CHRISTIAN CAPLE

Caple: 23 thoughts on UW Huskies football’s 23 June enrollees

Jun 18, 2024, 1:29 PM

UW Huskies Husky Stadium...

A general view at Husky Stadium before a UW Huskies game. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The UW Huskies welcomed 23 new scholarship football players to campus over the past few days, with the summer quarter beginning Monday. There don’t appear to be any surprises; a Washington spokesperson confirmed that each of the program’s committed transfers and 2024 signees are now in town and enrolled.

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I’ve listed all 23 players below, with a brief thought on each. Heights and weights for 2024 signees are taken either from their recruiting profiles or the school’s roster/signing-day information, so take those with a grain of salt. (There are some 2024 signees who technically had to enter the transfer portal because they had already enrolled at Arizona, but I’m counting them as high-school prospects unless otherwise indicated.)

The Huskies also welcomed five walk-ons: WR Luke Gayton, CB Jace Burton, S Kayden Greene, EDGE Tyrese Johnson and K Sam Finnegan. I have UW at 84 scholarships committed for the 2024 season.

From the portal

QB Shea Kuykendall (Northern Colorado)

Considering how highly the staff thinks of freshman Demond Williams Jr., I would imagine Kuykendall will settle into the QB3 role and provide some emergency depth that UW wouldn’t otherwise have. He threw for 454 yards in four games with three starts last season at FCS Northern Colorado, and has three years of eligibility remaining. Assuming both Williams and Kuykendall stick around, UW could have four scholarship quarterbacks next year, with both Dash Beierly and Treston Kini McMillan committed in the 2025 class.

RB Jordan Washington (Arizona)

If a freshman running back is going to impact the depth chart this season, it seems most likely it would be Adam Mohammed, who impressed as an early enrollee this spring. Washington, though, does bring some traits — like his speed, evidenced by a personal best of 10.24 seconds in the 100-meter dash — that might help him carve out a role. (Like Mohammed, Washington is a 2024 signee, but I’ve included him with the transfers because he stayed in Tucson for spring practices.)

OL Enokk Vimahi (Ohio State)

Though he’s appeared in 26 career games on offense — and more on special teams — the Ohio State transfer has only two career starts, so if he does win one of the starting guard jobs, he’ll be a regular for the first time as a sixth-year senior. The addition of Vimahi allows UW to squeeze even more from the 2019 recruiting class, after the UW Huskies’ own signees that year — Troy Fautanu, Nate Kalepo, Julius Buelow and Corey Luciano — all wound up playing critical roles under DeBoer.

OL D’Angalo Titialii (Portland State)

A three-year starter at Portland State, Titialii brings some center experience to a team that might not know who its Day 1 starter will be quite yet. Landen Hatchett was shown doing some running during Monday workouts at the Dempsey, which is a good sign. Zach Henning took quite a few reps at center in the spring. Titialii also has played guard and could seemingly help out at any interior position where the Huskies might need him, though competition for a starting job might be more intense than at tackle.

OL Maximus McCree (Iowa Central CC/Maryland)

I’m interested to see how McCree, a former JUCO All-American, fits in. He hasn’t played since appearing briefly in two games at Maryland in 2022, and has an interesting backstory. I would imagine coaches want McCree to compete at left tackle with redshirt freshman Soane Faasolo, who came out of spring as the top option on that side with third-year sophomore Drew Azzopardi settling in at right tackle.

WR Kevin Green Jr. (Arizona)

Green played at Arizona but didn’t see the ball much in his first two seasons, redshirting in 2022 and then catching eight passes for 97 yards last year. At 5-11, he probably fits best in the slot — that’s mostly where he lined up for Arizona last season — where Giles Jackson seems assured of a starting job and redshirt freshman Keith Reynolds is competing, too.

TE Keleki Latu (Nevada)

At 6-foot-7, Latu becomes the tallest non-offensive-lineman on the roster. Quentin Moore took well to his new role as the lead tight end during spring practices, but Latu brings a bit more pass-catching experience to a group that lacks college experience, period. Latu spent two seasons at California before transferring to Nevada, but missed half of last season due to injury.

DL Logan Sagapolu (Miami)

If you’re of the mind that Washington needs to get bigger on the lines of scrimmage as it transitions to the Big Ten, then switching Sagapolu, a career o-lineman, to defensive tackle makes some sense. His 340-pound frame is probably more suitable for taking on multiple blockers at nose guard than most other linemen currently on the roster, though there’s obviously more to playing the position than just size. How well Sagapolu, a two-time transfer who began his career at Oregon, takes to his new role will be among the more intriguing developments to monitor come August.

DL DeShawn Lynch (Sacramento State)

Perhaps like Voi Tunuufi — albeit with a more sizeable frame, at 6-5 and 283 pounds — Lynch can seemingly move between the interior and the edge/d-end, though he essentially played exclusively on the outside last season at Sacramento State. For that reason, I’ll be watching closely to see where coaches have him line up. Lynch was decently productive for the Hornets last season, starting every game and finishing with 34 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

EDGE Jayden Wayne (Miami)

As a former five-star prospect at Tacoma’s Lincoln High — though he spent his senior year at IMG Academy — Wayne would have been considered a major recruiting victory, had the UW Huskies landed him in the 2023 class. Instead, he comes to Montlake after one season at Miami, and joins what should be a pretty stiff competition for playing time at edge rusher — and more so with the athletic Wayne on the roster.

LB Hayden Moore (Michigan)

The Michigan transfer might not be needed for many defensive snaps this season, considering there are four seniors atop the depth chart, but he’s a nice replacement for Jordan Whitney in the 2023 class. At the very least, Moore should have a chance to contribute on special teams, and should compete with Deven Bryant and Khmori House for big-time snaps in 2025.

S/LB Justin Harrington (Oklahoma)

He’s coming off an ACL injury (his second) that wiped out most of his 2023 season, though a waiver finally came through to grant Harrington a seventh year of eligibility. I’m curious to see how coordinator Steve Belichick deploys Harrington, who, at 6-3 and 219 pounds, played a hybrid linebacker/safety position called the “cheetah” at Oklahoma.

S Cameron Broussard (Sacramento State)

The Huskies could do a lot worse than a safety tandem of seniors Kam Fabiculanan and Broussard, an All-Big-Sky selection at Sacramento State, though I wouldn’t discount Makell Esteen pushing for playing time. UW got a lot more veteran on the back end with the additions of Harrington and Broussard, and younger players like Tristan Dunn and Peyton Waters have shown promise, too.

LS Cameron Warchuck (Colorado)

Presuming he stays healthy and all, Warchuck could be UW’s answer at longsnapper for the next two seasons. He handled all longsnapping duties at Colorado last season. Caleb Johnston, a walk-on sophomore, is the only other longsnapper on the roster.

2024 signees

OL Davit Boyajyan

It was interesting hearing Kalen DeBoer talk on signing day about recruiting Boyajyan. The relatively unheralded lineman comes from an area DeBoer knows well — Clovis (Calif.) North is about a 15-minute drive from Fresno State’s campus — and DeBoer said UW’s staff received unsolicited praise for Byoajyan from opposing high-school coaches. “He’s a big frame,” DeBoer said in December. “He’s a big, massive human (with) a quick first step.”

OL Justin Hylkema

A former Arizona signee who followed Fisch and Brennan Carroll to UW, Hylkema is another towering o-line prospect; he’s listed at 6-8 and 315 pounds, and looked the part when he visited for UW spring practice. His nickname is “Moose.”

WR Justice Williams

The son of former NFL tight end Roland Williams will immediately become one of UW’s biggest receivers, at a listed 6-4 and 205 pounds, the same height as Denzel Boston. It feels like there’s an opportunity for a freshman to play their way into the back end of the rotation, at least, though Green’s addition via the transfer portal makes the numbers a little trickier, and freshman Audric Harris got off to a nice start this spring. I liked Williams’ junior-year highlights, and was a little surprised he didn’t have more buzz around him, as a productive player at a legit program — Oaks Christian — though he did miss a chunk of his senior year due to injury.

TE Charlie Crowell

Another former Arizona signee, Crowell figured he was likely to redshirt with the Wildcats this season before the coaching change brought UW into the picture. Maybe he’ll compete with Ryan Otton and Decker DeGraaf, though, for early playing time behind Moore and Latu. Position coach Jordan Paopao sees him as a traditional, in-line tight end, though Crowell did have 507 receiving yards and six touchdowns as a senior at Bend (Ore.) Summit.

DL Omar Khan

I’m curious to see how Khan moves. He’s listed at 6-3 and 285 pounds, and finished third in his weight class in the 6A Texas state wrestling championships (and carried a 42-0 record into the state tournament). Khan, from Cypress (Texas) Bridgeland, wasn’t highly rated as a recruit. But he does report a decent batch of offers, and he took his two official visits to Arizona and Washington, so the staff should know him well. He’s the under-the-radar prospect in this class I’m most interested to see develop.

CB Elias Johnson

Another DeBoer signee who stuck with Washington. His recruiting profile lists him at 6-3 (though the official roster says 6-1 and 155 pounds). Johnson, a two-way star at Portland (Ore.) Jesuit, chose the UW Huskies over Washington State and Oregon State. DeBoer’s staff liked him for his length and explosiveness. There’s going to be a ton of competition at cornerback for the foreseeable future, so Johnson’s best path to playing time should be on special teams.

CB Rahshawn Clark

There was some thought that Clark might prefer to play offense in college, and he was recruited some as a receiver. He committed to California, though, as a defensive back, and flipped to Arizona just before the December signing day — and, like several of his classmates, followed the coaches who recruited him to Washington. I saw Clark in attendance for at least one spring practice, watching closely as Belichick instructed the defensive backs during a drill. A product of Garfield and Federal Way, Clark is the lone in-state, high-school signee in this class.

S Paul Mencke Jr.

Originally committed to Duke, Mencke flipped to DeBoer and his staff just before the December signing day, and held true to that decision amid the coaching change. He’s part of a large, talented group of young defensive backs who signed with the Huskies between the 2023 and 2024 classes. Mencke, whose father, Paul, played quarterback and receiver at Washington State, also was successful in the 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles at Schertz (Texas) Sam Clemens. The Huskies lost former safety signee Joshua Lair to Baylor after the coaching change, but keeping Mencke and Peyton Waters on board should be considered a victory.

S Rahim Wright

Wright, from Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) High, developed a good relationship with Armondo Hawkins while the latter was working at Colorado. Hawkins left for a job on Jedd Fisch’s staff at Arizona, which helped them land a commitment from Wright, and Hawkins is now a defensive analyst at Washington and assistant director of recruiting, having followed Fisch and cornerbacks coach John Richardson. Listed at 6-foot and 175 pounds, Wright made 114 tackles as a senior last season — he also played some quarterback when he was younger — and was a league-champion long jumper as a senior this spring.

This article was originally published at OnMontlake.com, the home for Christian Caple’s full UW Huskies football coverage. Subscribe to On Montlake for full access to in-depth UW coverage.

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