“I’m the kind of person that, if I’m going to do something I’m going to be able to do it in person," Culp told Dawgman.com Saturday. "I’m not going to break up with my girlfriend over a text, you know? I’m going to say it to her face. If I was going to commit, I should do it when I have a nice time to just sit down with coach Pete face-to-face and tell him then. So that’s my philosophy on that.”
Culp originally committed to Oregon last summer before opening things back up after Mark Helfrich was fired.
Culp is rated a four-star prospect and the No. 13 tight end nationally by Scout.com.
He is Washington's seventh-known public commitment for the 2018 class, following Colson Yankoff from Coeur d'Alene. Yankoff had also committed to Oregon earlier before opening things up and then committing to Washington late last month.
“A big part of the reason I ended up decommitting from Oregon was just the fact that with the whole new coaching staff coming in I felt totally out of the loop because no one was ever in contact with me or my Mom," said Culp. "There was a big, big gap of communication where no one was talking. I talked with Coach Taggart maybe one time for like three minutes on the phone. Things like that. Communication is important to me and you’ve got to make sure that you build a relationship and make it feel like family. That’s what I feel like what coach Pete has done for me and my Mom and my family. That’s everything.”
The Huskies didn't start actively recruiting Culp until he was already solid with Oregon, but that all changed this past fall.
“I actually didn’t start talking with Washington until they came and watched me play my very first game last year against Eastside Catholic," said Culp. "After that they just fell in love with me, so they started talking with me a lot. At first it was just coach Pao (Jordan Paopao) and then it was coach Pete and then it was coach Smith. That’s kind of how that whole thing got started.”
And while he was still firmly in the Ducks' camp all season long, Washington remained a presence in the background.
“It was never really like, you need to change your mind, you need to think about it. It was all really comfortable," Culp said. "There was never really any extra pressure. I never felt pressured in any way. They just made me feel comfortable. A huge part of me wanting to commit here was the fact that it’s a huge family here and everyone genuinely cares about everyone and I really like the sense of community they provide here.”
But then when all the changes happened in Eugene and talks broke down, Washington jumped right in the middle of the frame. And Culp's interest in the Huskies continued to grow and grow over the winter. When did he know he wanted to commit?
“About a week ago, a week and a half ago," he said. "Me and my Mom talk a lot about all sorts of stuff when it comes to the recruiting process and she just made a lot of sense. A lot of things she was saying just made sense. It’s a great school. I’m going to be getting the best education I can get. The staff really cares about me and my well-being, not just about me as a football player but how I’m actually doing in school and all that. Coaches ask me how my grades are and all that stuff all the time. There’s all sorts of factors. The list goes on and on. The team treats me like I’m already part of the family, like I’m already on the team. Same with the coaches.
"My uncle who passed about a year, year and a half ago, he was a huge Dawg fan so I kind of wanted to pay tribute also to him. A lot of my family are Dawg fans. The list goes on and on. There’s so many factors that had me drawn into this program.”
Culp had a meeting with Petersen around 1:45 Saturday afternoon, and that's when Devin told coach Pete he wanted to be a Dawg. “He lit up with joy," Culp said of Pete's reaction. "He was so surprised. You could see by the look on his face. He had no idea it was coming. He was astonished. He was beyond happy.”
The Huskies like Culp as a tight end, but as one that can do multiple things. “They’ve told me they are going to work with me inside and outside a little bit.”
Did Yankoff's recent commitment to Washington play a part in Culp's decision-making? “Coincidence, I guess," he said. "We text from time to time. Now that I’m committed and we’re both solidly locked in to where we want to go to school I think we’re going to start definitely communicating more and start getting some routes going and work together in the off-season.”
Culp said he's going to get ready for football with his high school teammates in June. He also plays basketball and once that’s done he’ll get back to training for the fall.
“I was planning on attending a couple of camps and whatnot, but now that I’m solidly committed, I don’t feel the need," said Culp. "The main reason you go to camps is to get looks and get recruited and get scholarships. Now that I know Washington is the place for me and this is where I want to go I just don’t see the need at this point.”