Washington picked up football commitments Friday from Daeshon Hall, Lavon Coleman, Elijah Qualls, Andrew Basham, Caleb Tucker, Damore'ea Stringfellow and Poasi Moala, for the class of 2013.
Eight high-school football players sat in a row at the Ram Restaurant and Brewery.
The group had just finished the morning session of the University of Washington’s Rising Stars Camp. Seven had announcements to make.
Hanging above their heads were framed Husky jerseys — Steve Emtman, Chris Chandler and Greg Lewis, among others — and this group felt it was the proper place to spread the news. They all planned to join Washington’s 2013 recruiting class.
Caleb Tucker, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound outside linebacker from Monroe, La. (Ouachita Parish High School), was the first to stand up. He wore a purple Huskies beanie and started the string of commitments.
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“It’s crazy,” Tucker said. “It’s another chapter in my life. It really hasn’t hit me yet. I’ve really just always dreamed about this, and there aren’t too many people who can say that they actually accomplished this. I’m just really excited about it.”
One by one they stood up. Damore’ea Stringfellow, a 6-3 receiver from Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley, Calif., joined his teammate, Poasi Moala, a 6-5, 265-pound lineman.
“This is very special,” said Stringfellow, who is listed at No. 73 in the ESPN 150 recruiting rankings. “This is once-in-a-lifetime. You’ve got to remember this. For the next four years, this is where I’m going to be playing ball. This is a really special moment for me.”
Local linemen Daeshon Hall, a 6-6, 220-pound defensive end who spent his freshman and sophomore years at Garfield, and Andrew Basham, a 6-3, 298-pound defensive tackle from Lynnwood, were part of the group that also included Lompoc, Calif., running back Lavon Coleman, who is rated a four-star recruit by Scout.com.
“This is really big,” said Hall, who spent his junior year in Lancaster, Texas, and recently backed out of a verbal commitment to Texas because he wanted to play in the Northwest. “There’s a whole bunch of big-time athletes around here. All of my family is around here, so it wouldn’t be too hard for them to come see my games.”
Basham added, “I haven’t heard of seven people committing in one day. It’s really special. I’m sure my family is happy.”
Elijah Qualls, a 6-2, 285-pound defensive lineman, who also plays running back at Casa Grande (Petaluma, Calif.), wore a black, personalized Washington jersey and was instrumental in coordinating the commitments.
“It’s a big day, because Washington is coming up,” Qualls said. “It’s showing that we’re doing big things. We’re on the rise. I definitely see that we have the potential to win that Rose Bowl, if not this year then maybe even my freshman year, sophomore year. We’re coming after it. We’re going to be fighting for some championships.”
Narbonne (Harbor City, Calif.) quarterback Troy Williams pledged to play for the Huskies earlier this month, but the other seven athletes who gave verbal commitments had no problem sharing the celebration.
“We all loved this place,” Qualls said. “They all saw the same thing that I did. We’re all on the same page and we decided. Why not do something that nobody else does? The Huskies are about being a team, so we did it as a team.”
• In addition to the 15 commitments Washington has secured in its 2013 recruiting class, the Huskies have picked up a verbal pledge from 2014 receiver Rahshead Johnson of Jordan High School (Long Beach, Calif.).
|Seven high-school football players made UW commitments Friday:|
|Lavon Coleman||RB||Lompoc, Calif.|
|Daeshon Hall||DE||Lancaster, Texas|
|Poasi Moala||OL||Moreno Valley, Calif.|
|Elijah Qualls||DL||Petaluma, Calif.|
|Damore’ea Stringfellow||WR||Moreno Valley, Calif.|
|Caleb Tucker||LB||Monroe, La.|