Trip Report - Erik Kohler

Erik Kohler has been committed to Washington for a while now, but this weekend it really sunk in just how close the 6-foot-5, 285-pound offensive lineman from Oaks Christian in Westlake Village, Calif. is toward realizing his goal of playing Division-1 football.

One of the biggest signs? Getting paired up with host Drew Schaefer and spending a lot of time with other UW offensive linemen Ryan Tolar and Cody Habben. "In college, the linemen are big," Kohler said, matter-of-factly. "But it helped me come to the realization that it's college finally."

And the UW coaches wanted to make sure that one of the keys for Kohler is to stay big. That meant plenty of food for the weekend, especially during Saturday night's dinner at the Crab Pot on Pier 57. "We told them to not stop with the food, and it just kept coming and coming," he said with a laugh.

But the food was just a nice perk. Kohler got a lot more out of his visit than just a few nice meals. "Just really getting to know the coaches and the players and seeing who I'm going to be surrounded by the next four or five years of my life," he said when asked for a highlight. "That was a really good experience."

The other big highlight for Kohler was when he saw the UW Men's basketball team beat California 84-69. "That was real fun," he said of the game. "We were right underneath the student section. If you can imagine how loud they were at a basketball game, just imagine how loud they are at a football game. I thought that was pretty cool."

Kohler wasn't the only lineman commit on an official visit; Bothell's Colin Porter and O'Dea's Ben Riva joined him. It was the first time the three had met, but friendships soon followed. In fact, the three went with their hosts to a late-night showing of Avatar in 3D, and Kohler had Porter's back when it was learned Porter had fallen asleep and was actually snoring during the movie.

"He was breathing heavily. I think that's a better way to describe it," Kohler said, not able to stifle a little laughter when thinking back on the event. "But we had to wake him up a couple of times."

Kohler said he was also able to spend some quality time with UW Offensive Line Coach Dan Cozzetto. "He's ready for everyone to get up there," Kohler said of Cozzetto's words of wisdom. "He's excited for the new season. Every year is a new year to get better."

Did Kohler get a chance to talk much with Huskies Head Coach Steve Sarkisian? "He was a busy guy," Kohler said. "On top of the official visits, he's got to take care of recruiting because it's just a couple of weeks until signing day, so he was just kind of bouncing around everywhere."

Kohler won't be as busy; all he needs to do now is sign his letter of intent and fax it in February 3rd.

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