June 29th, 2012 was a huge day. Not because I spoke with Husky greats Brock Huard and Mike Jensen at work, or the fact that the USA beat Australia in the World Cup of Softball. It was bigger (surprisingly) than both of those things. Combined. Why you might ask? It was a day that could go down as the beginning of the return to prominence for Washington Football. June 29th saw seven recruits…no that’s not a typo, SEVEN recruits decide to pledge themselves to the Purple and Gold recruiting class of 2013, all while attending the Rising Stars 7-on-7 camp put on by the UW coaches. I learned of the news when I was on my break during work and I strained to contain myself from making an absolute scene in the break room. I resorted to a quick, yet powerful, fist pump and dove into the details. Here’s what I uncovered.
Demorea Stringfellow – WR, Moreno Valley, CA
Probably the best out of the bunch talent-wise and name wise. I mean, he isn’t in the same echelon as Wonderful Teriffic Monds II, who is a linebacker for the powerful University of Buffalo Bulls, but he definitely brings the best name to Montlake in quite some time. But I digress, Stringfellow is another man child to add to an absolutely stacked group of wide receivers. The Huskies already picked up the #5 WR of the 2013 recruiting class in Darrell Daniels, and here they add the #11 WR. Airwolf (the new nickname I am giving the kid based on the 80′s TV series who’s main character shared the same name) is a handful for defensive backs, standing at 6’3″ tall and weighing roughly 205 lbs. He possesses a great combination of size, speed, and strength, which creates huge mismatch problems for defenses. Stringfellow looks to be the type of receiver that can stretch the field not necessarily with his speed, but with his playmaking ability in traffic and tall athletic frame which allows him to fight for jump balls. He still lacks a little in the speed and route running departments, but he has super soft hands and can snag almost anything that comes his way. Demorea had offers from Notre Dame, USC, Michigan, Florida, Ohio State, and Nebraska to name a few. Still a raw talent, but with time we could see him develop into something quite special for the Huskies.
Elijah Qualls – DT, Petaluma, CA
Qualls is a load, weighing in at 279 lbs and standing 6’2″ tall. He surprisingly plays both running back and defensive tackle for his high school team, but figures to be on the D-line come college ball. He is very quick off the line and uses his low pad level to gain leverage against offensive lineman. Also, he has shown the ability to penetrate effectively and get a nice push, even with his smaller size in comparison to your normal defensive lineman. Still lacks some polish when it comes to footwork and block shedding, but like Stringfellow, Qualls is still very raw. He actually is a more advanced RB technique-wise at this point in time, but it’s nothing that can’t be changed and improved in the future. One thing that plays into his favor is his high motor and intensity that his game brings to the table.
Daeshon Hall – DE, Lancaster, TX
Another 4 star defensive lineman that chose the Huskies, Hall is 6’6″ 220 with the ability to add much more muscle and weight to his frame. Like Qualls, Hall is also another high motor player, which is always a good quality to have. He is lanky, having long arms that allow him to keep blockers off. He has good use of his hands, but still lacks some technique and moves to shed blockers. This will be something he should improve on in the near future. Hall decommitted from Texas this week and then immediately jumped on the UW recruiting wagon.
Lavon Coleman – RB, Lompoc, CA
Coleman is a power back who posesses good size and strength. At 5’10″ 210, Lavon is a downhill runner that doesn’t waste any time hitting the hole and busting through into the secondary. He’s not the most elusive back you’ve seen, but he is shifty and is a hard person to tackle, using an effective stiff arm to fend of would be tacklers. Coleman is thick, strong, and is able to absorb blows from tacklers and maintain his balance. He fills a need for the Huskies, who currently lack a true power runner in their rushing attack.
Poasi Moala – OT, Moreno Valley, CA
High school teammates with Demorea Stringfellow, Moala will have the new nickname of Simba based off of his large afro-ish mane of hair he sports. There isn’t much out their on this guy, although he says that he believes his greatest strength is his quickness off the line. He also says he is very interested in playing early, therefore the depth chart was a definite factor in his recruiting decision.
Caleb Tucker – OLB, Monroe, LA
The best way to describe Caleb Tucker is to think of Josh Shirley. Like Shirley, Tucker is undersized for the defensive end spot, therefore filling that role between end and outside backer, but he is also very quick. He is a sure tackler and can really hit people from time to time. Tucker is again a high motor player who keeps his feet moving and finishes out plays. Because of his high motor and quickness, O-lineman find it difficult to keep him on blocks, allowing him to wreak havoc on the offensive backfield.
Andrew Basham – DT, Lynnwood, WA
Th only local product out of the bunch, but one of the several defensive lineman picked up by the Dawgs. Basham turned down offers from both Oregon State and Arizona State to choose the Huskies. I can’t find much on the guy, but a three star rating on scout means you’re doing something right. Interested to see how he pans out in the future.
Overall, a huge group of guys for the Dawgs to get this early in the recruiting process. By adding these guys, the Huskies almost doubled their commitment count for the class of 2013. With their addition, the Dawgs recruiting class ranking rose from 38th to 11th according to Scout. Also, 4 of the new recruits are 4 star caliber recruits, which bumps the Huskies up to 5 players in that category. Last year there were only 3 to fit that level, and also Shaq Thompson who was a 5 star recruit. But there is still so much more time to add the same top caliber talent, which is extremely encouraging regarding the direction of this program. I think a key thing to take away from all of this is the fact they received commitments from a Texas and Louisiana recruit. Both are major recruiting pipelines for big time confernces and the Huskies were able to swipe them out of their neck of the woods. Yes, Daeshon Hall played locally for a few years at Garfield, but it still means something to score a recruit from Texas. The Huskies haven’t been able to recruit in that way since the Neuheisel era when he was hauling in talented players like Charles Frederick, John Anderson, and Rich Alexis all from Florida and Kevin Ware from Texas, as well. This coming season, the Dawgs will have only a total of 5 players on their roster who are not from a state named Washington, California, or Hawaii. Today, they picked up almost half of that number. Tosh Lupoi and the rest of the staff are already making strides in the recruiting field, and I expect them to make even bigger splashes in the future. The next eight months until signing day are sure to be a wild one!
Here’s a video of how it all went down today:
As a side note, the Huskies also received an additional recruit in Rashead Johnson (WR, Long Beach, CA), but he is from the 2014 recruiting class.