Assistant football coaches Tosh Lupoi and Eric Kiesau arrived at Washington from Cal with a reputation for being outstanding recruiters.
Since they’ve only been on board a couple of weeks, you’d think it would take a year or so before they’d starting making an impact.
Thompson announced last night that he was going to be a Husky, and Payton made his announcement on ESPN about an hour ago.
That says a lot about the trust factor that those players have in Lupoi and Kiesau. They’re clearly picking Washington because of the recruiters. The school, the academics, the history of the program, the teammates, the fans, hell, maybe even the head coach … it likely had nothing to do with their decision to head north to Seattle.
Payton admitted on TV that he never considered Washington until the last two weeks.
Personally, I dislike the recruiting game and how it’s evolved over the years. In the early 1990s, I met with sports editors form other Scripps Howard newspapers in Cincinnati. When talked turned to coverage of high school recruiting, I voiced my opinion, telling everybody that we were helping create a monster and I wondered if anybody really cared about wall-to-wall high school recruiting coverage.
Of course, the editors from Memphis, Knoxville and other southern papers looked at me like I was nuts. Anything to do with college football, including the recruitment of high school athletes, was fair game.
And it’s bigger now than it ever was. In fact, can the coverage get any bigger? How do you top what news outlets are doing now? Dawgman.com and sites like it overload us with information, or those who choose to follow this insane — and at times unhealthy — process.
ESPN’s going to have nine hours of coverage on signing day, which is Wednesday, Feb. 1. Nine hours. Five stars, four stars, three stars, two stars, no stars, they’ll be all over it. They only devoted 3 1/2 hours today.
You can find rankings for every college in the country on what kind of recruiting class they produced. Every top recruit is rated. Zach Banner, the offensive tackle who picked USC over Washington and Oklahoma, is rated the 15th-best offensive lineman in the country. For what it’s worth, I think the Trojans have commits from three other O-linemen rated higher.
I just looked up and ESPN ranks Washington’s current crop of verbal commits No. 9 in the Pac-12. And that includes Thompson, who is a 5-star, and Payton, a 4-star recruit. Thompson’s the third-best safety in the land, and Payton’s the 21st best receiver. Wait a minute, I thought Thompson was the No. 1 safety. Oh, that was another recruiting service.
So if Washington’s got the No. 9 class in the Pac-12, that’s not very good is it? Maybe, maybe not. Check back in three years and see how it pans out. That’s when you’ll really know if the class was any good or not.
AP just confirmed my thoughts. Here’s the lead to a story it just filed:
During college football’s signing day Wednesday, coaches and
fans will agonize over those 25 or so guys pledging to each
But how those recruiting classes make their mark on the field in a few years will often look very different from those tidy lists released by teams. Consider the consensus top five hauls in 2007: Florida, USC, Tennessee, LSU and Texas. An analysis by The Associated Press shows that, of the 123 high school players who sent in letters to those programs on signing day, only 59 (48 percent) were still on the teams’ rosters as seniors.
Some turned pro early. Some never made it to campus. Many departed at some point for a variety of reasons: disciplinary problems, academics, injuries, or lack of playing time.
Remember Benji Olson and Tony Coats, the dominating South Kitsap linemen who became Huskies. Coats was the high school All-American who all of the recruiting gurus drooled over. Olson was the guy who earned All-American honors in college and went on to an outstanding NFL career.
A lot these so-called four and five star players will never live up to the hype. Some of them will transfer to other schools because they’re not seeing the playing field. Other will be average college players, some might even wash out.
What we do know for sure, as it relates to Washington, is that Lupoi and Kiesau must really be good at what they do. They’re personable young coaches who can relate to young players, and I’m guessing, their parents. You win the parents over, and it’s a lot easier to win the kids over.
Will Thompson and Payton be Washington’s two headline recruits this year?
I think it’s become pretty clear that the two best recruits were hauled in by head coach Steve Sarkisian.
Their names? Tosh Lupoi and Eric Kiesau.