With 10 known official visitors scheduled, this was already going to be a significant recruiting weekend for Chris Petersen and his staff. But the weekend got even bigger when news broke Friday afternoon that Budda Baker - a 4-star DB from Bellevue H.S. and the highest rated in-state prospect this year - had decommitted from Oregon. He then became the highest profile surprise visitor for the weekend, as he, Bellevue teammate (and Oregon State commit) DL Shane Bowman, WSU commit K Tristan Vizcaino and Boise State OL commit Jesse Sosebee all took official visits.
The result? So far (and it's early Monday afternoon as I write this), there have been two commitments from the visit list in Gaines and Vizcaino, and more seem likely in the coming days; the following guys are ones I wouldn't be surprised to see commit this week:
- QB K.J. Carta-Samuels had a very good visit; he left immediately for an official visit to Boise State yesterday, but I think he's Washington's to lose
- DE Shane Bowman has seemed likely to flip ever since Petersen & co. offered him (Sark hadn't pursued him heavily), and while it will be tough to give Mike Riley the bad news, I expect he'll flip sooner than later
- OL Jesse Sosebee appears to be a classic under-the-radar Boise State OL recruit - just a 2-star by the recruiting services, he was a guy the Bronco staff targeted early in the process and he jumped on their offer, committing in late July; once the staff moved to Washington, it seemed likely he'd follow if offered, and that offer came he accepted their official visit request; he'll host the UW coaches tomorrow and make his decision soon after
Here's where things stand with the rest of the visitors (that haven't already committed to the Dawgs):
- WR Dante Pettis: He'll be visiting Boise State next weekend and then wants to take a bit of time to think afterwards; while there will certainly be some pull for him to follow in his cousin Austin's footsteps at Boise, I expect Washington to win this recruiting battle
- DT Kalani Vakameilalo: The big Oregon State committed back in November, but has since tripped to WSU and now Washington after Petersen's staff offered him; it sounds like he's down to Oregon State and Washington, and I suspect the Huskies will be able to flip him
- RB/S Jomon Dotson: A Colorado commit, he is now weighing his options; it's hard to know how hard the UW staff is pushing him as they are still trying to land Demario Richard, Tre Watson and perhaps Kalen Ballage (though he may end up at S or LB)
- DE Jaylen Johnson: A 3-star Boise State commit but with a fairly impressive offer list, Johnson was a guy that opened things up after Petersen moved to Washington, and the chances seem good that the Huskies will end up flipping him
- S/LB Khalil Oliver: Oliver was the first commit of the 2014 Boise State class back in May, but when Petersen left for Washington he re-opened his recruitment and it now appears to be a battle between Washington and Oregon; the Ducks will host him next weekend, and with the last visit they may end up with the edge over the Huskies
- S Budda Baker: The big fish - his de-commitment from Oregon on Friday was big news, and it appears to now be a race between Washington and UCLA; while proximity would seem to favor the Huskies - and they were (in his words) "probably (his) second choice" when he committed to Oregon - don't count out Jim Mora and the Bruins; Mora established a great relationship with Bellevue H.S. during his year off from coaching
Check the open recruiting thread for up-to-the-minute news and rumors, and we'll keep you posted throughout the week as news happens. We'll also have a preview Friday for this upcoming weekend's batch of official visits (OL/DE Kaleb McGary is the big name currently on the list). Recruiting is hitting the home stretch, and despite a lot of initial hand-wringing, Petersen & co. are poised to land a solid recruiting class that could still include the top two players in the state.
Update 2:21PM - That didn't take long; Shane Bowman has officially flipped per his Twitter account:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>With that being said I have committed to the University of Washington</p>— Shane Bowman (@shanebowman54) <a href="https://twitter.com/shanebowman54/statuses/425391811314458624">January 20, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>