With the "Dead Period" over it's now the start of the final big recruiting push toward Signing Day (Wednesday, February 3rd) as Washington will be hosting seven official visitors to campus this weekend. Four of those are current commits while three are highly acclaimed prospects that are still in the process of deciding. Here's who's scheduled to be here and their status:
- TE/DE Devin Asiasi, De La Salle H.S. (Concord, CA) - Asiasi is generally considered the top TE prospect on the west coast. He is also considered a top prospect as a DE, though he strongly prefers offense. He has visited UCLA already and is also scheduled to visit Michigan (1/22) and USC (1/30). Alabama is also under consideration. He had long been considered a lean to USC, but with his recruiter - Marques Tuiasosopo - moving to UCLA, that may tip the scales in favor of the Bruins.
- OL Nick Harris, JSerra Catholic H.S. (San Juan Capistrano, CA), WASHINGTON COMMIT - Harris is an interior OL prospect that could also potentially play DT. He committed shortly after being offered by the Huskies back at the end of July and hasn't wavered despite interest from schools like ASU, Cal, Colorado and Boise State.
- TE Jacob Kizer, West Salem H.S. (Salem, OR), WASHINGTON COMMIT - Kizer has been a UW commit since July over offers from Oregon State, Washington State, Air Force, Wyoming and others. He has a good frame at 6'5" and 235 lbs. and is a consensus 3-star prospect.
- CB David Long, Loyola H.S. (Los Angeles, CA) - Long is one of the top CB prospects in the country and the top CB on the west coast according to Scout.com. A long-time commit to Stanford, he was never totally comfortable with his choice and de-committed last month. Washington and Michigan are considered his final two choices at this point. Michigan got a visit from him in October, and Coach Harbaugh will use his in-home visit with Long next week. He's expected to make his decision shortly after that before heading overseas to Italy for a school trip. Many feel he's trending toward Michigan at this point, so this visit will be critical for Washington's chances to reverse that and get his commitment.
- K/P Van Soderberg, Capital H.S. (Olympia, WA), WASHINGTON COMMIT - Soderberg impressed the Husky coaching staff during their summer Rising Stars camp and he committed shortly after being offered in early August. He'll be enrolling in March to be here in time for spring practices, and he'll compete for the open punting job.
- DT Boss Tagaloa, De La Salle H.S. (Concord, CA) - A consensus 4-star prospect, Tagaloa is one of the top DT prospects in the country and considered by Scout.com as the top DL on the west coast this year. Like his teammate and good friend Asiasi, he's already visited UCLA and scheduled to go with him on trips to Michigan (1/22) and USC (1/30) later this month. He's long been considered a lean to UCLA, and while he and Asiasi aren't considered a package deal, if Asiasi ends up leaning to UCLA as well that may seal the deal for Tagaloa to the Bruins. This will be a critical visit for new DL coach Ikaika Malloe to bond with Tagaloa, sell him on the top-ranked Husky defense and their bright future, and pitch his ability to get the most out of Tagaloa.
- WR Chris Taylor-Yamanoha, Rancho Cotate H.S. (Rohnert Park, CA) LOUISVILLE COMMIT - A 3-star WR prospect with decent size at 6'2", 185 lbs, he's been committed to Louisville since April. However, after an unofficial visit to Washington in June he was offered by the staff and it got him thinking hard about the Huskies. He took his official visit to Louisville last month but with his visit to Seattle this weekend it's clear he's not 100% solid on that commitment, and in fact some have thought it's just a matter of time before he flips to the Huskies. With new WR Coach Bush Hamdan in place it's unknown if he's still a top priority, but I suspect we'll know either way next week. I don't expect CTY to drag out the process, but either to re-affirm his commitment to the Cardinals or flip to Washington.
- OL Luke Wattenberg, JSerra Catholic H.S. (San Juan Capistrano, CA) WASHINGTON COMMIT - Despite being a consensus 4-star recruit and an Army All-American, I don't think Wattenberg's commitment has gotten enough love from Husky fans. That may be because he committed so long ago (April) and his other finalist was Duke - not exactly a football factory. Don't let that fool you - he also had offers from USC, UCLA, Nebraska and others, but he was looking for something more than just football excellence and was a perfect fit for Chris Petersen's "Built for Life" recruiting pitch. He'll be taking his visit this weekend with his teammate and fellow commit Harris.
Those are the folks currently scheduled to be visiting this weekend, though things can change quickly in recruiting this time of year. We'll update you if anything changes. One other recruiting note on weekend visits: we've been warning you for a while now that CB Kentrell Love - a commit since late July - has been getting pressure from his family to check out the local schools despite his insistence that he's 100% committed to the Huskies. Well, it appears that pressure has worked as he's visiting UCLA this weekend. He's scheduled to take his official visit to Washington next weekend, and if he does indeed take that trip I feel pretty good about Washington's chances to hold on to him, but it's always tough to pull kids out of L.A. when the local schools want them and their families want them to stay local. Cross your fingers on this one...