Huskies land star Sacramento safety Shaquille Thompson
Shaquille Thompson of Sacramento, considered by some among the top five players in the nation and the No. 1 player at his position, tweeted late Monday night that he is committing to UW.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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On a day the Huskies lost out on one of their biggest in-state recruits this year in Lakes High offensive tackle Zach Banner, they gained one of the biggest out-of-state commitments in their recent history.
Safety Shaquille Thompson of Grant High in Sacramento, Calif., considered by some among the top five players in the nation and the No. 1 player at his position, tweeted late Monday night that he is committing to Washington.
He later confirmed the commitment in texts to several reporters, including ESPN.com and The Sacramento Bee.
"It (UW) was where my heart was at," Thompson said in texts. He also mentioned UW's second-highest Pac-12 graduation rates and that he "love(s) the coaches."
Thompson is the most significant recruiting addition to date that is a result of recent changes UW made to its defensive assistant coaching staff, notably hiring line coach Tosh Lupoi away from California.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Thompson committed to Cal in January, but at the time it was considered that UW was a close second behind the Bears.
Lupoi had helped recruit him to Cal. When Lupoi came to Seattle, Thompson reconsidered his options, also throwing Oregon and UCLA into the mix.
He took an unofficial visit to UW this weekend (he had taken an official in September for the Huskies' game against Cal), which apparently helped seal the deal for Washington.
Thompson was also drawn to UW by one of his best friends, safety James Sample, who also played at Grant High and was a Husky freshman in 2011.
ESPN.com's Greg Biggins reported that another factor for Thompson was that UW will allow him to play professional baseball if he is drafted.
Scout.com's scouting report states that Thompson is so versatile "he could play all four spots" in the secondary. Oregon coach Chip Kelly had apparently told Thompson in a recruiting visit that he would devise some offensive plays for Thompson, as more evidence of his overall athletic ability. Among numerous honors, he was named to the Parade All-America team and played in the U.S. Army All-American Game this month.
Some observers say he will give UW the kind of imposing presence in the secondary it has lacked since the days of Lawyer Milloy and Tony Parrish in the 1990s.
Two other highly rated recruits expected to make their decision on Tuesday are receivers Jordan Payton of Oaks Christian High in Westlake Village, Calif., and receiver Jaydon Mickens of Dorsey High in Los Angeles.
Payton has been previously committed to both USC and Cal, but reopened his recruitment in January after Bears receivers coach Eric Kiesau came to Washington. Kiesau had previously helped Cal recruit Payton.
Payton took an official visit to UW two weekends ago and was reported to have taken an unofficial one last weekend. He is reportedly deciding between UW and UCLA or sticking with Cal.
Mickens also was at one time committed to USC, but it was reported last fall that he was no longer committed to the Trojans because they were no longer recruiting him, apparently due to NCAA sanctions-related scholarship reductions which limited the number of players they can accept.
QB Miles still solid to UW
Quarterback Cyler Miles of Mullen High in Denver said Monday night he remains solidly committed to Washington.
Miles took a trip to USC two weekends ago, then had an in-home visit with the Trojans last week, which led to some rumblings about whether he might be swayed to change his mind. But he told several media outlets, including the Times, that he is committed to UW and will sign with the Huskies on Wednesday.
"Yeah, it (his commitment) is (solid)," he said in a text.
• Rivals.comreported that Malcolm Jackson, a defensive lineman from Mount Miguel High in Spring Valley, Calif., who had committed to UW last June, will instead sign with San Diego State. Academic issues may have helped spur the change.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com. On Twitter @bcondotta.