Marysville Pilchuck’s Joyner withdraws commitment to UW

The University of Washington picked up a head coach Friday morning but also lost a top recruit.

Austin Joyner, a four-star running back by Scout and ESPN.com from Marysville Pilchuck High School, announced Friday morning he had withdrawn his committment to Washington on Twitter.

His post came soon after the school announced the hiring of former Boise State coach Chris Petersen as the Huskies’ new head coach.

“So today I’m decommitting from the University of Washington. Not possible to be committed to a school with a coach I don’t even know,” Joyner tweeted.

Joyner, who is regarded as one of the top recruits in the state, had committed to Washington and then-head coach Steve Sarkisian on Nov. 19. However, with Sarkisian departing for the University of Southern California on Monday, Joyner told The Herald his recruitment was “murky right now.”

Verbal commitments are non-binding. An athlete can’t officially sign with a school until February of his senior year.

Before his commitment Joyner also had offers from Pacific-12 schools Arizona State, Oregon State and Washington State. Coaches from Oregon visited Marysville Pilchuck to talk to Joyner on Friday at 10 a.m., two hours after Petersen was announced as the new Husky head coach. The Ducks have not yet officially offered Joyner a scholarship.

And despite the withdrawn commitment, Joyner has not ruled out recommitting to Washington and eventually signing with the Huskies.

“Everyone just automatically thinks that I am completely done with Washington but it’s not true,” Joyner said in a text message Friday night. “I decommitted because I don’t know the head coach at all at this point. How can you commit to someone you don’t even know?”

While at Boise State, Petersen had not talked to Joyner, the No. 3 recruit in Washington state and the No. 11 running back in the country for the Class of 2015, according to ESPN.com. Joyner rushed for 1,521 yards and 21 touchdowns this past season and was named The Herald’s Offensive Player of the Year.

On Monday when Sarkisian left Joyner said that the coach was “a very huge part of why I was going there,” along with liking the facilities and staying close to home. He said he was going to wait and see who Washington would hire to replace Sarkisian.

Now that the Huskies have their coach, it remains to be seen if they’ll have their star running back.

“I’m going to wait for a while and just reopen up my recruitment,” Joyner said.

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