The Huskies received amazing news this sunny Friday afternoon when Wylie, Texas defensive end Anthony James II announced his commitment to the University of Washington. He becomes the 3rd commitment of the week and the 7th overall for UW in the class of 2023 so far just as the Dawgs are kicking off their biggest (at least by volume) visit weekend in years.
James becomes the highest rated recruit so far to commit to Kalen DeBoer and the new coaching staff. He has a 94 rating from 247 Sports and they view him as the 54th best recruit in the country (184th in the composite). At 6’5, 245 pounds with a listed 4.7 40 time he has prototypical size and athleticism for the edge. After some time in the weight room in college he could also be a guy that is also capable of shifting inside on passing downs.
It has been a winding road for James who initially committed to Texas A&M almost 1.5 years ago in February of 2021. This spring though he continued to take visits including an unofficial to Washington signaling his interest in the Huskies. James then decommitted from the Aggies at the end of May and took official visits to Utah and Auburn in addition to the the official he is on right now to Seattle. He also held offers from programs such as Florida, Miami, Michigan, and Texas.
James becomes the 2nd edge player to commit to the Huskies this cycle joining local Jacob Lane who pledge earlier this week. Jeremiah Martin will run out of eligibility this year and it is expected Zion Tupuola-Fetui will head to the NFL. It’s possible the Dawgs stand pat with their 2 replacements but they could also try to add another player at that spot in this class depending on how they feel about the development of the rest of the position group.
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of this commitment for the new coaching staff. Granted we still have 6 months until signing day but if this holds it means Coach DeBoer will have done something Coach Petersen was never able to do: land a recruit from Texas who had offers from either Texas or Texas A&M (let alone one with both who had been committed to A&M). In-state recruiting has in particular this week appeared to be falling off a cliff but getting a commitment from a national recruit such as James goes a long way to making up for it. And hopefully James’ pledge will help show other recruits that there is high confidence in this staff’s vision for the 2023 class.
Welcome to Seattle, Anthony!
Here are James’ junior season highlights.