’s Brandon Huffman on Washington’s 2012 Recruiting Class


I usually write about baseball, but I am venturing into football for this article.

This week I sat down with Brandon Huffman, National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager for FOX Sports/, to discuss the University of Washington recruiting class of 2012.

The first topic of discussion was the quarterbacks in this year’s class. Two prospects have verbally committed to the Huskies—Jeff Lindquist from Mercer Island, Washington and Cyler Miles out of Denver, Colorado.

These two players offer different skill sets. Huffman described Lindquist as the better pocket passer of the two, displaying good patience, poise, accuracy, consistency, and an exceptional football IQ. Lindquist possesses great size, but still has good mobility and the better arm of the two recruits. Lindquist is not a great down field passer, however.

Cyler Miles has excellent athleticism and is physically superior to Lindquist. Miles’ playing style can be compared to that of ex-Husky Jake Locker. However, Miles has had problems with his throwing mechanics.

The question is, who will be a better quarterback for the Huskies? The answer depends heavily on the style of offense Washington runs. Lindquist fits better into a pro-style offense, while Miles would fit better into a spread offense.

According to Huffman, Lindquist is the better quarterback for Washington’s current offensive scheme due to his

accuracy and ability to get rid of the ball on point. Huffman also pointed out that offensive styles can change quickly, so either quarterback could potentially fit in for Washington.

Although the analyst expects both 2012 quarterback recruits to be red-shirted, he thinks they can challenge Nick Montana for the starting job behind center down the road. Huffman thinks Washington’s freshman quarterback, Derrick Brown, can challenge for Montana’s position as well.

The Huskies have had problems defending the pass, and Huffman does not believe that any of the recruits thus far can make an instant impact in the secondary. He does, however, think that current freshman, James Sample, has a bright future and can improve the passing defense for the Dawgs in the next few seasons.

After the 2012-2013 football season, two primary wide receivers, Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar, will graduate, leaving a void at the receiver position. Huffman believes that a high school recruit from Cerritos, California, Dwayne Washington, will make an instant impact on the Husky receiving corps. He also expects freshmen Jamal Jones and Josh Perkins to step up to fill the holes left by Kearse and Aguilar.

It is difficult to anticipate what the running back position will look like next year with so much uncertainty regarding Chris Polk. If Polk chooses to enter the NFL draft, Bishop Sankey and Jesse Callier will share carries next year.

If the talented recruit from Everett, Washington, KeiVarae Russell, signs on as a Husky, Huffman also expects him to see some carries. Russell is a weapon out in open field, but the recruiting analyst is not certain of the back’s ability to run between the tackles. Russell would likely be used like Callier was used last year.

Another area of uncertainty surrounding the future of the Huskies is the defensive tackle position because both starters at this position are graduating after this season. Current freshman Danny Shelton can be expected to step into the role.

Aziz Shittu and Ellis McCarthy, two uncommitted California high school prospects who are both considering the University of Washington, could also battle for the starting spots. The lack of depth at the defensive line position could actually help attract these two high-profile players.

Thus far, Huffman believes that quarterback Jeff Lindquist is the best player to commit to wear purple and gold next year. However, this could change depending on where some of the remaining pieces fall. Uncommitted players such as cornerback/wide receiver Shaquille Thompson, offensive tackles Zach Banner and Josh Garnett, and running back KeiVarae Russell, could reshape the recruiting class. Washington is a legitimate candidate for all of these players.

The University of Washington has done a good job of bringing in the best talent from the state of Washington this year. With the exceptions of Cedric Dozier and Caleb Smith, it appears that Washington has succeeded in attracting every high-profile, in-state prospect they have extended offers to thus far.

Overall, Huffman believes that if signing day was yesterday, he would give the UW class of signees a C grade. However, there are still athletes who have yet to commit. With the addition of two or more potential big-name pickups, Huffman would give the recruiting class an A+ grade.

Washington has had a decent recruiting class thus far, but the true success of the 2012 class will be determined closer to signing day. Either way, Washington fans have reason to be excited by the Washington recruiting class of 2012.