Washington Football Recruiting: What's the Impact of Huskies' Win over Stanford?
Any time a team pulls an upset on a Top 10 team, it’s going to be a big deal. To have your loyal fanbase rush the field after the victory is cake, but to have some of the most highly regarded recruits in the nation there to watch it? Icing on the cake.
That is exactly what happened last Thursday when the Washington Huskies upset the No. 8-ranked Stanford Cardinal. Among the many people to rush the field were official visitors Chris Hawkins, DB (USC commit); Jermaine Kelly, DB (UCLA commit); Johnny Johnson, DB (uncommitted); and Washington commits Dane Crane, C, and Connor O'Brien, OLB.
While there certainly was star power in the official visitors, also unofficially visiting were Sean Constantine, MLB (Washington commit); Myles Jack, OLB (UCLA commit); and 2014 prospect Budda Baker, RB/S.
So what did the prospects think of the win over the Cardinal? What about the rest of their visit?
Well, they all have been contacted by the major recruiting sites, and trip reports have been given for them all. Let's see where they are now after their visit.
Johnny Johnson, DB
One of the three talented Fresno defensive backs (including L.J. Moore and Oklahoma commit Hatari Byrd), Johnson tripped to Seattle for his first official visit since his high school team was on bye.
Johnson was the highest-rated prospect visiting that weekend, as he's ranked the nation's sixth-best corner prospect. Even though he is a smaller corner, he already possesses great strength and has the ability to jam receivers at the line on a college level.
So what did he think?
It was no secret that, coming into the trip, his top two schools were Stanford and UCLA. After, though, it was clear that Washington made up a lot of ground, as it's now listed in his top three:
Those are my top three right now. I was looking harder at UCLA and Stanford before but Washington definitely made up some ground.
Johnson still has his Oklahoma visit lined up, but it is safe to say that it still will come down to those three schools.
If I had to pick right now? I would say he signs with Stanford, on the exception of course that he gets in. I have no idea what his grades are, and I know Stanford is the Harvard of the West, but with a talent such as Johnson it will do all it can to get him in. I base this on an interview he gave saying, "Stanford is probably the safest pick, but all the schools are pretty equal."
Chris Hawkins, DB
For recruits this year I don't think there is a more ironic last name than Hawkins, because he is an absolute ball-hawk. He has a nose for the ball in the air and has fantastic body control to make plays all over the field.
So what was the USC commit doing at Washington?
Apparently the USC coaches actually encouraged him to take them, just to make sure he felt comfortable with his decision.
Is it just me or does that sound off? That sounds like something you would say to a player you don't want anymore, which in theory would make a little sense since the Trojans do have a full class in accordance to their sanctions. Yet, they are still recruiting other prospects from this class.
So how did Hawkins like his visit to Washington? He liked it a lot, but was it enough to make him reconsider his commitment to the Trojans?
"I'm still 100% committed to the University of Southern California," Hawkins said emphatically. "I'm all Trojan."
That being said, he still is taking trips to Notre Dame, Arizona State, Cal and USC for last.
So, the question is, will he still end up a Trojan? Gun to the head, I say yes. Despite the fact that USC is looking at many other prospects at the position, the fact of the matter is it did not sign a true corner last recruiting class, and its only other CB commit, Jalen Ramsey, is taking officials as well.
With all that going on, I would hope that is enough for USC to honor his commitment.
Jermaine Kelly, DB
Before committing to UCLA, Kelly was down to the Bruins and Washington.
In the end, the Bruins won out—or did they?
Kelly was absolutely raving about his experience, from the crowd to his relationship with the coaches, talking with the academic advisers and his relationship with the players as well.
But was it enough to change his mind?
Probably not. To Kelly, the only difference he feels is the distance (although he said that would not matter). Unless something happens with the coaches at UCLA, it somehow starts losing the rest of its games or it cuts ties with Kelly, it should have no problem holding onto him.
However, Washington is certainly not going to give up easily.
Dane Crane, C
Crane has been committed to Washington for quite some time now, and the visit only secured his commitment even more.
His hosts were Erik Kohler and Mike Criste, and when Crane had some questions, they gave answers.
We talked a lot about what it was like being a player there and what the coaches are like. They answered all my questions and just made me feel at home. It was a really great experience.
Crane will not be taking any more visits, as his commitment is completely secure.
Connor O'Brien, OLB
Teammates with Crane, O'Brien also committed to the Huskies during their Junior Day in April.
How secure is O'Brien's commitment? One could assume it's very secure just by looking at the title of the ESPN trip report on him: "O'Brien: UW visit 'best week of my life.'"
Needless to say, he is happy with his decision, and he too will not be taking any other trips.
Myles Jack, OLB and Budda Baker, ATH
Nothing too earth shattering to report on the two, but interesting to note: After they rushed the field and were getting ready to leave, coach Tosh Lupoi shouted to them, "What are you waiting for?"
Washington has been after Jack hot recently, and the UCLA commit definitely has been looking at it hard again. Jack does plan on taking officials (via Scout.com subscription) to schools including Washington, Oregon and UCLA.
If I had to guess, I would say Jack does flip to Washington. He clearly likes the staff and the thought of playing with his friend and teammate Sean Constantine (current commit) as well as Jake Eldrenkamp, who signed with the Huskies last February.
Plus, the 20-minute drive from Bellevue to Seattle is a lot closer than the 2.5-hour plane ride, and while he isn't a Washington native (originally from Georgia), it is his home now and may be enough of a reason to stay.
Baker, on the other hand, has a long way to go before making his decision, but the talented junior is ranked No. 39 in the nation overall, according to 247Sports, and he already sports offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Colorado, Notre Dame, Oregon State, Purdue, UCLA, Utah, Washington and Washington State as well as heavy interest from Alabama, Cal, Florida, Oregon and Stanford.