With the conclusion of another official visit weekend this past Sunday, it's two down and one last weekend to go this month before Signing Day on Wednesday, February 4th. Washington continues to add to their commitment list and spaces appear to be very limited at this point, but there are still a number of stories to track as we get set to see the fruits of Chris Petersen's first full recruiting cycle at Washington. Here's a rundown:
- ICYMI (and I doubt you did), DL Benning Potoa'e gave the Huskies some great news heading into the official visit weekend last Thursday by making a public commitment to Washington in a news conference at his high school. The 4-star DL prospect was widely considered the top recruit in the state of Washington this year, and Jamie Uyeyama of Pacific Takes gave his own breakdown of Potoa'e and why he's so coveted. Give credit to Petersen - Potoa'e was unlikely to have followed in the footsteps of his older brother Sione had the previous staff remained.
- Some of the enthusiasm over the commitment by Potota'e was tempered when news broke that 4-star DB DeChaun Holiday would not be making his official visit to Washington as originally planned. He's long been considered a heavy lean to UCLA, and it appears as though Petersen and his staff sensed he was unlikely to give the Huskies serious consideration so they dropped his visit offer.
- The visit list was mostly comprised of existing commitments as the Huskies hosted RB Myles Gaskin, DB Jordan Miller and LS A.J. Carty. Of note was the news that Carty is planning to delay his enrollment if needed until January 2016, a move that will help the Huskies keep under the 85-man scholarship limit next season.
- Also visiting this past weekend was DE Bryce Sterk from Lynden H.S. The only uncommitted player of the five visiting, he quickly changed that status by pledging to Petersen on Sunday and then announcing via his Twitter account. Just a 2-star prospect according to Scout.com, he's a raw but athletic prospect with a lot of upside according to Jamie Uyeyama. He was receiving late interest as well from Oregon.
- One of the players expected to visit this upcoming weekend was WR Xavier Castille, a teammate of stud RB Chris Warren at Rockwall H.S. in Texas. However he announced his decision to commit instead to SMU on Sunday, and so it would appear that he won't be making that visit.
- According to Wescott Eberts of BurntOrangeNation, RB prospect Soso Jamabo had a great visit to Texas this past weekend. What does that have to do with the Huskies you might ask? Well, a commitment to the Longhorns by Jamabo could help push Warren to Washington. The tide could be swinging back towards the Huskies in this recruiting battle, and if he follows-through with his trip to Seattle this weekend you have to think Petersen has a puncher's chance of making a huge splash by plucking a top recruit out of Texas and away from the Longhorns.
- Another WR - particularly a bigger one - is on the wishlist of many Washington recruitniks, and Jaylinn Hawkins is a 4-star prospect that is still on the table. He just finished an official visit to Cal this past weekend, and is reportedly ready to trim his list this week. He has made all five of his official visits now, having already checked out Utah, Washington, ASU and Boise State. According to this article, he's ready to eliminate the Broncos but is still considering Oregon and could take an unofficial visit there. He's expected to be a Signing Day decision.
- One impressive target that won't be announcing for the Huskies is OL James Empey out of American Fork H.S. in Utah. He's been considered a lean to the Utes for a while now, so it was no surprise to see him make it official earlier today via Twitter. He's planning to take his mission right away and will effectively become a 2017 recruit.
- Another LDS recruit planning to take his mission is DL Mika Tafua. Originally committed to BYU, he saw his recruitment blow up this summer and he opened things up. USC, Oregon and Washington impressed him and are still in the mix to land his commitment, but he made his final official visit this weekend to Provo. The feeling here is that Tafua will circle back around to the Cougars, but the Huskies aren't out of it.
That's it for now, but we'll keep you posted as news happens on the recruiting front.