Smooth sailing for Huskies on 2020 signing day

The best news the Washington Huskies received on opening day of the early signing period for NCAA I football was no news at all. That is to say the 23 future student-athletes that had verbal committed to the Huskies before December 18th made it official and put pen to paper.

Which is quite a feat given the Huskies coaching change from Chris Petersen to Jimmy Lake. The heir apparent Lake was named the Huskies next coach on December 2nd as Petersen decided it was time to move on. The transition was swift and smooth but no one was really sure what effect the coaching change would have on the recruits. A delighted Jimmy Lake addressed the media after sealing the deal on all 23 early signing recruits.

“We’re extremely excited about this class. With all that’s going on with [Chris Petersen] and myself, to be able to hold on to these 23 excellent players – we’re all just thrilled as a staff. When we start diving into this class, we have eight different states that are represented. What I really like about this class is the average core GPA of these 23 signees is 3.06… We’re very happy about that. We also have four state champions in Sam Adams IIEthan GarbersMark Redman, and James Smith and one national champion in James Smith down at St. John Bosco. We have eight mid-year guys. We’ll have four guys enrolling in the winter quarter – Triston BrownGaard Memmelaar, Myle Murao and Jordan Lolohea – and we’ll have four guys enrolling in the spring, that being Garbers, Redman, Mason West, and Geirean Hatchett.”

On how the last two weeks have been and what it feels like today) 

“We can really take a big exhale. Just a huge kudos to our operations staff, our recruiting department, and our assistant coaches. It was a big web of getting around to go see who we needed to see and go to the high schools we needed to go to. That two-week period was obviously somewhat chaotic, but with the scheduling that our operations people did and our recruiting department did, they made it very, very smooth. In between flights and on flights, a lot of preparation in watching Boise State’s offense and game planning just like we normally would. Instead of sitting at my comfortable desk, I was in-flight with laptop on my lap, but still got the same work done. Definitely excited we kept all 23 of these guys today.”

(On whether committed recruits help in the recruiting process) 

“I know these [signees] are in group chats, too, not just on social media. Those guys get really, really tight. It’s part of the uncommon unity that we have here at Washington. These guys get really tied into each other, they become friends even before they sign. They forge these really cool relationships, and we try to foster that as much as we can. Certainly, once they arrive on campus, we’re just going to pour gas on that fire and these guys are going to get that much closer. Our best recruiters are our current players and our [recruits] that are committed because they know that if we all band together and come here, something special is going to happen

HUSKIES RECRUITING CLASS

Sam Adams II • TB • 6-1 / 194 • Kirkland, Wash. (Eastside Catholic)
Played running back and cornerback for the Eastside Catholic Crusaders, lettering four years, playing in 42 games and amassing 1,738 yards rushing and 425 more receiving … named to the All-Metro League first team as a safety in 2019 … as a senior rushed for 666 yards on 75 carries (8.9 yards per carry) with eight touchdowns … also caught 12 passes for an additional 185 yards and three TDs … helped the Crusaders to back-to-back 12-1 records and Washington 3A State Championship titles …offensive MVP of the Metro League Mountain Division as a junior in 2018 … first-team Associated Press 3A all-state at running back as a junior, when he had 1,711 all-purpose yards and 17 total TDs on offense … also had 33 tackles and six interceptions as a junior … made the Tacoma News-Tribune’s all-state (all levels) team as a defensive back in 2018 … named to the Seattle Times’ “Star Times” all-area team in 2018 … also first-team all-league on both offense and defense in 2018 … ranked the No. 113 overall recruit and No. 4 “athlete” in the nation, and the No. 3 prospect in Washington, by 247Sports … ranked the No. 10 running back in the nation and No. 3 recruit in the state by Rivals.com … ESPN lists him as the No. 22 running back in the country and No. 4 recruit in the state … selected to play in the 2020 Polynesian Bowl and 2020 All-American Bowl … father, Sam Adams, played defensive tackle at Texas A&M and in the NFL … the elder Adams was a consensus All-American and a three-time Pro Bowl selection, who played 14 seasons in the NFL, for Seattle, Baltimore, Oakland, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Denver … uncle, Jeremy Adams, played football at Washington in the early 2000s … grandfather, Sam Adams Sr., played guard at Prairie View A&M and for the Patriots and Saints in the NFL … coached by former Husky offensive lineman Dominic Daste at Eastside Catholic.

Triston Brown • P • 6-1 / 190 • Brea, Calif. (Brea Olinda/Mt. San Antonio College)
Graduated from Brea Olinda in 2015 and spent a couple years out of football before enrolling at Mt. San Antonio College … punted, kicked and returned kicks at Brea Olinda … played the 2018 season (freshman) at Mt. San Antonio College, and did not play in 2019, preserving a year of eligibility … punted 37 times for an average of 36.3 yards … had a long punt of 67 yards … 16 of 37 punts were downed inside the 20 and only three went for touchbacks … Mt. SAC allowed just eight punt returns for -20 yards on the season … excelled on the punting & kicking camp circuit in 2019, winning the 2019 Vegas XXXIV National Punting Championship, among other camp titles … ranked No. 2 among all punters and kickers, from all classes, by Chris Sailer Kicking … ranked as the No. 1 junior college punter prospect in the nation by 247Sports … played for coach Bob Jastrab at Mt. SAC.

Carson Bruener • LB • 6-1 / 201 • Woodinville, Wash. (Redmond)
Recorded 122 tackles and 13 tackles for loss as a senior for the Redmond Mustangs … named defensive MVP of the 4A KingCo Crown Division as a senior … named to the Seattle Times’ “Star Times” all-area team and to the Times’ all-state team (for all levels) … first-team All-KingCo Crown Division at linebacker and second-team at tight end as a junior in 2018 … rated the No. 51 inside linebacker in the nation and No. 16 recruit in the state by 247Sports … the No. 8 recruit in the state, according to Rivals.com … ranked the No. 28 inside linebacker in the nation by ESPN … father, Mark Bruener, was a standout tight end at the UW, who was one of two true freshmen to play for the 1991 National Championship team … Mark was a first-round NFL Draft pick who played nine seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers and five more for the Houston Texans … also played on the Mustangs’ basketball team … played football for coach Mickey Ahrens.

Jacobe Covington • S • 6-1 / 196 • Chandler, Ariz. (Saguaro)
Earned first-team all-state from MaxPreps as a senior … helped the Sabercats to an 11-2 record and the 2019 Arizona Open Division State Championship finals … totaled 30 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, three sacks, 12 pass break ups, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, a blocked kick, a block punt, and an interception … listed by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 119 overall prospect and No. 9 safety, along with the No. 5 overall ranking in Arizona … rated the No. 213 overall prospect and No. 16 safety, as well as the No. 5 recruit in Arizona by 247Sports … ESPN’s No. 9 prospect in Arizona and No. 17 safety … a sprinter on the track team … won the district title in the 4×100 relay as a junior in 2019 … played for coach Jason Mohns.

Makell Esteen • S • 6-1 / 176 • Hawthorne, Calif. (Lawndale)
Led the Cardinals to a 9-3 record and a berth in the quarterfinals of the 2019 CIF Southern Section 3 playoffs … recorded 33 tackles and 10 pass break ups for the Cardinals … named to the All-CIF-SS Division 5 first team as a junior in 2018 … rated the nation’s No. 35 safety and California’s No. 45 recruit by 247Sports … Rivals.com’s No. 72 cornerback and No. 54 player in his state … ranked the No. 52 corner in the country by ESPN … a sprinter on the track team … played football for coach Travis Clark.

Ethan Garbers • QB • 6-3 / 193 • Newport Beach, Calif. (Corona del Mar)
Led Corona del Mar Sea Kings to the Division 1A CIF State Championship and a perfect 16-0 record, while also capturing the Division 3 CIF Southern title … beat Serra, 35-27, in the Division 1-A title game to cap the season … rushed for 142 yards on 15 carries with one TD, while also going 28-for-41 for 255 yards and four scores through the air in the title game … for the season, passed for 5,034 yards (341-of-490) for 51 touchdowns and five interceptions, along with 12 rushing TDs touchdowns … 71 passing TDs were third-most in state history, behind only former Husky Jake Browning (who had 75 and 91 in two different seasons)… two-year starter at quarterback for the Sea Kings, totaling 9,461 yards and 128 touchdowns … named to the All-CIF-SS Division 4 first team as a junior in 2018 … also the 2018 Sunset League Offensive Player of the Year … 284-of-424 with 4,135 yards and 55 TDs as a junior … rated the No. 5 pro-style QB and No. 93 overall prospect in the country, as well as the No. 12 player in California by Rivals.com … ranked the No. 11 “pro-style” quarterback in the country and No. 54 recruit in California by 247Sports … ESPN lists him as the No. 191 overall prospect and No. 12 “pocket passer” in the country, and the No. 14 recruit in his state … older brother, Chase, plays quarterback at Cal … played for coach Dan O’Shea.

Jaden Green • LS • 5-10 / 201 • Gilbert, Ariz. (Mesa)
Named to the 6A East Valley All-Region first team … earned UnderArmour All-America … listed as the No. 3 long snapper in his class by Kohl’s Scholarship Camp … registered a 41-miles per hour snap and an average snap time of .65 seconds at the Kohl’s Camp … also had 20 carries for 97 yards and four touchdowns, plus 25 receptions for 219 yards and a pair of TDs for the Mesa Jack Rabbits … ranked the No. 6 long snapper in the nation by 247Sports … father, Gerald Green, played running back at Arizona State … coached by Chad DeGrenier.

Geirean Hatchett • OG • 6-4 / 279 • Ferndale, Wash. (Ferndale)
Started on both the offensive and defensive line since his freshman season at Ferndale … named to the WesCo 3A North all-conference team on both the offensive and defensive line as a senior in 2019 … named to the Seattle Times’ all-state team (all levels) in 2019 … as a senior, helped Ferndale to a 5-5 overall record, 4-2 in the Wesco North division … Tacoma News-Tribune all-state (all levels) first team in 2018 … earned honorable mention 3A all-state by the Associated Press in 2018 … made first-team All-WesCo 3A North on offense and defense as a sophomore … helped the Golden Eagles to the playoffs as a freshman and sophomore, when they reached the Class 3A quarterfinals … ranked the No. 210 overall prospect and No. 6 guard in the country, and No. 6 recruit in Washington, by 247Sports … Rivals.com’s No. 11 guard in the nation and No. 6 recruit in the state … rated the No. 170 overall recruit and No. 7 guard in the country, as well as the No. 2 player in the state, by ESPN … selected to play in the 2020 Polynesian Bowl … chosen to play for the U-16 United States national team following his freshman year … father, Bill, played football at Western Washington  … also a standout pitcher on the baseball team at Ferndale … played football for by Jamie Plenkovich.

Elijah Jackson • CB • 6-0 / 182 • Carson, Calif. (Lawndale)
Helped lead Lawndale to a 9-3 overall record and a berth in the quarterfinals of the 2019 CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs recorded 27 tackles and eight pass break-ups as a senior … named to the All-CIF-SS Division 5 first team as a junior in 2018  … 247Sports’ No. 47 cornerback in the nation and No. 58 recruit in California … rated the country’s No. 57 corner and California’s No. 49 recruit by Rivals.com … ranked the No. 51 corner in the nation by ESPN … participated in track and field … was coached by Travis Clark.

Jordan Lolohea • OLB • 6-1 / 247 • Salt Lake City, Utah. (East)
Originally signed with the UW in February, 2017, but went on a church mission after high school … has signed a new Letter of Intent … first-team 4A all-state in 2016 … attended East High as a senior after having attended West High prior to that … led the Leopards to a 14-0 record and the state’s 4A championship as a senior in 2016, teaming with current Husky Sam Taimani … East out-scored opponents 694 to 240 … credited with 98 tackles and 23 sacks as a senior … 61 tackles as a junior at West High … also played on the varsity at West as a sophomore and freshman … played in the Polynesian Bowl following his senior year … rated as the No. 54 defensive end in the nation by scout.com … listed as the No. 26 strongside DE and No. 10 player in Utah by 247sports.com … rivals.com lists him as the No. 70 athlete recruit in the nation … ESPN.com’s No. 74 defensive end and No. 9 player in Utah … played football for Brandon Matich at East as a senior.

Cooper McDonald • ILB • 6-2 / 215 • Haslet, Texas (Northwest)
Lettered three years for the Northwest Texans, helping them to a 6-5 record in 2019 … had 89 tackles, eight tackles for loss and a defensive score to go along with 13 carries for 99 yards and two touchdowns … named to the All-District 4-5A Division 2 first team at outside linebacker as a junior in 2018 … also honorable mention 5A all-state … ranked as the nation’s No. 36 inside linebacker by 247Sports … a member of the Northwest track & field team, participating as a sprinter and in both the shot and discus … won the 5A state title in the discus in 2019, with a throw of 178 feet, 11 inches … finished third in the state meet as a sophomore in 2018 … brother, Caden, plays linebacker at San Diego State … played for coach Bill Poe at Northwest.

Jalen McMillan • WR • 6-2 / 182 • Fresno, Calif. (San Joaquin Memorial)
Lettered four times on the football field and twice on the baseball diamond for the San Joaquin Memorial Panthers … made 260 receptions for 5,234 yards and 54 touchdowns in 50 career games … helped the Panthers to a 12-2 record and the 2019 CIF Division 1-A North Regional finals … tallied 1,644 yards and 12 touchdowns on 89 receptions as a senior … 1,401 yards and 19 TDs as a junior and 1,810 yards and 21 TDs as a sophomore … rated the No. 38 overall prospect and No. 8 wide receiver in the country, as well as the No. 6 recruit in California, by 247Sports … rated by Rivals.com as the No. 84 player and No. 13 receiver in the nation, along with the No. 9 prospect in California … rated by ESPN as the No. 120 overall prospect and No. 20 wideout in the country, and No. 11 recruit in his state … selected to play in the 2020 All-American Bowl … participated in Junior Olympic track & field prior to starting high school … as a high school junior, made it to state prelims in the 100 and 200 meters (10.67 in the 100 was his personal best) … played football for coach Anthony Goston.

Gaard Memmelaar • OG • 6-4 / 299 • Caldwell, Idaho (Middleton)
A three-year letterman for the Vikings … named to MaxPreps’ All-Idaho first team in 2019 … made the All-4A Southern Idaho Conference first team as a junior in 2018  … ranked as the No. 1 recruit in Idaho, and the No. 53 guard in the nation, by 247Sports … rated the No. 28 guard in the country by Rivals.com … ranked the top player in his state and the No. 30 guard in the nation by ESPN … threw the shot and discus in high school … also played basketball, earning honorable mention all-conference as a junior … played for coach Bill Brock.

Myles Murao • OG • 6-2 / 312 • Torrance, Calif. (Mater Dei)
Earned four letters for the Mater Dei Monarchs, helping them to CIF Open state titles as a junior and sophomore … Monarchs made it to the 2019 CIF Southern Division 1 finals and averaged 356 yards passing and 125 yards rushing behind a Murao-led offensive line … named to the All-CIF-SS Division I first team and first-team All-County as a junior in 2018 … also the Trinity League MVP Lineman in 2018 … rated the nation’s No. 72 recruit and No. 2 guard, as well as California’s 8th-best player, by ESPN … ranked the No. 120 recruit and No. 3 center in the country by 247Sports, which also lists him as the No. 12 prospect in California … listed by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 41 recruit and No. 2 center, as well as the No. 20 player in his state … selected to play in the 2020 Polynesian Bowl and the 2020 All-American Bowl … played for coach Bruce Rollinson.

Rome Odunze • WR • 6-3 / 205 • Las Vegas, Nev. (Bishop Gorman)
Named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Nevada as a senior in 2019 … also the MaxPreps Nevada Player of the Year … over his career, had 121 receptions for 2,699 yards and 31 touchdowns … had 54 catches for 1,222 yards and 15 touchdowns over 13 games as a senior … notched 100 yards receiving in 12 of 13 games and scored in all but one … also returned 11 punts for an average of 22.1 yards per return, with two TDs … as a junior, caught 60 passes for 1,347 yards and 15 TDs … All-Southwest League first team as a junior, when he also earned a spot on the 4A all-state team … listed by 247Sports as the No. 185 overall prospect and No. 32 wide receiver in the nation, as well as the No. 2 recruit in Nevada … ranked the nation’s No. 239 overall prospect and No. 44 receiver, and the No. 2 prospect in his state, by Rivals.com … a standout sprinter on the track team … named to the 2019 all-state team for track and field … won the 4A state title in the 200 meters (21.25) and the 4×100 relay (41.36), and finished fourth in the 100 (10.67) as a junior in 2019 … took second in the 4A state meet in the 4×200 as a freshman … played football for coach Kenny Sanchez.

Samuel Peacock • OT • 6-6 / 275 • Gig Harbor, Wash. (Gig Harbor)
Played four seasons on the varsity at Gig Harbor … named the Lineman of the Year for the Class 3A South Sound Conference as a senior in 2019 … also made the Tacoma News-Tribune’s all-area team in 2019 … earned first-team All-Class 3A South Sound Conference as a junior in 2018 … listed as the No. 47 tackle in the nation and No. 11 recruit in the state of Washington by 247Sports … won the state title in the shot put (58 feet, 11 inches) as a junior in 2019, after having finished fifth as a sophomore … played for coach George Fairhart.

Sawyer Racanelli • WR • 6-2 / 208 • Brush Prairie, Wash. (Hockinson)
Missed his senior season due to injury … led Hockinson to back-to-back Washington 2A State Championships in 2017 and 2018 … eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons, including 1,764 yards on 101 receptions and 21 touchdowns as a junior … also had 207 rushing yards and 11 TDs and made 88 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and made two interceptions on defense … named to the Tacoma News-Tribune all-state team (all levels) as a junior in 2018 … scored all six of his team’s TDs in the 2018 2A state title game … just the fifth player in state history with 100 or more receptions in a season … also first-team All-2A Greater St. Helens League as a junior … made 66 catches for 1,345 yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore and 56 catches for 1,055 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman … ranked the No. 21 “athlete” prospect in the nation and the No. 9 recruit in Washington by 247Sports … rated the state’s No. 8 recruit and the nation’s No. 50 “athlete” by ESPN … participated in the shot put, long jump and sprints for his track team in high school … also lettered in baseball and basketball … father, Josh, played quarterback at Portland State, where he was coached by Chris Petersen … brother, Canon, plays quarterback at Central Washington … coached by Rick Steele.

Mark Redman • TE • 6-6 / 239 • Newport Beach, Calif. (Corona del Mar)
Three-year letterman for the Corona del Mar Sea Kings, playing 50 games, making 149 receptions for 1,832 yards and 25 touchdowns … captained Corona del Mar to the Division 1A CIF State Championship, a 35-27 win over Serra … finished 16-0 and also won the Division 3 CIF Southern title … as a senior, has made 72 receptions for 979 yards and 13 touchdowns … made 54 catches for 598 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior and 23 catches for 255 yards and three TDs as a sophomore ……. named to the All-CIF-SS Division 4 first team as a junior in 2018 … also first-team All-Sunset League as a junior … ranked by 247Sports as the No. 15 tight end in the country and No. 44 recruit in California … listed as the No. 249 overall recruit and No. 7 tight end in the country, as well as the No. 24 player in his state, by Rivals.com … the nation’s No. 10 “tight end-Y” recruit, according to ESPN … coached by Dan O’Shea

Roger Rosengarten • OT • 6-5 / 258 • Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Valor Christian)
Lettered in both football (four years) and basketball (two years) for the Valor Christian Eagles … played on both the offensive and defensive lines, where he has amassed over 100 tackles in 48 career games … helped lead the Eagles to a 10-2 record and a trip to the state 5A quarterfinals … earned Class 5A first-team all-state on the defensive line as a junior in 2018 … made the Colorado Community Media All-South Metro first team as a junior … listed as the No. 85 recruit and No. 9 offensive tackle in the country, as well as the No. 1 player in Colorado, by 247Sports … rated the No. 128 overall prospect and No. 14 tackle, as well as Colorado’s No. 2 recruit, by Rivals.com … ESPN’s No. 25 tackle and No. 3 recruit in his state … selected to play in the 2020 Polynesian Bowl and the 2020 All-American Bowl … also a standout basketball and baseball player … averaged 15.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as a junior on the basketball team, earning honorable mention 5A all-state in basketball … played football for coach Ed McCaffrey, the former Stanford and longtime NFL wide receiver.

Sav’ell Smalls • OLB • 6-4 / 244 • Burien, Wash. (Kennedy Catholic)
Played at Kennedy Catholic as a freshman and again as a senior, having attended Garfield High in Seattle as a sophomore and junior … the NPSL’s defensive lineman of the year for 2019 … named to the Seattle Times’ “Star Times” all-area team and all-state (all levels) teams … also made the Tacoma News-Tribune’s all-area team in 2019 … helped the Lancers to a 12-1 record, reaching the quarterfinals of the 2019 Washington 4A State Playoffs … named the defensive MVP of the Metro League Mountain Division as a junior at Garfield, despite missing a portion of the season due to injury … also made first-team all-league on offense and defense and honorable mention 3A all-state in 2018 … named to the Tacoma News-Tribune’s all-state (all levels) team in 2018 … on the 2018 Seattle Times “Star Times” team … Metro League Mountain Division MVP as a sophomore in 2017, earning first-team all-league as an outside linebacker and second-team as a tight end … made the Seattle Times’ “Star Times” all-area team as a sophomore … 90 tackles and 90 sacks in 2017 … ESPN’s No. 10 overall prospect and No. 2 outside linebacker, as well as the top player in the state … ranked the No. 11 overall recruit and No. 3 outside linebacker in the nation, and No. 1 prospect in Washington by 247Sports … Rivals.com’s No. 12 overall prospect and No. 1 weakside defensive end in the country … played for coach Sheldon Cross at Kennedy.

James Smith • CB • 6-1 / 182 • Los Angeles, Calif. (St. John Bosco)
Helped St. John Bosco to a 13-1 record, a Division 1 CIF Finals win over Mater Dei and the 2019 CIF Open Division Championship … beat De La Salle, 49-28, in the Open Division title game … listed by Rivals.com as the No. 40 cornerback prospect in the country and No. 45 recruit in his state … ranked the No. 80 cornerback in the nation and No. 91 recruit in California by 247Sports … ESPN ranks him the No. 77 corner in the nation … teammate (one year younger) of UW freshman cornerback Trent McDuffie … participated in high jump, long jump and triple jump for the Bosco track team … finished fourth in the long jump (personal best: 22 feet, 8.75 inches) and seventh in the triple jump (46 feet, 0 inches) in the CIF-SS Division 3 finals as a junior … also seventh in the triple jump as a sophomore … coached by Jason Negro.

Jay’Veon Sunday • TB • 5-11 / 196 • Waco, Texas (Connally)
Ended his career as both the career and single-season season leader in Connally Cadets history in yards and touchdowns … recorded over 5,000 rushing yards and 80 TDs … eclipsed over 2,000 yard and scored 35 TDs as a senior after rushing for 2,329 yards and 36 touchdowns in 12 games as a junior … had already broken the school’s career rushing yards and touchdowns records before starting his senior season … helped the Cadets to a 10-0 start in 2019, their first undefeated regular season since 1990, advancing to the semifinals in Region 2 of the Texas 4A D2 playoffs  … Super Centex Sports Network Offensive Player of the Year and the District 8-4A Division II Offensive MVP … also named to the 4A all-state first team as a junior … earned second-team all-district as a sophomore … listed as the No. 37 running back in the country by Rivals.com … ranked the No. 51 running back in the nation by 247Sports … also participated in powerlifting … a sprinter on the Connally track team … played football for coach Shane Anderson.

Mason West • TE • 6-3 / 242 • Whittier, Calif. (La Habra)
Had 12 receptions for 173 yards and three TDs for La Habra as a senior … helped lead the Highlanders to a 12-3 record and the CIF Southern Section Division 3 semifinals … named to the All-Freeway League first team as a junior in 2018 … had 22 receptions for 375 yards and five touchdowns as a junior … ranked the No. 56 tight end in the nation by 247Sports … ranked the No. 30 “tight end-Y” in the country by ESPN … coached by Frank Mazzotta

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