In the last edition we took a look at the recruits Sarkisian has gotten to verbally commit from the state of California. This time we will look at the in-state recruits.
Washington may not be a recruiting hotbed like California, Texas, and Florida, but it has always been extremely important for the University of Washington to lock up the state.
The state has witnessed some great football players at the high school level in Washington, but a lot have opted to play their college ball out of state. Sarkisian has done a good job thus far putting a figurative fence around the state, with the notable exception of Jake Heaps.
This year here isn’t that big name recruits for the state, but there is solid talent and Sarkisian and his staff are aggressively trying to get those players to wear the purple and gold.
Dexter Charles— 6’5”, 290 lbs.
Charles is the top line prospect out of Washington for the 2011 class. He played on both sides of the ball as a junior, but he projects as an offensive lineman at the college level.
He earned second team all league honors, and he was also being recruited by Arizona and Washington State.
He has good size and quick feet, and is a good pick up for a position that could always use big bodies. He was previously thought to be waiting for Oregon to offer, but after seeing Sarkisian’s uptempo practice, and the familiarity of home, Charles knew he was going to Washington.
Tanela Tupou— 6’2”, 260 lbs.
For in-state players a large draw to the local school is the ability to stay close to family. That is certainly the case for Tupou who has a large family living in the area, as well as being a relative of a former UW lineman Siupeli Malamala.
Tupou is the top rated defensive line prospect in the state, and has been rated four stars by the Scout.com recruiting service. He has good size and speed, a 4.8 40-yard dash, and should make an impact for Washington.
He does plan on leaving for his mission, Tupou is of LSDS faith, after his freshman season and then returning to Washington to finish his eligibility.
Evan Zegar— 6’2”, 201 lbs.
Zegar is going to be listed as from Las Vegas, but he falls into the Washington State’s prospects category as he played his junior season for state champion Skyline. Although he will be moving back to Las Vegas for family reasons, he is sold on playing his college days for the Huskies.
This is great news for Washington as Zegar is a big, physical, and athletic guy at the safety position. During the 2009 season he produced 55 tackles, four interceptions, four blocked punts, and a blocked field goal. Those numbers were good enough to earn him both first team all king-co honors as well as first team all-state 4a honors. He is also listed as a top 300 prospect for scout.
By committing to Washington, Zegar is following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather who played their college ball in Seattle. Despite the fact Zegar was starting to get a strong recruiting push from schools around the country, Washington was the offer he was waiting for and he looks to be a solid commit for the 2011 class.
For Washington having so many prospects committed this early in the process is a new thing. Part of it is the culture of recruiting, you are seeing some schools nearly fill their whole class before the season begins, and is partially due to the recruiting philosophy of Sarkisian.
That philosophy, which is drastically different from the previous regime, shows a staff who recruits with boundless energy.
By getting in the ear of lesser known prospects before they are big names, Sarkisian and his staff can build a sense of loyalty with the athlete. A good example being Brendon Bigelow, who is receiving offers from a ton of big name schools, but Washington made a big impression in offering while he was injured.
It will be interesting for Washington fans to watch and see if these verbal commits end up signing to play in Seattle, and to see who else Sarkisian can get to come play their college ball in Seattle.
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