Washington Huskies

Chris Petersen, Huskies proud of ‘uneventful’ Signing Day

Tahoma’s Amandre Williams played both quarterback and on the defensive line in high school, but the UW commit will stay at defensive end for the Huskies.
Tahoma’s Amandre Williams played both quarterback and on the defensive line in high school, but the UW commit will stay at defensive end for the Huskies. Staff photographer

Well, that was boring.

But that’s exactly how Chris Petersen and the Washington Huskies would like to describe each Signing Day, which again came and went Wednesday with nary a surprise on UW’s end.

The Huskies announced the signings of 18 players on Wednesday — three of whom had already signed financial-aid paperwork and enrolled at the school in January — and that list included exactly zero players who were not already publicly committed to Washington. And for the second consecutive season, nobody who committed to Washington signed elsewhere.

So Petersen began his Wednesday remarks by noting that it was an “awesome, exciting, uneventful day.”

“In this day and age, to make it uneventful takes a little bit more work and a little bit more (strength) of will, so to speak,” said Petersen, who has now signed three recruiting classes at UW. “Because there’s a lot of good players here that were recruited by a lot of people, and just to keep the drama out of it and stay true to what they decided to do — we’re really proud of those guys.”

It’s a small class — the Huskies signed 25 players last season and 22 the year before — because they have so few outgoing seniors, and that changed the process a bit, Petersen said. Coaches had to be more selective about whom they chose to offer a scholarship.

“It’s a little bit different because you’re starting to make some decisions early on, and that’s why we always say this recruiting thing is a two-way street: When a kid commits to us, that dramatically changes our recruiting as well,” Petersen said. “You don’t have all these extra scholarships. It’s like, OK. We are locked in now. If somebody comes down the pike, so be it. We’ve already committed to this guy. So you have to make good decisions, and a lot of times you’ve got to make them early.”

Petersen seems to think those decisions were made prudently. UW signed eight offensive players (a quarterback, two running backs, two receivers, two offensive linemen and a tight end), nine defensive players (four defensive backs, two linebackers and three defensive lineman) and punter Van Soderberg from Capital High.

The haul includes five in-state players — Soderberg, Bellevue defensive back Isaiah Gilchrist, Tahoma defensive lineman Amandre Williams, Eastside Catholic linebacker Brandon Wellington and Sehome High safety Taylor Rapp — and eight players rated by Scout.com as four-star prospects.

They didn’t get every highly rated in-state prospect — Lake Stevens quarterback Jacob Eason, one of the most coveted players in the country, signed with Georgia — but continued their trend of keeping most of the state’s best talent home.

“I think everybody wants to go where football is important, not just on this campus but in this town,” Petersen said. “I think they see that and feel that. They grow up, they see the Seahawks. They see about the Huskies on TV. And if we can continue to take steps in the right way, everybody loves a winner. And if they grow up seeing the Huskies win and win and win, that starts really getting this ball rolling, and that’s how it should be. Kids around here should want to stay here and play for their hometown school.”

As of Wednesday night, Scout.com rated the Huskies’ class the 29th-best in the country, a rating likely lowered by the fact they signed only 18. 247sports.com ranks UW’s class 36th, and Rivals.com puts it at No. 38.

Petersen has never been one for ratings — he admitted Wednesday that working at Boise State for eight seasons and winning with underrated talent put a chip on his shoulder — but praised his coaching staff for assembling what appears to be a well-rounded group.

“I can’t tell you how many miles we traveled and how hard these guys worked and how much research they had done,” Petersen said. “I think it really turned out how we were hoping it would. I think there’s really good balance of where the kids came from.”

Christian Caple: 253-597-8437, @ChristianCaple

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