A look at the 25 new recruits for the Washington Huskies' 2012 recruiting class:
Kalei Auelua Defensive end, outside linebacker, 6-1, 227 Honolulu, Hawaii (St. Louis School) Kalei Auelua is a 2-star recruit by Rivals and is ranked as the No. 97 player at his position by ESPN. Auelua committed to Washington early on in the process, June 28. He also received scholarship offers from Utah, Hawaii, Colorado, Boise State and UCLA. The Huskies need help on the defensive line, as last season they allowed 142.6 rushing yards per game. While Auelua is not very big for a defensive end, he should add a much needed depth at the position. He had 15 sacks as a senior and is the No. 6 rated player in Hawaii, according to Rivals. Also throws the discus in track.
Josh Banks Defensive Tackle, 6-3, 274 Stockton, Calif. (San Joaquin Delta College) Josh Banks earned first-team All-California and was named Defensive MVP of the Valley Conference as a sophomore in 2011. He was rated the No. 37 junior college recruit in the nation by SuperPrep. Banks was first-team all-state and all-conference selection as both a freshman and as a sophomore. He had 32 tackles, including 15.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in 2011. Also credited with 11 quarterback hurries in 2011, most on the team. He had four sacks in a game vs. San Jose and four-and-a-half tackles for loss in a game vs. Reedley. Helped St. Mary's High to an 12-3 record as a senior in 2008.
Brandon Beaver Cornerback, 6-0, 176 Compton, Calif. (Dominguez) Brandon Beaver was a former UCLA commit who switched to Washington. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Rated the No. 22 prospect overall in California, Beaver was named to the Long Beach Press-Telegram's "Dream Team" as well as The Tacoma News Tribune's Western 100. He had four interceptions and 38 tackles as a senior. He's also a standout basketball player for Dominguez.
Shane Brostek Offensive guard, 6-3, 283 Kamuela, Hawaii (Hawaii Prep) Shane Brostek is the son of former Huskies All-American offensive lineman Bern Brostek, who started for Washington from 1986-89 before playing eight seasons in the NFL with the Rams. At Hawaii Prep, Shane Bostek occasionally played fullback. He was rated the No. 9 recruit in the state of Hawaii by Rivals.com. Also a track and field standout, Brostek won state discus and shot put titles as a junior.
Travis Coons Kicker, 6-2, 205 Alta Loma, Calif. (Mount San Antonio JC) Travis Coons is a two-star kicker with a big leg who spent his last two years at Mount San Antonio College. He was originally committed to San Diego State, but he "always wanted to play in the Pac-12," according to Chris Sailer, who runs a camp that Coons has attended. Coons, who will enter Washington as a junior, only made 2-of-10 field goal attempts last season, but that is misleading as most of those came from long distance. He also converted 49-of-51 PAT attempts. The Huskies want more length on their kickoffs and he's the guy for that role.
Nathan Dean Offensive line, 6-5, 274 Kirkland, Wash. (Juanita High School) Nathan Dean was an early commit to Washington as he committed to play for the Huskies in June 2011. Dean is ranked fourth in ESPNU's top recruits for the state of Washington. Pac-12 schools that also showed interest in Dean were Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, UCLA and Washington State. Dean played in the Semper Fidelis All American Bowl this in January in Phoenix. Coaches commend Dean on his quickness and ability to block, while overall strength and blocking impact are a couple of factors that Dean would like to improve on.
Korey Durkee Punter, 6-3, 215, Gig Harbor, Wash. (Gig Harbor) Korey Durkee is ranked by Rivals.com as the 14th-best kicker in the country. With his frame, he looks more like an outside linebacker, but he will likely be Washington's punter next season with Will Mahan and Kiel Rasp graduating. He might be the UW's PAT kicker since Travis Coons' strength is in his distance. At Kohl's Kicking Camp, Durkee averaged 46 yards per punt with a 4.6-second average hang time. He could conceivably kick shorter-range field goals. He also plays soccer (goalkeeper) and he garnered attention from UC-Santa Barbara and San Diego.
Jake Eldrenkamp Offensive tackle, 6-5, 285 Bellevue, Wash. (Bellevue High School) Jake Eldrenkamp, whose parents are UW alumni, isn't just a smart football player on the field. He is also smart off the field with an overall 3.9 GPA, turning down Ivy League schools such as Yale and Brown University. Eldrenkamp also had offers from Oregon State, Purdue, Utah and Washington State. Eldrenkamp committed to UW just a week ago, making him the seventh in-state player to declare at UW for football. It was down to Washington and Washington State. His big build and speed will be significant for UW's offensive line.
Cory English Center, 6-3, 283 Auburn, Wash. (Auburn High School) Cory English narrowed his top two schools down to Oregon State and Washington. When December came around, his heart was set on UW. English earned first team honors in the South Puget Sound League (SPSL) North Division and the league's 2011 Co-Offensive Lineman of the Year. Named to the Associated Press 4A all-state team. ESPN U ranks English No. 72 in the nation for offensive guards. Other schools who showed interest in English were Idaho and Washington State. He is a friend and former teammate of Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton.
Taylor Hindy Offensive line, 6-4, 295 West Hills, Calif. (Chaminade High School) Taylor Hindy committed to Washington early on and stuck with his commitment. To the Huskies, his size and skills are an asset. Flying largely under the recruiting radar, Hindy still was named Mission League co-most valuable lineman in 2011 and played in the L.A. Daily News All-Star Game. Throughout his high school career, he has earned all-league honors since his sophomore year.
Jeff Lindquist Quarterback, 6-3, 234 Mercer Island, Wash. (Mercer Island) Jeff Lindquist, a four-star quarterback, is listed as the 250th-best overall prospect and seventh-best dual-threat quarterback prospect by Rivals. He's big, strong and fast (4.65 40-time), and proved that he was for real at the Semper Fi Bowl, where he exceled. During his senior season, Lindquist threw for 1,908 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also added 826 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. Under Lindquist, the Islanders finished 8-3 his senior year. He is considered the No. 5 prospect in Washington by Rivals.
Cory Littleton Defensive end-outside linebacker, 6-4, 218 Spring Valley, Calif. (Mount Miguel) Named first-team All-CIF San Diego Section and first-team All-East County as both a junior and senior at defensive end, Cory Littleton also was Grossmont Valley League Defensive MVP in 2011. As a senior, he helped Mount Miguel to an 8-2 record and a berth in the quarterfinals of the CIF San Diego Section Division IV playoffs. He also plays basketball.
Jaydon Mickens Wide receiver, 5-11, 175 Los Angeles, Calif. (Dorsey High School) Jaydon Mickens was a former USC commit who switched to Washington. He was ranked the No. 11 "athlete" recruit in the country and No. 26 prospect overall by Rivals. He played quarterback, running back and receiver during his career at Dorsey. He played in the Semper Fidelis All-American Game after his senior year, earning co-MVP honors.
Cyler Miles Quarterback, 6-4, 218 Centennial, Colo. (Mullen) Cyler Miles is similar to Lindquist, but he is ranked a little higher. The four-star dual-threat from Denver is ranked as the 35th-best prospect and second best at his position. He is built sturdy and runs an impressive 4.43 40-time. At Mullen High School (the same high school wide receiver Devin Aguilar attended), Miles led his team to a State 5A title during his junior year. As a senior, he threw for 1,354 yards and 14 touchdowns with a QB rating of 107 en route to a 7-2 record. He then topped it all off by winning co-MVP at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Ryan McDaniel Linebacker, 6-0, 225 Torrance, Calif. (North Torrance High School) Ryan McDaniel, who also played running back, was actually recruited as a linebacker by the Huskies, a position in need of depth. Highly recruited in the Pac-12, he chose Washington over Arizona State and USC in December, and intended to graduate early to play in the spring. But things didn't pan out; he suffered a season-ending knee injury early on and missed the rest of his senior year. McDaniel isn't very fast (4.87 40-yard dash) but he makes up for it with a powerful physical presence. He's strong enough to break into the second level of defense as a running back and his lack of height allows him to make sharp cuts and change direction quickly. McDaniel was the Pioneer League's Co-Offensive Player of the Year in 2010, rushing for 1,168 yards and 15 touchdowns and leading a defense, which allowed only 14.8 points per game.
Blake Rodgers Linebacker, 6-2,215 Coto de Caza, Calif. (Tesoro High School) Blake Rodgers didn't have a difficult time narrowing down his school choices for football. Rodgers had offers from Air Force and Washington. He later committed to UW in June 2011. Rodgers' noticeable speed and ability to attack on the inside run make him the 55th ranked outside linebacker in the nation. A big love for the UW coaching staff and the campus were a couple of things that helped Rodgers' decision to become a husky this upcoming fall. Rodgers tacked on 80 tackles, six sacks and two interceptions in his junior year of high school. He has also tacked on solid numbers academically with a 3.4 GPA and a SAT score of 1680.
Kendyl Taylor Wide receiver, 5-10, 196 Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton High School) Kendyl Taylor committed to Washington on June 18. He played mostly wide receiver in high school. During his junior season, Taylor was named first team all-region as an all-purpose player. That season, he caught 48 passes for 713 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 784 yards and nine more touchdowns. His brother, Kerry Taylor, played for Arizona State as a wide receiver until 2010. Kendyl Taylor also received offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Stanford and Washington State but ultimately committed to Washington.
Shaq Thompson Safety, 6-2, 215 Sacramento, Calif. (Grant) Shaq Thompson, considered as the No. 1 safety prospect in the country and among the top five recruits overall, committed to Washington on Jan. 30. Thompson played running back and defensive back in high school and will play at safety at Washington but Steve Sarkisian didn't rule out spot play on offense. During the spring, Thompson committed to California. After Tosh Lupoi left Cal for a job as the UW defensive line coach and defensive run game coordinator, Thompson reopened his recruiting. At one point, Thompson thought he would commit to Oregon, but before making a decision, took one last visit unofficially to Seattle. He then chose to make a verbal commitment to Washington. At UW, Thompson will join close friend and former Grant High School teammate James Sample. He will also join Justin Wilcox, the recently hired defensive coordinator for the UW, who has known the family for some time. Seven years ago, Wilcox recruited Shaq's older brother, Syd, to Cal. Thompson also received offers from heavyweights Alabama, Notre Dame, Florida, Auburn and Michigan.
Damion Turpin Defensive End, 6-2, 265 Compton, California (Dominguez) As a senior, Damion Turpin helped lead the Dons to the San Gabriel Valley League title and the first round of the CIF Southern Section Western Division playoffs. He was named to the Long Beach Press-Telegram "Dream Team" after 2011 season. He made 48 tackles and eight sacks as a senior. In 2010, named first-team All-CIF Southern Section Western Division. As a junior, Dominguez went 10-2 overall, made it to the playoff quarterfinals and won the league title.
Pio Vatuvei Defensive tackle, 6-3, 272 Patterson, Calif. (Patterson High School) Highly recruited, Pio Vatuvei committed to USC verbally but made a surprise decision by picking Washington on signing day. Vatuvei is known for his strong motor and ability to penetrate the pocket. Throughout high school, many publications and newspapers listed him as one of the best players on the west coast. He was named the Western Athletic Conference Outstanding Defensive Lineman in 2010. A four-star recruit by Rivals.
Dwayne Washington Wide Receiver, 6-1, 205 Cerritos, Calif. (Gahr High School) Dwayne Washington, one of the first two players with the surname Washington to sign with the Huskies since safety Richard Washington in 1991, committed last June to the UW, turning down offers from Utah and Colorado. He'll be joining former teammate, redshirt-freshman receiver Joshua Perkins. The Long Beach Press-Telegram listed Washington on its 2011 "Dream Team." He led Gahr with 66 receptions, 1,338 yards and 15 touchdowns last season.
Darien Washington Cornerback, 5-11, 175 Orange, Calif. (Lutheran High School) Darien Washington committed to Washington in late May. The University of Washington was Washington's first offer, which he committed to pretty quickly. He played mainly safety and special teams in high school, and will most likely continue to play at cornerback and most probable safety in college. During his junior year, Washington earned All-Trinity League first team honors. That same year, he proved he was quite the track athlete too, jumping 6-4 in the high jump to place third in the Trinity League Finals. Washington will be joining a former Lutheran High School player at UW, linebacker Garret Gilliland, who will be a junior. Darien Washington also received an offer from Colorado, but was solid with his commitment to the UW.
Erich Wilson Tailback, 6-1, 190 East Palo Alto, Calif. (Junipero Serra) Erich Wilson committed to Washington on Nov. 1, shortly after visiting the campus. Wilson played cornerback and running back in high school. His height makes him a good candidate for cornerback, but it has been reported in the past that he was being looked at as a running back if he can put on some weight. During his senior season, Wilson was named San Mateo County player of the year. That same season, he broke the school record for touchdowns, a record previously held and tied by DeLeon Eskridge and former NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann. They had 38 touchdowns. Taylor had 36 touchdowns in his senior season alone, and 52 for his career. He also broke two different rushing yards records. With 3,361 yards, Taylor broke the career rushing record. On top of that, he also broke the record for season rushing yards with 2,106 yards. He broke the previous season record during Serra's win for the Central Coast Section Division 1 Championship, their first title since 1990. Wilson received offers from Arizona State, San Jose State, Idaho, Indiana, Colorado and Colorado State. He gave a verbal commitment to Colorado before the season, then changed his mind and committed to Washington.
Cleveland Wallace Cornerback, 5-11, 165 San Jose, Calif. (Oak Grove High School) Cleveland Wallace started getting more recruiting attention late as colleges started recognizing his talent. He did it all at Oak Grove, playing running back, wide receiver, defensive back, kick returner and punter. As a senior, he had 54 tackles and five interceptions. He was co-defensive player of the year of the Blossom Valley Athletic League Mount Hamilton Dvision. He was ranked the No. 84 overall recruit in California by Rivals.com. He was also a sprinter, hurdler and high jumper on the track team.
Psalm Wooching Fullback, 6-3, 217 Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (Kealakehe) Originally committed to UCLA in May, Psalm Wooching made a solid verbal to Washington in January after the firing of Bruins head coach Rick Neuheisel. Wooching, a big and versatile back, was a running back in high school but will most probably be a fullback at the UW because of his size and the Huskies' need at that position. Wooching was listed on ESPN High School's All-Hawaii football team last season, and was first-team all-conference in 2010. His grandparents live in Tacoma, where he has spent many holidays. The family dog is a white husky, partly because of their UW allegiance.