Huskies High on Dissly

When Will Dissly started to get attention for his football exploits, he was a sophomore at Bozeman High School. Now a senior, the 6-foot-5, 260-pound athlete is considered by many to be the best football player in the state of Montana. But ever since 10th grade Dissly had goals, and one of those goals has taken on special relevance this week.

"I made a couple trips to Seattle, just touring - watching Mariners games," Dissly told "As a sophomore I set it as a goal to get recruited by a big-time school and was the goal schools were Washington and Wisconsin. They have great tight end programs and I was a tight end as a sophomore. It kind of changed with me playing defensive end, but they were always kind of a goal school when I started to play in high school."

"I think Dissly can play on either side of the ball," added Bozeman Head Coach Troy Purcell, who also noted that Will is only 17 right now. "He's going to have a great career as a defensive end but he could have maybe even a better opportunity at tight end with his ability to catch the ball and make plays. Either way, if he gets recruited as a defensive end or as a tight end it's a great opportunity to excel and move forward. His upside is phenomenal."

Steve Sarkisian and the old Husky staff recruited only one Bozeman player for 2014 - linebacker Grant Collins - so Dissly checked out his other options. Boise State came on his radar, and he immediately became a fan of head coach Chris Petersen, Defensive Coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, and the Broncos. So much, in fact, that he verbally committed to BSU in early December after taking an official visit to Boise.

Just days later, Petersen bolted for Seattle and UW. It was a shock to many, and Dissly was among the group surprised that Pete jumped to the Pac-12. "Yeah, it threw a little curveball," said Dissly. "I didn't think he was going to leave Boise State. I talked to him a couple of times about it and he seemed like that was the place for him, but Chris Petersen is a really good guy, real honest. He made a decision like every other football player that's being recruited out of high school has to do - he made a decision that was the best for his family and he felt like the move was the right thing to do. I completely respect what he did. I guess it doesn't happen very often but it's a unique situation."

Dissly told Dawgman that in the days after Petersen's departure he was in limbo, unsure what to do. "I was kind of in a waiting period," he said. "I didn't know who he was going to take with him and I was kind of waiting to see who Boise hired - stuff like that. From that point I wasn't really looking to open up my recruitment but I was trying to see what was going to happen with the whole situation - just wait it out."

In the beginning Petersen, Kwiatkowski and Andy Avalos were recruiting Dissly to BSU. Avalos is still at Boise State now under new BSU Head Coach Bryan Harsin, while Kwiatkowski has joined Petersen in Seattle.

"I'm still committed to Boise right now, but you could say…I don't know how to really put this, but it's a weak commitment," said Dissly. "It's a re-decision. I'm still very fond of Boise State and Bryan Harsin is a great guy - I've talked to him a couple times here. But coach Petersen has shown some interest in me from the University of Washington so they are kind of on the radar as well. I'm going to take a visit to Washington in late January and check it out. So that's where I am right now."

Dissly confirmed that he will be taking an official visit to Washington this coming weekend. He also confirmed that both Petersen and Kwiatkowski reached out to him once they got to Seattle to gauge interest.

"I have talked to them a couple times," he said. "They are just trying to see what I'm thinking. I'm sure it's hectic down there; I kind of got that vibe that it was a little hectic with the new coach trying to do everything that he needs to do and having new players and his new staff and trying to get all that running…so I think they are just now starting to recruit."

Most schools are recruiting Dissly as a defensive player, despite the fact that he's also a very talented tight end. "I'm just looking to play," he said when asked if he had a position preference. "It doesn't matter to me whether I play defensive end or tight end. I think I'm probably better at defensive end but I love scoring touchdowns too. That's always fun."

The new Husky staff has offered Dissly a scholarship. What was Will's first thought when he knew he had an offer from 'goal' school? "It was a real honor when coach Petersen told me he wanted me to come up with him," he said. "It's pretty amazing that coming from the Mountain West - and that's no disrespect to the Mountain West, but going to the Pac-12 is a level changer. It's an honor that he's willing to take some of his recruits and move them to the next level. It's an honor that he thinks that highly of me. That was my first thought. And then I thought about my commitment to Boise, so that's when I thought I needed to re-evaluate the whole situation."

Dissly also confirmed that he has no other official visits planned at this point. So the reality is that since Petersen has moved from Boise to Seattle, it's going to come down to another Idaho-Washington battle for a recruit's services.

"I'm going to have to get down there (to Seattle) to see what it's like and then I'm going to have to do what I did the first time I made my decision - I'm going to weigh my options and see what's the best fit for me," Dissly said when asked about his plan for recruiting going forward. "I think there's a lot of positives for both schools. It's a good problem to have, I guess. It's exciting."

What have Petersen and Kwiatkowski been telling Dissly of their new purple and gold digs? "They've been talking how it's a really good school, and I already knew that," he said. "They are fired up that it's a new opportunity for them and a whole new ballgame. They are just trying to do what's best."

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