It’s about four months until the 2016 season begins and less than 9 months until the recruiting class of 2017 can sign their National Letters of Intent. With fierce recruiting battles underway for the top recruits in the country, it’s a good time to get to know the players who appear poised to become college football stars in the near future. So far, we’ve analyzed Najee Harris, Dylan Moses, DeAngelo Gibbs and Devon Hunter, the top-rated recruits in the class of 2017, according to Scout.com. This week, it’s Foster Sarell, the No. 5 player in the class.
Name: Foster Sarell
Rank: No. 5 overall, No. 1 offensive tackle
Height/Weight: 6’6”, 300 lbs
High School: Graham, Wash.
Commitment status: Uncommitted
Scouting evaluation (from Scout.com)
Sarell looks like a college lineman right now and checks off every box you could want in a next level player. He's a natural tackle prospect with the feet and athleticism to play on the left side but also has the toughness and nastiness to play just about anywhere on the line. He has a basketball background and it's obvious when you see him play because of how coordinated he is and how well he moves around. His upside is tremendous.
As the No. 1 offensive tackle prospect in the recruiting class of 2017, Sarell boasts reported offers from just about every major program, especially those on the West Coast. He’s not saying much about any favorites, but his decision is likely to come down to Washington or Stanford. Sarell and his family care a lot about academics, so Michigan, UCLA and Notre Dame could make a strong push, too.
Sarell visited Stanford for the Cardinal’s Junior Day this spring and raved about the experience. “I loved it at Stanford,” he told Scout.com’s Brandon Huffman. “It is a great place to be.” Sarell has Notre Dame scheduled for his next visit and he also plans to take another trip to Washington after checking in on the Huskies last fall.
Sarell is spending his spring with the track team for Graham Kapowsin High, competing in the shot put and discus. He plans to attend The Opening’s Seattle regional in late May and hopes to compete in The Opening finals in July.
How he fits
No matter where he ends up, Sarell figures to slot right into the first-team offensive line. He has the size and athleticism to compete at the college level as a freshman, and his technique is solid, too. He is the first top-ranked offensive line prospect to come out of Washington since Scout.com began compiling rankings in 2002.
If Sarell chooses Washington, that’d a huge in-state recruiting victory for coach Chris Petersen. The Huskies already hold commitments from two in-state prospects in the class of 2017 (four-star tight end Hunter Bryant and three-star running back Connor Wedlington) but missed out on the state’s top-ranked recruit in last year’s class when quarterback Jacob Eason signed with Georgia.
Washington appears to be poised for a breakthrough season under Petersen this fall thanks to a potent, young crop of talent, including sophomore left tackle Trey Adams. Last season Adams became the first true freshman offensive lineman to start for the Huskies since ’12. Sophomore Kaleb McGary holds down the right tackle spot for Washington, so Sarell would likely have to begin his career with the Huskies in the interior line before moving to out to tackle once Adams or McGary leave for the NFL.
If Sarell chooses Stanford, he could follow the path of former five-star offensive line recruit Joshua Garnett, who went to nearby Pullayup (Wash.) High before pledging to the Cardinal and eventually becoming a first-round NFL draft pick. Stanford’s offensive line picture is less clear than Washington’s as the Cardinal lose three starters from last season. However, a program famous for its jumbo sets is never short on offensive linemen and looks to have another star in the making this year in David Bright. Stanford has had four offensive linemen drafted in the first two rounds of past five drafts, a track record that has to be appealing to Sarell.