Commitment Impact - Korey Durkee

Gig Harbor Head Coach Darren McKay had his concerns about Rogers of Puyallup; on paper the Rams were better than the Tides. But as it turned out, GH had a secret weapon, special teams equalizer named Korey Durkee.

Durkee kicked a 47-yard field goal without a tee, as well as two 50-yard punts, a successful onside kick, and two touchbacks. It wasn't enough, as Rogers eventually outlasted the Tides 28-24, but McKay knew the value of Durkee's substantial contribution.

"It really kept us in the game," he said, matter-of-factly.

After Durkee hit the ceiling of the Dempsey Indoor facility twice during Washington's Rising Stars camp in June, UW Head Coach envisioned Durkee bringing his game-changing leg to Montlake when he offered him a scholarship. With connections to Washington through his sister, as well as former UW placekicker Ryan Perkins, it didn't take long for Durkee to verbally commit his future to the Huskies.

"If Washington offered him, that's where he wanted to go," said McKay.

So what exactly is Washington getting in Durkee? To begin with, they are getting a specialist whose best days are clearly ahead of him. Durkee just started specializing as a kicker a year ago, but still plays soccer - his first passion. Oregon State and Air Force were both very high on Durkee after he went to a kicking camp in Florida in the winter and did well, prompting inquiries from SEC schools like LSU and Alabama asking him to come kick at their one-day camps.

"All the coaches said that as good as he is, he's still pretty raw," McKay said. "Field position is a big thing. People who know football understand how that changes drastically when you have a guy who can put the ball within the 10-yard line. He can boom it. When you hit the ceiling of the Dempsey Indoor twice…there's some power in that leg."

In some ways, it was a piece of good fortune for the Huskies that a quality specialist lived so close to campus; with punters Kiel Rasp and Will Mahan graduating after the 2011 season, Washington had to be right on with their next choice.

"To get offered right out of high school, it's still something that doesn't have very often," McKay said of punters. "If Korey played linebacker, he would have had multiple offers; but because he was a specialist and those guys can't miss on that, they were understandably careful."

Because of his size (6-4, 204) and speed (5.02 40), Durkee had some of the physical traits you see in Pac-12 linebackers, which adds to his versatility in college. Opposing schools will have to account for the fact that he could take off at any time. McKay hasn't explored that option with Durkee quite yet, something the senior-to-be reminds him of all the time.

"When people come to see him, I'd tell them that he's not going to look like a kicker to you," McKay said. "When you first look at him, he looks like a professional punter."

Durkee was named's No. 1 punter from the West region, as well as the No. 2 PK/P combo, and he was selected to the 2011 Kohl's National Underclassman Challenge. As a junior, Durkee was an All-Area pick at kicker and punter, and also Narrows League 1st Team kicker/punter two years in a row. Even though he'll be counted on as the Huskies' number-one punting option the moment he steps on campus, it's conceivable he could be used in other ways.

"Having that ability makes him attractive," McKay said of Durkee's versatility. "He could be a kicker if needed, as well as a kickoff guy because that takes a big power leg swing. He could also be your long-distance field goal guy. He's made seven 40-plus field goals for us that last two years. We feel like any time we get to the 20-yard line, we're going to score points."

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