Scott Huff didn’t need to go far to find the cornerstone of his class.
Washington’s fourth-year offensive-line coach pulled in a verbal commitment from four-star 2021 offensive guard Owen Prentice on Thursday.
“I would say the coaching staff played the biggest role for me,” Prentice told 247Sports about his decision to commit to UW. “I told coach Huff and coach (Jimmy) Lake at the same time and they were super excited.”
In a written evaluation, 247Sports national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman described Prentice as “a smart, hardworking player who can play any spot on the offensive line. Projects as an interior lineman with his size and strength and ability to go up against defensive tackles. Has plus ability when pulling and getting into the open field.
“Needs to continue to refine as a pass blocker since prep offense is mostly run-based but is a punishing run blocker and can play left guard at the next level. Great footwork and uses his hands well to engage his defender. Projects as multi-year Power 5 starter and a third day (NFL draft) pick.”
Prentice — a 6-foot-3, 296-pound lineman from O’Dea High School in Seattle — chose the hometown Huskies over fellow finalists Stanford and LSU, as well as Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Michigan, Michigan State, USC, UCLA, Utah, Washington State and more.
And in doing so, he legitimized Huff’s ongoing recruiting stranglehold on the state. After all, the top offensive lineman from Washington in the 2020 cycle, Ferndale’s Geirean Hatchett, signed with the Huskies over Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, USC and many more. He was joined by four-star prospects Myles Murao and Roger Rosengarten and three-star recruits Gaard Memmelaar and Gig Harbor’s Samuel Peacock for good measure.
The state’s most highly rated offensive line prospect in 2019 — Rainier Beach’s Nate Kalepo — also unsurprisingly signed with UW.
By the way, don’t expect that trend to subside any time soon. In the 2022 class, Huff has currently offered six offensive linemen, and five of them — Todd Beamer’s Malik Agbo, Rainier Beach’s Josh Conerly, Graham-Kapowsin’s Vega Ioane, Puyallup’s Dave Iuli and O’Dea’s Mark Nabou — reside in the state of Washington.
As for the current class, Prentice is Washington’s seventh verbal commit from its home state — joining quarterback Sam Huard, wide receiver Jabez Tinae, linebacker Will Latu, tight end Quentin Moore, fullback Caden Jumper and defensive lineman Siaosi Finau. The Huskies are continuing to pursue a pair of five-star standouts — Eastside Catholic defensive lineman JT Tuimoloau and Steilacoom wide receiver Emeka Egbuka — as well as four-star Tumwater defensive lineman Jacob Schuster and four-star Lincoln linebacker (and USC commit) Julien Simon to boot.
The Huskies’ 2021 class — which has 14 commits and counting — is currently ranked third in the Pac-12 (behind Oregon and USC) and 21st nationally by the 247Sports Composite.
Prentice is UW’s second — and probably final — offensive line commit in 2021, joining three-star Soquel, Calif., tackle Robert Wyrsch. He’s ranked as the No. 4 player in the state of Washington, the No. 8 guard nationally and the No. 115 overall recruit in the 2021 class by 247Sports.
In other words, Prentice’s commitment was crucial for Washington. And for Huff, it was the latest addition to an impressive arsenal of homegrown offensive linemen.