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Chris Petersen - Recruiting Impact at Washington

One of the biggest question marks for Chris Petersen as he takes the reigns at Washington is how the change in coaching staffs will impact recruiting, especially the 2014 class. We take a look...

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Editor's note: Special thanks to CODawg for his assistance in researching this article

Now that the head coaching search at Washington is over and Chris Petersen has accepted the job, attention will quickly turn to how his hiring will impact recruiting for the Huskies.  He will certainly get to put his stamp on this class, as there are only 7 current commits, and that number will likely drop to 6 soon as Jonathan Lockett is expected to decommit from Washington and commit to USC.

Back in the Summer it was thought that this would be a smaller recruiting class, but since then we've seen a few RS-Juniors that have been announced as ending their careers this year, and prior to Sark's departure we'd heard word there were 2-3 more players likely to transfer.  Now add in the the coaching change - and it's a big one between Sark & Petersen, with few (if any) current coaches expected to remain on staff - and I think you could see quite a bit of attrition and the need to sign a full class.

Will Petersen go after any of his current Boise State commits?  News broke today from Lindsey Thiry that DE Jaylen Johnson has de-committed from Boise State and apparently was extended an offer to Washington by Chris Petersen, so that would seem to answer that question.

So with all of that said, here's a look at players targeted by the old staff that also expressed interest in Boise State, as well as current Boise State targets with offers and current commits:


Jalen Greene (Boise State commit) -  Greene is a 3-star commit that felt the Boise State offense was a perfect fit for him.  He actually looks a lot like the current QB's on the roster in terms of combination of mobility and arm.

The previous staff wasn't targeting a QB in this class, but Petersen might want to re-think that strategy.  There's a very real possibility one of the three returning scholarship QB's might decide to transfer pending the outcome of the competition to become the new starting QB, and there's no guarantees all of the returning players mesh with Petersen.


Rashaad Penney - Penney is the younger brother of former UW commit Elijhaa Penney who failed to qualify academically.  Penney has an offer from BSU and was also being recruited by Washington.

Kalen Ballage - Ballage is a nice-looking athlete that is being recruited by a number of schools for LB, but would prefer to play RB which is where Boise State offered him.  Washington had also been giving him a look as a possible plan-B target.

While you can never say never, it would appear as though with Sark & co. now at USC that the possibility of landing Joe Mixon is close to nil.  Their other top target - Demario Richard - just committed to Arizona State, so there certainly appears to be an opening or two in this class for a RB.


Devante Downs - Downs was high on the Huskies early in his recruitment, but his interest died out as the UW staff made it clear they preferred him at LB while Downs wants to be a RB.  His season-ending injury this year scared off some programs, but Boise State was still after him.

The FB position had become a very minor part of the UW offense under Sark - it will be interesting to see if it makes a return under Petersen.  Downs is a local kid and Petersen has placed a premium on keeping local talent at home at BSU, so perhaps he'll continue to pursue him for Washington.


Sean Modster (Boise State commit) - Modster committed early to Boise State and has already taken his official visit there.  He's a 5-11 WR with speed, a classic low 3-star recruit that Boise State has developed and flourished with in the past.  At the time of his commitment he also had an offer from Colorado and interest from Oregon and Cal.

Jordan Lasley (UCLA soft-commit) - Lasley is a taller WR (6'2") that has seen his recruitment take off during his Sr. season.  An early UCLA commit, he's decided to take visits to other schools and already had a visit tentatively scheduled for Boise State.  It was an offer from Orgeron's USC team that caused him to open up his recruitment, and it'll be interesting to see if Sark continues to pursue him.

Marcus Williams - Williams is a guy that could play WR or DB, and has already visited Utah where he's being recruited for defense.  He was planning to visit Boise State and then make his decision.

With Erik Brown already de-committed and now Rahshead Johnson de-committed and no longer considering Washington, there's work to be done to add a WR or two to this class.


Chase Blakely (Washington commit) - Blakely is solid to Washington, and as an Idaho native was being pursued heavily by Boise State.  He seems highly unlikely to change his commitment.

Drew Sample (Boise State commit) - A local kid from Newport H.S. in Bellevue, it will be very interesting to see if he opens up his recruitment and considers the UW.  The previous staff preferred Blakely as a TE over Sample.

The previous staff got their man early in Blakely, but had still been pursuing top TE target Dalton Schultz, indicating they would have been happy bringing in another tall body.  These are guys that could also fit at DE/OLB, so it would surprise me if Sample gets a look from Petersen's staff at Washington.


Kaleb McGary - One of the top targets left on the board for both Washington and Boise State, McGary had been strongly considering both schools, though Oregon State might be the leaders at the moment.  While he grew up a Husky fan in a household full of them, he's also a small-town guy that seems more at home at a place like Corvallis.  He has indicated he's still intent on taking his official visit to Boise State, which speaks to his small-town preferences.  It will also be interesting to see if the new staff projects him to OT or DE - the previous staff was recruiting him for DE.

Matt James (Washington commit) - An Idaho native, he committed to the UW for academic reasons and seems exceedingly unlikely to change his mind.

Jesse Sosebee (Boise State commit) - Sosebee was an early commit for Boise State back in July and took his official visit in October.  He was rock-solid in his commitment prior to Petersen's departure.  He's a 2-star prospect out of Huntington Beach, CA.

Ryan Griswold (Boise State commit) - Another early commit for Boise State (they had a lot of them), Griswold is an athletic 2-star linemen that will need a few years in the weight room, but seems like the type of player Boise State has thrived with in the past.

Husky fans are well aware of the issues Sark has had in stocking the OL in his time here.  It was expected he'd try to sign 4 OL and focus on OT types in this class.  While James is solid to Washington, there may be a temptation by Petersen to grab one of his BSU commits if they are interested.


Natrell Curtis (Washington commit) - Curtis was also being pursued by Boise State, so he has familiarity with the new coaching staff.  The bigger issue with Curtis is whether the Arizona schools come after him hard.  Given his family situation, he may end up deciding he needs to stay close to home.

Kammy Delp - Long thought to be nearly a lock for UCLA, Delp has thus far held off on a commitment and had been scheduled to visit the UW this weekend until Sark left for USC.  He currently has a visit to Boise State scheduled for next weekend - will he still take that or re-schedule his UW visit?

David Hartmeier - Hartmeier is a 3-star prospect out of North Hollywood that visited Boise State in September and also sports offers from Oregon State and San Jose State.

Troy Bacon (Boise State commit) - Bacon visited Boise State last month and committed at the end of his visit.  He's a 3-star prospect out of Oak Hills, CA that also had offers from WSU, TCU and Colorado State.

While the old staff was focused more on OT types, that was based on Cozzetto's tendency to target athletic linemen and move them inside if they didn't stick outside.


Greg Gaines (Boise State commit) - Gaines was one of the first commits to the Boise State class of 2014 back in April and has been solid since.  He's a bit smaller than Wilcox had been pursuing for Washington, but depending on how the new staff shakes out he may get interest from Washington.

Gaines is a fairly athletic DT prospect but a bit on the short side of what Wilcox & Lupoi haver been pursuing for Washington - it will likely depend on how the new defensive staff shakes out as to whether he gets an offer from the Huskies.


Jacob Tuioti-Mariner - One of the top targets still on the board for the Broncos, he nearly committed on his visit last month.  He's a good sized DE prospect that could move inside down the road depending on how he develops physically.  Washington had been pursuing him but hadn't yet offered the 4-star from Bellflower, CA, and it appeared he was down to Boise State, Wisconsin, Arizona and UCLA.

Don Hill (Washington commit) - Hill is another Idaho native on the Husky commit list and has been solid to Washington.  They've stuck with him despite him suffering an Achilles tear early this season.

Jaylen Johnson - As noted above, Johnson de-committed from Boise State today and was extended an offer to Washington when he called Petersen to give him the news.  Johnson was arguably the top Bronco commit prior to today, with offers from USC, Notre Dame, Oregon, Arizona State, Oregon State, TCU, Colorado and Vanderbilt.

David Moa (Boise State commit) - Moa is a recent commit to Boise State, doing so after his official visit late last month.  He's a 'young' Sr. at 17 years old, and while he's a 2-star in the system, he was getting interest from Oregon (he officially visited in October) and has good size at 6'4", 260 lbs.

Will Dissly (Boise State commit) - Dissly is regarded as the top prospect out of Montana this year and just completed his official visit to Boise State at the end of November.

With the increasing complexity of defensive schemes, the designation "DE" means less and less; Washington had Hill already in the fold and has been in hot pursuit of JC prospect Claude Pelon, also listed as a DE but more of a strongside DE or even a 3-tech DT.  Again, depending on how the new defensive staff shakes out and what schemes they prefer to run, I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the above guys targeted.  We already know Johnson has been offered, and it would shock me if others are as well.


Aisea Tongilava (San Jose soft-commit) - Tongilava has been committed to San Jose State for a while now, but a big Senior season has resulted in a wave of new offers, and he was scheduled to visit Boise State this weekend.  Cal appears to be a strong contender to pry him away from the Spartans.

Louis Vecchio - A big bodied kid that could also project at DE, Vecchio is still working on setting up visits but has offers from Boise State, Colorado, Colorado State and others.

Kolin Hill & Kaleb Hill - Identical twins from Schertz, TX, they are OLB/Rush End prospects that are visiting Colorado this weekend and were scheduled to visit Boise State next weekend.  Texas - San Antonio is the other school pursuing them.

Washington currently has Drew Lewis committed as a prospective OLB, but like DE, this is a position designation that is rather fluid.  It seems likely that the Huskies would like to bring in a couple outside linebackers in this class though


Xavier Ulutu - Ulutu is a big banger in the middle that had expressed early interest in Boise State, but recent attention from Pac-12 schools has him appearing to aim higher.  He has an offer from WSU and was getting a lot of interest from USC under Ed Oregeron.

Ulutu seems to be a kid a lot of Pac-12 schools have as a plan-B type, and he looks to be waiting things out to get a "bigger" offer.  Could that be Washington now with Petersen on board?


Budda Baker - Baker was arguably the top target on Washington's board, and while Boise State wasn't part of his top-3, he was giving the Broncos a long look under Petersen.  It would appear that he remains a top target for the new staff as Petersen and his Bronco DB coach Jimmy Lake were spotted at the Washington AAA Championship game last night at the Tacoma Dome to scout Bellevue prospects.  Baker has refuted the idea that Sark leaving has removed Washington from his consideration.

Jaleel Wadood - The former Cal commit has been focusing mostly on USC & UCLA, but had an official visit to Washington scheduled for January.  With Sark & Heyward at USC, this may make them hard to beat, but he was recruited heavily by Boise State earlier in the process, so we'll see if he retains interest in Washington.

*Khalil Oliver (Boise State commit) - Oliver committed recently after his official visit.  He reportedly sports offers from Stanford, Mizzou and Florida.  He's a bigger DB and could potentially move up to LB.

Dante Pettis - If his name seems familiar, it's because he's the cousin of recent BSU WR Austin Pettis.  He was recently offered by Boise State as a WR, and they joined Colorado, San Diego State, Fresno State and SMU as his top choice.

Kekoa Nawahine (Boise State commit) - Nawahine is an LDS player who committed recently to Boise State and is planning to take his mission and join the team in 2016.  An Idaho native, he's a long-time Bronco fan and would seem unlikely to flip.

It's no secret that safety is a position of serious need for the Huskies with the graduation of Sean Parker, Will Shamburger & Tre Watson.  While it would seem prudent to comb the JC ranks for some immediate help, expect the Huskies to try to sign 2-3 guys (if not more) here regardless to try to build up the numbers.


Brandon Lewis (Boise State commit) - Lewis was an early Bronco commit, doing so back in April.  He's visited unofficially a number of times and was locked-in to Boise State, but with the coaching staff shake-up he might be persuaded to look around now.

With the expected de-commitment of Jonathan Lockett looming, Washington is going to be looking for CB's to fill out their class.  They seemed to be looking to add at least 2 of them under the old staff, and I would expect the new staff to do what they can to get at least 1 on board for 2014.