Washington Huskies Football: Power Ranking 10 Incoming Freshmen

Zachary ArthurCorrespondent IIAugust 9, 2012

Washington Huskies Football: Power Ranking 10 Incoming Freshmen

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    The 2012-13 University of Washington football team has the potential to be a Pac-12 sleeper this season.

    Head coach Steve Sarkisian has built the team up since his first year in 2009. Although he won't be starting sixteen freshmen like he did that season, this freshmen class still has some players who will be able to make a difference this year.

    These are the power rankings for the 10 best Huskies freshmen who you can expect to hear something from this season.

10. Cleveland Wallace, CB

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    Cleveland Wallace is a 5'11", 163 pound cornerback from Oak Grove High School in San Jose, California.

    While he doesn't bring anything incredibly unique to the Huskies, he has the majority of the physical tools necessary to succeed at the college level.

    He will have to increase his top end speed. He runs only 4.64 seconds in the 40-yard dash, but he definitely has time for that.

    With five upperclassman at the cornerback position, it's unlikely that he'll get much playing time anytime soon. That should give him some time to develop his other skills so that he's ready when his number is called.

9. Nathan Dean, OT

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    At 6'5" and 270 pounds, Nathan Dean is run blocking offensive tackle that has the right kind of size coming into his freshman season for the Huskies.

    He is a little bit lighter than most top-tier Pac-12 offensive tackles but it is much better to be a little bit underweight than a little bit overweight.

    If Dean can put on some healthy weight that allows him to maintain his quick feet, then he could be asked to make an impact for Washington's offensive line.

8. Pia Vatuvei, DE

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    Pia Vatuvei, a 6'2", 281 pound defensive end, has one of the bigger chances of playing this coming season.

    The Huskies lack depth at defensive end and Bob Condotta, writer for the Seattle Times, quoted Sarkisian as saying that Vatuvei, "Can come in and do some things right off the bat.''

    His natural ability should give him a shot for playing time, all he has to do is impress the coaches in fall camp.

7. Jaydon Mickens, WR

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    Jaydon Mickens is one of the more interesting freshmen of the class.

    He played quarterback, running back, and wide receiver during his high school career so clearly the versatility is there. The question is what position should the Huskies put him at?

    Right now he is listed at wide receiver which is probably the right position for him. If the Huskies experience some injuries or consistency issues at the running back position, look for Mickens to potentially step in and get some carries as well.

6. Shane Brostek, OG

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    Shane Brostek is another case of an undersized offensive lineman. At 6'4" and 280 pounds, he is clearly lacking the size necessary to play guard.

    His upside comes from his skill level and quick feet. He might not have as much size as you would like, but he has the ability to pull on running plays and that is a skill that most linemen don't focus on.

    The Huskies are a little thin on the line and even if the line stays healthy, look for Brostek to be a situational player who gets in for specific running plays.

5. Brandon Beaver, CB

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    Brandon Beaver is the highest ranked cornerback in the Huskies 2012 recruiting class and also one of its more dynamic players.

    Beaver is a tall corner who uses his length to make plays on the ball. At 6'0" and 181pounds, his size might lead people to believe that he would be better suited at safety, but with nine safeties already on the roster, his best position is corner.

    Even though the talent is there, look for Beaver to make the field the same way the majority of freshmen do: special teams.

4. Jake Eldrenkamp, OG

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    CBS Sports writer John Breech put Washington's offensive line battle best, "Everyone vs. everyone."

    Jake Eldrenkamp could be the freshman that takes advantage of the questions on the line.

    He has great size at 6'5", 292 pounds. The fact that he has shown that he is an intelligent person—he posted a 3.98 GPA in high school—is an added bonus.

    The more the Huskies older O-line struggles, the more it's going to feel right to give Eldrenkamp a shot.

3. Jeff Lindquist, QB

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    The Huskies will have a position battle for the ages to decide who backs up last year's starting quarterback Keith Price.

    Jeff Lindquist vs. Cyler Miles will be on most people's "pay attention to" lists and Lindquist will most likely come up short.

    Scout.com ranks Lindquist as the No. 8 quarterback recruit in the country and Miles as the No. 13, but Lindquist is missing the freak athleticism that Miles has. 

    Whether he gets the backup job or not, Lindquist is an extremely talented quarterback that throws the ball better than Miles. If he can be consistent in camp and develop good chemistry with his coaches then he will stay on their mind when it comes time to call in the backup.

2. Cyler Miles, QB

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    Cyler Miles has the size that everyone covets at the quarterback position. It just so happens that at 6'4", 223 pounds, his mobility is off the charts as well.

    Ryan Rudnansky, featured columnist for Bleacher Report, describes why Miles might be getting overlooked:

    "Perhaps what makes Miles such an underrated recruit is that he has the elusiveness to be a scary presence as a rusher, but he won't scamper if he doesn't need to. He understands the primary role of a quarterback and doesn't let his legs take over when it's not necessary."

    If he can show the coaches that he can be more than a flashy play, then he should be a dangerous player in the future. If he has a few flashy plays that definitely wouldn't hurt his case either.

1. Shaquille Thompson, S

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    The No. 1 ranked safety in the country chose the University of Washington and is ready to immediately make a big impact.

    Shaquille Thompson has everything you look for in a safety. He has the size and speed to standout plus his tackling ability makes him a force on the field.

    Here's some other good news for Husky fans. Thompson is a better hitter on the field than he is when he plays baseball. (He'll never be able to live that one down.)

    All jokes aside, Thompson could be a presence in the Huskies secondary this season and for years to come which is why he is the University of Washington's No. 1 recruit in the 2012 class.

    Probably no surprise there though.