HuskyNation mailbag -- Aug. 30


The 2012 football season has arrived in Washington -- finally.

After weeks of practice, the Huskies, and high school football teams across the state, will get a good gauge of where they are at now and where they are headed.

The high school football season starts Thursday when Bellevue (Wash.) plays Euless (Texas) Trinity at Seattle Memorial Stadium. There will be a lot of Division I talent on the field when the game kicks off at 6 p.m.

With a new season beginning, HuskyNation is unveiling its weekly mailbag, a chance for readers to submit questions focused on recruiting, the Huskies and football across the state.

Have a question? Need an answer? Send submissions via Twitter to @MasonKelleyESPN or e-mail: MasonKelleyESPN@gmail.com.

Here is this week’s mailbag:

Nate, Seattle, Wash.: My biggest question is about the existing recruits like Elijah Qualls, Damore’ea Stringfellow, etc. taking visits to other schools. Should we be worried about these guys wavering?

A: There are always concerns when key pieces of a school’s recruiting class take visits to other universities. However, sometimes, when a recruit has committed to another school, they treat the trip as a chance to see something new. It's almost like a vacation.

Obviously, there is a chance that a prospect could be so impressed by their visit they switch their commitment. When it comes to Qualls, though, I wouldn’t worry. With the way the defensive lineman from Petaluma (Calif.) Casa Grande has gone from recruit to recruiter, he seems like a player who won’t waver on his commitment.

Stringfellow, a receiver from Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde, is rated the top talent in Washington’s 2013 class. One of seven recruits who committed during the Rising Stars Camp, Stringfellow has always been high on the Huskies.

Ryan, Auburn, Wash.: Andrew Basham may have academic issues; what have you heard about that?

A: It seems like every time Andrew Basham’s name is mentioned, the question comes back to his grades. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound defensive lineman (Lynnwood, Wash./Lynnwood) attended summer school five days a week while training for his senior season, so he is working toward making sure academics are not an issue.

Basham’s coach, Adam Fermstad, said Basham is doing everything he needs to when it comes to the classroom.

Ryan, Auburn, Wash.: Do you think the Huskies will take 25 this year?

A: This is a question I have been getting a lot. People look at Washington’s roster, see 12 seniors and think the Huskies won’t be able to find room for a complete class. However, expect Washington to make room for a full 25-player recruiting class, especially considering there is a certain amount of attrition every year.

Washington can sign a 25-player class in February, even if it looks like the program won’t have enough open scholarships. The Huskies have until the scholarships kick in every fall to get down to their limit of 85.

Ryan, Auburn, Wash.: If the Dawgs can land guys like Devon Allen or John Ross, do you think Sammie Long will grayshirt?

A: That’s an interesting question. I haven’t heard any talk that Long, a receiver from Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes, would grayshirt. While Long isn’t as highly touted as Stringfellow or Darrell Daniels (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) he has come a long way this summer.

He gets better every time I see him play. Washington has been looking to load up on depth and talent. Long provides both, while still allowing the Huskies to go after a prospects like Ross and Allen.

WIDawg via Twitter: Who do you think will get more carries and take over the running back spot? One of them will get more carries and become the No. 1 running back, right?

A: Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said he is going to split carries and series between sophomore Bishop Sankey and junior Jesse Callier. Both players had their moments throughout fall camp.

I would expect one of the running backs to become the primary ball carrier at some point this season, but both backs will get chances to earn opportunities.

After following Sankey throughout his high school career, I always expected him to become a very good college player, but Callier won’t make it easy for him to become the primary back.

The ability of one, or both, to make an impact early in the season will go a long way toward determining how much success the Huskies have.