Recruiting Blog: 8/17

It's been a while since we posted a recruiting blog, but with the daily practice updates and the player/unit features, sometimes recruiting can take a back seat this time of year. However, things are still humming along in the world of Washington Husky recruiting and spoke to several prospects over the past few days so here are our thoughts on where things stand with several of them…

Ta'amu still holding steady: One of the more athletically gifted players in the state of Washington this year, Rainier Beach's Alameda Ta'amu is a player several programs are after. Washington holds the inside track with Ta'amu and has from the beginning, regardless of what quotes you've seen in the press.

USC was his dream school as a boy and he still loves the Trojans, but home is where the heart is and Washington is located in very close proximity to a majority of the Ta'amu clan and the feeling is that that will be a big determining factor in where he ends up.

Alameda wants to take some visits before he makes a decision, or so he says, but it wouldn't surprise this observer to see him pull the trigger before the season or at the latest, the beginning of October should the Dawgs get off to a good start.

Ta'amu projects as a guard at the next level, both he and his coach have said as much, but there is some thought out there that he could be an excellent NT/DT in the right scheme and if the Huskies miss on some other interior defensive lineman (Craig Noble still is soft at this point) Ta'amu could possibly move inside and be a stone wall.

Sampson's Rocky Mountain High: Overland (Denver) OL Andrew Sampson is a player the Huskies are after pretty hard. He told me earlier this week that the Huskies have told him they like him at either tackle or guard, but with his frame, speed and agility, he could be a devastating guard in Washington's system.

He and his teammates just began "hell week", as Sampson so eloquently put it, and said his bench has now exceeded 350 pounds which is excellent for a player entering his senior year. He's a tenacious run-blocker, an area where the Huskies have struggled over the past few seasons, so he could be the nasty interior blocker offensive line coach Mike Denbrock is looking for to go with Scott Shugert and Mark Armelin who were brought in with the last recruiting class.

"I haven't decided which schools will definitely get visits, but I'd say Washington is right at the top of the list," Sampson said recently. "They've been recruiting me from the beginning and I had a teammate (Jared Campbell) who visited up there and actually committed, but he wanted to be closer to his brother.

"He said he loved it up there and that it's a lot like Colorado with the mountains and trees and stuff. I'm looking forward to checking it out so they will probably get a visit, but I'm not sure yet. I need to call the coaches and start setting up my visits here pretty soon."

Ward hoping to trip out west for SC game: Washington is very much in the lead for Southwest Academy (Flint, Mi.) WR Tyrone Ward. He spoke earlier this week about things and said the Huskies are well on their way to a commitment if his visit goes well.

"They're my favorite," Ward said. "I'm not saying for sure that I will commit, but if I had a really good time and enjoyed it, I would say there's a very good chance."

The Huskies were the second school to offer Ward after Cincinnati, but several other Midwest/Big 10 programs have told Ward they are looking forward to seeing him this fall.

"Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Pitt and a couple of other ones told me they wanted to see me and how I have progressed this summer," Ward said. "Washington has been on me from the beginning and I like the fact that coach (Charlie) Baggett is a man who has coached some great receivers."

The possibility of teammate Mark Ingram, a highly-sought after RB/ATH, joining Ward on his visit to Washington during the USC game on September 29th is also very good.

"Me and Mark want to go visit together," Ward said. "We have a game the day before that game and then we can catch a late flight out and the go and watch that game."

Don't be surprised if Ingram and Ward become a package-deal. I know, those rarely work out, but the two families are very close and Ward is working on Ingram a lot to join him if he were to commit.

Ward's size and athleticism make him ideal fit for the Husky wide receiver corps. He's pretty raw in his technique, he hasn't played a lot of football, but there's no denying his God-given skills. Look for the Dawgs to close this one pretty quickly if they have the chance. All Ward wants to do is see the campus and then it's likely he commit on his visit or soon thereafter.

Keep an eye on this one…it could heat up in a hurry.

Carroll a Bay Area gem: McClymonds (Oakland) Allen Carroll is a very physical lineman who the Huskies have been on for a while. He spoke recently about his summer and his visits.

"I've been working hard all summer in the weight room and running just to get my stamina up and ready for the season," Carroll said. "I also met my new coach earlier this year and he's a good guy and coach. I'm going to miss coach (Alonzo) Carter, but our new coach should do really well."

Carroll has four schools set to get visits – Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Nebraska – but Washington may have the edge.

"My little buddy is up there now and I'd love to block for him again," Carroll said referring to former teammate and current Husky RB Willie Griffin. "We had fun together and he told me I'd love it up there and that it's a lot like Oakland with the hills and sometimes it's rainy, but not too bad."

Carroll is about as physical and mean as it gets along the offensive line, a trait offensive line coaches love, and he plays to the whistle and hustles every second. He never quits and coaches have told him he could play on either side of the ball, but guard seems to be where he's headed.

Prince waiting on decision: Well it was almost a forgone conclusion that Crespi QB Kevin Prince would head to UCLA if he were offered, but an offer from the Bruins came and he still begged off committing.

After speaking with him last night, it's pretty apparent that Prince is torn between Washington and UCLA.

The Huskies were Prince's favorite for most of the spring and summer and when his offer came, he was pretty close to committing, but then the Bruins came calling and the young man, a self-described Bruin fan since he was a child, held off on his decision.

"Washington is such a good school and the coaches up there are great," Prince said. "I felt very comfortable up there and they've always been right there at the top for me, but when UCLA came on and said they liked me and wanted to offer me, well that sorta changed things.

"I've pretty much decided I want to take my mission right after high school, so that means I won't enroll right away , but my word is my bond and if I commit somewhere that's where I'm going."

Prince also had expected to make his commitment before the start of his senior season, but with his opener looming (Aug. 31st vs. Birmingham) he said he's going to hold off and take in the first few weeks of the season to see how both teams do.

It's pretty easy to see that if Washington gets off to a good start, they stand a very, very good chance of getting Prince's verbal. If not, expect the Bruins to run away with his interest.

We'll have more over the coming weeks on the players Washington is after and we'll also focus on a position by position breakdown and who is likely to end up where when it's all said and done. Top Stories