Trip Report - Olympia Capital Punter Van Soderberg 

Van Soderberg is a 6-0, 199-pound punter from Capital High School in Olympia, and Soderberg verbally committed to play for Washington back in early August. This past weekend he took his official visit to Montlake and talked to Dawgman.com about the visit. 

"It was fun but it was tiring," Van Soderberg told Dawgman.com Sunday afternoon. "Coach Pete (Chris Petersen) talked about his 'Built for Life' program and we took a tour of the facilities and the stadium and we got to go out and got to know our hosts and teammates."

Soderberg got in Friday afternoon and had a social night with the other recruits, coaches and hosts at Husky Stadium. Soderberg's host on his official visit was redshirt freshman snapper A.J. Carty. 

"He told me he's really enjoying it," Soderberg said of Carty's college experience so far. "It's kind of a new thing for him being from California but he's really enjoying it and he said he's looking forward to being with me for the next four years snapping.

"He's going to be there the next four years to snap to me, so it was really great to get to know him a little bit better. I also saw Cameron (Van Winkle) over the weekend as well and it was just great to get to know those guys more one-on-one outside of football."

Linebackers Coach Bob Gregory is taking over Jeff Choate's role as Special Teams Coordinator, and Soderberg had a chance to talk to Gregory this weekend. "He's a great guy," Soderberg said of Gregory. "I really liked his ideas for the future for schemes and stuff. I think it'll be great. I think special teams as a unit is definitely on the rise."

So what was the highlight of Soderberg's official visit? "Saturday night we went up to the Space Needle and had dinner," he said. "It was my first time up there, a lot of guys' first time. We got to see the city with the lights, it was a great night. That was probably the highlight.

"They had a lot of current players there that night too as hosts. I couldn't name them up there, but they had Benning (Potoa'e) up there, Michael Neal was up there, Dante (Pettis) was up there. They had a lot of guys up there mixed in with the recruits that they could talk to about the future next year and hopefully the next four years."

Soderberg definitely took notice of what was going on at Montlake this fall, especially after his verbal commitment. "I was impressed," he said. "A lot of people said that it might be a rebuilding year because all the NFL guys left, but I thought they did a great job. I think a college football playoff (game) is definitely a possibility at least once - if not more - in the next couple years."

Soderberg also had a chance to catch up with Coach Pete. "I saw him briefly," he said. "There were nine of us (recruits) up there so he had to split his time, kind of had to move around. But I was able to talk to him a little bit. He was excited and he wanted to touch base before I head up there at the end of March."

Soderberg confirmed his plan to enroll at Washington in time for spring quarter, which means he will be able to participate in spring football. "I have nine days of school left down here (at Capital) and then I will be up there March 28th," he said. "I finish the first semester down here and then since they are on the quarter system I wasn't able to enroll until spring quarter. So as far as our schedules lining up, March was the earliest I could get up there."

So what is Soderberg going to do to stay busy when he is done at Capital? "(UW) are going to send me down some conditioning and workout stuff as soon as I sign, so I'll do some kicking, keep working out, maybe take a week off and go somewhere nice," he said. "Then get ready to start my college football season."

Soderberg already has a thought when going to 'somewhere nice'. "I'd like to go back to Hawaii," he said. "I used to live there (Maui), my family used to live there when I was in Kindergarten through third grade. I'd like to go back and see the island and see how much it's changed."


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