1/12 Jaydon Mickens WR 45 5-11/175 Los Angeles, CA.
2/1/12 Pio Vatuvei DE 43 6-3/272 Patterson, CA.
2/1/12 Brandon Beaver CB 27 6-1/195 Compton, CA.

YourThoughts

  • HunterGatherer

    Very impressive job done by Sark and Co. considering where things were just a few days ago. Now – get some big uglies from the next class starting tonight!

  • HunterGatherer

    Very impressive job done by Sark and Co. considering where things were just a few days ago. Now – get some big uglies from the next class starting tonight!

  • RadioGuy

    I’m with Tyrell.  What’s considered a “bad” year from Ichiro was still enough to lead the team in hits, runs, steals, batting average and on-base percentage.  It’s relative.

    I fail to see how a guy who batted all of .188 last year is an improvement over Ichiro leading off, so hopefully it’s all a means of showcasing Figgins for a trade.  One plus with Ichiro moving to third is the possibility that he’ll alter his swing just enough to bring in more doubles and homers, since he’s supposed to be such a batting practice power threat (it’s a lot easier to reach the fences when the pitcher is grooving them in for you).  Let’s see if Ichiro will do it in a real game off a real pitcher.  Still, he wasn’t the problem last year.

    The pre-2011 Figgins would’ve really helped in 2011, but he spent the entire season sulking over not leading off and it showed at the plate and in the field, although I’m sure he managed to cash his paycheck a lot quicker than he left the batter’s box whenever the rare occasion to make contact came up.  Trade him, cut him and eat his salary, do whatever, but keeping (and caving in to) Chone Figgins after he undercut the team last year sends the wrong message to young players in camp who are trying to become reliable MLBers.  I’d rather take my chances with Seager or Liddi.

  • jafabian

    Ichiro’s “down year” is so overrated.  If the entire batting lineup had his 2011 stats the team would have at least had a winning record. I don’t like Figgins being named the leadoff hitter and an every day player when he hasn’t lived up to expectations at all.  There’s players in the minors who could care less where they are in the lineup and don’t have the attitude of “I’m a leadoff hitter and nothing else”.  Have to admit though if Figgins turns it around it wouldn’t surprise me.  IMO, he simply isn’t comfortable batting anywhere else but in the leadoff slot.  I say let him work it out and then trade him.

    Ackley had a better OBP than Ichiro but played in only 90 games and isn’t the basestealing threat Ichiro is.  I still think Ichiro is the best person to be leading off but it wouldn’t surprise me if this move is more for Figgins benefit than it is for Ichiro’s.  If he ends up hitting .290 and steals 40 bases (which is what the M’s had been predicting when they signed him) then the move will be a success. 

    • SUDS

      Alot of people are idiots, too.

      I’ve always been amazed by what a big deal this is. Granted it could be a blow to Ichiro’s ego, but he’s a professional and in his Zen-like mind, he has to have addressed his skills slowing down somewhat and the consenquences of it.

      Let’s give Figgins a shot. If he blow it, cut him at that point. They’ve done it many times before.

  • RadioGuy

    Isn’t hindsight grand?

  • Jeff

    Relax, Tyrell.  It was just an option in a silly poll on a touchy subject.  A lot of people want to see the Mariners offload Ichiro, it’s not a personal attack on him or you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002466339654 Rex Devel

    how did you “know” hutch was coming back to seattle? he had no plans and i dont think seattle wanted him back at all.. so don’t assume things like that