Compton LB is done

It's been a long journey, but it finally came to an end today as Compton LB/DE Anthony Atkins gave his verbal pledge to Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham. What seemed like a done deal only weeks ago looked anything but certain for the 6-3, 255-pounder as he took a visit last weekend to Central Florida University. He spoke on the reason for the delay in his commitment and what his plans are as a Husky.

"I really wanted to wait for my family to meet coach Willingham and to see why I like Washington so much," Atkins told Dawgman.com shortly after his visit with Willingham had concluded. "My mom was really impressed with him and so was I."

Atkins had initially said he favored Washington back in October and seemed like a lock to join the Dawgs when he officially visited Montlake on December 2nd, but that didn't happen and many felt he might be wavering on his initial interest in the Huskies. That couldn't be further from the truth.

"I've liked the Huskies for a while," Atkins said. "Coach (Eric) Yarber recruited me out of high school and I think he's a great man. (Willingham) just took it to another level for me. I just really respect the man."

So what was the coach's reaction when Atkins committed to him?

"He just stood up, shook my hand and gave me a hug," Atkins said with a smile in his voice. "He said ‘you just made us that much better'. Now I'm just ready to get down to it and win some games."

Winning is something that has been elusive for the Husky football program these past two seasons, but Atkins said he sees no reason the Huskies can't win right away.

"I'm not going to a program to lose," Atkins said. "I plan on winning right away and I know we can. They are bringing in some great athletes up there and I'm another piece to the puzzle. I can't wait to get up there and start making plays.

"I want to tell Husky fans that we're about ready to bring the Husky program back to prominence. We are going to win and we are going to make them proud of us. I'm ready and I can't wait to get there."

Atkins will sign his letter of intent on December 21st, the first day that mid-year transfers are able to sign and he will arrive on campus in January. He will have three years to play two and said he is being projected as a linebacker and then can switch to a defensive end position in passing downs.

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