Washington football is on the brink of building a team that can contend for a national championship every year, and that starts with the 2020 recruiting class.
The Huskies haven’t signed a true 5-star recruit since Shaq Thompson (yes, Ale Kaho was rated as a 5-star, but he didn’t enroll so he won’t be counted). Chris Petersen needs to go out and get one to show the rest of the country that he is truly a recruiting force to be reckoned with. Being able to go out and get these kinds of players is what he needs to ultimately bring a national championship to Seattle.
Let’s start with the big guy, Sav’ell Smalls. The hometown hero out of Garfield High in Seattle, Smalls is a must get recruit for Chris Petersen and UW. Smalls is currently ranked as the number three overall player in the country, and would fill a huge need for the Huskies at outside linebacker. Smalls is an incredible athlete, as he made first-team All-State in Washington as an outside linebacker, recording 21 tackles for loss and seven sacks while playing in just five games. He also caught 33 balls for 673 yards and seven touchdowns over those games. Jimmy Lake and Pete Kwiatkowski would scheme the best ways to use him in their defense, and Smalls would have a strong chance to become the first overall pick after three or four years in the Husky system.
We can’t forget about Kelee Ringo either, a highly touted cornerback out of Saguaro High in Scottsdale, Arizona. All the signs should point to Ringo coming to UW, so let’s drive the point home. Ringo has a strong link to current Husky superstar Byron Murphy, and we’re probably going to see Murphy taken in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Myles Bryant told us about the influx of talent the Dawgs have in the freshmen trio of Julius Irvin, Kyler Gordon, and Dominique Hampton, saying all three of them have “first round talent.” Ringo would be a great addition to that group, and might also be the best of the group.
The Huskies are getting really strong at receiver, but there’s no such thing as too many weapons. Keep an eye on Johnny Wilson from Calabasas, California. Wilson is a 6’5 jump ball threat who can win pretty much any ball in the air. Whether it’s Sam Huard, Jacob Sirmon, or Colson Yankoff throwing him the ball when he’s able to get on the field, he would be a huge piece to have.
You can never have too many offensive linemen, right? Geirean Hatchett, a four-star guard from Ferndale, Washington would be another great addition. Jaxson Kirkland has been excellent this season and was even named to The Athletic’s Freshman All-American team. Luke Wattenberg was solid in his first full season but hasn’t lived up to expectations. There are multiple players currently on the roster that could fill that role, but there’s never any harm in having more.
D.J Rogers, a tight-end from Eastside Catholic in Sammamish, Washington would be a huge get for the Huskies. The local boy would have the potential to be an instant impact player, as Hunter Bryant will not be eligible for a redshirt, and with a big season next year, might leave for the NFL Draft. That would leave the Huskies with just Devin Culp and Cade Otton on the roster, so having another good pass-catching tight end would be helpful for whichever quarterback is on the field.
Speaking of tight ends, you can also keep an eye on Mark Redman from Corona Del Mar in California. Redman is an excellent blocking tight end and is proficient when it comes to catching the ball too. We know Chris Petersen always loves having good blocking tight ends on the field, so Redman would fit in very well.
We’ve seen that the Husky defense is at its best with two strong inside linebackers, and after the 2019 commitment of Joshua Calvert, the Huskies could sure up the second level by securing a commitment from current Husky commit Faatui Tuitele’s classmate, Jordan Botelho. If everything works out for those two in the middle, they could end up looking like Azeem Victor and Keishawn Bierria circa 2016.
Chris Petersen has proven time and time again that he’s building something special. He’s gaining tons of national attention, and has gotten the Huskies to a New Year’s Six bowl three years in a row now. That’s high competition and a lot of national exposure for these recruits who have NFL dreams.