Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Huskies land #1 safety in country Shaq Thompson!
In sports one player can truly make the difference in the perception of your team. That point was further proven tonight when Grant Union High School star Shaq Thompson tweeted he was going to the Washington Huskies. On the same day the Huskies recruiting hit rock bottom in the Sarkisian era as they landed just one of five recruits in state the Huskies landed the biggest recruit since Reggie Williams. Shaq Thompson is a five star safety from out of state(Sacramento, California) who is the #1 ranked safety in the nation. He is also the #3 overall player in the entire country. For Sarkisian this is the third five star recruit he has landed in the last two years. For the Huskies they moved up from 46th to 34th in the country according to scout.com and moved up to 26th according to rivals. com. The Huskies aren't done recruiting yet as they plan to steal another highly recruited player from the California Golden Bears four star wide receiver Jordan Payton. The California Golden Bears who once had a top five class in the country have lost the #2 and #3 overall players in the country in a span of 36 hours to conference foes. This move for Sarkisian was a giant move for this recruiting class as he still has one more day to land some key kids.
After the defense let the Huskies down in the Alamo Bowl Sarkisian and Woodward recognized changes needed to be made. They hired former Oregon Ducks players Justin Wilcox and Peter Sirmon as coaches. Then the Huskies stole former California coach and player Tosh Lupoi to their staff. Lupoi was named the recruiter of the year in 2010 and was a big reason why the Golden Bears had a top five recruiting class. The Huskies finished second on Thompson originally to California but when hiring Wilcox(coached Thompson's brother) and Lupoi(played with Thompson's brother and is very close to Thompson) that changed everything. Lupoi is a big reason why many expect the Huskies to land four star wide receiver Jordan Payton tomorrow. Lupoi has been on the job less than a month and has already made an impact on this recruiting class. As CEO of this program Sarkisian deserves a lot of credit as well for scouting out Lupoi. Woodward who is basically the owner of this program spent enough money to convince Lupoi to leave his alma matter for Washington. Lupoi will truly make his name with the Huskies next season when he has a whole season to recruit. Remember this year the Golden Bears were ranked in the top five then Lupoi leaves and they are now ranked 33rd while Washington is up to 34th. Lupoi is the Mariano Rivera of this staff which is what they needed. The knock on Sarkisian is that he can get guys interested in the Huskies that the Huskies have no business being in the running for but can't close. Well he has his closer now so look out Pac-12 here comes the Dawgs!
This was a huge land by the Sarkisian staff on the same day he lost out on Banner. Tomorrow's headlines won't care about losing out on Banner as Sarkisian went out of state and landed a top five player in the nation to decommit and come to Washington. For the third straight year now it is looking like the Huskies will have a ranked recruiting class. Unlike last two years where Sarkisian wrapped up the classes early this year was at the very last second and there are more recruits to be had in the next 48 hours. Sarkisian stepped up and replaced his staff admitting he couldn't do it alone. Whether Lupoi or Sarkisian landed Thompson doesn't matter. What matters is the Huskies got a premiere defensive player for the first time in a very long time. Recruiting matters and the Huskies just knocked one out of the ball park with two outs in the ninth inning when everyone had counted them out for the dead this recruiting season including myself.