Loyalty takes trust.

And time.

Which is why, when it comes to in-state recruiting, Kalen DeBoer says Washington is “only scratching the surface.”

Five days before UW added eight players — four high-school prospects and four transfers — to its 2022 class, Husky assistant coaches spread throughout the state, visiting more than 30 local high schools in one fell swoop. Said assistants marked each stop with a social media post, sandwiching the school between bolded phrases.



In recent recruiting cycles, the state of Washington has been blitzed by outside schools. And, in the last three cycles alone, Eastside Catholic wide receiver Gee Scott Jr. (Ohio State), Eastside Catholic defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau (Ohio State), Steilacoom wide receiver Emeka Egbuka (Ohio State), Lincoln linebacker Julien Simon (USC), Union wide receiver Tobias Merriweather (Notre Dame), Puyallup offensive lineman Dave Iuli (Oregon), Todd Beamer offensive lineman Malik Agbo (Texas), O’Dea offensive lineman Mark Nabou (Texas A&M) and more vacated the state.

The latest in that line is former three-star UW commit and Graham-Kapowsin offensive lineman Vega Ioane, who chose Penn State over UW and Minnesota in a signing ceremony on Wednesday.

Of course, Washington also celebrated wins on Wednesday, announcing the additions of the following four high school seniors and four transfers:

High school seniors

Tristan Dunn • S • 6-4 / 188 • Sumner, Wash. (Sumner High)

Jaivion Green • CB • 6-2 / 196 • Houston, Texas (Lamar High)

Armon Parker • DL • 6-3 / 284 • Detroit, Mich. (Fordson High)

Jayvon Parker • DL • 6-3 / 296 • Detroit, Mich. (Fordson High)


Lonyatta Alexander Jr.  • WR • 6-2 / 200 • Auburn, Wash. (Kennedy Catholic/Arizona State)


Cam Bright • LB • 6-1 / 220 • Montgomery, Ala. (University of Pittsburgh)

Aaron Dumas • TB • 5-11 / 180 • El Paso, Texas (University of New Mexico)

Kevin Ryan • P • 6-0 / 160 • Mesa, Ariz. (Idaho State University)

That completes UW’s 2022 class with 15 additions, after the Huskies accepted seven more prospects — Indiana University quarterback Michael Penix Jr., UC Davis cornerback Jordan Perryman, Tumwater High tight end Ryan Otton, Saguaro (Ariz.) High offensive lineman Parker Brailsford, Desert Ridge (Ariz.) outside linebacker Lance Holtzclaw, Emerald Ridge wide receiver Denzel Boston and Cerritos College linebacker Demario King — in December.

And, of the 15 first-year Huskies, the player set to make the most immediate impact might be Bright — a graduate transfer who tallied 58 tackles, six tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery in 14 games as a team captain for Pitt last fall.

“Cam’s played a lot of games in his college career, and just looking at that position and the need we had there (after losing starter Jackson Sirmon to Cal), it was a perfect fit,” DeBoer said. “The timing was perfect. You talk about an amazing personality. You talk about a guy on a mission to want to do something real big, that is exactly him. I’m really fired up about what Cam’s going to bring from a leadership standpoint, too.

“He’s just rock solid, runs extremely well, plays physical. He’s a team player. He really wanted to understand what our roster was and what our expectations were for this fall. That was a big deal, having only one year left.”

The same can’t be said for UW’s slew of high school senior signees, each of whom have four full seasons to make a positive impression. That includes a particularly intriguing defender in Tristan Dunn, a four-star safety from Sumner who flipped to Washington after initially committing to Arizona State.


“When I look at Tristan, he was probably one of the first names that was on my desk when I took the job,” DeBoer said. “It’s been really awesome building a relationship with him and seeing the love and passion he has for Husky football. From a player standpoint, this guy is violent. He’s a fierce competitor. He’s super long — 6-4, long arms. He runs sideline to sideline. He can track down people. His highlight film is a lot of fun to watch. So great tackler, hits you hard, over and over again, and I’m just really excited about what he’s going to bring to our team and our program.”

And yet, superlatives aside, UW’s 2022 class ranks just 11th in the Pac-12 and 92nd in the nation by 247Sports — due somewhat to its small size, and exacerbated by a 4-8 record and the firing of Jimmy Lake and his staff.

There’s work to be done — and it starts in the state of Washington.

“I think No. 1, it just takes time,” DeBoer said Wednesday, when asked about his in-state recruiting efforts. “Our culture within our team will show itself over the course of time, and just with word-of-mouth from our players and the way they act and the way they are and what people see when they watch them play. Social media plays a role in that, too, and just the energy that you kind of feel from guys. I think there’s a lot of different ways where you (can) feel what it’s like to be a UW Husky.

“And then obviously we have to do a good job of establishing relationships early in the process, really building on that, getting around and really meeting the coaches to where the coaches trust who we are and that what we say is actually really what we’re going to do. So I feel like we’ve worked hard on (in-state recruiting). We’re just barely scratching the surface, I think, on what that will become. But you get only one chance to make a first impression, and I think right now we’re working hard to make sure the coaches and the state of Washington and everyone involved knows that that’s going to be a priority.”

That first impression includes more than just a “Washington Blitz,” or how DeBoer’s new-look Huskies perform in the fall.


Last weekend, Washington welcomed roughly 150 visitors for its junior day — showcasing the program’s championship past (and hopeful future).

“I think it’s about showing what we’re capable of doing,” DeBoer said, on what he tries to impart to recruits on visits. “There’s two national championship trophies sitting in our trophy case. There’s a lot of Pac-12 championships that’ve happened here, the Rose Bowl appearances, all the players that’ve developed and went on to the NFL. So, it’s showing what’s capable of happening from that standpoint.

“But then I think it’s also showing how we’re going to do it, the integrity we’re going to have within the program, and the class that hopefully is seen and felt by our community. Even (with) our institution, it’s just showing and making sure that these prospects come to campus and realize what type of education they can have here at Washington. You try to give them the big, general picture in all these different areas, and then as you get to know them you really give them the details.”

As one cycle ends, another begins, and DeBoer and Co. are still getting to know the next crop of Husky targets.

Loyalty, of course, takes trust and time.

Time will tell whether Washington earns it.

Washington Huskies 2022 recruits

Here’s an updated look at UW’s 2022 recruiting class