Summer is the time for football camps and a great opportunity for recruits to gain exposure. For coaches, camps held on campus provide the added benefit of allowing them direct access to the recruits and to see them up close and personal - how they perform, how they respond to coaching, how well they fit your system. It's a terrific recruiting tool for coaches and one of the best means they have for evaluating prospects.
Last year's Rising Stars camp for the UW was the setting for a remarkable day of commitments as seven 2013 prospects pledged to the Huskies in an impromptu celebration at the Ram restaurant in U-Village after 2014 prospect Rahshead Johnson had committed earlier that day. That three of those commits ended up signing elsewhere shows that early commitments are of course no guarantee come Signing Day; still, it was an impressive haul and a great kick-start for the UW's recruiting efforts last year.
While a similar haul was not expected this year - there doesn't (yet) appear to be an Elijah Qualls type of kid orchestrating things behind the scenes - the camp (which started Thursday and runs through Sunday) has already paid dividends as two prospects committed on the spot after being offered by Husky coaches:
2014 Sammamish (Wash.) ATH Drew Lewis has committed to #Washington. Was offered today and committed on the spot.— Marshall Cherrington (@mcherrington22) June 29, 2013
Lewis is a local kid, the son of Will Lewis, Director of Scouting for the Kansas City Chiefs (he'd been with the Seahawks for the prior 13 years) and younger brother of current Pittsburgh Panther Ryan Lewis. He's a rangy kid at 6'2" and 195 lbs that projected at a number of positions, including RB, S and LB. The coaches were obviously wanting to see him in person before offering, and after watching him takes reps at LB, they decided to pull the trigger. Lewis committed right away over offers from Oregon State, Pitt, Arizona State, Washington State, Wyoming and others. He's likely to still take visits to Oregon State and Pitt.
Wicker is from the powerhouse Long Beach Poly program and a 2015 prospect. UW is reportedly his first offer, though he's garnered significant attention from most of the Pac-12. The DE prospect has a good frame, currently listed at 6'4" and 230 lbs and showed well last week at the Prime Time Polynesian Kumite camp in Corona, CA. Sark has had a lot of success with Cali kids by being first to offer and then working hard to keep their commitment. Given that he's more than 1.5 years away from signing an LOI, there's still plenty of time for his recruitment to change, but at the very least we know that the UW currently sits on the top of his list.
Some local kids of note from the 2015 class also received offers:
Bellevue (Wash.) Newport 2015 OT Calvin Throckmorton has landed an offer from Washington— Scott Enyeart (@ScottEnyeart) June 29, 2013
WA top 2015 OL Trey Adams from Wenatchee HS(6'7" 275 lbs) just received an offer from #UW— Jordan Johnson (@JordanJNEI) June 29, 2013
It's obviously encouraging to see that there are a number of local OL in the 2015 class this staff feels are worthy of early offers, and hopefully bodes well for recruiting the trenches in that class. Keep an eye in particular on Adams - it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up adding his name soon to the early commit list for 2015.
In other camp/recruiting news, The Opening down in Beaverton, OR (a Nike-sponsored camp) starts on Sunday and runs through Tuesday. Given the high-profile nature of the camp, it typically attracts many of the best recruits not just on the West Coast but throughout the country. A number of high-level Husky targets will be taking part, including (but not limited to):
- DB Budda Baker
- RB Joe Mixon
- OL Damien Mama
- DL Ainuu Taua
- DB John Plattenburg
- DB Jonathan Lockett
- WR Michiah Quick
Brown is also currently at the Rising Stars camp, and given that he's said he'll be making his announcement at the Opening:
Fontana (Calif.) Summit four-star receiver Erik Brown will be announcing his decision next week at The Opening...— Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman) June 28, 2013
...this would seem to bode well for the UW's chances of getting his commitment. He's widely expected to choose between the Huskies and UCLA.
Also expected to announce:
...and the word is that John Plattenburg will also make his announcement at the Opening. Could this be a good sign for the Huskies:
Stay tuned Husky fans - football recruiting season is heating up.