One of the weaknesses of the 2012 Washington Huskies was their offensive line. The unit struggled with injuries and inexperience and couldn’t seem to get a group on the field that could gel and dominate the line of scrimmage. While they should be much improved in 2013, a bigger issue might be brewing in Seattle following the departure of redshirt freshman tackle Nathan Dean. Specifically, Washington is in desperate need of depth.
Dean joined the Washington roster in the 2012 recruiting class and was considered one of their top commitments from that group. He redshirted last season to add bulk and strength to his frame and figured to be a key part of the offensive line rotation in 2013. At the very least, he would provide Steve Sarkisian with some much-needed depth in case the Huskies’ offensive line started to get dinged up.
Instead, Dean will leave the program without any indication of where he will go next and Washington is left even thinner across their offensive front. There isn’t much immediate help on the way, either. Washington signed three offensive linemen in their 2013 recruiting class, but only one, four-star center Dane Crane, looks anywhere near ready to contribute next season.
Sarkisian will likely turn the offensive line into a major priority for the next recruiting cycle. Washington currently doesn’t have any offensive linemen committed in their 2014 class so look for them to turn up the recruitment on some their offensive line targets. The Huskies currently have offers out to 14 offensive linemen and expect to take as many as three or four commitments to the class.
It will be impossible to build anything out of the Washington offense if the offensive line is left neglected without standout players waiting in the wings to take over. Can Sarkisian and company turn things around or will their thin offensive line continue to get thinner?