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Conference Might be in Limbo, But Huskies Still Rank High in Recruiting

The UW talent grab hasn't been diminished by league uncertainty.
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The University of Washington football team right now can't tell you which conference configuration it will call home in two years, but the Huskies seemingly can find comfort in knowing they stand to bring in enough talent to reasonably navigate whatever the future holds.

Lost in all of the college football realignment rumors, speculation and flat-out misinformation is the fact the UW still ranks No. 20 slot in 247Sports' latest national recruiting rankings.

For whatever it's worth, the Huskies stand second among all teams in the teetering Pac-12 Conference, trailing only defecting USC at No. 13 and ahead of Oregon at 25.

At the same time, UW followers on Tuesday had to feel a little melancholy for a couple of reasons — not only weary of the ongoing potential for conference-hopping from coast to coast, but also in watching 4-star Seattle cornerback Caleb Presley choose Oregon and 4-star Kansas quarterback Avery Johnson announce his intentions to stay home and play for Kansas State, both going with options other than the Huskies.

Into the dead period for coaches contacting recruits, the UW holds 16 oral commitments in hand, including earlier ones from 3-star South Dakota quarterback Lincoln Kienholz and a pair of 3-star cornerbacks in Texas' Diesel Gordon and Sacramento's Leroy Bryant countering the aforementioned moves.

The UW commits very well could be better than the guys heading elsewhere, but It's still hard to be a happy Husky fan for long stretches these days while dealing with so much uncertainty.

That said, let's readdress what just happened on the recruiting front with the quarterback situation.

The UW originally considered a quarterback pool of Aidan Chiles, Johnson and Kienholz, all players with similar height, mobility and arm strength.

Chiles, from Southern California, chose Oregon State early on, a coup for the Beavers and coach Jonathan Smith.

Kienholz gave his commitment to the Huskies last week, choosing them over Wisconsin, Wyoming and North Dakota State, news that well received.

As good as he is, Johnson might have come away from his visits feeling he was the No. 2 option at both Oregon and Washington. Possibly the conference uncertainty surrounding the Pac-12 affected him. Or he never really was inclined to leave the Midwest after all, where he's ben hailed as somewhat of a heroic figure for being true to his roots with a decision that set off statewide celebrations.

Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz said of Kansas, "There's no place like home." 

The Huskies, meantime, have Kienholz's commitment and the Ducks are still working hard to land 5-star Michigan QB recruit Dante Moore for this class.

It will be interesting to see which one of those three signal-callers — Kienholz, Johnson and Moore — turns out to be the better player and whether any of them go head to head on a college football field sometime in future seasons.

Following is the full list of Husky commitments, heavily California and Texas influenced, obtained so far:

UW's SWEET 16

1) Tybo Rogers, RB, 5-11, 180, Bakersfield, Calif. — He holds offers from nine Pac-12 schools, including USC and UCLA, plus Boston College and others. One recruiting outfit ranks him as California's No. 2 running back recruit in this class.

2) Keith Reynolds, WR, 5-7, 170, Adelanto, Calif. — Reynolds might be the fastest incoming Husky recruit this cycle. He has 77- and 80-yard punt returns, an 89-yard interception return and 77- and 94-yard runs for touchdowns so far in his school career.

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3) Deven Bryant, LB, 6-1, 210, Bellflower, Calif. — He hails from the St. John Bosco football powerhouse that previously sent eventual NFL first-round draft pick Trent McDuffie and others to the UW. He also holds offers from Oregon, Louisville and Colorado among his suitors.

4) Rashid Williams, WR, 6-2, 195, Pittsburg, Calif. — Williams is the first of three christened 4-star recruits for the Huskies so far. He turned down Miami, Pittsburgh, Arkansas, Mississippi State and Oregon among his 18 pursuers. He's coming off a 55-catch, 753-yard and 11-TD junior season. 

5) Jacob Lane, ER, 6-5, 230, Puyallup, Wash. — One of two local commitments among this group, he brings plenty of athleticism on a large frame. He has a 37-inch vertical leap.

6) Diesel Gordon, CB, 6-0, 170, Arlington, Texas — The Huskies turned to this Texas recruit from a 5A school (6A is tops) in the Dallas metroplex. He's used to bright Friday Night Lights. Arizona State and Utah also offered him.

7) Anthony James II, ER, 6-5, 245, Wylie, Texas — James is the one who will be the most responsible for getting this UW class ranked high. He's a 4-star player with 23 offers, including SEC teams Auburn, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M. By all accounts, he should be ready to play right away when he arrives in Montlake next year.

8) Zach Henning, OT, , 6-6, 275, Aurora, Colo. — He's one of three offensive linemen committed to this class, primarily choosing the Huskies over home state Colorado. He also holds offers from Kansas State, Oregon State, San Diego State, Indiana and Utah.

9) Vincent Holmes, S, 6-2, 175, San Jacinto, Calif. — The third of the three UW recruits deemed 4-star, Holmes has elite 4.4-second speed over the 40. It will be interesting to see who's the fastest, Holmes or Reynolds? He holds offers from USC, UCLA, BYU, Colorado, Oregon State, Washington State and Arizona, among others.

10) Jordan Whitney, LB, 6-2, 205, Oxnard, Calif. — Yet another sprinter, he doubles as a trackman at Pacifica High School who runs the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay. He and Bryant could be future starting linebackers playing side by side someday. He holds offers from USC, Arizona, California, Boise State, Fresno State, Washington State and others.

11) Elishah Jackett, OT, 6-7, 280, Orange, Calif. — He brings an overly impressive frame mixed with plenty of athleticism from Southern California. While rated a 3-star player, he likely scoffs at that label after fielding other offers from USC, UCLA, Texas, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Nebraska and more.

12) Sua Lefotu, DL, 6-4, 305, Bellflower, Calif. — Lefotu tore an ACL and has missed all but two games of his high school career heading into his senior season at vaunted St. John Bosco. He's no secret, also holding offers from Michigan State, Arizona State, Arizona and Colorado.

13) Landon Hatchett, C, 6-3, 292, Ferndale, Wash. — He's already college size with a high school season left to play. He gives the Huskies a second state commitment. The younger brother of the UW's Geirean Hatchett, he also holds offers from Oregon, Michigan, Texas A&M and USC.

14) Lincoln Kienholz, QB, 6-1, 185, Pierre, S.D. — He's a dual-threat quarterback with size and speed. Kienholz threw for 37 touchdowns and ran for 12 last fall. He shares DeBoer's South Dakota roots and winning ways, capturing a pair of state championships. He went with the UW instead of Wisconsin and Wyoming. 

15) Soane Faasolo, OT, 6-8, 270, Menlo Park, Calif. — He's one of four offensive linemen for this class, three who consider themselves as tackles. A two-way player, he finished his junior with with 11 tackles. He also holds offers from BYU, California, Oregon State and San Jose State. 

16) Leroy Bryant, CB, 6-0, 175, Fairfield, Calif. — Bryant comes off a junior season in which he intercepted a pair of passes, forced a pair of fumbles and broke up 4 passes. He also holds offers from Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State, Oregon State, Utah, Utah State and Washington State among others.


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