5-star tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, ranked as the No. 1 prospect at his position by Rivals and the No. 2 prospect by Scout, committed to University of Washington today and becomes their most high-profile recruit of the 2011 class.
Seferian-Jenkins should be in the mix for serious playing time right from the get-go and could be part of a very solid offensive haul for the Huskies if one more piece falls their way - we'll get to that in a little while.
The addition of such a prolific tight end is yet another sign that Washington is on the rise and its becoming obvious that recruits are taking notice of what coach Steve Sarkisian is building here. This team won't be a basement dweller in the Pac-10 for long.
Most experts considered Seferian-Jenkins a serious Texas' lean right up until he made his announcement, but it seems the Longhorns might have put their foot in their mouth when they told Seferian-Jenkins he would be used at offensive tackle if he couldn't maintain a lower weight.
That appears to have been what sealed the deal on this one and convinced the 5-star prospect to stick to his preferred position with the Huskies.
Let's break down the situation in Washington.
Seferian-Jenkins presents a near-ideal target to throw to at 6'7" and 245 lbs. Because of his size, strength, and athleticism, he is almost always open and rarely has to beat out his defender for the ball.
His route-running is polished and he does a great job of getting off the line of scrimmage fast, generally embarrassing anyone who tries to jam him.
When he's extending his arms and using his hands to catch the ball at it's highest point, there's no way to stop him from making a play.
Seferian-Jenkins isn't perfect though; he struggles as a blocker and needs to improve a lot in this category or he'll be a liability on running-downs.
You can check out his highlights here.
Washington's starting tight end situation in 2010 will come down to a battle between Kavario Middleton and Chris Izbicki, who will both be seniors in 2011. Beyond them there isn't anyone who should pose much of a threat to Seferian-Jenkins.
He's got the talent to step on the field right from day one and it wouldn't be surprising to see him overtake both Middleton and Izbicki as a true freshman.
Either way, the starting job is his by 2012.
The Huskies run a pro-style offense that isn't really the most tight-end friendly, but as the team continues to add better talent there should be a fundamental shift in philosophy to make sure Seferian-Jenkins gets the ball.
Considering the Huskies are also in the running for 5-star receiver Kasen Williams and already have a commitment from 4-star running back Brendon Bigelow, the offensive class in 2011 could be really special.
Kasen Williams is ranked as the top receiver in the nation by Scout. He's a big, strong receiver who runs very good routes and creates great separation downfield by overpowering and outmaneuvering defenders.
He's also so strong at the line of scrimmage that it's nearly impossible to jam him; when it's attempted, he usually makes the defender pay big time.
Because of his size and strength, he is one of the hardest players to take down, and when he gets loose in open space, he's a threat to take it to the house every time.
The hunt for Williams has been very active on all fronts, but the coveted receiver just narrowed down his top 10 list to five finalists, and the Washington made the cut. Joining them are Florida, LSU, Washington, and California.
Williams, who is from Washington, is a Huskies legacy and the the thought here is he'll soon be joining Seferian-Jenkins at UW.