When Kalen DeBoer took over as Washington football head coach, everyone said he would be rebuilding. He simply called it retooling, and he was right. However, Jedd Fisch is confronted with a true rebuilding scenario. Starters and key backups have either entered the NFL draft or the transfer portal, creating significant gaps in the team that need urgent attention.
The question looms large: which positions are the most crucial for Fisch to address in order to fortify the team's foundation? At his point, it feels like all of them.
Offensive line, quarterback, and wide receiver stand out as three pivotal areas that require immediate attention. Players like Germie Bernard, transfer Will Rogers, three-star recruit Jason Robinson Jr., and four-star recruit Noah Carter have left sizable voids (for now) that must be filled for the team to regain its competitive edge.
The position of quarterback is critical as the signal-caller plays a central role in orchestrating the team's strategies on the field. The Huskies thought the were set post-Michael Penix Jr. with Will Rogers transforming from Mississippi State— until he decided to no longer transfer to the UW after joining the team on the sidelines of the National Championship.
In addition to addressing immediate needs, Fisch is looking towards a strategic approach to team-building. Drawing parallels with the NFL's draft and free agency system, Fisch aims to build the team's core through high school recruits while utilizing the transfer portal to fill specific gaps. This approach mirrors his tenure at Arizona, where over the years, the emphasis shifted from bringing in transfer portal players to focusing on high school recruits.
As Fisch navigates this rebuilding phase, his ability to convince key players to stay and attract promising recruits will be paramount. The success of his strategy, blending high school talent with strategic portal acquisitions, will determine the trajectory of Washington football in the seasons to come. The challenge is immense, but with a well-executed plan, Fisch has the opportunity to shape a formidable team that can compete at the College Football Playoff level again.