SEATTLE — The best class in the Chris Petersen era got stronger Wednesday when four-star defensive back Julius Irvin tweeted he will sign with Washington.
Irvin becomes the 20th member of a recruiting class that entered this week considered to be second in the Pac-12 and the No. 13 group nationally, per 247 Sports. Irvin, who is 6-foot-2 and 182 pounds, chose UW over Alabama and USC.
He is the 10th composite four-star prospect in the Huskies’ class. He’s also one of four California-based players in the group, joining four-star receivers Austin Osborne and Marquis Spiker and three-star running back Richard Newton.
And he’s the latest player to fortify what is deemed to be the best class UW has ever built in the modern recruiting era.
Petersen and his staff were among the first programs to offer Irvin — who is rated the No. 12 safety in the nation — only to fend off other schools as his star rose.
Irvin led Southern California powerhouse Servite of Anaheim with 52 tackles, 11 pass deflections, five interceptions and one forced fumble.
At Servite, Irvin showed he could play both cornerback and safety. His agility and speed allows him to cover the field while sticking with receivers.
His frame gives him the versatility to overpower smaller receivers while also matching the physicality of tight ends and bigger wideouts.
Irvin is the third defensive back the Huskies have signed for their 2018 class. He joins a pair of corners in three-star Dominique Hampton and four-star Kyler Gordon of Everett’s Archbishop Murphy High School.
Hampton, who is 6-2 and 197 pounds, led Arizona power Centennial of Peoria to its third state championship in four seasons. Hampton, in terms of composite rankings, was the No. 76 cornerback in America. He finished his senior year with eight interceptions.
Gordon, at 5-11 and 177 pounds, was one of the most dynamic talents in the state of Washington. Composite rankings had Gordon as the No. 3 prospect in the state and the 19th best cornerback in the nation. Gordon had 44 tackles and five interceptions to guide the Wildcats to the Class 2A state semifinal.
UW, with Irvin in tow, enters next season with 14 defensive backs on the roster but could see losses after the 2018 campaign.
The Huskies will graduate four seniors in cornerback Jomon Dotson, safety Jojo McIntosh, cornerback Jordan Miller and defensive back Sean Vergara.
And there’s a chance the figure could rise to five if star junior safety Taylor Rapp declares for the NFL Draft.