Grubb: Austin Mack ‘different’ than anybody I’ve recruited

For the second consecutive recruiting class National Signing Day came and went without a high school quarterback signing with Washington.

The staff did however secure a commitment on February 1, landing prized Folsom High School (Folsom, Calif.) signal-caller Austin Mack. The 6-foot-6, 210-pounder chose UW over Cal, Oregon, Oregon State and Stanford after taking multiple trips to Seattle over the last two years.

Mack became the second quarterback for the Huskies in the 2024 class and the third overall commit, joining fellow signal-caller EJ Caminong (Garfield High School / Seattle, Wash.) and wide receiver Landon Bell (Liberty High School / Henderson, Nev.).

Less than two weeks later Mack announced he will forgo his senior season and enroll a year early to arrive in Seattle this summer and participate in fall camp.

It’s not often that a recruit chooses to give up their final year of high school eligibility to begin their college career. In the eyes of UW offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb and head coach Kalen DeBoer, it’s also not often schools get a quarterback as talented as Mack.

“Oh man, I am crazy fired up about this kid,” Grubb told Cascadia Sports on Tuesday at the Seattle Sports Starts of the Year award show.

“You never know how things are going to work out because I was fired up about Lincoln (Kienholz), too. But Austin is different than anybody I’ve ever recruited. His mindset and intelligence and body type, I think they’re more rare than anybody can possibly imagine, honestly.

“You’re talking about a 6-6 kid that can run. He’s a student of the game. Wants nothing more than to be great at what he does. And he’s a really, really grounded kid from a phenomenal family. His top end and what he can be is different than anybody else I’ve ever recruited.”

Mack would have been able to enroll six months early after his senior season, but Grubb wanted him to be able to learn from Michael Penix Jr., something he wouldn’t get the chance to do if he didn’t enroll a full year early.

“To get him to reclassify and be in this class – and be with Mike? I mean, that was one of my big points to Austin,” Grubb said. “Yes, you can still be our ’24 commit and be here mid-year, but you’re going to miss that six months with Mike.

“And being in a room with one of the guys I consider to be the best in the country at how Mike operates on a day-to-day basis. Just all the experiences Mike’s had as a student-athlete that just as a man, to be able to pass that onto Austin, I think that match is made in heaven.”

Mack led Folsom to a 12-2 record as a junior and threw for 3,498 yards and 40 touchdowns with just five interceptions. The Bulldogs lost 17-14 in the CIF Division 1-AA state championships to De La Salle.

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