Trip Report: Kurt Mangum

SEATTLE - It's tough for a prospect when things are out of his control. For Kurt Mangum, the 6-05, 228-pound linebacker prospect from Chandler, Ariz. would love to have left his official visit to Washington this past weekend with an official offer, but the Huskies have to do something on their end first - hire a defensive coordinator.

"I really liked Coach (Tyrone) Willingham, even when he was back at Notre Dame, and I wanted to learn more about the program," Mangum told Sunday. "Then they asked me to come in on an official (visit). They haven't offered me yet. They wanted to get me there and to meet my folks. Not having a D Coordinator yet, they don't know what kind of defense they are running, so they want to see how the pieces fall together yet. They said that they'd probably know this week.

"Word is they might be switching from 4-3 to 3-4. They aren't sure. At inside 'backer is my host Donald Butler, who is a junior. He had some knee problems and was hurt during the season. And you have E.J. Savannah, who is a senior. And then they have two walk-on players, and that's it. So at inside, if they switch to 3-4, they are going to need some inside 'backers, and even at 4-3 they are going to need one. Coach (Willingham) said he's going to get to me this week and evaluate everything that they have going on."

How was the rest of Mangum's visit? "I really liked the city, it was really nice," he said. "One thing that definitely surprised me was that people I talked to before I left had me believing that I was walking into a tsunami of rain, and that wasn't the case. It wasn't that bad at all. Actually it was really nice."

Mangum got a good feeling for the Huskies' program after talking to Butler. "He was definitely positive and he enjoyed playing for Coach (Kent) Baer," he said. "He was disappointed that Coach Baer left. It was great to talk to someone who had played as a freshman and he had a lot of insight."

Mangum played in the Offense-Defense All-American game in Florida over the holiday season, so he already knows a couple of players committed to Washington. "I really enjoyed hanging out with the recruiting class," he said. "Everybody was really cool, down to earth. Two commits played in the All-American game I played in (Offense-Defense), and Alameda (Ta'amu), the lineman, couldn't come down, but Everrette Thompson did. We're real tight, so he came by and said what's up and hollered at me for a little while."

Mangum rated the trip a solid 9-9.5 "I'm gratuating early, so I would kind of want to know who I'm playing for," he said, again noting how not having a defensive coordintor is affecting his recruitment with Washington. He will sign a letter of intent and then enroll during the next available quarter/semester, depending on who he commits to. In the case of Washington, he would enroll spring quarter and be available for spring football.

"Washington would definitely have an upper hand, just because I haven't been anywhere else yet, but I definitely would know a lot more after taking my other trips," Mangum said. He may visit Colorado State this next weekend, and could also visit Duke or Kansas before making a final decision. He has an in-home with CSU Monday, and Ron Gould from California and Air Force are planning on visiting his high school this week.

"I'll know more from Washington before I trip out this weekend," Mangum said.

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