Walter-White still committed

Jimmy Lake made a couple of calls before cleaning out his desk last week. The former Washington corners coach had been recruiting Keno Walter-White, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound cornerback from San Diego (Calif.) Mesa College. Lake had some advice to give to Walter-White, who had verbally committed to UW back in July.

"I was bummed about that," Walter-White told about Lake's dismissal. "He had a good recruiting style and he's a real cool dude. That's how it goes, and I've accepted it. He told me to still go to Washington because it's a great school and he's encouraged me to go to Washington. He said it's a great school, a great place to play football and a good place to be - a good environment. I believe him.

"It was surprising. He was very positive about Washington and Coach Willingham. He said that the program is going to get turned back around and told me that I would be a part of something great."

Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Colorado have all called since Walter-White found out about the termination of nearly all the coaches he thought he would be playing for, and has even taken official visits to Stillwater and Tempe. "It picked up a lot, it got intense," Keno said of the recruiting process. "It's still intense. I've got a lot of decisions to make with all the old coaches gone from Washington, but they've got a great coach there now. When I take my trip up that's really going to help me make my final decision."

Walter-White had nothing but good things to say about Oklahoma State and Arizona State. "It was a small town, good people - a good family environment," he said of his Stillwater trip. "I just wanted to see what it was like to get away from home and be in a small community, and it was a great visit. I had a great time up there. The coaches are real cool. It was a good learning experience."

"At Arizona State, they have a great track program and football program. Coach Jackson is a cool guy and the corners coach played in the NFL."

That being said, Walter-White was emphatic about his verbal commitment to Washington, shooting down any stories that might have had him committed to Arizona State after his official visit there. "I just found that out yesterday, but I did not commit to Arizona State," he said. "I called them up to let 'em know what I'm thinking, and they know I didn't commit. And the coaches up there (at Washington) know I called too and I'm talking to more coaches because they let coach (Jimmy) Lake go.

"I am still committed to the Huskies. When I go up there for my visit, that's where I'll get my feel for everything and see the head coach. I don't know what coaches are going to be there. I don't know who my coach will be and whether or not he'll like my style of play. That kind of stuff plays a factor. I want to make sure that they are comfortable with me, so I can just be me."

Walter-White also wanted it known that, while they had the opportunity to engage in negative recruiting tactics, none of the schools he's talked with have exploited Washington's current situation. "I was surprised, but no," he said. "With the two schools that I'm looking at - and KU (Kansas) too - none of them really talked negative about Washington. They said that it happens sometimes, you have a hard year and they will have to bounce back. All of them were exceptionally positive, saying Pac-10 teams are all good teams. They weren't downgrading anybody. But they didn't talk too long about it, because they wanted me to know more about them instead."

Come January 7th, it'll be Walter-White's turn to find out about the new-look Huskies. "When I get back home, that's when I'll make my decision final," he said. "If everything still goes like I think it will, I'll be going to Washington. I went to other schools and that sways you in different ways because you see other stuff that's going on, but as far as being committed - I'm still committed to Washington."

He hasn't spoken with Willingham yet. "I know it's busy because of the holiday season and I don't think he can call anyways because it's the dead period," he said.

"I'm done with school for the quarter and I'm just waiting for the next one to come up so I can get my associate's degree. I walk in May and I'll be signing in February with three years to play two. I'm ready to play ball. I'm anxious."

Walter-White had 2 interceptions for Mesa in 2004. "They didn't throw to my side much," he said. "I had a good lock-down year." He also had 10 kickoff returns for 325 yards.

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