The Huskies were out. Now they’re back in?

Less than four months after he publicly eliminated Washington from his list of suitors, Sav’ell Smalls β€” a 6-foot-3, 230-pound 2020 outside linebacker from Kennedy Catholic High School β€” featured the hometown Huskies in his top six on Sunday.

Smalls’ other contenders include a pair of UW’s Pac-12 rivals β€” Oregon and Washington State β€” as well as Alabama, Tennessee and Florida State.

Here’s why you should care: Smalls β€” who spent his sophomore and junior seasons at Seattle Garfield High, before returning to Kennedy Catholic β€” is ranked as a five-star prospect, the No. 1 player in Washington, the No. 3 outside linebacker and the No. 17 overall prospect in the 2020 class by 247Sports.

On May 1, Smalls told 247Sports: β€œI’ll always have love for Washington, for Coach Pete (Chris Petersen), Coach Ikaika (Malloe), Coach PK (Pete Kwiatkowski), Coach (Jimmy) Lake. It’s not anything about them at all. I want to find the best fit for me. I want to find the best program to not only get me out in three years with a degree, but to also challenge me as a person so I’m able to become a better man.

β€œI started to think that the best step for me would be to do that away from home.”

Smalls’ home hasn’t changed. So what did? The answer is hardly obvious. But while Smalls considered other schools, the Huskies continued building a 2020 class that is currently 17-deep and ranked 17th nationally. It also includes in-state products running back Sam Adams, offensive lineman Geirean Hatchett, wide receiver Sawyer Racanelli and linebacker Carson Bruener. And, coincidentally, Kennedy Catholic’s starting quarterback is four-star 2021 Washington commit Sam Huard.

Still, it’s worth noting that UW’s 2020 class currently contains just four defensive commits. Should he stay home, Smalls would be Washington’s first five-star pledge of the 2020 cycle.

That’s still more of a stretch than a certainty. But for the first time in months, Husky fans can hope.