Washington signed 17 recruits on National Signing Day with 1 recruit added to 2019 class and one preferred walk-on kicker who will enroll without scholarship.
Washington did not land any “5 Star” athletes this year according to various ranking agencies but Chris Petersen made it clear he got his OKGs (Our Kinda Guys) in this class. The one late addition was Jordan Lolohea who announced his commitment today but is deferring to 2019 to go on his LDS mission. No signing day flipping occurred this year which was predictable given Petersen's philosophies on commitment.
The late change of heart of Marlon Tuipulotu to sign with USC mildly impacted the recruiting rankings along with Connor Wedington deciding on going to Stanford. Losing out on Foster Sarell would have been a big loss but with the late additions of Cole Norgaard and Jaxson Kirkland the offensive line looks to be in good shape for the next few years. Henry Bainvalu may have been the best recruit of the class and was an early signee to Washington that also will contribute to a solid offensive line class for the Huskies.
In terms of skill players for offense the Huskies picked up the necessary replacements in the 2017 class. Salvon Ahmed will lead the pack of these young recruits. Though he is an athlete who can play both sides of the ball Petersen is poised to use his skills at the running back position. UW picked up two solid tight ends in Hunter Bryant and Cade Otton. Cade Otton is the grandson of Sid Otton who has won the most high school football games in Washington history as coach of Tumwater High School. Bryant was one of the top tight ends in the country and a big get for Petersen. Alex Cook, Ty Jones and Terrell Bynum were all top tier wide receivers and will bring great depth to the receiver corps with speed, size and athleticism between the three receivers. The final offensive player to sign was the pro-style quarterback Jake Haener. Haener is a bit undersized but put up good stats as a senior with 37 touchdowns and nearly 3,000 yards passing. Both his parents went to UW which probably impacted his decision to come to Washington.
On defense, the Huskies were able to fill a majority of the needs for this class. Ali Gaye was quick to fill the gap Tuipulotu left when he flipped to USC. He is a tall defensive lineman who will likely need to put on a bit more weight but should be able to compete for a starting spot after redshirting. Jordan Lolohea was the last man in this class but will not play till 2019. His physical play mirrors Azeem Victor's style and should be an asset in a few years when he returns from his mission. Ariel Ngata hails from Folsom the same school as Jake Browning and should be a great pass rusher for the Huskies in coming years. Joe Tryon is the other OLB that will complement Ngata in the pass rush and should help maintain the Huskies reputation of being the stingiest defense in the Pac-12. Brandon McKinney may be the future replacement of Budda Baker as his aggressive play mirrors the talent Baker came in with his freshman year. With Kevin King and Sidney Jones gone the next set of “Death Row” corners can be found in the pair of Keith Taylor and Elijah Molden. The Huskies secondary looks completely stacked for years to come with the signing of these highly touted cornerbacks.
The final scholarship player in this class is Punter Joel Whitford who was likely the best punter available nationwide in this recruiting class. Whitford is Australian and likely to be kicking rugby style in many of his punts.
Overall this Husky class has been ranked 21st to 23rd by the major scouting sites. Despite the lack of 5-star talent that USC and Alabama landed today the Huskies look to be in good shape to compete for a Pac-12 title for the next few years with the OKG guys that Petersen has recruited.