- Mason Kelley, Reporter, Recruiting Nation
Take a closer look at Washington’s 2013 recruiting class and one thing starts to stand out.
This group has Tosh Lupoi’s fingerprints all over it.
The Huskies’ ace recruiter made an impact with the program from the moment he was hired less than a month before signing day in 2012.
The defensive line coach was instrumental in landing safety Shaq Thompson, who became a key contributor as a freshman.
He followed his impressive short-term push with a full year of recruiting success. Lupoi helped land the program on the radar of some of the nation’s top prospects. With such talents as linebacker Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) and defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer), it was Lupoi who landed Washington among their finalists.
While the Huskies fell short of both members of the ESPN 150, Lupoi had more success with other prospects.
By bringing in defensive tackle Elijah Qualls (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande) -- rated the No. 117 prospect in the ESPN 150 -- Lupoi signed a recruit in his own image, a senior who took charge of the recruiting effort from a prospect’s perspective.
Lupoi was also instrumental in helping the Huskies land receiver Darrell Daniels (Oakley, Calif./Freedom).
The Northern California native has done a good job of keeping his hometown connections. The Huskies recruited the area well, with Lupoi leading the way.
It should come as little surprise that Washington added four defensive linemen in its 2013 class, since Lupoi coaches the position. He brought in athletic ends and tough tackles. He did so well, one of his top challenges will be finding a way to get all those prospects on the field.
Building the Huskies’ brand in Georgia, Texas and California, Lupoi has made his mark on what the program is trying to become as it prepares to open a remodeled Husky Stadium this year.
The prospects he has landed, combined with those he continues to recruit, have Washington pointed in the right direction.