Huskies gain valuable recruit

Erik Kohler liked being Nick Montana's left tackle at Oaks Christian so much, he has decided four more years of the same is in his future. The 6-foot-6, 285-pound Kohler verbally committed to Washington Monday night over Notre Dame, ensuring the Kohler-Montana connection will continue at another school.

"I got a chance to talk to Nick, he's going crazy," Kohler confirmed Monday night to This fall will be the second-straight year that Kohler will be Montana's left tackle. His sophomore year he played on the right side.

But Montana's response was apparently nothing compared to that of first-year UW Head Coach Steve Sarkisian. "He went nuts!" Kohler said with a laugh.

"They are getting a big-time player," added Oaks Christian Head Coach Bill Redell, who spoke with Monday night. "He can run and he has good speed for his size. He's got a great work ethic. Washington is getting an outstanding football player and an outstanding citizen."

So what drew Kohler eventually to choose the Huskies over the Irish? "I just really felt that after talking to all my coaches, my teachers, my family and my friends that Washington was the place where I could excel at and be comfortable at," he said. Kohler also has family in Washington.

"It's a place where I know I can really do well," he added.

The connection with Montana didn't hurt. "He didn't tell me, but I think Montana had some influence," Redell said. "But I also think it was Sarkisian, (Washington Receivers Coach Jimmie) Dougherty, the staff and the facilities. And he checked it all out. He definitely thinks things through."

So was it a close race in the end between Washington and Notre Dame? "It was close," Kohler said. "But in the end Washington was the clear winner."

"His Dad is a Delta captain, so they can fly to him and he can fly to his family," added Redell. "So I don't think distance was a factor. He weighed everything, and in the end Washington was the best deal for him."

Kohler is rated as the No. 21 offensive tackle in the country by, as well as the No. 208-rated player in the country regardless of position. The other UW commits in the national 300 are Sione Potoae, Jamaal Kearse, Chris Young and Montana.

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