The University of Washington is adding another DeBoer.
Alexis DeBoer — one of the top softball prospects in the 2024 class, and the daughter of UW football coach Kalen DeBoer — announced a verbal commitment to the Huskies on Sunday. Her commitment came exactly one year after Alexis and her mother, Nicole, attended UW’s home football game (a 31-24 overtime win against Cal) and participated in a Husky softball camp the same weekend.
At the time, neither knew Kalen would beat his daughter to UW.
“This is a proud moment to be a dad,” Kalen DeBoer said with a smile Monday. “I’m super excited that Alexis is getting this opportunity. [It’s a] really cool deal. A year ago today, she was at a softball camp here with coach [Heather] Tarr. This was one of those schools, going back even when we lived on the other side of the country, that she identified — because of the success, because of what coach Tarr does and her staff. It’s an awesome group of young women here in this program.
“I love watching the game of softball. It’s a huge part [of my life], other than probably coaching and my family. Whether it be just throwing BP or playing catch, whatever it might be, that’s the other thing we do. Softball is a huge part of our life. It’s crazy how full-circle we’ve gone, and here we are. So I’m super proud.”
Before embarking on a coaching career, Kalen DeBoer set career records for batting average (.492), home runs (37) and slugging percentage (.944) at the University of Sioux Falls. He briefly played for the Canton Crocodiles, an independent minor-league baseball team, as well.
As for Alexis, the high-school junior is listed as a third baseman by MaxPreps.com. She hit .357 with a .456 on-base percentage, eight home runs and 20 RBI in 20 games as a sophomore at Clovis North High.
And though Alexis won’t enroll until 2024, that hasn’t stopped her dad from spending time with the softball program.
“I love softball. So I’m around them too much, probably,” Kalen DeBoer joked. “We have a great group of coaches here, not just coach Tarr. But all the other coaches here in this athletic department, when we get a chance to get together it’s a special time. I’m constantly learning things from them. We’ll get together again this week as an athletic department with the head coaches. There’s just always something I feel like you walk away taking from it.
“I feel like the support we have for each other is only getting stronger amongst all the coaches. It’s really cool to have another level to this being personal with my family now as well.”
Drone Gate rages on
Both UW and the Seahawks’ home games last weekend were delayed in the fourth quarter when an unauthorized drone flew over the field. The Fox broadcast of the Seahawks’ home loss to the Falcons incorrectly stated that the previous night’s Washington-Stanford drone belonged to UW Athletics.
UW deputy athletic director and chief of staff Andy Fee tweeted Sunday: “The drone was NOT affiliated with UW Athletics. That is a false narrative.”
On Monday, DeBoer added that he appreciated Husky fans for tolerating “the delays in traffic … the delays in the game, with the drone — which, by the way, was not anything associated with UW Athletics or anything like that. I guess I should set the record straight on that, too.”
So consider the record straightened.
Meanwhile, the drone operator remains unidentified.
UW was without three of its five season-opening starters in the secondary Saturday — as corners Jordan Perryman and Mishael Powell and safety Asa Turner all missed the Stanford win with injuries.
“I think Perryman is really close [to returning Friday against UCLA],” DeBoer said Monday. “He’s the closest out of all of ’em, really hopeful and expecting him to be back out there this week. I felt that way even maybe this last week, that that could happen.”
DeBoer added that “Asa could actually be a possibility [to play] this weekend. [Powell] will not.”
Given the secondary shuffle, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chuck Morrell commended his unit for adapting and accepting added responsibilities.
“I look at what Kam [Fabiculanan] has done for us, stepping into a role that he really hadn’t practiced very often [playing safety for Turner],” Morrell said. “Dom Hampton has done just a fantastic job, because we’re asking extra out of him right now, just to alleviate and take some pressure off of some other guys. Alex Cook has been fantastic so far this season, better than advertised. So we’re probably asking more out of those guys that are on the field to help us out in the interim as we try to get some guys back.”
As for Hampton — who led the Huskies with eight tackles last weekend and has totaled 16 tackles and two pass breakups in UW’s first four games — Morrell expanded on the junior’s expanding role.
“At times we’re asking him to probably play a little more coverage than we would have anticipated early on,” Morrell said. “He’s a threat in so many different ways, but we’re asking him to play a lot of coverage elements. We’re putting him in positions a lot of times where he’s isolated on the best receiver in the slot. So far he’s been very competitive and he’s doing some great things for us right now.”
Redshirt freshman cornerback Davon Banks also made his first career start against Stanford, sliding into Powell’s place. The 5-11, 185-pounder made three tackles and surrendered a pair of touchdowns.
But Morrell saw plenty of promise.
“I thought Davon had a solid day,” he said. “You think about the first time you get to play a full load of reps, and that was his first time here this past Saturday. He played a little bit in the Portland State game. He played a little bit at the end of the Michigan State game.
“I mean, you look at [the two touchdowns] he gave up. Were you in good position? Were you competitive? Or did you make a big mistake? To me, it’s more about, he was in good position on both the touchdowns. It’s just about being able to finish. What I’m really excited about with him was the very limited mental errors he had while he was in the game. He was very consistent from a mental standpoint. That’s your No. 1 concern with young guys all the time. Where are you going to be at mentally when the chips are down?”
- When asked about injured linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio, who is expected to miss at least the first half of the season, DeBoer said: “We’re really expecting him to play at some point this season. That certainly is the expectation. I don’t foresee it being in the next month. But I would hope after that we’d be starting to talk about week-to-week and at some point day-to-day.”
- Following a game where he converted four field goals (47, 35, 32 and 26 yards) and four extra points, UW senior kicker Peyton Henry was named Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday.