OL Brayden Kearsley - Northwest Elite Index
With the Mayan apocalypse nigh, let's take a look at where Husky football recruiting efforts are at the end of the world (those of you in Las Vegas have the right idea with doom nearly upon us). Some might say it's moot since the world is about to end, but I'd like to think current progress will be not be forgotten and the new civilization that rises up from our ashes will take note of the work Sark, Tosh, Sirmon & Co. have done.
Last weekend was the last one for visits until January 11th as recruiting has shifted into a dead period. Coaches can still call recruits, but no visits and no in-home visits until the dead period ends January 6th.
It was a good weekend for all visitors, and the buzz was very high afterwards, though no commitments. Here's where the Huskies stand with each of them:
- JUCO DT Lavon Hooks - The staff made a dramatic turnaround with Hooks, as he originally wasn't even sure he was going to take an official visit to the UW. But he did, and word was it blew him away and he headed home with the intention of signing with the Huskies on Wednesday (the first day he could do so as a mid-year JC transfer). But once he got back home, things got muddy. He originally stated he would call the coaches involved and inform them of his decision Monday night and then make it public when he signed Wednesday, but he then changed course and decided he'd announce Tuesday evening, but he delayed his scheduled announcement to wait for his dad to arrive from Georgia. Then he said he'd announce via Twitter yesterday morning, but kept delaying, and then finally this morning word came out that he'd signed with Ole Miss (after first trying to sign with but getting denied admission to Auburn). My read on this is he did want to sign with the UW - he wants to work in the tech field and was sold on this being a perfect spot for him in that regard - but once he got back home and talked with his family and girlfriend (who reportedly attends Ole Miss), he got talked out of it and was pressured into staying much closer to home. You can read Bud Elliott's article on his commitment here.
- DB Patrick Enewally - Word is Enewally had a great time on his trip, and while he's long been thought to be down to Boise State and Washington, the buzz is that it's just a matter of time before he commits to the Huskies. He's talked about making a commitment at the Cal State Bowl game this weekend, but even if he does he still expects to take an official visit to UCLA in January.
- OL Brayden Kearsley - This staff has done a terrific job recruiting Kearsley; they didn't back off when he initially committed to BYU, and they've stayed on him since despite his strong pull to Oregon State. He was considered a heavy lean to the Beavers before his trip, but he had (according to one of his tweets) "...the time of his life..." and the Huskies have put themselves neck and neck with Oregon State. He still is publicly maintaining that Oregon State leads for him, but the ground the Huskies have made up is significant, and he appears to be a high priority for this staff. His recruitment could go down to the wire.
- DL Eddie Vanderdoes - He's a longshot, but he's taking all his visits despite his early commitment to USC. Word is the staff did a terrific job with him this weekend, and he'll give the Huskies serious consideration. Still, he has yet to take his visits to USC and Notre Dame - even with Tosh making him a top priority, chances are the Huskies will fall just short for him.
- QB Troy Williams - He's long been committed to the UW, and this trip did nothing to change that - he was here to help recruit for the Huskies, and as an early grad he's slated to start classes here for Winter Quarter next month. While the chances are good that he'll redshirt next year, he'll get the benefit of an extra slate of Spring Practices to develop and help set up what should be an epic battle with Cyler Miles and Jeff Lindquist for the starting QB job in 2014 after Keith Price graduates.
The next visit weekend is for January 11-13, and the current list has mostly current commits but one really big name: LB Reuben Foster. The one-time Auburn commit has opened things up with the old staff fired, and while there are some concerns surrounding his recruitment, if the UW can sign him without getting involved in any monkey business he'd be a huge coup as he's generally regarded as the top ILB prospect in the country. Even after he committed to Auburn, he talked up the UW to other recruits, so his interest seems genuine.
That's it for now. After the bowl game I'll write up another article looking at who is still on the board for the Huskies and crunch the numbers. If any recruiting news pops up between then, I'll post a FanShot, so keep your eyes on the lookout.