There are enough unknowns entering today’s signing day that it’s hard to say exactly what Washington’s football recruiting class will look like.
The jury is already in, though, on one thing – the controversial hiring of assistant coach Tosh Lupoi away from California last year has had its intended effect.
Recruiting is more complicated than simply crediting one assistant for the players signed at his position. Still, recruiting analysts look at the haul of defensive linemen that UW will sign today and can’t ignore the impact of Lupoi, the Huskies’ defensive line coach.
Lupoi was hired from Cal in January 2012, lured by a three-year guaranteed contract for $350,000 annually that was based in part on his reputation for being one of the most effective recruiters in the conference. And through year one of the deal, the consensus is Lupoi has proved worth it.
“With the makings of that great defensive line that Washington has coming in, you have to put another feather in his cap,” said Rick Neuheisel, the former Washington, UCLA and Colorado coach who works for the Pac-12 Networks and will be part of its signing day coverage.
Added Mike Farrell, a national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com: “That defensive line class is really impressive. He (Lupoi) made his reputation as a recruiter at Cal and it’s been further enhanced with his efforts at Washington.”
Perhaps the highest-touted of the six defensive linemen to commit to UW is end Daeshon Hall of Lancaster, Texas, who played at Garfield High in Seattle as a freshman and sophomore. He committed to UW last summer but is also considering TCU and Texas A&M. He will make a final decision today, and Farrell says, “They’ve got to hold on to Daeshon Hall. That’s a kid they’ve loved from day one. If they hold onto him, it’s a terrific class.”
Washington is also still in the conversation with Eddie Vanderdoes of Auburn, Calif., generally considered the top defensive tackle on the West Coast. He is expected, though, to sign with USC or UCLA.
Without Vanderdoes and assuming UW keeps Hall, Washington’s class of defensive linemen could be rated the best in the Pac-12.
Aside from Hall, the other gems of the defensive line class are tackle Elijah Qualls of Petaluma, Calif., and ends Joe Mathis of Upland, Calif., and Marcus Farria of Peoria, Ariz. All are four-star recruits according to Scout.com.