Aldrich is done with recruiting spoke Tuesday night with Kalani Aldrich, a 6-foot-7, 240-pound athlete from the Kamehameha School on the Big Island of Hawaii, and Kalani gave us the word that Washington fans have been hoping to hear - he's a Husky. In a meeting at school with his Mom, Kam AD Bob Wagner, Kam Head Coach Ulima Afoa and Washington Recruiting Coordinator Chris Tormey, Aldrich sealed the deal.

"I told him that I'm going to commit to Washington," he said. "Over the weekend, I was really taken with my Oregon trip, but as time went on and I went on my Washington trip - the facilities weren't as good as Oregon - but I think the trip went deeper for me. It just felt like the islands."

When he told Tormey, apparently the UW linebackers coach started screaming and jumped up and down. "He screamed and yelled, he was so happy," Aldrich said.

Aldrich picked the Huskies over offers from Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Oregon and Tennessee. Even though colleges are still talking to him about taking some more official visits, he told Tuesday night that he's done.

"I was hoping to hook up with my Oklahoma coach and talk about a visit and also Coach Kalani (Sitake) at Utah, but our schedules were too busy. And Coach (Steve) Caldwell at Tennessee too. But Washington showed me everything they needed to show me, and that's where I'm going. I'm done. That's it."

There were a few factors that worked in the Huskies' favor. First was the Aldrich family connection with UW senior DE Brandon Ala. "I also have a connection with (Oregon C) Enoka (Lucas) too, but when I was younger, I was closer to Brandon," Kalani said. "On the trip, Brandon took me in like a younger brother and gave me great advice about making decisions. I think it was a big deal for me to hear about the kinds of experiences that Brandon has had."

Even though Ala finished his high school career on the Kapalama (Oahu) campus, Aldrich and his family also lived on Oahu until Kalani's 8th grade. "My mom used to be a vice principal at the Oahu campus. When I was in 7th grade, that's when I started playing football and that's when I met Brandon.

"But in my 8th grade, my Mom got the job to be principal on the Big Island campus, so we had to move."

The next UW advantage was found in redshirt frosh Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. Te'o-Nesheim prepped at Hawaii Prep Academy on the Big Island, and Aldrich played against Te'o-Nesheim a couple of years ago.

"When I was playing as a sophomore, he was a senior at HPA, and I think he got the better of me," Aldrich said with a laugh. "But when I went up there, Danny and I were real close because we have the same kind of personality. Coach (Randy) Hart was teasing us, telling us that we were brothers.

"Daniel is going to come visit me during Christmas time and during the summer, me, him and Ian Dulan (BYU) are probably going work out together."

It also helped the Huskies' cause that the Aldrich family took to UW Head Coach Tyrone Willingham. "Both schools were really great, but with my parents' approval of what Coach Willingham has done for the program and what the Washington Huskies stand for, it really helped me," Aldrich said.

"When I took my (UW) visit, they were just trying to make sure I knew that it was more than just football - it's about family and tradition and doing things right. With Coach Willingham backing it all up - he's a real smooth-talker. He got me to jump on the ship real fast. Everything he said, we connected with - in terms of doing the right thing and what we were looking for."

The last piece of the puzzle came from another source - AD Wagner. Wagner, who apparently has ties to the Washington program, also coached for a time at Hawaii. It was his advice to Aldrich to take the official visit to Washington that put everything in motion.

"When I took my Oregon trip, I told Coach Wags about it, and he told me that no matter what I thought to take the trip to Washington before I made any decisions, and I'm glad I did."

Aldrich will start out next fall at defensive end, but Willingham made it clear to Kalani that his body might dictate otherwise down the road. "He told me that isn't going to know what my body is going to look like in a couple of years, so if I grow to 300 pounds, he isn't going to keep me outside," he said. "He just assured me that now I'm a defensive end, but if I put on weight and my body type is more like a defensive tackle, then that's where I would play." Top Stories