Washington football lands 19th commitment
Fullback Psalm Wooching of Kalakehe High in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, committed to Huskies after a visit this weekend. Signing day is Feb. 1.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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The second-to-last recruiting weekend of the season for the Washington Huskies yielded one firm commitment and an awful lot of rumors, innuendo and speculation.
The commitment came from fullback Psalm Wooching of Kalakehe High in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, who was one of five recruits to visit Washington this weekend. None of the others, including offensive lineman Jake Eldrenkamp of Bellevue, was reported to have committed.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Wooching, rated three stars by Scout.com and Rivals.com, had committed to UCLA last May but reopened his recruitment following the firing of coach Rick Neuheisel. He is the 19th known commit for UW's Class of 2012, a group that could number 25 to 28 when it's completed.
The Huskies hope that highly touted quarterback Cyler Miles of Mullen High in Denver and offensive tackle Zach Banner of Lakes High will be part of that class. But both spent the weekend on official visits at USC.
That was no surprise in the case of Banner, who had long said his visit to USC would be his last before making a decision for letter-of-intent signing day Feb. 1. And after his visit to USC, he was quoted by several outlets as saying that he remains uncommitted and won't announce until signing day, with Washington, USC and Oklahoma all in the running.
That Miles was there with Banner caught many who follow recruiting off-guard.
Miles, who was recently co-MVP of the U.S. Army All-American Game, has been committed to UW since June, giving the Huskies two standout quarterbacks for this class — the other being Jeff Lindquist of Mercer Island, who committed in April.
But Miles said last week he had gotten increasing calls since his play in the Army game. He also had been recruited to UW by offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, who earlier this month left for Alabama.
Miles said early last week he was unsure if he would take more visits. But news of his USC visit surfaced Sunday morning, Miles apparently keeping it under wraps until it was completed.
He said last week he remained committed to UW, having also visited Illinois and Florida earlier. It is unclear how serious his interest is in USC, which does not have a quarterback commit for the Class of 2012 but has three highly touted young players on the depth chart behind Matt Barkley, who will be a senior next season.
The others reported to have made visits to UW this weekend were defensive end Luke Kaumatule of Punahou School in Honolulu, regarded as a soft commit to Stanford; receiver Jordan Payton of Westlake Village, Calif.; and safety Devian Shelton of Inglewood, Calif.
Payton earlier committed to California and Shelton to Oregon State. But the coaches who largely handled their recruiting at those schools — Eric Kiesau for Payton and Keith Heyward for Shelton — were recently hired at Washington.
• Washington also needs to find a new kicker for 2012 with Erik Folk graduating. One option could be Santiago Lopez of Lynden, who said on Sunday that he plans to walk on at UW next fall.
Lopez, who was a Seattle Times white-chip selection, said he has talked to Husky coaches and is in the process of getting enrolled. He wants to walk-on at Washington rather than accept scholarship offers he had from some smaller schools. Lopez was part of the Lynden team that won the state 2A title in December.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @bcondotta.