Gilliland Reconfirms During In-Home

Garret Gilliland, a 6-foot, 212-pound linebacker prospect from Orange Lutheran High School in Orange, Calif., verbally committed to Washington Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt back in November, and since has firmed up that commitment during his official visit to Seattle, as well as having an in-home visit with UW Head Coach Steve Sarkisian shortly thereafter.

"I talked to (Sarkisian) a little bit on my official, and then I talked to him more in detail when he came to my house about a week after the visit," Gilliland told Dawgman.com Tuesday night. "Washington was one of the first people to offer me, so I was in contact with them very early," Gilliland said of his interest in Washington. "And me and a couple of the coaches (Nick Holt and Mike Cox) made a good relationship over the summer, probably over a span of about seven months or so. I really felt comfortable with them, I really felt comfortable talking with them. I visited twice, and the second time I just loved it. I could totally see myself fitting in there. I made my commitment."

Gilliland did his homework. He made two trips to UW, the first time in June, about a month after he received a written offer from the Huskies. "Me and My Dad just wanted to do a little unofficial visit there," he said. "We went there and then a couple of other schools (Colorado, Stanford and UCLA), but that was one of my top choices, so we made a point of go there and check it out first.

"I really like the area and the location. It's different from where I live, and I wanted to kind of go away from California. It's beautiful up there, it's so green. And it looks like a really fun city to live in. I think it's just perfect for me."

His official visit was during the first weekend of December, the same weekend that saw Washington destroy California 42-10. "I loved the game," Gilliland said. "It was a great way to end their season. It was a really positive visit and they treated me really well."

Meeting up again with coaches Cox and Holt certainly seemed to be a highlight of Gilliland's visit. "Coach Cox is a funny guy. He's really, really easy to talk to," he said. "I remember going into his office and we talked for about an hour. He likes me and I really like him. And Nick Holt, he took time to come down to my school a lot, and he's been to a couple of my schools. I've talked to him the most."

The coaches are recruiting Gilliland to play the WIL position, the same position E.J. Savannah played in 2009. "I think my size is perfect for that position," he said. "They like my speed a lot and they think I could really be a good, strong, fast player for them at that position. They kind of have some spots to fill, so they think me and some of the other recruits would be good players to fit those positions."

Savannah is in the process of petitioning for a sixth year, but Gilliland wants to be ready just in case. "I think their plan for all the guys is to have them prepare like they are going to play, but they'll probably decide a couple of weeks before our first game whether I'll redshirt or what's going to happen," he said. "But for the first couple of months I'm just going to compete and hopefully I do well. Hopefully I get the system really well and I can get some playing time, but I'm not really sure about that right now."

One of the big reasons Gilliland is really chomping at the bit to see game action is because he missed a large part of the season due to injury, but it's nothing that's going to hold him back from getting ready for this fall.

Gilliland picked the Huskies over scholarship offers from Washington State, Duke, Fresno State and Colorado. "My top two schools were Washington and Fresno State," he said. "I had really good relationships with both coaches, and it was really hard to tell Fresno State that I was going to Washington. But that was my decision, and they were really respectful toward me. They said good luck, and let us know if anything goes wrong because we'll always be here for you."

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