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Originally published December 14, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified December 14, 2007 at 8:34 PM

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UW Football | Louisiana LB picks Huskies before a visit

The hometown LSU Tigers figure Bradly Roussel, at 5 feet 11, is too short to play linebacker. So once Roussel, a native of Baton Rouge...

Seattle Times staff reporter

The hometown LSU Tigers figure Bradly Roussel, at 5 feet 11, is too short to play linebacker.

So once Roussel, a native of Baton Rouge, knew he had to go away to school, he said distance didn't really matter.

"To me, away from home is away from home," he said. "It doesn't really matter how far. It's just about finding the best school for me."

Thursday, Roussel decided that school is the University of Washington, giving a commitment to Huskies coaches to sign as part of the Class of 2008. He is the 23rd known commit in a class that will almost surely rank as the best of Tyrone Willingham's four years at UW.

The 5-11, 215-pounder said he also had interest from Louisville, Tulane and Kansas State, as well as some early interest from Tennessee before the Volunteers cooled on him a bit, apparently also due to his height.

Roussel, who attended Redemptorist High, was recently rated as the No. 33 prospect in Louisiana by DandyDon.com.

Roussel's father, Holenn, said the family responded to a recruiting letter sent by UW and that his son and UW linebacker coach Chris Tormey "hit it off pretty good" which got the long-distance relationship rolling.

In fact, Roussel is committing without having been to Seattle — he's taking his trip to UW the weekend of Jan. 4.

"It just felt right," he said, saying he was sold for good when Tormey visited earlier this week.

Roussel would become the first Huskies signee from SEC territory since receiver Charles Frederick from Florida in 2001.

Holenn Roussel said his son had been assured that he will be playing for Tormey, even though there has been speculation of possible changes on the defensive coaching staff for the Huskies.

"The coaching staff is going to stay intact from what I understand," he said. "That won't be an issue."

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UW's class is ranked No. 16 in the nation and third in the Pac-10 behind USC and UCLA by Scout.com, getting a boost this week from the commitments of Roussel and running back/receiver Chris Polk of Redlands, Calif., who had been committed to USC before choosing the Huskies.

Polk is expected to enroll in January, which means he will likely count as part of the Class of 2007 and not 2008.

With one of the spots it has left the Huskies are hoping to get a commitment from defensive end Everrette Thompson of Kennedy, who may make a decision after taking a trip this weekend to Oregon State.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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