These days, recruiting in college football takes on an almost supernatural feel. What with the daily — sometimes even hourly — updates via social networking sites and vast amount of information provided by the seemingly endless supply of recruiting web sites that our technologically advanced society craves.
What must be remembered throughout the entire game that is recruiting is that these are high school athletes, 18-year-old kids, that have accomplished nothing on the collegiate level. So while it looks nice to see a 5-star player sign with your favorite program, just keep in mind that those stars mean nothing. This year’s NFL MVP and the quarterback most analysts would agree as being the best in the league, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, was an unheralded recruit who ended up going to junior college before winding up at Cal.
The point to take away is that great players — both at the college and pro level — are developed from all over and depend little on their “star rating” coming out of high school. The most critical factor that distinguishes player A from player B in whether one becomes a NFL star is work ethic. It is this that sets the men apart from the boys.
Who is going to be the first one into the weight room and the last one out of the film room? Who spends their free-time poring over their playbook rather than drinking with friends? In short, who has the mental drive that wills them to be the best no matter what.
I want everyone to understand that as we analyze recruiting classes today. Don’t pay so much attention to the “star ratings” of players. Look into the type of kid the player is as much as the talent God blessed them with.
By any account the Washington Huskies acquitted themselves quite well this year. It’s easy to look at the high profile in-state misses, losing the likes of OG Josh Garnett, RB KeiVarae Russell, OT Zach Banner and WR/CB Cedric Dozier, and be somewhat disappointed. Yet, players are ultimately going to go where they want to go and unfortunately for UW, this year more wanted to leave the state.
Where Washington succeeded was in acquiring elite QB talent, depth on the offensive and defensive lines and in shoring up a porous secondary. The additions of quarterbacks Cyler Miles and Jeff Lindquist, both great kids and top 15 talent in the country, give UW the type of talent and depth at the quarterback spot that few teams have. Washington won’t be losing games anytime soon because of poor quarterback play.
The additions of Shane Brostek, Jake Eldrenkamp, Nathan Dean, Cory English and Taylor Hindy add to the depth on the Huskies’ offensive line. Damion Turpin, Josh Banks, Kalei Auelua and Pio Vatuvei do the same for the defensive line.
Throw in elite safety Shaq Thompson, top corners Brandon Beaver and Cleveland Wallace as well as Darien Washington and suddenly Washington has some great depth at the cornerback spot and elite safety talent.
It is these additions that should pay dividends for the Huskies years down the road.