Lupoi Returns Washington to Relevance
@BryanDFischer: How many will go with ToshLupoi when he takes a new job in January? @MattMik99: #toshstunt - very cute – and how many of them stick when UW is 2-5 – Tosh created a toxic culture at Cal – have fun!!!
Two tweets. Two signs that things done changed over at the University of Washington.
Despite some recent success in football recruiting with the likes of Jake Locker, Kasen Williams, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the Dawgs lacked national recognition and needed to take the next step to compete with Stanford, USC and Oregon in the Pac-12. Enter Tosh Lupoi this offseason.
The controversial acquisition (isn’t that what it really was?) of Lupoi in January angered Cal fans, made Husky fans rejoice and put fear in the minds of the other Pac-12 teams. Almost immediately Lupoi gave the Huskies a return on their investment (an expensive one at that) with the commitment of Shaq Thompson (who switched from Cal). The top rated safety in the country became a Dawg and all of a sudden the Huskies entered the world of relevance.
Yet it wasn’t until only a few days ago on June 29th that the Huskies really began their ascent to the top of the Pac-12 (or so we hope). Seven high school players committed to UW on that date while attending the Rising Stars Camp. They also received a 2014 commitment as well. Again, Husky fans were elated. Others? Well, read those tweets.
In some ways, a school doesn’t arrive on the scene as a threat until fans of other schools start bashing coaches and commits. This is the sad reality of our current social media climate and college football. And now UW is a target because of Tosh Lupoi because Coach Lupoi knows how to recruit with the best of them. Thus the Dawgs came away with seven new commits and skyrocketed up the national rankings (now #11 nationally according to Scout and #15 according to Rivals). So who are these new Dawgs (of course there is a long time until signing day) and just how good are they?
WR Demorea Stringfellow
Ranked the 73rd best prospect in the country by ESPN and 62nd by Rivals, Stringfellow is a 6-3 receiver from Rancho Verde HS. He is a four star recruit according to Scout and is the 11th best receiver in the country. Needless to say, Stringfellow will have the chance to be a big time playmaker at UW. The wideout had offers from schools such as Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, USC and Notre Dame.
The Next Tier
DE Daeshon Hall
Love the name of that highlight. Hyperbole anyone? A former Garfield High School student, Hall recently committed to Texas as a defensive end to the delight of Longhorn fans. Ranked the #18 defensive end in the nation by Scout, he is a four star athlete as well. Hall had offers from Texas, Baylor, Missouri and Texas Tech. He wasn’t recruited as much on the West Coast because he spent last year at Lancaster High School in Texas.
DT Elijah Qualls
The 6’2, 280 pounder also plays running back as you can see in the video. That is a little scary. Who would want to tackle him? He had offers from Arizona, ASU, Cal, Michigan, Nebraska, UCLA, and USC. Clearly he was a wanted man. Qualls is a four star recruit according to Scout and the 16th best DT in the country.
RB Lavon Coleman
A speedy, elusive running back, Coleman is also a four star recruit according to Scout and 26th nationally at the position. From Lompoc High School, Coleman had offers from Boise State, Arizona, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah and WSU.
The Middle Tier
OT Poasi Moala
Moala is a three star recruit according to Scout and Rivals. He is also from Rancho Verde HS and is the 50th best OT according to Scout. The 6-5, 265 pounder had offers from Arizona, ASU, Boise State, Oregon State and WSU.
DT Andrew Basham
Another three star recruit according to Rivals and Scout, Basham is a local kid from Lynnwood High School. He is listed as a DT, but could end up on either side of the ball. At 6-4, 305 pounds, Basham is a big dude with offers from Arizona State and Oregon State.
OLB Caleb Tucker
A linebacker from Louisiana, Tucker had offers from Memphis, Southern Miss, SMU and Tulane. He is a two star athlete according to Scout and a three star according to Rivals. At 6-2, 225 pounds, Tucker got more interest near his hometown, but clearly the Dawgs saw something they really liked.
The new seven Huskies joined the two biggest recruits for 2013 in QB Troy Williams and WR Darrell Daniels, who both recently committed as well. While Williams is the 179th best player in the country according to ESPN, he had offers from big time programs in Auburn, Florida, and Wisconsin, as well as Pac-12 schools like Arizona and Arizona State. He also recently made the Elite 11 that airs on ESPN (the best 11 QBs in the country). Both Cyler Miles and Jeff Lindquist (incoming frosh this fall) made the Elite 11 one year ago, so the Dawgs are in great shape it appears at the quarterback spot (oh and remember Keith Price is a junior).
QB Troy Williams
Daniels was described by one analyst as the best WR recruit in the Steve Sarkisian era. Wow. Remember Kasen Williams? Me too – he is good. Apparently Daniels is as well. In fact, many call him the best WR on the west coast in 2013. He had offers from a host of good schools such as Cal, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Nebraska.
WR Darrell Daniels
With these nine in the fold, UW has struck a little fear in the hearts of its opponents. Oregon fans won’t admit it, but USC will. This is from the Reign of Troy blog:
Lupoi’s yet to put his hand in the USC cookie jar, but grabbing Elijah Qualls, who was tied to the Trojans as well, is big first step. Now, is he going to suddenly go after Kenny Bigelow and bring him up to Seattle? Probably not. But, his ability bond with recruits and hit home with high school kids is dangerous for the Pac-12, and more so now with Washington, considering that Sarkisian is a strong recruiter himself, and the UW athletic department is more motivated to win in football than Cal.
Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron are a dream team of recruiters, but with Sarkisian and Lupoi chugging along up north and scholarship limitations reducing the size of USC’s haul for the time being, it’ll be interesting to see how the recruiting landscape changes, if at all, in the next five years. Today, nonetheless, is a big step towards seeing some change.
Clearly Lupoi and Washington are gaining the attention of everyone – including recruits. And the more attention UW gets, the more likely you see tweets like this.
@zach_barnett: We got Tosh‘d RT @JeffHowe247: Multiple reports now that former Longhorn commit Daeshon Hall has committed to Washington. #Hookem #Huskies