So apparently there was some kind of game yesterday that had the attention of a few people, but the important news is that this past weekend was the last one for official recruiting visits prior to Signing Day this Wednesday. It was a small group of visitors, but that number included the top prize left on the Washington recruiting radar.
- After much anticipation, it was finally time for 4-star RB Chris Warren out of Rockwall, TX (a suburb of Dallas) to take his official visit to Washington. As is par for the course, he had fun on the visit and took some now obligatory pictures in uniform with his family and fellow visitors:
Unfortunately for Husky fans, that may be as close as Warren gets to donning the purple and gold. Ruth Robbins - publisher of the 247 Sports Husky site and typically as homerish as it gets with her "crystal ball" picks - changed her prediction yesterday to Texas after speaking with him, and some Texas recruiting site publishers have been strongly hinting that Warren is a silent verbal to the Longhorns. He's still planning to publicly announce his decision on Signing Day.
- Also on the visit was 4-star OL Henry Roberts, a longtime commit to the Dawgs. He's been across the bridge to Montlake many times now, so the visit didn't really provide much that was new to him, but it was a great chance for him to have fun with his future teammates and do what he could to try to sway Warren to the Huskies. Scott Eklund of Dawgman.com has the details on his visit ($).
- The third and final visitor was DL John Clark out of Marysville, WA. Despite having full-ride offers from UTEP, Eastern Washington and Idaho State, he opted to accept a preferred walk-on offer from the Huskies:
It's good to see Petersen emphasizing walk-ons and continuing to build bridges with local schools, and to see recruits responding. Clearly Clark was a big Husky fan, but it's still nice to see that Petersen and the program were able to convince him to forego a full-ride at an FBS school to pay his way to the UW.
What's the takeaway?
With official visits now in the books, it looks like the Huskies are down to three remaining targets: Warren, WR Jaylinn Hawkins and DE Mika Tafua. Like Warren, Hawkins is expected to make his decision public on Wednesday. While he's not big on talking to the media and is not publicly active on Twitter, the general consensus is that ASU is in the driver's seat for him, but Washington has remained active in their pursuit of him, with Petersen and WR coach Brent Pease making an in-home pitch to him last week.
As for Tafu, he appears to be down to BYU and Washington. He was a long-time commit to the Cougars before opening up the process, and Washington made a big impression on him. However BYU got the final visit, and while he hasn't publicly re-committed, it wouldn't be a surprise if he ends up re-committing. However there is this interesting nugget to digest:
Overheard BYU FB coach on my flight tonight say "Mika is now considering UW" & vent that Bronco doesn't do enough in recruiting to compete.— Cameron Stewart (@camstew) January 30, 2015
Ah, the perils of talking in public in the social media age...
Hang tight Husky fans - Signing Day is almost here, and while the class is just about wrapped-up (and is already a strong class as it stands), there are a few more last-minute battles to fret over.