Players signed: Cameron Van Winkle (Mount Si HS/Snoqualmie, Wash.)
Van Winkle’s ratings: Rivals – 3 stars (No. 8 kicker), Scout – 3 stars (No. 7 kicker), ESPN – 3 stars (No. 6 kicker)
Generally, for a kicker to generate three-star ratings in the first place means he is one of the best in the nation. Why recruiting services don’t rank special teams players the same as the others beats me, but Van Winkle is indeed one of the best from the Class of 2013. The kicker position haunted the Huskies in 2012, with Steve Sarkisian being stuck with the inconsistent Travis Coons all season.
Coons eventually became the almost-full time punter once Pac-12 play started, too. He’ll be a senior this season, but expect Van Winkle to take over full time kicking duties while Coons splits punting duties with sophomore Korey Durkee.
Van Winkle comes to Washington with an already-full trophy shelf from all the Washington State kicking records he broke in high school. He has a massive leg that, even as a freshman, should be good from upwards of 50 yards away.
It feels like it has been ages since Washington has had a reliable kicker, and while nothing is guaranteed with Van Winkle, it’s nearly inevitable that he’ll come in and outperform Coons from last season.