2017 Santa Barbara P Joel Whitford has committed to play for Washington

In a bit of a surprise, Washington has added a JUCO punter, Santa Barbara's Joel Whitford, to the 2017 class...


Whitford confirmed to Dawgman.com that he committed to Washington earlier today.

"I actually came up for a visit on Saturday and they watched me kick at their kicking camp on Sunday," Whitford told Dawgman.com. "They liked what they saw from me and so they actually offered me there and I committed on the spot.

"The coaches said I should go home and make sure and think about it, so when I got home, I took some time to think about it, but it was really a no-brainer for me to commit there. 

"It's a beautiful campus and a great program and they gave me the chance to come in and contribute right away when I enroll there in January."

Whitford plans to redshirt this season to save a year of eligibility, so he will have three years to play three once he arrives.

The 6'4", 215-pounder, who hails from Australia, handled punting duties this year for the Vaqueros where he finished with an average of 37.6 yards on 47 punts while leading the state with 23 dropped inside the 20 and received First Team All-Conference honors

"I am a former rugby player, so I have the 'rugby style' down pretty well," Whitford said. "I can do directional and regular punting pretty well and I am 22 right now, so I think the coaches liked that I was a bit older and had spent some time playing at the collegiate level already."

As a youth, Whitfield grew up in Victoria and he said it hasn't been a tough transition from Down Under to the states.

"They're pretty similar actually," Whitford noted. "I mean, the food is a little different and there's a few other things, but for the more part, it hasn't been that hard.

"I was part of Prokick down in Australia. The best way to describe it is that it's an academy where guys can go and get used to playing American Football and we can possibly get recruited to go to four-year or two-year schools. I had to go to a two-year school to finish up my AA degree, so that's why I needed to stay a few more months and that's why I'll enroll at Washington in January."

We'll have more on Whitfield in the future as he works toward finishing up his degree and he takes an official visit during the fall.

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