Which 2017 Washington Football recruits have the most upside in 2018? Here are the top three
The Washington Football team found itself as one of the better Pac-12 teams. Many NCAA and NFL scouts admire the team’s ability to coach up their recruits. For years, the Pac-12 powerhouse has made competitive teams out of middle of the road recruiting classes. Still, each year the repution improved, as did the perceived quality of each subsequent class.
Before the 2018 recruiting class signed on, 2017 was the crown jewel of Chris Petersen’s classes. He signed two Army All-Americans and nine 4-star recruits, including one that turned into a Freshman All-American. But not everyone from this class got a chance to play. Who are some of the top recruits that will be able to make an impact in 2018?
Of this group, outside linebacker Ariel Ngata probably has the best chance to play this season. As a 6-foot-2 213 pound outside linebacker recruit from Folsom, California, Ngata brings the right size and power to fill a necessary role for the team. As a matter of fact, he’s going to get a big opportunity in spring camp. But opportunity for the Washington Football team is no guarantee. As a Husky, each player must earn their minutes and role.
Former OLB Tevis Bartlett is moving to inside backer, which frees up a spot. As we all know, competition is Chris Petersen’s favorite thing. While Tevis Bartlett’s move frees up a starting spot, there are going to be four or five guys in the mix for outside linebacker. 4-star Ngata is a high ceiling player, who recorded 145 tackles over his final two high school seasons. He also recorded 15 tackles for loss in his senior season alone. After redshirting last season, he should have a good understanding of the defensive playbook.
Cornerback Keith Taylor might remind a lot of UW fans of cornerback Kevin King. Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing in at 180 pounds, he is a long, lanky corner. As such, Taylor has started taking reps with the first team. Can he win a starting role? Well, you can expect to see him more in sub packages this year. The teams corners are filled with Jordan Miller, Byron Murphy and Myles Bryant, all of whom will be tough to beat out.
Still, Taylor has the potential to make a big jump forward this year. And as the Huskies learned in the 2017 season, the depth at cornerback is crucial to ongoing success. If Julius Irvin doesn’t take over backup saftety Ezekiel Turner’s role, Taylor might step in there as well.
Wide receiver Terell Bynum arrived as the highest rated receiver Chris Petersen signed in 2017. While 6-foot-4 195 pound Tyrell Jones was the headliner, Jones came in as an Army All-American. Still, 6-foot-1 175 pound Bynum shouldn’t be overlooked. He is the perfect fit as a quick slot receiver. And as the Huskies learned when wide receiver Chico McClatcher fell to injury, that role is very important to the Washington passing game.
And with McClatcher coming off injury, Bynum has the opportunity to show what he’s got this year. Look for Bynum in a slot role, possibly in a role similar to Chico McClatcher. In fact, Bynum might see a lot of time this season depending on the health of McClatcher, and play of some of the other receivers.