SEATTLE (AP) — Chris Petersen paid a lofty compliment to the recruiting class signed by Washington on Wednesday and in the process perhaps added some additional expectations.
“I feel very similar to these guys as I have the last couple of years the classes we signed. Which I think is saying a whole heck of a lot,” Petersen said.
Coming off a Pac-12 title and appearance in the College Football Playoff, Washington signed 18 players, addressing some needs at skill positions while also landing six of the top 10 players from the Huskies’ home state. The group of homegrown talent is led by running back Salvon Ahmed, tight end Hunter Bryant and offensive lineman Henry Bainivalu.
But Petersen and his staff were calculated in what they went after. They signed three wide receivers — Ty Jones, Terrell Bynum and Alex Cook — all with different styles. The Huskies lost three defensive backs to either graduation or early entry to the NFL, so Washington added three players in the secondary highlighted by cornerback Elijah Molden, the No. 2 player from the state of Oregon and the son of former Oregon standout Alex Molden.
The Huskies did miss out on two big recruits that had originally given a verbal commitment to Washington. Running back Connor Wedington ended up signing with Stanford and defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu signed with USC. But Petersen felt solid in Washington’s recruiting methods.
“I’m a more firm believer in how we do things recruiting-wise around here than I’ve ever been,” he said.
Washington initially announced a class of 17 players and had one addition late in the day: defensive end Jordan Lolohea from Salt Lake City. Lolohea announced he was signing with Washington during a ceremony on Wednesday morning but his letter of intent didn’t become official until late in the day.
Other things to know:
Top 25 Class: Yes.
Best in class: Salvon Ahmed, RB, Kirkland, Washington. The arrival of Ahmed gives the Huskies another multifaceted athlete on the offensive side of the ball to help replace John Ross. Ahmed will get a look at running back to start.
Best of the rest: Hunter Bryant, TE, Issaquah, Washington; Elijah Molden, CB, West Linn, Oregon; Henry Bainivalu, OL, Sammamish, Washington; Ty Jones, WR, Provo, Utah.
Late addition: OL Jaxson Kirkland. The big offensive tackle from Portland, Oregon was a late signing after the Huskies lost out on Foster Sarell, who chose Stanford. Kirkland was always leaning toward the Huskies; he’s the son of former Washington offensive lineman Dean Kirkland.
One that got away: DL Marlon Tuipulotu originally gave a verbal commitment to Washington last April and remained solid until a late push by USC caused the standout to flip and sign with the Trojans.
How they’ll fit in: Washington took a relatively small class due to a thin senior class. The skill players the Huskies signed should have a chance to contribute right away, especially the likes of Ahmed, Molden, CB Keith Taylor and safety Brandon McKinney. Bryant also should play right away as he provides athleticism at tight end.
For the full list: http://www.gohuskies.com/
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