Benyard talks recruiting and the Huskies

The Washington football coaches have been out on the recruiting trail this past week and one of the first young men they saw was Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) OT Everett Benyard. The hoss from So Cal received his written offer from the Huskies earlier this week and he updated us on things and he started off by giving us his thoughts on the Dawgs.

"Oh man, that place is great," Benyard told "I loved it up there. I was up there for a football university camp and I left right after it was over so I could race over to Husky Stadium and catch the second half of the game.

"The stadium is huge and they have a really talented team. They're young, but that (Jake) Locker cat is pretty good. I couldn't believe how big he was."

While at Montlake, Benyard met with the coaches and got to talk to the man who would be his position coach should he decide to become a Husky.

"I talked with pretty much all of the coaches, but coach (Mike) Denbrock is a real cool dude," Benyard said. "He and I were talking and he told me they are looking at a lot of tackles, but in his mind, I was his top choice and when he saw my film, he said it was a done deal in his book.

"I didn't get offered officially by them when I was up there, but they pretty much told me I was going to get on this week and then coach J.D. Williams was down here and he handed me my offer in writing.

"Getting an offer from them was real big for me because I really like that area and how they're building their program. Their coaches are cool and I loved Seattle and the campus and the stadium."

On a side note, Benyard's older brother, Vernon Smith, is a position coach at Central Washington in Ellensburg, so he's got family in the area.

"He'd only be two hours away from me, so that would be cool definitely," Benyard said. "I'm not looking to make an early decision. I'd like to take my visits and then decide."

The other schools looking at Benyard are Utah, Arizona and San Diego State, who have all offered, and he's getting a lot of interest from Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State and UCLA as well.

"Oregon has been after me pretty hard actually," Benyard said. "They told me they are in on a lot of tackles this year and I'm one of their top guys so that's pretty cool."

Even with his immense size -- he's currently 6-6, 320 -- Benyard is a standout on Cathedral Catholic's basketball team where he averaged 12 points and eight rebounds as a power forward.

"I was always too big to play Pop Warner, so I always played basketball," Benyard noted. "That's my first love, but I sorta grew into playing football.

"I've only been playing football since my freshman year at (a public school) and then transferred to Cathedral as a sophomore. I couldn't play varsity that year, so I played JV and then last year I started for varsity."

Benyard sports a 295 pound bench press heading into spring and summer workouts, but he said he's planning to improve that before the start of his senior season.

"I'm in the weight-room six days a week right now," Benyard said. "I want my bench to be at least 350 by the start of the season and I'll get there."

Benyard noted that he is hoping to take several more unofficial visits to the schools recruiting him and that Washington is likely to get another trip sometime in the next month or two depending on his schedule.

We'll continue to track Benyard's progress over the next few months and update things as they change.

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