Bow Down SITREP #2

So Benning has been Playing out of Position for Three Seasons?

Benning Potoa'e's debut as a true hand-on-the-ground defensive lineman was so good it makes us wonder why it didn't happen two seasons ago. Benning recorded two Sacks and three total Tackles-for-Loss in around 35 snaps against EWU. Those two Sacks equal his total from last season over 14 games. The likely reason he spent the past two seasons starting at Buck is there was nobody better on the roster to fill that role. This is yet another lesson in why recruiting great talent at every position, every year, matters so much.

Noted Cultural Critic and Cal LB Evan Weaver says: "We’ll fly up there and we’ll beat them."

God Bless Evan Weaver

The Spokane native who gave us possibly the lamest smack talk ever after Cal’s victory last year (“We just got the better culture than they do.”) was undeterred by Cal’s shaky opener against UC Davis and all but guaranteed a victory for the Bears at Husky Stadium on Saturday. Not only is this helpful bulletin board material, but we genuinely enjoy this kind of intra-conference smack talk. You have to love a kid with that kind of confidence and lack of awareness of history (UW is 26-8 vs. Cal since 1980, despite the Gilby and Ty debacles).

We are Just Sitting Here Watching Coach Pete Evolve in Real Time

Reading the reactions of Boise State beat writers and fans to “Chris Petersen: A Day in the Life” was amusing. The general consensus reaction from Boise was utter shock that he would ever be willing to participate in such a thing. But it is clear to us that Coach Pete is capable of change, it just happens at a pace that resembles continental drift. But when you pay attention to subtle details (which we do because EVERYTHING MATTERS), it becomes more noticeable.

Coach Pete Getting Hooked on that Talent Drug?

While Pete has all but denied that natural talent is a real thing in the past, he is having trouble containing what must be something close to giddiness over the skyrocketing talent on the roster. He struggled to not heap effusive praise on Jacob Eason for his play in the opener. When discussing the young talent on the team his comments remain tempered by his characteristic reserve, but his body language is telling a different story. Pete now believes in talent, for sure, and seems to want more of it.

Pressure on Paopao, Definitely a Real Thing

For the second week in a row, Pete fired a warning shot across the bow of TE coach Jordan Paopao over recruiting failures at the Tight End position. To review, Paopao has struggled in recruiting his position group for years. The numbers have been inadequate and he has a low batting average on his top targets. Things are getting so dire that the staff is sniffing around a JC TE recruit whose best offer is currently from South Alabama and who has intrasquad scrimmage and skeleton drill highlights on his HUDL reel.

New Staffers John Timu & Cornelius Washington with Coach Petersen

Upgrading Recruiting Effort with New Hires

The announcement of the addition of former Husky LB John Timu and NFL veteran lineman Cornelius Washington to the program are pretty obviously investments to upgrade recruiting. While Timu’s role remains unknown, his currency in recruiting as a former UW player, NFL veteran, and Long Beach, CA native is clear. Washington carries the title of Recruiting Communications Coordinator, which we believe to be a completely new role on the staff. He has no previous ties to Pete, played in the SEC, and was a former 4-star recruit out of rural Georgia. Given that Petersen has been known to be fairly frugal and no-frills, these hires seem like a pretty big deal to us.

2020 Recruiting Class:

Sav’ell Watch Update

Sav’ell Smalls was on hand to watch the Huskies’ 2019 debut, joining Kennedy teammate and 2021 recruiting class lead Dawg Sam Huard at the game. Everything we are hearing suggests that Smalls’ UW recruitment is going VERY well. And, for what it is worth, his parents’ activity on Twitter makes it really clear where they would like to see him go to college. Rumors that something good may happen sooner than later are starting to make the rounds. We don't have any insight on timing, but there sure is a lot of smoke for there not to be a fire.

Take it to the Banks

Right now all signs point to Jordan Banks (a 4-star SAM prospect out of Kieshawn Bierria’s HS: Narbonne) closing down his recruiting and committing to us around his scheduled visit of USC. We can’t believe it either. The comparison that Suburban Kodak makes is to a JoJo Mathis/Cory Littleton hybrid who will be able to flex out and cover the field, but also used as a speed rusher, a la Melvin Ingram, alongside our big boys (Tuitele, Pa’ama, Taki, Tuli, etc) on passing downs.

The Old Coug-a-roo?

Scott Huff seems to be sniffing around an offensive linemen, and WSU commit, from Skinny’s neck of the woods: Devin Kylany is a 6-5, 280 (probably G) prospect who moves well. With WSU’s track-record of OL evals, could we be gathering ourselves to give them the Sankey Leg? Could we really take five OL in a class? Well, the combination of the injury to Cole Norgaard and Corey Luciano's move to TE might be enough to get us to the promised land. We’re not sure if it will get that far, but just keep an eye on it.

Staff Still Working Some Long Shots

Our super plugged-in pal sonics1993 assures us that a couple players who are committed elsewhere continue to have active dialogues with the UW coaches and that their recruiters are working very hard to get them in on official visits. While sonics1993 has remained mum on their identities, we would surmise that this group includes Saguaro (Phoenix, AZ) CB Kelee Ringo and St. Louis (Honolulu, HI) LB Jordan Botelho. Securing officials out of guys like that would certainly be huge, but we continue to think that Ringo, in particular, remains the longest of long shots.

Jalen McMillan Game Film #1 Is a Situation in Itself

Watching a senior’s first film is always enjoyable, but when it’s a kid who is really starting to grow into his body it’s marvelous. Jalen McMillan's first game film looks heavenly. A 6-2 Dante Pettis? James Lofton reincarnated? You decide. But it’s absolutely beautiful. Sometimes it’s easy to forget we have one of the best WR prospects in our history committed to us because they just become names. But yeah, no, he looks unreal.

2021 Recruiting Class:

Troy Franklin: Yes, please.

Menlo-Atherton’s (Atherton, CA) Troy Franklin is an absurd WR prospect. And he actually seems to really like UW. What a time to be alive. Check out Franklin in action during Menlo-Atherton's 51-14 victory over Bellarmine College Prep (San Jose, CA).

Pair of DEs From Outside the West are Top Targets

We’ve been pretty clear on our view that UW recruiting outside its traditional footprint in the West is a really inefficient use of resources. It is equally clear that Petersen and staff disagree or don’t care. We’re told that 4-star Pleasant Grove (Texarkana, TX) DE Landon Jackson is a top target and that the staff thinks the interest is mutual. We’ll believe that when we see it. The staff is also high on 4-star DE T.J. Bollers of Clear Creek Amana (Tiffin, IA). Bollers just announced his UW official offer on Twitter on Thursday.

A Cookie Monster, from Houston

Another guy from outside of our ‘traditional’ recruiting area that the staff is high on is, Terrence “Cookie Monster” Cooks, a 6-3, 210 WLB (weak inside linebacker) who runs a 4.53 40. However, this kid came up to camp with UW (we think Will Harris is the responsible party for making that happen) and went away with his first offer: from us. He has been pretty enthusiastic about the Huskies on Twitter. If there were any way we can start getting kids like this from Texas (kids that Texas, Oklahoma and LSU want), then no one is going to complain about recruiting Texas (well, not that much any way).

In-State Cannot Be Overstated

Every chance we get we would like to recognize the fact that WASHINGTON 2.0 is here (it arrived with Skinny, the Adidas uniforms, and probably Haener’s departure). But WASHINGTON 3.0 (out of beta testing) will arrive if/when we are able to close on the 3 in-state 5-stars for 2021 (J.T. Tuimoloau, Emeka Egbuka and Sam Huard). Adding super-ballers with offers (like LBs Will Latu and Julien Simon) and guys who seem like they are soon to get offers (like WR Lonyatta Alexander, OL Owen Prentice, and TE Caden Jumper) to the in-state Five Stars would make Washington football look totally different. Step 1 is getting Sav’ell in the boat. There are network effects in recruiting. Kids pay attention. The reason why Sav’ell is the single most important recruit in UW history is that establishing a precedent that 5-stars don’t leave would likely have a lasting influence on in-state UW recruiting. And the 2022 in-state class looks great, too.

For those who never served in the military or haven't watched Blackhawk Down 17 times, a SitRep (or Situation Report) is a status report that provides readers a clear, concise understanding of the situation—focusing on meaning or context, in addition to the facts.

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