Recruiting Blog – 8/10

It's been a busy week in the world of Husky football. Camp started on Monday, the program re-signed with NIKE for 10 years and starting quarterback Jake Locker suffered a hamstring injury. Even with all that news, the Washington coaching staff has still found the time to recruit and I've spoken with several recruits, including West Seattle CB Aaron Grymes who committed to the Dawgs on August 4th.

Monday was very busy for both the Husky coaching staff and Dawgman.com.

In addition to the Tyrone Willingham press conference and player and coach interviews, Washington received commitments from two cornerbacks as South Oak Cliff (Dallas) CB Kenneth Pinkard and West Seattle CB Aaron Grymes both made their pledge to the Dawgs.

Pinkard did his best to reach defensive backs coach J.D. Williams, but when Dawgman.com had spoken to him, he still hadn't reached Williams or Willingham.

Here's the story we wrote up: Commit number two on the way


Grymes called the Husky coaching staff and committed to Willingham over the phone before Washington's first practice.

"He said he was really excited I committed," Grymes told Dawgman.com recently. "He said they liked my toughness and my athleticism.

"When I was there for their camp, they didn't time us, but I won the 40-yard dash out of all the guys there, so that's one thing they really liked about me."

Last year as a junior, Grymes played quite a bit at safety, but the Huskies project him at corner.

"After I had told him I wanted to commit, I also told him I was going to come over to watch practice," Grymes said. "He said he was looking forward to talking with me and my mom, so when we got there he talked to us for about 20 minutes on the track as practice was going."

Grymes carries a 3.5 GPA and he recently got a qualifying score on the SAT so there are no worries about him qualifying.


So with commits two and three in their back pockets – QB Keith Price committed to Washington in late July – the coaching staff then turned to pressing matters with players like Punahou (Honolulu, Hi.) RB Dalton Hilliard, Santiago (Corona, Ca.) TE Marlion Barnett and Clovis West (Fresno) S Nathan Fellner.

All three were invited to Washington's Senior Day on August 2nd to check out the school and the city before their seasons get underway.

Hilliard and his teammates actually began practices for their season on August 4th, so he was unable to attend the festivities, but he said Washington is definitely a school that has piqued his interest.

"Washington is right up there for me," Hilliard told Dawgman.com. "They've been recruiting me for a while and I've been up to Seattle before when I was a sophomore and we played at Qwest Field against (Eastlake High School) so I've been up there and that place is beautiful and Qwest Field was pretty amazing to play in."

Hilliard noted that while he and his teammates will again be at Qwest this coming September – to face off against Central Kitsap (Silverdale, Wa.) – for the Emerald City Kickoff Classic (see matchups and times here: Emerald City Kickoff Classic Schedule) and he's hoping to make it over to Husky Stadium to watch the Dawgs take on BYU.

"Since we're the late game (8:00 pm) I'm probably going to head up there to check the game out and maybe see some things at the school," Hilliard noted. "I think that could be a really good game because Washington is an up-and-coming program and BYU is ranked really high."

Hilliard has plenty of offers to his name, but he said he's waiting to hear from two schools before he starts to set up his official visits.

"I know that Nebraska, Colorado and Stanford are going to get official visits," Hilliard said. "Washington, California and UCLA are the other schools I'm looking at for my visits, so it's a matter of waiting on those other two (Cal and UCLA) to see if I get an offer and if I do, then I'll decide between the three of them who gets my last two visits."

Both Cal and UCLA have told Hilliard they plan to make a decision on a scholarship offer, or not, sometime in August.

"I still have plenty of time, so I'm not in a huge hurry to set up my visits," Hilliard said. "I'll be patient and wait on them to see what happens and then I'll start making decisions."

When asked if he will bring all-star LB Manti Te'o for a visit, Hilliard said they've talked about going up to Montlake together to check things out.

Note: Te'o is being recruited by BYU who many believe to be in his top two schools.


Barnett on the other hand has Washington firmly in his sights and he was upset he couldn't make it up for Senior Day.

"It sucks because I wanted to go up there, but it's just too expensive right now," Barnett told Dawgman.com on July 31st. "I called and talked to coach (Mike) Denbrock and told him I wanted to come up, but that I just couldn't afford it and he understood.

"I'm definitely coming up there on a visit. The Oklahoma game would be great to come up and see, but it just depends on when I can make it up there so it's hard to say if it will happen during the season or after it."

Barnett has been high on the Huskies for a while, but he said UCLA has been making headway in their recruitment of him.

"I talked with the coaches there the other day and they told me they liked me a lot and not to make a hasty decision," Barnett said. "They are evaluating things and making sure they are offering the right guys or their program and they said I'm a player they really like and are interested in."

Barnett is a 6-3, 240 pound prospect who would fit nicely in Washington's system as a pass-catching tight end. As a junior he hauled in 30 receptions for 400 yards and two touchdowns while helping to lead his team to CIF-SS (Small School) Inland Division Finals.


When we spoke with Fellner early this past week he informed us of his plan to visit Seattle this weekend and I noticed Nate and his mother at practice on Saturday.

Coach Williams went out of his way to come over and talk with both of them and it was all smiles among the group. Williams talked with the Fellner's for over 10 minutes and it appeared that Nate and his mother enjoyed their time at practice as well as at picture day which was held shortly after practice had ended.

Fellner a good looking athlete and according to those who have seen him play, he's a hitter who runs pretty well.

We'll catch up with him Sunday evening after he returns from his trip to the Emerald City and hopefully get an update on how his visit went.


Joining Fellner on an unofficial visit at practice and at picture day was La Salle (Milwaukie, Or.) DE Simeon Dixon.

Talk about a kid that passes the look test. Standing there with his father, Dixon looked to be all of 6-4, 260 with nary an ounce of fat on him. Coach Randy Hart spent a lot of time talking with the defensive line prospect from south of Portland.

Also in attendance were Zach Fogerson, Jamaal Kearse – who has to be taller and bigger than his listed height and weight are – and a young man who looked like Kavario Middleton's younger brother.

Kearse and Fogerson are big time 2010 prospects and while Fogerson has already has an offer from Washington, Kearse has been compared to former Lakes High School All-American Reggie Williams so it's probably safe to say he'll have a Husky offer sooner or later.

O'Dea OL Danny Kistler also came to watch practice on Friday as well.

We'll continue to be all over recruiting as we head into the season and we'll update things as they happen.


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