There is no doubt in my mind that Coach Steve Sarkisian is doing a magnificent job convincing talent to come to Washington. Since 2009 he has changed the culture at UW not just in terms of wins and losses but has helped maximize the talent on the roster and bring in new talent.
There will be some that disagree because in the last two years, talent that LIVES in Washington has decided to play elsewhere. Players like Zach Banner and Josh Garnett who were not only the top players in the state last year but also among the top players in the country. Both decided to play for other programs.
This year, Coach Sark has lost 5-star QB Max Browne to USC, 4-star OLB Myles Jack to UCLA, and 4-star OLB Danny Mattingly to Notre Dame. Those were the three most talented players in Washington State.
That being said, Coach Sark is bringing in talent by the truck-load from California. He has also been able to steal kids from places like Texas, Oregon, and Hawaii.
Let’s look at his recruiting classes since he came to UW: (all rankings are taken from Scout.com)
- The class was ranked 66th in the country.
- This was the lowest ranking in the Pac-10. UCLA was ranked the highest at 5th.
- The class featured 11 3-star players.
- Top players to come out of this class were Keith Price, Desmond Trufant, and James Johnson.
- The class was ranked 11th in the country.
- 3rd in the Pac-10 behind USC and UCLA.
- It had nine 4-stars (two in the top 100) and 16 3-stars.
- Top players to come out of this class were Sean Parker, Erik Kohler, and Josh Shirley. There are still many in this class that are waiting to be seen if they turn out great or not. Example: Sione Potoa’e.
- The class was ranked 22nd in the country.
- It was 4th in the Pac-12 behind USC, Oregon, and California.
- This classed featured the first two 5-stars in Coach Sark’s tenure. It also had three 4-stars and 15 3-stars.
- Austin Seferian Jenkins and Kasen Williams are the top of this class (they were the two 5-stars). They will be more in the future to really come out of this class but it is too young to really know yet.
- The class was ranked 22nd in the country (again).
- It was 5th in the Pac-12 with Stanford, UCLA, Oregon, and USC ahead of the Huskies.
- The class features one 5-star, three 4-stars, and 15 3-stars.
- This class hasn’t even played a down of college football so there is no telling who the top-performers will be but the top ranked players are Shaquille Thompson, Jeff Lindquist, and Cyler Miles.
- The current recruiting class is ranked 13th in the country (could change by the day, up or down).
- It is currently ranked 2nd in the Pac-12 behind USC.
- The class has currently six 4-stars and eight 3-stars (these are not the final rankings).
- Any of the 4-stars could be mentioned but early returns show that Troy Williams (QB) may be extremely elite.
It was just last night that Coach Sark and company was able to convince the number one linebacker in the country to come visit.
While much of Sark’s recruiting classes still need to be tested. Rankings alone show that now Washington is competing with the best in the nation and the Pac-12 and able to haul in talent. The climate has changed for UW football.