Recruiting Blog: 11/11

It's been two weeks since Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham announced that he would step down after the season and since then there has been rampant speculation about where things stand with Husky commits as well as some recruits who were still waiting to make their decisions. Dawgman.com caught up with several players over the weekend to see what they had to say...

Federal Way's Andru Pulu committed to Washington shortly after the start of the season and said the Huskies were his school from the get-go, but with Willingham on the way out has that changed things?

"I really wanted to play for coach Willingham, but it doesn't really change things for me," Pulu said. "I still really like Washington and that's pretty much where I think I'm going to end up."

Pulu recently got offered by Hawaii and UNLV has started to come into the picture.

"I'm probably going to visit Hawaii, but I don't think it will change my mind," Pulu said. "Washington is home and where I feel comfortable, but it can't hurt to check out another place to make sure you are making the best decision."

Pulu said he received the much-publicised letter from new Athletic Director Scott Woodward and that helped reassure him of where he stood.

"That helped me to know where things stood," Pulu said. "It basically just said they want to keep all of the recruits they have as commits and they would honor all of the scholarship offers, so that was cool.

"It was really reassuring to me and I'm pretty sure it will be that way for the other guys too."

Pulu has missed the past month of Federal Way's season due to a torn MCL in his right knee, but the injury didn't require surgery and he's almost ready to get back on the field.

"I've been out for four weeks now, which has been frustrating," Pulu noted. "I probably have a couple more weeks of rehab left and it just depends on how deep we are able to go.

"It's been tough, but it's made me more of a cheerleader for my guys and it's helped me to appreciate what I have and how hard I need to work to be the best I can be because I really miss playing."

St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Ca.) QB Keith Price is another player who received a letter and he said he's also spoken recently with a coach from the Huskies to get their thoughts.

"I got a call from coach (Brian) White and we talked a little bit about things," Price said. "That was more encouraging to me because it had been a while since I had talked to them so I didn't know where things stood for me.

"He told me just to keep my eyes on things as they happen and to let things play out before I make a final decision on things, so that was helpful and he said they still really like me a lot and that I would be a good fit there."

Price recently scheduled a visit with Utah to check out what the Utes have going on.

"I'll be out there the first weekend of December," Price said. "They have a great offense there and they are playing really well. I like them a lot, but Washington is still my favorite because I love it up there and I know my mom would love for me to end up there.

"When the new coach gets hired, I will probably call him or I hope he calls me because I'd like to set up an official visit with them so my mom can come up and check things out too."

For the season, Price has led the Braves to a 7-2 record and has put up outstanding numbers in the process going 124 of 174 (71.3%) for 2,064 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions while also leading the team in rushing with 461 yards and nine more scores.

"We've had a tough go the past couple weeks, but we're fighters so we'll keep battling," Price said. "I just have to keep my guys focused and we need to get a win this Friday (vs. Servite) to finish out the season strong."

A player Washington has been on for quite some time is Santiago (Corona, Ca.) TE Marlion Barnett and he's been waiting to hear what is going on with the coaching staff.

"Actually I hadn't heard anything in a while," Barnett said. "After coach Willingham stepped down, I was a little concerned, but I got a letter from them telling them things were in motion and I just needed to keep an open mind on things.

"The coaches up there were cool, but honestly I really liked the thought of playing up there and how things were up there, so it was nice to see they were going to honor the scholarship offer if I chose to go there."

Barnett is currently being pursued by schools like Boise State, Fresno State, UNLV and UCLA although he doesn't have an offer from the Bruins yet.

"All of those schools like me a lot, but I'm not ready to make a decision yet," Barnett said. "I'll take some time after the season and I'll take some visits before I decide anything."

Barnett has posted 19 receptions for 212 yards so far this season.

Most of the prospects we've spoken with over the past few weeks have noted they do not plan to make any hasty decisions as far as Washington is concerned and they said they all plan to wait until the new coach is hired before they decide anything.

Stay tuned to find out more in the coming weeks as we should know relatively soon who the new head coach will be and when that happens, recruiting will kick into high gear.


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