Huskies still recruiting key high-school football players who haven't committed
Washington hopes to add a couple of players to its large class of recruits Wednesday on signing day.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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In baseball parlance, Steve Sarkisian and his Washington football coaching staff have already put themselves in position for a win when it comes to putting together the recruiting Class of 2010.
Now it's about making sure they get the save, while maybe tacking on a few insurance runs for good measure.
The Huskies are expected to sign as many as 30 players, and maybe more, to letters of intent Wednesday.
Washington has 29 commitments in a class that is earning mostly good reviews, though also getting some divergent reactions — Scout.com has the class rated No. 8 in the country while Rivals.com has it at No. 31.
Regardless, it's a big step up from last year's class, which was rated in the 60s nationally and last in the Pac-10.
"They've really made some huge strides in recruiting," said Randy Taylor, the recruiting director for the National Collegiate Scouting Association and a former recruiting coordinator at UCLA. "They have a chance to finish in the top three or four schools in the conference depending on some of these last kids that may or may not commit (to UW)."
While UW already has a full class, the Huskies are still in the running for a handful of other prospects.
Schools can have just 25 initial enrollees in a year but can sign more than that and fit the players in either by having them enroll early (counting against the previous year) or late (counting against the following year). Washington could have at least five players in this year's class enroll early, allowing them to sign one of the largest classes in recent memory.
Washington is scheduled to have at least three players visit this weekend. One will be defensive tackle Ricky Heimuli of Salt Lake City, rated as the No. 10 player at his position in the country by Scout.com and also considering Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Brigham Young and Utah.
Scout.com also reported Thursday night that James Atoe, an offensive lineman from The Dalles-Wahtonka High School in Oregon, will also take an official visit this weekend.
Running back/defensive back Chris Young of Auburn High, who has already committed to UW, will make an unofficial visit.
Heimuli has said he won't announce a decision until signing day, same as several other prospects still thought to still be considering the Huskies.
Among those are safety Sean Parker of Narbonne High in Harbor City, Calif., whose favorites are thought to be USC and Michigan but who still lists UW as one of his finalists. Parker, who visited UW last weekend, is expected to make an announcement early Wednesday morning on ESPNU. Also expected to make a signing-day announcement is linebacker Josh Shirley of Kaisier High in Fontana, Calif. Shirley visited UW the week of the USC game.
Washington is waiting on a decision from cornerback Jeremy Ionae of Punahou School in Honolulu. He's visiting Notre Dame this week after visiting UW two weekends ago.
The Huskies will try to hang on to a couple of players who have reportedly made at least a soft commitment to UW but are also making one final visit to other schools this weekend — defensive tackle Kirifi Taula of Servite High in Anaheim (visiting Arizona) and defensive tackle Lawrence Lagafuaina of Aiea, Hawaii (visiting Hawaii).
The Huskies lost one commitment last weekend when receiver Keanon Lowe of Jesuit High in Portland, who had been committed to UW since last summer, changed his mind and said he will sign with Oregon.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org