SEATTLE — Compared to his college football counterparts, Chris Petersen didn’t have too much to do on Wednesday, the first day of the new early signing period that allows high school seniors to sign their national letters of intent.
Washington may have had the easiest day of any program in America. All 18 members of the Huskies’ 2018 recruiting class signed with the school. The entire group was inked by noon.
“We’re really, really excited about these guys,” Petersen said. “I mean, those are great kids. They’re big-time players and that achieves our mission. We went to 10 different states, which is exactly our blueprint.”
The immediate highlights revolve around what the Huskies recruited at offensive line, quarterback and wide receiver.
UW signed three offensive linemen, including Fife star tackle M.J. Ale, who is listed at 6-foot-6 and 361 pounds. He joins Houston Second Baptist (Texas) guard Victor Curne and Salpointe (Arizona) tackle Matteo Mele.
Curne was listed at 6-3 and 313 pounds while Mele checks in at 6-5 and 277 pounds.
Petersen and his staff also signed two four-star quarterbacks in Bothell’s Jacob Sirmon and Couer D’Alene’s Colson Yankoff.
He also spoke highly of the team’s collection of receivers, which features four-star recruits Austin Osborne and Marquis Spiker, among others.
Osborne, the No. 22 receiver in America, starred at Southern California power Mission Viejo where he also ran track. Spiker, the nation’s No. 5 receiver from Murietta Valley, holds the California record for career touchdown receptions with 65.
UW signed players from 10 states with the bulk of the class coming from the West Coast.
Like Petersen said, the Huskies made the most of hitting a geographic footprint. They dominated the west by signing top five prospects from the states of Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
Recruiting sites like 247 Sports and Rivals gave the class high marks. 247 considers the group to be the No. 1 class in the Pac-12 and the No. 11 unit in America. UW was deemed to be second in the conference and 12th in the nation by Rivals.
It’s the best class the Huskies have ever built in the modern recruiting era, which goes back to the early 2000s.
For fans, there’s reason to celebrate. UW signed a total of eight consensus four-star prospects. It’s a group featuring four U.S. Army All-Americans and one Under Armour All-American.
Petersen, however, said he couldn’t care less about those evaluations. He was more concerned about other items like grades.
He said the group’s combined core grade point average is a 3.0.
“I care about what we do on the field, what we do in the classroom,” Petersen said. “I know (the ranking systems) are important to other people but it doesn’t matter to me.”
Petersen, per usual, didn’t discuss every single player. The aspect of the class that pleased Petersen most of all?
“I think a lot of guys are sick of it,” Petersen said about recruiting. “I think they’re like, ‘Please, give me the papers so I can move on.’”
Any player that does not sign by Dec. 22 will have to wait until the more traditional National Signing Day on Feb. 7.
Petersen’s persona and the mantle he’s built at UW is one involving little to no stress when it comes to player development or recruiting.
It’s quite a contrast compared to the rest of America and five-star offensive lineman Jackson Carman was proof.
Carman was choosing between Clemson and Ohio State before selecting Clemson. The Ohio native told The Athletic he signed with the Tigers because Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer is “on the back end of his career in terms of years left.”
Swinney told Sports Illustrated that he and Carman “might have had a lot of conversations” but could not specifically recall making that particular claim about Meyer.
Petersen was not asked about that particular incident but he did talk about how recruiting has a bit of a dirty element.
“Don’t get me started. I think there’s so much garbage out there with lying to kids and it’s just wrong,” Petersen said. “I think it gives our business a bad name.”