Trip Report - Ralph Kinne

Shelton running back Ralph Kinne was bushed from a full weekend in Seattle after his official visit to the University of Washington, but was still enthused to talk about his visit and the school he'll be attending in the summer.

"I'm definitely going to U-Dub," Kinne told Sunday night after he returned to Shelton from his official visit. "I stopped looking. BYU got in contact in me and I already told them."

Kinne is LDS and wants to serve his mission but will probably do it after he finishes up his eligibility.

Why is it Kinne is dead-set on attending Washington even though he'll have to start his career out as a regular paying student? "Just the atmosphere and the coaches," he said. "The coaches are so nice…awesome."

Johnny Nansen recently moved to the offensive side of the ball to take over the running back duties left by the departure of Joel Thomas to Arkansas. Thomas was the one recruiting Kinne to Montlake, but the Shelton senior is thrilled to have Nansen taking over as his future position coach.

"Coach Nansen came up to me and was up front with me," he said about his talk with Nansen during his official visit. "He told me where he plans on me being, competing for a starting position hopefully and moving up the depth chart year-by-year and hopefully maybe one day start. Being Samoan, my parents really bonded with him. That was something that really drew me in was how he was as a coach. He's a really down-to-earth guy and he really understands where I'm at and understands why I chose to walk-on at U-Dub."

Kinne also mentioned the players as another big reason why he already feels comfortable at Washington. "The players, like Shaq (Thompson) and Bishop (Sankey), they made me feel like a teammate already," he said. "It's so family-oriented team, and that's what I want to be a part of."

Kinne's player-host was a relative - Psalm Wooching. Wooching and Kinne are third cousins. "He said his first year he was very happy with his decision and if he was in my spot he would do the same thing knowing what's happened to him," Kinne said of Wooching's advice regarding Washington. "There's a lot of opportunities at U-Dub. He just told me to keep my running up. They get you in your best form, so that's what I'm going to do."

Was there anything else that was a highlight of Kinne's official visit? "The stadium, man," he said. "That place is going to be rockin'. And the new training and weight room…I don't know if you can just call it a weight room because there's going to be so many other things, like the protein bar. That stood out to me. And to be a part of this transformation and to be a part of this new stadium and to be a part of this new legacy is great."

At 5-foot-10 and 215 pounds, Kinne is not your everyday walk-on. He ran for more yards than anyone else in Washington football - 2400 - and scored 30 touchdowns as a senior for the Highclimbers. His Shelton teammate, David Ajamu, is a fellow UW commit. He also visited Washington this weekend, although his was an unofficial visit since he had taken his official visit earlier in the recruiting process.

"He was there," Kinne said of Ajamu. "I didn't really see him at all. The only time I saw him was when I was with my host and he was hanging out at Austin's (Seferian-Jenkins') house."

So what is Kinne going to do on Wednesday? It's the first day of the signing period for football, and although Kinne isn't signing a letter of intent he is going to be signing nonetheless. "Me and Ryan (Turman) are signing an agreement letter they are sending," Kinne said. "It's kind of like a letter of intent, but not a full letter.

"Our athletic director will bring David and me into their office along with other players that are going off to college. We're going to have a little ceremony at the high school."

Kinne added that he plans on having a party with his family later in the day.

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