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Originally published Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 12:00 AM


Bios of Washington football signees

A closer look at the 18 players who will be joining coach Steve Sarkisian's UW football program.

Marlion Barnett

TE, 6-2, 210, Corona, Calif. (Santiago HS)

Also had offers from Oregon State and Boise State. Had 26 catches for 277 yards and one TD this season. Scouts generally see him more as a receiving tight end. "He also played outside linebacker and I think defense is where he could end up playing because he has the size and strength," said Brandon Huffman, West regional manager for

David Batts

S, 6-1, 200, Lynwood, Calif. (El Camino College)

Attended same JC as Steve Sarkisian in 2008 but redshirted and will have three years of eligibility remaining. Had been committed to Kansas State but changed his mind after a visit to UW last weekend. Rated No. 38 JC prospect in the nation by Said Sarkisian: "He obviously has size. He's a guy who could have an immediate impact for us on defense and special teams."

Dorson Boyce

TE, 6-2, 246, New York (Allan Hancock CC)

Signed his letter in January. Named to the All-California Region III first-team offense. "Looks like a bulldozer of a kid, primarily a blocking tight end that is just an extra offensive lineman. He's pretty impressive blowing guys off the line of scrimmage but he also appeared to have soft hands," said Chris Fetters, recruiting analyst for

Talia Crichton

DE, 6-3, 232, Lakewood (Calif.) HS

Had 92 tackles as a senior. Had at least one sack in every game. One scout compared him to former Huskies DE Manase Hopoi and current Husky Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. Said Sarkisian: "He's a fantastic pass rusher."


Nate Fellner

S, 6-1, 200, Fresno, Calif. (Clovis West)

Also visited Arizona and Colorado, but eventually stuck with commitment made to UW last August. Had 98 tackles and scored nine TDs as a running back. Nephew of Bo Cornell, who played at UW and was captain of the 1970 team. "He's a really good two-way player, but I think his future is at safety where he's more of a pure football player. He plays bigger than his size and he's real smart," said Huffman.

Dominique Gaisie

CB, 5-9, 165, West Covina, Calif. (Mount San Antonio College)

Also visited BYU and New Mexico State. Coached at Mt. SAC by new UW secondary coach Demetrice Martin. Team's leading tackler last season with 52, along with two interceptions and seven pass breakups. Also handled kickoff returns (23.7 average) and punt returns (10.4). Said Sarkisian: "Don't be fooled by his size. He's a physical football player."

James Johnson

WR, 6-0, 183, Valley Center (Calif.) HS

Set a San Diego Section record with 2,930 receiving yards. Also visited Colorado, Colorado State and Oregon. Caught 57 passes for 1,261 yards and 17 TDs as a senior. Said Sarkisian: "He really understands the game and brings a lot of savvy to the game. He's a guy who can make a lot of plays over the middle."

Daniel Mafoe

OL, 6-3, 339, Carson, Calif. (El Camino College)

Also attended same JC as Sarkisian, where he was coached by Sarkisian's old coach, John Featherstone. Has two years left to play, having played in 2006 and '08 and redshirted in '07. Called by Sarkisian "a big physical tackle" who will add immediate depth.

Will Mahan

P, 5-11, 200, Bakersfield (Calif.) CC

Fills an immediate need, likely to take over for graduating Jared Ballman. Averaged 39.2 yards, with 16 of 35 downed inside the opponents' 20. Also considered New Mexico State and Colorado State. Rated the nation's No. 1 punting prospect for the 2009 season by Chris Sailer Kicking, run by the former UCLA kicker. Called by Sarkiasian "the top junior-college punter in the country."

Kimo Makaula

ATH, 6-2, 240, Kailua, Hawaii (Punahou HS)

Committed to Hawaii last summer before reopening his recruiting; also had an offer from UNLV. Mostly a QB in high school and led Punahou to a 12-1 record and its first state title in 2008. Led Punahou to a 42-19 win over Central Kitsap in the 2008 Emerald City Kickoff Classic at Qwest Field last fall, passing for 303 yards. Said Sarkisian: "Could play fullback, tight end, possibly defensive end. His upside is huge."

Keith Price

QB, 6-1, 182, Compton, Calif. (St. John Bosco HS)

Committed last July and hung through all the uncertainty, though he did visit Arizona State and San Diego State. Completed 143 of 200 passes for 2,260 yards, 24 TDs and six interceptions as senior. Also considered a good runner. Said Sarkisian: "He can make plays with his arm and his feet, and he's a great leader."

Andru Pulu

LB/DE, 6-1, 244, Federal Way HS

Also considered WSU, Eastern Washington and UNLV. Knee injury caused him to miss latter portion of the season but still earned SPSL 4A co-defensive lineman of the year honor. Said Sarkisian: "He may develop into a defensive lineman, but he is a big, physical middle linebacker who can put his hat on guys and will have an immediate impact on special teams."

Chris Robinson

DL, 6-0, 271, Tustin (Calif.) HS

Also had an offer from Nevada. Had 11 sacks as a senior and named the Century League's lineman of the year. Sarkisian said he reminds him of one-time USC star Cedrick Ellis in that "he's got that kind of build and structure to him. I think this kid is going to have an immediate impact."

Will Shamburger

S, 6-0, 190, Compton, Calif. (St. John Bosco HS)

Was committed to Boise State before switching. Had 34 catches for 598 yards and eight TDs as a senior, and also played defensive back. Said Sarkisian: "He's another special-teams guy and we'll see where he fits in, but we'll give him his opportunity at safety. He could be a [linebacker] or safety."

Johnny Tivao

DL, 5-10, 349, Paramount, Calif. (Cerritos College)

Signed with Boise State out of high school but didn't enroll due to academic problems. Had 49 tackles, 4.5 for a loss, for Cerritos last fall. Sarkisian: "He's a load, a nose guard who can handle the center really well. He's a JC kid who is more mature, very physical."

Semisi Tokolahi

DL, 6-2, 319, Hilo (Hawaii) HS

Also visited Oregon State and Washington State and had an offer from Colorado. Named the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I defensive player of the year as a senior, averaging better than 11 tackles. Also had 11 sacks for the season. Said Sarkisian: "He's a great kid, a fun kid. I think he's got a winner's mentality."

Desmond Trufant

CB, 6-0, 170, Tacoma (Wilson HS)

Younger brother of Seahawks standout Marcus Trufant, who played at Washington State. Also visited Arizona State. Had 67 tackles and 12 touchdowns on offense and special teams. Named first-team all-state by The Seattle Times. Sarkisian said he was key to establishing a connection in the state, adding, "I think his upside is tremendous. We all know the lineage of the family."

Tim Tucker

LB, 6-1, 240, Harbor City, Calif. (Narbonne HS)

Also visited Arizona State. First-team all-city section and league defensive player of the year after making 96 tackles. Could also play fullback. Sarkisian: "He's a big, physical, thumper-type guy, which, if we are going to become the physical football team we want to become, we've got to get more guys like this in our program."

Bob Condotta

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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