Devin Aguilar's talents, according to his quarterback, Keith Price, can be deceptive. "I don't think teams know that he can jump the way...
Devin Aguilar’s talents, according to his quarterback, Keith Price, can be deceptive.
“I don’t think teams know that he can jump the way he can,” says Price. “He’s one of the highest jumpers on our team. That’s what people don’t know, that he can really jump.”
Among those who might not have caught on were the coaches at Colorado in the fall of 2006. Aguilar says they didn’t offer him a scholarship even though he had been the Rocky Mountain News’ All-Colorado Player of the Year as a senior at Denver’s Mullen High.
He calls it “weird” that Colorado, then coached by Dan Hawkins, didn’t offer. “They never sent letters, never communicated,” Aguilar said.
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He’s never bothered to find out why, saying he was more than happy to put his jumping skills to use and make the leap to Washington.
“Even if I had a scholarship (to Colorado), I don’t think I would have went,” he said. “I never really wanted to stay in state. I wanted to be outside of it. I always wanted to be a Pac-10 — now Pac-12 — competitor.”
Now, Colorado is too. The Buffaloes will play UW for the first time as a Pac-12 school on Saturday at Husky Stadium at 12:30 p.m.
Maybe Colorado thought Aguilar had basketball on his mind as a senior in high school. The all-state point guard was pursued in that sport by the likes of Iowa State and Utah.
Aguilar has said he debated long and hard which sport to play before deciding on football, largely because he thought it was the one that offered the best long-term future. He signed with UW as part of the Class of 2007 when Tyrone Willingham was coach.
His UW career has had its share of fits and starts. He missed two games each of the past two seasons due to injury, and last year a hip injury led to a midseason slump that derailed a good beginning. But Aguilar appears to be saving his best for last.
While UW has one of its deepest receiving corps in years, Aguilar has emerged as the team’s best deep threat, catching 15 passes for a team-high 293 yards, an average of 19.5 per reception.
“He’s having a tremendous senior year,” said UW coach Steve Sarkisian, saying one of Aguilar’s strengths is his “ability to line up all over the field.”
“He’s got a very high football IQ,” Sarkisian said of the 6-foot, 195-pounder. “He does an excellent job on third down in his intermediate routes, and he’s fearless and he goes across the middle and he has taken some big bits for us over three years. But he continually comes up with tough catches, whether it’s third down or in the red zone.”
Some of his bigger plays have come on plays that have broken down, when Price has been forced to move around in the pocket.
“He’s been doing a great job on scramble plays of just getting open,” Price said. “He’s smart, so he knows the coverages, he knows the soft spots in the coverages, so we’ve been able to hit big on those.”
“Scramble rules,” says Aguilar. ” We work on that a lot. Me and Keith are on the same page a lot of times. Wherever the depth is, wherever I have to go find the spot, he’s confident that I can make the catch.”
Aguilar was one of two Colorado players to sign with UW in 2007, the other being Aurora’s Alvin Logan, a receiver-turned-linebacker whose college career ended prematurely because of injury. Each was recruited by then-UW assistant Bob Simmons, who had previously worked at Colorado.
The Huskies haven’t had a player from that state since, though they have a commitment for the Class of 2012 from quarterback Cyler Miles, who like Aguilar is from Mullen, a perennial power. The school is coached by Dave Logan, a star receiver at Colorado in the ’70s who later played in the NFL and is a radio talk-show host in Denver. Three Mullen players are the Buffs’ roster.
With Colorado now in the Pac-12, some have theorized that schools like Washington may be able to more easily pluck players from that state. Aguilar says he’s proof that leaving can work out just fine, something he hopes to show to those back home who will be watching Saturday’s game.
“Everybody is looking forward to it, especially my family and a lot of my coaches at my high school,” he said. “They wondered why I didn’t go to CU.”
Aguilar says he’s never really looked back.
“That’s how the tables turned. So I’m fine.”
• Receiver Kasen Williams, who suffered a high-ankle sprain against Utah on Oct. 1, again participated in practice on Wednesday. Sarkisian said it was too early to say how much he’ll be able to play Saturday, saying Williams appeared “a little stiff.”