Gaskin Goes In-Depth

He knew a week ago he wanted to be a Husky, so Sunday night Myles Gaskin and his family went to UW for a pre-arranged meeting to speak with Chris Petersen and running backs coach Keith Bhonapha. Ten minutes into a 45-minute chat, he broke the news; he was committing to the Huskies. Dawgman.com caught up with the 5-foot-9, 185-pound running back from O'Dea Monday to go in-depth about his decision.

On the decision to commit to UW early - "Saturday night I was talking with my Mom and Dad - I gave my brother a call, he's out in Atlanta - and we talked about where I want to go to college at. We had a meeting scheduled (at UW), and I came to the conclusion to go there due to family reasons and just that the new coaching staff, I think I really clicked with them at the Junior Day.

"I came up there on Sunday for the meeting…I just want to say that it went well and went as I thought. I just wanted to make the decision then so I don't have to think about it later. I can focus on high school and my grades and trying to win a state championship for high school football."

So what was the Sunday meeting planned for? - "I think that's what the meeting was for, to try and get me on board. That's what happened."

Talking about the UW coaches making the in-state guys a priority - "That's what they were talking about throughout the meeting, for all the best recruits in Washington to stay in Washington - make it like a Washington team instead of usually a lot of California kids…start at home first."

What was your impression of UW growing up? - "Growing up, I thought they were always a great school to go to just off of academic standing, and a lot of my friends have gone there and a lot of my brother's friends have gone there and they said they liked it. Even when I was little I knew they were a great school for football. I thought as a hometown kid that's how you want to live it, playing ball."

On Junior Day being important in his eventual decision - "My coaches had already talked about the new coaching change from Sark to coach Petersen. They talked about how he's a great coach, a great person. That was an eye-opener for me. And then the Junior Day just proved it. My parents were really on-board too. So that's just another thing that made it official."

Junior Day Highlights? - "I would say he's just a real people person. You can talk to him. Some coaches that I've met, I wouldn't say that you couldn't talk to them, but you could just have a regular conversation with him. I know that if I want to go to a school for the next four years I'm going to have to have some real good conversations with these guys, and he was a real nice dude - a real nice coach. I feel like he's really about winning and really about developing a man, and I need that in my life and I'm sure everyone else does too. That's why I thought it was going to be a great school and a great fit for me."

Initial impressions of coach Bhonapha? - "A real chill, laid-back dude. I don't know how he is on the field quite yet - we'll see - but he seemed like a real nice guy. That's what I need to have around me, because that's just a good look to have a great guy around me all the time like that."

What was their pitch to you? - "They just said they wanted a hometown guy. They said they had been looking at me a lot and checking over my film and they said I could do things that could help their offense and do big things. That's what I want to do, regardless of…that's what I wanted to do. I know that it's going to be a great spot, a great fit for me."

Was the announcement a fun moment for you? - "It was a fun moment. The meeting was like 45 minutes long, but maybe in the first 10 minutes I told him that I wanted to commit. It was a fun moment for me to get that weight off my shoulders. We all stood up and he told me how fired up he was and how excited he was. I was real excited, my parents were real excited. It was a great moment and it'll stick in my mind for the rest of my life."

How did the coaches respond? - "A whole bunch of coaches came out of their offices and congratulated me, saying how much they wanted me to come there. I got to meet all the coaches, just about. I saw them at the Junior Day so I got to see them again, and it was just a great environment. They were saying how it was a great choice and stuff like that, so…"

With so much time to Signing Day, how are you going to deal with the rest of the recruiting process? - "I'm U-Dub 100 percent, so that's how I'm going to approach it. I'm with them, I made my commitment and I'm going to a man of my word and stay committed. The other schools, the other recruiters - I respect them and they are great people that I've talked to, but I only see myself in a purple and gold jersey."

So is it just a matter of saying to the other coaches, thanks but no thanks? - "Yeah, that's probably all it'll be, to be honest. Not much else needs to be said, because I know it's a business and they have jobs to do, so they have to go find the next guy. It won't be a long conversation, just thank you for everything, thank you for showing interest, and good luck."

Do you try and compare yourself to certain guys, or do you look at certain pieces of guys' games? - "I try and take bits and pieces of everyone. I look at highlight tapes of college players, NFL players, and even high school players that are playing now and try and take some of their moves and put it into practice. And if it works in practice put it in the game. I try and model myself after…I wouldn't say anyone in particular, but just moving fast, not being able to catch up. If you miss the first time, you're not catching me. That's how I want to model my game. Chris Johnson, when he had that 2,000-yard season - that's how I like to go. Or Adrian Peterson…he's fast and he can run over people."

Are there other parts of your game you're proud of that people may not pay as much attention to? - "I haven't been given the chance too much because the O'Dea offense we don't really pass the ball - but I think I can catch the ball out of the backfield a few times. But I'm really not worried about that right now. I'm just worried about being the best player that I can be in this offense at O'Dea right now. I'm going to keep on working on more explosiveness and becoming faster and quicker with my feet, because I know that there's always more room to grow no matter what you do."

Since you got this decision out of the way, how do you see yourself as a recruiter now? - "Hopefully I can just set an example, because I don't know too many people that have offers from U-Dub right now because of the new coaching change set ‘em back a little bit, but as the process goes on I'm going to try and get everyone on board that I can possibly get. I feel like they are building a great program and starting with Budda (Baker) and this class they just signed from Washington, that's a great class they just signed. If they could do that again with more people, it would be more to grow on."

What's your ideal weight when you get to college? - "Maybe 195, but I still want to run like a 10.8 in the 100. I still want to move as fast as I possibly can and be a blur to most defenders."

What is your PR right now? (100 meters) - "I ran a 10.9 my sophomore year, but I've been running indoor track and I ran a 10.71. I'm trying to run a 10.7 or a 10.6 this year."

Remind me - do you know any of the other in-state prospects UW is recruiting? - "I'm pretty sure Austin Joyner has an offer, and Chico (McClatcher) - I know he got one from them. I'm going to try and be in their ear and try and tell them to come over too…that would be a great environment to have all those guys from Washington playing at Washington."
As a bonus, we also spoke in-person with O'Dea Head Coach Monte Kohler, who was nice enough to give his impressions of Myles as a player and person, his decision to commit to the Huskies, and also his thoughts about Petersen at UW.

O'Dea Head Coach Monte Kohler:
What is UW getting as a player and person in Myles Gaskin? - "He's a great leader. The kids look up to him. He's probably the hardest worker in the program. He loves to play, he loves to compete. Yeah, he's pretty special as a person and I think he's got a chance to be the best we've ever had here at running back. He's strong, he's physical, he works hard, he's got speed, he can make people miss - he's kind of that whole package. We've had kids that were maybe a little faster or shiftier, but he kind of has everything - the physical piece, the speed piece, makes kids miss in the hole, can catch the ball. He's good."

You've had the Felders and Fogersons - who does he remind you of? - "I'd say the closest one is Jovan McCoy, and that's quite a ways ago. He graduated from here in '93 and then he went to U-Dub and hurt his shoulder and never really was a part out there."

Is there a part of his game that's underrated? - "He's got to improve everything from high school to the next level, but he's probably the strongest kid we have. He's going to be one of the fastest kids on the football team. He's going to out-work everybody. So he will improve in all areas; that's just the kind of kid he is. He's out for track, so his speed will get better."

Initial impressions on the decision, and especially the timing of the decision? - "He told me last week that he wanted to do this. I said great. We talked about why and everything he said made sense and he's excited about the opportunity to stay home, the new staff, and get it behind him now. He likes to play. He didn't want the distraction of that as he goes into his senior year as well."

Your impressions of Chris Petersen and his staff, even back to their Boise State days? - "We're excited about having them here in Seattle. What they did down in Boise is pretty impressive. One of my coaches actually played with coach Petersen in California at college and speaks highly about the kind of person and man he is. That's what you look for for your players that move on is somebody that's going to have character and will mentor them to become better people and not just better players. So we're excited about that."
And HERE is Gaskin's 2013 Football Highlights.


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