It's the final homestretch for recruiting before next Wednesday - Signing Day 2016 - and here's what we know as the Huskies look to finish up their 2016 class:
No Official Visitors this weekend?
It doesn't appear that the staff is bringing any recruits in for official visits this weekend. That doesn't mean that a player might not be here on a visit - it just means that if it's happening, it's being done quietly. However that seems unlikely at this point - as we touched on last week, there just don't appear to be many remaining targets out there for the Huskies at this point. Would it be a complete shock if Tyler Vaughns was taking a visit this weekend? No, but at the same time I don't want to get anyone's hopes up. Suffice it to say that the official line is there are no official visitors this weekend.
Who's left on the board?
Again, nothing has really changed in the last week. The two big targets are De La Salle H.S. teammates Boss Tagaloa and Devin Asiasi. Nate Herbig has re-committed to Stanford and after being informed there wasn't room left for him at Oregon or Washington, it appears Beau Bisharat is looking at ASU, Colorado and Cal. There's also Jonathan Kongbo, and if I've learned anything in following recruiting closely for the last 20 years, it's that anything can happen. He has trimmed his list to USC, Tennessee, Florida State and Ole Miss and has taken official visits to each of those schools (plus Oregon State) and is likely to select from one of those four, but he also took an unofficial visit to Seattle with his family in December. Given how chaotic his recruitment has been, would it be a shocker if he circled back to the local school and selected the Huskies? No, but I would caution against putting much hope on this outcome - chances are very high he's not coming here. There's been speculation that the commitment of Byron Murphy could lead ASU commit N'Keal Harry to consider flipping to Washington. He took an official visit here back in September and I'm sure he can see the opportunity here for immediate playing time, and there's been some uncertainty with the ASU coaching staff. However with new OC Chip Lindsey opting to stay put rather than consider the Southern Miss head coaching job, things appear to have settled down in Tempe.
What's happening with Asiasi & Tagaloa?
The high school teammates are scheduled to make their announcements on Signing Day live on ESPNU at noon, and are expected to choose from among UCLA, USC, Michigan, Washington and Cal. They are currently on their last official visit (to USC). Conventional wisdom has held that Tagaloa is a strong lean to UCLA and that Asiasi - once a lean to USC - may be trending to UCLA now with his USC recruiter Marques Tuiasosopo now with the Bruins. However Michigan made a big impression on both, and there's still the Trojans looming and getting the last visit. Does Washington still stand a chance with either? Camilo Eifler is doing his best to convince them to become Huskies (along with some assist from a big Husky alum):
Which prompted this response from Tagaloa:
And he also worked Asiasi:
...as well as this group message for both:
While the conventional wisdom has them choosing between UCLA, USC and Michigan, there's at least one national recruiting reporter - Tom Luginbill - who thinks the Huskies have a shot with Asiasi.
Are all the commits solid?
Never say never, but it would be a surprise to see any of Coach Petersen's commits flip. Recall that three of the class of 2016 have already enrolled and are Huskies, and a fourth (kicker Van Soderberg) is planning to be here for Spring Quarter.
Still, you can bet that coaches at UCLA and USC have not given up on trying to flip Kentrell Love. The Bruins got him to take an official visit a couple weekends ago, and while he re-affirmed his commitment to Washington shortly after and took his official visit to Seattle last weekend, you can bet both coaching staffs down in L.A. are trying to get him to reconsider, knowing that his family would love for him to stay local.
Same goes for Murphy - you can bet that the ASU coaching staff is doing their best to try to get him to reconsider his decision, citing his two good buddies N'Keal Harry and Chase Lucas who are staying local and putting pressure on him to join them and stay closer to his family.
I expect both will officially sign with the Huskies on Wednesday, but you can be sure the Husky coaching staff is working hard to keep both of them in the fold.
Could there be a last minute surprise?
Again, never say never with recruiting. This is a hard-working coaching staff that is proving themselves to be up to the challenge of recruiting at the Pac-12 level and their message is gaining traction with prospects. It's certainly possible they have a surprise in store for Husky fans over the next few days.
However numbers are tight for this class, and they have to leave some space in case either (or both) of Asiasi and Tagaloa decide to sign with the Huskies, so anyone else they might be working on at this point would have to be a big-time prospect.
Hang on to your hats Husky fans - we're almost there to Signing Day. We'll have full coverage all day Wednesday.