Scheme is always a big topic of conversation when it comes to how great a football coach is. Sometimes it seems like it's the only thing that matters to some people.
Washington coach Chris Petersen has never been a coach with a defined scheme that people could latch on to when arguing how great or accomplished he is. That's because one of the things that Petersen is known for as an offensive coach is maximizing the personnel he has on his team by coaching to their strengths. Essentially, the strength of the team and where his best players are has a huge impact on his scheme. It's a big reason why he's been so successful as a college football coach.
If his past is any indication, a big part of the Huskies scheme in the future is going to involve how good they are going to be upfront because they are doing a nice job of adding some offensive talent in recruiting. They may have struggled a bit on the offensive line last season, but help is on the way with players like 2015 4 star signees Henry Roberts and Trey Adams and the newest Husky commit, 4 star offensive tackle Luke Wattenberg.
(Feel free to check out my scouting report on Wattenberg)
What makes Wattenberg such a good prospect is his athleticism. There is nothing plodding about his movement. His feet are so good and that's what leads him to win as a blocker. Here's a couple of examples of what I'm referring to:
The first is a zone run with Wattenberg going to his left. The defensive end is lined up outside shade of him and he is able to get outside of him with his ease and even out leverage the outside linebacker on that play and prevent him from getting outside.
There are just not many other offensive tackles that are able to be that agile to accomplish what he just did.
The second is of Wattenberg pulling, something he does frequently for his high school team. He gets to the second level and flattens a linebacker.
Players like him who can move like he does at his size are extremely uncommon.
His feet are also a big reason why he has so much potential in pass protection. When matched up against 2015 5 star edge rusher Keisean Lucier-South (UCLA) last season, he did a a very good job of handling his speed and maintaining his balance in his pass set. I've seen a lot of other highly rated offensive tackles let their technique crumble away when dealing with that kind of speed, but not Wattenberg.
I know Wattenberg is not a finished product and still has a lot of room for improvement with his game. He will also definitely need some time in the weight room to add weight and get stronger over the next couple of years. All of the raw tools are there though for him to develop into a great left tackle.
With players like Wattenberg, Roberts, and Adams to go along with other young guys already on the roster in Kaleb McGary, the Huskies are starting to build something really good along the offensive line. If they can add more talent such as 4 star Michael Eletise who is visiting Washington very soon, then they'll really be cooking.
If they keep on this pace and continue to recruit well like they have been, Chris Petersen is going to have a pretty darn good offensive line in a few years and since we know that he knows how to coach to his team's strengths, it's going to be fun to watch the Huskies take advantage of all of the talent they are accumulating.