DawgmanRadio: Barton/Johnson

BELLEVUE - Chris Fetters was at Interlake High School Sunday to check out Barton Football's Winter Showcase - one last chance for seniors to be seen by Division-2 and DIII coaches. It was also a great opportunity to talk with Taylor Barton and Northwest Elite Index's Jordan Johnson about the state of NW Football, Chris Petersen's effect on in-state recruiting, as well as get a Vegas 7-on preview.

Where is the NW right now for 2015 and 2016 in terms of talent? - "I really feel like the Northwest has taken a step to the next level. I feel like, for a long time, the Northwest - people, parents, kids - felt like it was maybe not as respected as it should have been. When you look back in it in hindsight, it didn't fully deserve the respect that it wanted, and it does now. You see it with kids training around the year now with so much more purpose. They've got such great strength training programs now and you see the growth of these kids - not only physically but mentally. There's so much more advanced in their knowledge of the game and they way they are doing things fundamentally - so it's really fun to watch.

"These next couple classes - as you've said - have a chance to be really special. A lot of the top guys weren't even out here today, and that group was better was better than 5-10 years ago where all the best kids would have been. So it's just shifted so much and it's fun…we're on the grassroots level in all this so we're seeing all the kids at a young age, we're seeing them develop. It's fun to see kids that work so hard and put so much time in it get rewarded."

What do you see out of Chris Petersen and the in-state classes compared to Sarkisian, and what do you see out of that relationship between Washington and the in-state prospects going forward? - "Truthfully, there's not even a comparison. It's in totally different ballparks what Sark did here and what Petersen has done in the brief time he's been here. You saw Petersen and his staff have laid the foundation of really making this a priority to recruit. They saw the benefits by getting (Kaleb) McGary and Budda Baker. They are going to really going to see the benefits two, three, four years down the line because over the last few years young kids almost kind of grew up feeling bitter towards Washington. We heard it from kids and families and even high school coaches, because they felt like…'we don't have even have a chance, U-Dub's not going to look at us. The answer is in Cali and Florida and Texas'.

"With Petersen and his staff now, it's a totally different vibe and buzz because kids and families now are going…'Man, U-Dub is the spot. They are going to give us a shot. Now can I earn that scholarship, or not?'. All the kids and families in this region have wanted is just an opportunity. Look here first, and if you don't like what you see then go other places, as compared to look other places and try and get your kids, and if you don't land 'em, then come back home. I think that's the big difference. That's what we've seen and I think they are going to really reap the benefits of that over the next few years."

Can Petersen and this UW staff recruit against the big boys in the Pac-12? - "First off, I think people saw the answer in Kaleb McGary and Budda Baker. They came in, and here's one kid that's already committed to another rival Pac-12 school that's beat up on you the last few years in recruiting in Oregon, and Kaleb McGary - who could have gone anywhere in the country. They've put the priority out there, and that's going to be the thing for the kids and the families of this area. Petersen and his staff are going to be able to recruit against anybody. What they did at Boise State was pretty incredible. Now Boise State and U-Dub are different; no disrespect to Boise State, but a lot of times you're not going to be recruiting the same players. So Boise State, they had to go identify some kids that maybe some other schools weren't as high on, but were maybe lower on radars that they saw that this kid has some potential and we need to develop 'em.

"Now, at Washington with Petersen, now they are going to be able to identify those type of players that are higher profile players and still develop them. Kids and high school coaches and families are going to see that too. I think it's going to be amazing the drive from people to Petersen and his staff. It's going to be very magnetic. They are going to want to go there because they are going to see, first off - here's a guy that runs things the right way. He's a stand-up individual. I heard from so many kids and families…high-profile once that were at U-Dub's Junior Day - that just could not stop speaking glowingly about what they saw and what they heard. And on top of that to know here are people that are going to offer me and see my talent and evaluate me, and whether I have no offers or fifty offers, they are going to come in and offer if they like me, and they are going to be able to develop me - because in college recruiting there are some coaches and some staffs that can recruit - they always have top classes - but they never have a top team. And then there's staffs that never have a top recruiting class, but always have a top team because they develop so well.

"Now with Petersen at U-Dub, with their facilities and the name and brand they have, the type of player they can get in the door with, and now he can lay it out to them what he believes in, how they are running their program, and show them - the proof is in the pudding - here's how we've developed players over the last few years. That's why I think he's the best guy they could have hired and I think he's going to absolutely incredible things."

To listen to the full 17-minute interview with Taylor Barton and Jordan Johnson, click on the link HERE

For more information on Barton Football, click HERE
For more information on Northwest Elite Index, click HERE
To find out more on Pylon's Elite 7v7 tournament, to be held March 15 and 16 in Las Vegas, click HERE

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