Washington kicks off a 12-part series where we will rank the best recruits to sign with each Pac-12 school since the advent of serious recruiting coverage on the Internet (2002 serving as the furthest year back that you can find rankings for players online). Our rankings are put together by combining players' rankings from recruiting sites, offers and the amount of hype that surrounded their singings.
Please note that these are taking only into account how highly-rated players were coming out of high school, not their college careers. So please, no angry, insult-laden comments about how only a child murderer wouldn't realize that LaMichael James (Or someone else who had a great career despite being an under-the-radar recruit) should be on the list.
1. Shaquille Thompson Class of 2012 S Sacramento, CA - Grant
Thompson's commitment to the Huskies late in the recruiting year of 2012 rocked the recruiting world as the one time Cal commit followed a few Golden Bear assistants, including recruiting ace Tosh Lupoi up to Seattle. Thompson was one of the most highly-rated prospects at any position in 2012 and was pegged as a future star on either offense or defense at the next level. Thompson moved to linebacker in his first season of college football and immediately excelled and is arguably Washington's best defensive player heading into 2013.
2. Kasen Williams Class of 2011 WR Sammamish, WA - Skyline
Williams was the Parade National Player of the Year as a senior and one of the most decorated players to ever come out of the state of Washington. Williams committed to Washington early and was Steve Sarkisian's first five-star commitment. Williams has had two good seasons thus far as a Husky and is expected to be one of the best receivers in the Pac-12 in 2013.
3. Austin Seferian-Jenkins Class of 2011 TE Gig Harbor, WA
The nation's top tight end in the Class of 2011, Seferian-Jenkins was a physical monster that also had the receiving skills of an elite receiver. Seferian-Jenkins committed not long after Williams to headline a great Class of 2011 for Sarkisian and showed that elite local prospects could still go to Washington. Seferian-Jenkins has been a stud for the Huskies since his first game in Seattle and is now considered to be the best tight end in the country and a future first round draft pick going into just his junior season.
4. Kavario Middleton Class of 2008 TE Lakewood, WA - Lakes
Middleton was kind of Seferian-Jenkins before there was a Seferian-Jenkins. Big, athletic, with soft hands and a five-star prospect, Middleton was one of the top tight ends in the Class of 2008. Also like Seferian-Jenkins, he committed to Washington even though he could have went anywhere in the country. Unlike Seferian-Jenkins though, his career at Washington wasn't fruitful. He showed great potential in his first two seasons but was kicked off the team going into his junior season and ended up at Montana.
5. Donny Mateaki Class of 2002 DE Honolulu, HI - Iolani
Mateaki was one of the crown jewels out West in 2002 and was a five-star recruit that passed the eye test about as highly as any defensive linemen I have ever seen coming out of high school (If you can track down his Scout profile picture you will see what I mean). Mateaki was coveted by just about every program and chose Washington and Rick Neuheisel over Nebraska and Colorado. Unfortunately, Mateaki never really panned out and ended up being a bit of a DE/DT tweener that never made an impact at Washington.
6. Matt Tuiasosopo Class of 2004 QB Woodinville, WA
One of the top rated quarterbacks in the Class of 2004 and the younger brother of Marques, Tuiasosopo was seen as a possible savior when he signed in 2004 and the Huskies were coming off of a disappointing 6-6 season. He was big, athletic and a great leader and was described as being potentially even better than his older brother. He signed with Washington over a number of powers, including UCLA and USC but would end up never even enrolling in school as the Seattle Mariners poached him in the MLB Draft, offered him a big contract and he has played professional baseball ever since.
7. Sione Potoae Class of 2010 DT Lakewood, WA - Lakes
A strong, stout defensive lineman that could shut down the middle, Potoae was one of the best defensive line recruits in the nation in the Class of 2010. Potoae would consider big time schools like USC and LSU, but ended up being Sarkisian's first big recruit from the state of Washington and was a huge score in the class. Like Mateaki, Potoae has kind of been a tweener thus far in his career at Washington and hasn't quite filled expectations, but will have one more shot as a senior in 2013.
8. Jake Locker Class of 2006 QB Ferndale, WA
Locker was a highly-rated quarterback coming out of high school, but was such a phenomenal athlete that he could have been a huge recruit at about four or five different positions. Tyrone Willingham and the Huskies got him to stay in state early in the process, inspiring many Washington fans to crown him as the next great Washington quarterback before he even played a down. Locker would end up having a up a very interesting career that ultimately ended well with him leading them to their first bowl game and winning record in eight years in 2010 and was taken in the Top 10 of the 2011 NFL Draft.
9. Chris Polk Class of 2008 RB Redlands, CA - East Valley
Polk was a hard-running back with great size and pass-catching skills for a high school running back. He committed to USC very early in the process back when the Trojans were just about the biggest juggernaut in college football, so it was a huge score when the Huskies were able to get him to flip and sign with them. Polk ended up being one of the best running backs to ever play at Washington, putting together three 1,000 yard seasons while almost becoming the leading rusher in Husky history.
10. Jon Lyon Class of 2003 TE Mission Viejo, CA - Saddleback Junior College
Lyon was one of the most regarded junior college players in the Class of 2003 because of the amazing speed he brought to the position and his impressive body size. Lyon signed with the Huskies over Oregon State and Texas Tech and was expected to step in right away and be a starter as a junior. Lyon ended up having a forgettable two-year career at Washington and graduated without ever catching a touchdown.
Dashon Goldson Class of 2004 S Coffeyville, KS - Coffeyville Junior College
Erik Kohler Class of 2010 G Westlake Village, CA - Oaks Christian
Jeff Lindquist Class of 2012 QB Mercer Island, WA
Cyler Miles Class of 2012 QB Denver, CO - Mullen
Sean Parker Class of 2010 S Harbor City, CA - Narbonne