Washington commit counting the days

Nathan Rhodes is a 6-7, 300-pound offensive lineman from Bakersfield (Calif.) East, and now that Nathan has been verbally committed to Washington since before Christmas, the calls that were once inundating his home have suddenly disappeared.

"It feels great," Rhodes told Dawgman.com today. "I'm really glad I decided when I did. Since that day, the phone calls have really slowed down and it's made life a lot easier. It was overwhelming and very stressful before I decided, but now I can just kick back and have fun again."

Nathan does admit that he gets the occasional call or letter, but for him the recruiting process is over. "It's been over ever since I cancelled my trips to Michigan and Nebraska," he said. "They were they only other schools I was looking at that I hadn't visited. I've gotten a call from Oregon State, but I was never going to take a trip up there anyways. And Notre Dame has been sending me letters. That's it."

For the most part, the only coaches Rhodes has seen lately are the ones from Montlake. "Coach Heater has come by a few times and Coach Myers came down once," Nathan said. "And Coach Neuheisel too. Coach Heater came by last weekend just to back up a lot of the things they were saying about the school, the academics, the housing. Things like that. He also told me what to expect on signing day."

Will Rhodes make a road trip to Seattle to see the Spring Game? "I'm not sure," he said. "My grandparents are taking a trip up there to see the area and check it all out. I might go with them." One thing he is doing is acting as a bit of an ambassador for the program. To that end, Nathan has been doing his part to sell the merits of Washington. His main target? Lorenzo Booker.

"Yeah, I've been talking to some players," he said. "I'd say my personal project is Lorenzo Booker. We talk a little bit. He isn't at all what I expected him to be. Being the number one player in the country I thought he would pretty cocky, a jerk, but he isn't like that at all. But when I call or when I've talked to him before, he's really taken the time to talk to me and we talk about a lot more than just football."

While you would expect Rhodes to lay on the charm with Booker, it's not happening. "I would never tell him where to go," he said. "He wanted to know about my trips and I wanted to know about his trips. We don't talk very much about where he wants to go."

If he had to guess, Nathan still couldn't tell you where Lorenzo will go to school. "I really think that he'll go where his Mom wants him to go," he said. "But I also know his Mom loves him a lot and they'll make the decision together as a family."

Right now, Rhodes has hung up the cleats and is lacing up his Chuck Taylors as a part of East's hoops squad. "I play forward," he said. "We run a two-forward, three guard set. I've been playing whole games, but my basketball legs aren't quite there yet." Nathan's averaging 9 points and 6 boards per contest.

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