Kennedy Catholic High School has been good to the Washington Huskies.
Five-star outside linebacker Sav’ell Smalls — who starred at Kennedy Catholic in Burien in his freshman and senior seasons — officially signed with UW in December. And five-star 2021 quarterback Sam Huard has been verbally committed to the hometown Huskies since Nov. 2018.
Now, one of Huard’s primary targets has added a verbal pledge of his own.
On Sunday — the birthday of his father, Joe Tinae, who died in 2010 — four-star 2021 wide receiver Jabez Tinae announced a verbal commitment to Washington.
“This sport is everything to me,” Tinae said in a commitment video on social media. “It continues to teach me what it means to be selfless, motivated and hard-working. It drives me every day to win on and off the field.
“Dad, even though you are not physically here, I know that you’re right here with me, encouraging me to keep going when things get tough. I can continue to make you proud. Happy birthday in heaven. This is for you. After careful consideration and tons of prayers, I couldn’t be more excited to continue my journey as a student-athlete at the University of Washington.”
The 6-foot-1, 187-pound Tinae chose the Huskies over scholarship offers from Oregon, USC, Utah, Arizona State, Cal, Washington State, Colorado, Nebraska and more. He’s ranked as a four-star prospect, the No. 50 wide receiver nationally and the No. 7 senior in the state of Washington by the 247Sports.com Composite.
In a written evaluation in April, 247Sports national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman described Tinae as a “technically sound, polished receiver with crisp route running and ease in getting in and out of his breaks. Shows tremendous body control and can adjust to any pass, excelling at catches in traffic. Tracks the ball well and can elevate to bring the pass in with ability to turn and catch in mid-air.
“Lacks elite top-end speed but routinely gets himself open. Gets consistent yards after contact. Projects as immediate Power 5 contributor and late-round NFL draft pick.”
In 10 games in his junior season, Tinae caught 45 passes for 959 yards (21.3 yards per reception) and scored seven touchdowns, according to MaxPreps.com. He had 59 catches, 1,221 yards (20.7 yards per catch) and 11 scores as a sophomore.
Tinae’s commitment is an important piece of the Husky puzzle, and not just because of his existing chemistry with Huard. He’s UW’s first wide receiver commit in the 2021 class, after position coach Junior Adams netted three highly touted wideouts — Jalen McMillan, Rome Odunze and Sawyer Racanelli — in his first full cycle in Seattle. The Huskies will continue to recruit five-star receiver prospects Emeka Egbuka and Troy Franklin as well as four-star standout Junior Alexander — another noteworthy Kennedy Catholic recruit.
With the addition of Tinae, UW’s 2021 class is ranked third in the Pac-12 and 28th nationally. He’s the Huskies’ sixth overall in-state 2021 commit — joining Huard, four-star linebacker Will Latu, three-star tight end Quentin Moore, three-star fullback Caden Jumper and unranked defensive lineman Siaosi Finau. In perhaps the state’s most historic talent haul, the Huskies are still pursuing Egbuka, Alexander, five-star defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau, four-star offensive lineman Owen Prentice, four-star defensive lineman Jacob Schuster and four-star outside linebacker and USC commit Julien Simon.
Even with 13 verbal commits and counting, there’s work still to be done — specifically in the state of Washington. But on Sunday, the Huskies got some help from a familiar source.