Gig Harbor High tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins announced he will attend Washington tonight at a news conference at the Gig Harbor Yacht Club. Read Mason Kelley’s report in the Seattle Times. (An aside: It makes me sad that the under-staffed and over-inflated SeattlePI.com does not have this news on its site at 7:10 p.m.)
This news is significant not only because the Huskies get an enormous talent in the nation’s No. 2 tight end, but because it is one of only two national recruits to pick the Huskies since Jake Locker picked UW over Cal and USC in 2005. (I would suggest the other two “national” recruits would be Lakes High’s Kavario Middleton — at one time the No. 1 TE recruit in the nati0n — and East Valley (Redlands, Calif.) product Chris Polk, who changed his mind to attend Washington after orally committing to USC. (Middleton was kicked off the team this summer, while Polk, a redshirt sophomore, is the team’s starting tailback.)
Seferian-Jenkins’ choice is not a surprise. It is the choice closest to home. Family will get to see him regularly. The Huskies should be getting the in-state players. But the truth is, two or three years ago, I don’t know why Seferian-Jenkins would go to UW.
Texas is a heavy hitter, a school that doesn’t get turned down that often, a school Sports Illustrated named the best public university for athletics in the nation. It’s a school that was playing for the national championship a year ago while Washington played to its seventh consecutive season without a bowl appearance. Every year, the Texas Longhorns put players in the first round of the NFL draft. From Brian Orakpo to Vince Young to Quintin Jammer to Ricky Williams to Seattle’s own Eric Metcalf. And I can’t say with certainty, but I think Locker was the last Washington high school product to whom Texas coach Mack Brown offered a scholarship — and that’s an unofficial, last-minute offer, rumor has it.
What has Washington done since Texas has been to two BCS championship games, winning one in 2005? Well, the Huskies have gone 16-44, underachieved to the Pac-10’s only 0-11 team ever in 2008, brought in a hot-shot young coach and are doing their damnedest to turn things around.
Well, here’s to that hot-shot young coach, Steve Sarkisian and his staff because this is one hell of a statement for the present — the past be damned. The past isn’t what got Seferian-Jenkins to UW. Seferian-Jenkins wasn’t even born when the Huskies won their last national championship. In his lifetime, he has seen Texas succeed. He wouldn’t remember the glory years.
What this kid sees is the future.
Huskies fans have learned the hard way that sure-thing recruits do not always pan out. That isn’t the point today or, at least it isn’t the point of this post. The point is — the Huskies beat Texas in a football battle. It wasn’t one on the field, but it just might be one that plays out on the turf very soon.
And it is one that should make Huskies fans very excited.