In interview with on 710 ESPN Seattle, Petersen also says Jake Browning has bulked up and is 100 percent healthy.
Over the years, Washington coach Chris Petersen has made well known his disdain for recruiting services’ star rating system.
For nearly a decade, Petersen and his staff thrived at Boise State with the kind of castoff players that, by and large, weren’t recruited by Pac-12 programs.
Entering his fourth season at Washington, and coming off the Huskies’ first trip to the College Football Playoff, Petersen has maintained a similar approach to recruiting.
In an interview Tuesday morning with “Brock and Salk” on 710 ESPN Seattle, Petersen was asked if the Huskies’ 2016 breakthrough has opened new doors in recruiting.
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“It’s a little bit different,” Petersen said. “I do think that there’s maybe kids from further away that are interested in us, but I go back to this: I’m not really looking for different kids than we got a couple years ago. Look what those kids did — the Sidney Joneses, the Budda Bakers. Those type of guys, the guys that we still have in our program. Those were underrated kids. So we’re trying to find those kids that we think fit our culture, that have a big upside that we can develop and who buy into what we’re all about.”
That said, the Huskies have done well — especially lately — to land more high-profile recruits. On Monday evening, the Huskies picked up a verbal commitment from four-star offensive tackle Matteo Mele.
For perspective: In eight years at Boise, Petersen and his staff signed four four-star recruits. Of the nine recruits committed to UW for 2018, seven are rated by Scout as a four-star prospects — for a class that’s ranked 15th nationally.
“One of the things in the recruiting process that you’ve got to pay so close attention to — doesn’t matter who you are, where you are — is really knowing what fights to pick,” Petersen said. “We can get anybody in the country to visit here, if we wanted to. I know that. But is it the right fit? And at the end of the day, is the kid going to really come here? I’m not into getting second (place). I’d rather get 10th in the recruiting process and know that early. Let’s get these kids that have a sincere interest in Washington, have a sincere interest in getting an elite degree, that the school thing is important to them, that they’re about the team, that they want to be part of an organization that’s bigger than them. These are all hard things to figure out and to know. But I think if you do a ton of research, you can find the right guys and that pool starts to dwindle pretty fast.”
Browning full go
Quarterback Jake Browning attended the Manning Passing Academy last week at Nicholls State University in Louisiana, competing there against some of the top college quarterbacks in the country.
Petersen said Browning, limited during spring drills in April, is now 100 percent healthy after having shoulder surgery in January.
“He’s full go right now, without question, absolutely. No restrictions whatsoever,” Petersen said.
Browning said in April that his goal was to get bigger and stronger this offseason, and Petersen said the QB has added weight.
“He’s looking good. He’s one of those guys, when he walked in here a few years ago as a freshman, he kind of has broad shoulders anyway … so he’s kind of filling that out,” Petersen said. “He looks better and he looks sturdier and all those types of things”
Rob Scheidegger, UW’s head trainer, visited this offseason with the New Orleans Saints’ trainers who have treated star QB Drew Brees, who has had shoulder issues in the past. As a result, Scheidegger has altered some of Browning’s throwing routines.
“They’ve got Jake and our quarterbacks going through a different warmup procedure to pay attention to ‘pitch count,’ to help them warm up, to maybe not throw as many balls but strengthen our arm and be fresher,” Petersen said. “So he’s on that program right now, and we’re excited about it.”