Washington signing day preview


After all of the camps, recruiting trips, in home visits and official visits, it is time to fire up the fax machines.

Washington will officially unveil its 2013 recruiting class Wednesday, a group that features five members of the ESPN 300.

Here are five things to think about as the Huskies wait for the faxes to flow in.

What is the biggest strength in this class?

While Washington has piled up some impressive prospects on offensive, including a trio of four-star receivers, the strength of this class is on defense, especially along the line.

The Huskies head into signing day with six committed defensive linemen. Defensive tackle Elijah Qualls (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande) -- No. 117 in the ESPN 150 -- and defensive end Joe Mathis (Upland, Calif./Upland) -- No. 268 in the ESPN 300 -- highlight a group that also includes defensive end Marcus Farria (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) and defensive tackles Andrew Basham (Lynnwood, Wash./Lynnwood) and Jaimie Bryant (Tumwater, Wash./Tumwater).

The sixth member of this DL class is defensive end Daeshon Hall (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster). Hall grew up in Seattle and committed to the Huskies in June. However, he has been looking at other schools and will announce later today among Texas A&M, TCU and Washington.

Are there any surprises to watch out for?

There are still a few prospects on Washington’s wish list who could end up joining the 2013 class before signing day ends.

Linebacker Keishawn Bierria (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne) will select the Huskies, Oregon State or Arizona State this afternoon, while USC commit Nico Falah (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) will pick either the Trojans or Washington.

Who is the key recruit in the class?

Qualls has done everything possible to keep this class together. The four-star standout has proven to be adept at recruiting future teammates.

His combination of personality and athleticism has already endeared him to Washington fans, making him a valuable addition both on and off the field.

How good could this class become?

With nine four-star recruits committed heading into signing day, this group has the talent to be the best class Steve Sarkisian has signed during his tenure as Washington’s head coach.

What is missing in the 2013 class?

The Huskies have done a good job of landing prospects at a variety of key positions on both sides of the ball.

However, considering the injuries Washington endured at the running back position in 2012, one weakness of this group is at that position. Three-star commit Lavon Coleman (Lompoc, Calif./Lompoc) is talented, but he is the only running back in this class.

With a long list of running back targets in the 2014 and ’15 classes, expect that position to be a focus in future classes.

Landing offensive lineman Coleman Shelton (Los Angeles/Loyola) alleviated some concerns about the offensive line and signing Falah would turn that position into another strength of the current class.