Recruiting Blog: Skyline updates

While Washington is still waiting on its first official commitment for the 2009 recruiting class, they've been hard at work on a trio of local players who could be the future of Husky football should they choose to continue their friendship to the next level. Over the next three years the names of Gino Simone, Jake Heaps and Kasen Williams will be bantied about in recruiting circles...

Washington has offered all three of the offensive dynamos and caught up recently with the trio and they gave some of their thoughts on recruiting and Simone let us know where he stands as far as a decision is concerned.

Simone up to five offers

"It's been a pretty busy summer," Skyline WR Gino Simone said after a recent workout. "I spent a lot of time at camps (in June) and I've been trying to work with my broken thumb so I've been playing a lot more on defense which is cool because it gets me prepared for the season."

Simone's last camp was at Oregon State and the Beavers coaches were so impressed they told him he had an offer.

"I didn't do a lot down there actually so it was a bit of a surprise to me," Simone said. "They have good coaches, good players and I just had a good time down there.

"It was really straight up. At a lot of places they're like "you gotta come here' but down there they were like ‘well I was looking at this place and this place'."

Oregon State joined Washington, Washington State, Boise State and UNLV as the schools who have so far stepped up with an offer.

Simone said he was surprised, but also noted the Beavers are very much in the running for his services.

He also camped at Washington and Washington State during the same week and he got a chance to get even more familier with his two in-state schools.

"At Washington State it was cool to sit down with coach (Mike) Levenseller, he's a pretty funny guy and I've gotten to know him really well over the last year and a half or so," Simone said. "I've gotten to know the staff pretty well and they have a good offense over there so I really enjoyed myself over there.

"Over at Washington, just seeing the campus was nice. I know the athletic facilities really well already, but getting to see the campus it was a lot nicer than I expected.

"My expectations were that it was spread out and right in the city, but it's a nice little area right on campus and then they have city right on the outskirts of campus so you sort of have the best of both worlds."

With his senior season coming up, does Simone have a time-frame on when his decision will come?

"My plan is the wait things out," Simone said. "Oregon State came out of nowhere with their offer and you never know who the next school to do that is going to be, so I'm just going to be patient and see what happens."

Note: Simone got the cast off this past week and he participated over the weekend in Burnaby, British Columbia at the Big Kahuna Passing Challenge. While he didn't play on offense, he still showed what he had on defense and the competitiveness that the coaches have all seemed to fall in love with.

My Thoughts: I do not expect Simone to make a decision anytime before his season begins. His father (Ronnie) has been through the process before (when he was in high school) and that means Gino will not make a decision until he has weighed all of the positives and negatives about each of his suitors.

My guess would be for Gino to make a decision sometime after his season has ended...which could be in early December, but you never know...he could decide to commit during the season as well.

One new offer and four new schools of interest for Heaps

Skyline junior-to-be QB Jake Heaps is fast becoming one of the most highly sought-after quarterback prospects in the nation. He is quickly becoming this year's Matt Barkley, a player that is so good, schools from both coasts and everywhere in between are looking his way.

"California is the latest offer," Heaps said. "They were number 11 for me and then I have four schools recruiting me really hard that I haven't been offered by yet and those are Notre Dame, Clemson, Oklahoma and Florida and Florida has come on real strong.

"I've talked to coach (Dan) Mullen the quarterbacks coach and I'm looking forward to talking to them more in the future."

In addition to the Cal offer, Heaps also has full-rides from the likes of Washington, Washington State, Arizona State, BYU, Oregon State, South Carolina, UCLA, Minnesota, Boise State and Stanford.

Some of those schools have had relatively recent coaching changes and Heaps reflected on things like being recruited by a staff that is no longer at the school he chooses to commit to.

"When you're recruited by a coach and a certain staff and then they're not there anymore that is sorta tough," Heaps said. "I definitely would want to wait and see who comes in and whatnot, but if it takes too long, it takes too long and I can't wait on that.

"Coaches come and go though, but the school is always there. That's number one and you can't go somewhere just based on the coach because he could be gone.

"I'm going for a school, the education, the football program and the history of it, the players and everything. Everything that's a constant is what I'll really look at, but of course who I am going to be coached by will play into it, it just isn't the most significant thing."

Note: At the Big Kahuna event, Heaps was named the Offensive MVP, taking his team all the way to the finals where they lost to defending champion Ferris 40-39 in the championship matchup.

My thoughts: Jake Heaps is mature beyond his years. He's got a great work ethic, his teammates and even opponents love him and he's focused on his future.

Where will he end up?

It's anybody's guess, but the attention of Florida and Oklahoma has to be a concern for schools like BYU and Washington who have long been rumored to be the early favorites.

I do not expect Heaps to make a decision before March of 2009 and most likely sometime during the spring, but it should come well before the summer begins.

Offer number three for Williams

When I went and watched the Skyline/Bellevue game to kickoff the 2007 season, I leaned over to one of the Skyline coaching staff members and asked "Who is that kid?" and he told me, "Oh, that's our freshman."

I was shocked since this "freshman" was about 6-2 and 190 pounds.

Kasen Williams didn't play in that game, but he was a key cog in the Skyline attack that went 13-0 and won the 3A State Championship game against O'Dea.

The young and very humble Williams has been working hard this offseason to get stronger while also fast-becoming one of the hottest sophomore football prospects in the nation.

"I actually just got offered by Boise State a couple of weeks ago," Williams said after a recent workout. "Oklahoma State and Stanford have also started sending me stuff.

"It's been pretty amazing getting the looks like I am this early. It doesn't hurt that guys like Jake and Gino bring coaches in from across the country to look at them and then they see me too."

Boise State's offer joins Washington and UCLA as the other two offers already in the hopper for Williams.

At Washington's camp late last month, Williams was a standout and noted that he's formed a special bond with wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett.

"Coach Baggett and I talk all the time and he's a real good coach," Williams said. "I talk to him a lot about what I need to work on and focus on when I run my routes.

"He always talks about hustling and running good crisp routes and at the camp he was on me the most and honestly I liked that because it showed me how much he liked me and he was helping me get better.

"At Washington and UCLA's camp, they had a lot of corners that liked to jam you at the line and I struggled with it, so that has shown me what I needed to focus on this summer and how to beat it and coach Baggett has helped me with that as well."

Note: Williams was named to the All-Camp Offensive team at the Big Kahuna Passing Challenge in Burnaby, British Columbia.

My thoughts: Williams is a very well-spoken young man. He's got a lot of room to grow and he's just recently started to focus on the weights and you can see his upper body developing really well. He's likely going to be in the top five wide receivers in the country as far as the 2011 class is concerned.

I personally don't think it's a big stretch to compare his abilities to that of a former Washington wideout, Reggie Williams, although Reggie is probably just a tad faster at this point. Top Stories