Sehome standout safety Taylor Rapp can now officially call himself a University of Washington Husky.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior with remarkably rare speed and athleticism signed a financial-aid agreement earlier this week after giving UW a verbal commitment mid-March. Rapp tweeted out a photo of him making everything official.
“It means a lot, because I have worked so hard for this,” Rapp said in a phone interview. “I knew I was going to be a Husky, but to get it on paper, it means a lot and it was very exciting. At the same time, it humbles me, and moving forward it makes me work harder now.”
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By signing the financial-aid agreement Rapp became the first official UW recruit of the 2016 Class. Rapp signed the financial papers rather than a letter of intent, because he’s planning on graduating from Sehome early so he can enroll at Washington in time for winter quarter in January.
Rapp is one of the most highly-touted college football prospects Whatcom County has produced in recent memory. He is listed as a four-star recruit on ESPN and is given a scout’s grade of 80.
Rapp garnered plenty of attention from big-time college programs. He said the top five schools he received offers from were Washington, Stanford, Oregon, Notre Dame and Arizona State.
But UW was always the Sehome senior’s top choice.
“Just staying close to home and playing in front of friends and family and getting all of the support from the community,” said Rapp when asked why he felt UW was the right choice. “And Coach Pete (Chris Petersen) and the whole coaching staff is a class act. They are creating something special, and I’m excited to hope to be a part of that.”
Rapp, who has become known for his hard-hitting, cover abilities and overall nose for the football, began gaining recognition following his sophomore year. The summer entering his junior year he attended a camp at UW, where he impressed the coaches.
And once the Huskies expressed interest, other colleges came calling, Rapp said.
“It was one of the best times of my life so far,” Rapp said. “It was a dream growing up playing big-time college football, and I dreamed I could be there one day.”
Rapp will be working with UW defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake, who Rapp said he’s struck up a strong rapport with.
“I just love the way he coaches,” Rapp said. “Coach Lake is just an amazing coach, and I love the way he teaches. He really tries to coach every kid, and Coach Pete is the same way.”
Rapp wanted to thank his parents for their immense support and his coaches, mentors and trainers for helping him get to where he is now.