They say bad news comes in threes.
On Wednesday night, Mark Nabou became the third recruit to de-commit from UW in the 2022 class — joining defensive tackle Sir Mells and outside linebacker Anthony Jones. Mells and Jones eventually committed to Oregon and Texas, respectively.
As for Nabou, the 6-foot-4, 330-pound O’Dea offensive lineman’s withdrawal coincides with a recent recruiting boom. After he committed to UW on June 1, Nabou promptly took previously scheduled unofficial visits to Texas, Texas A&M and TCU, and received scholarship offers to all three schools. He subsequently took an official visit to Texas A&M and an unofficial visit to Michigan, which unsurprisingly offered him as well.
“I would like to thank the staff at Washington, but at this time, I would like to announce my decommitment,” Nabou told 247Sports national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman on Wednesday.
Nabou is ranked as a three-star prospect, the No. 12 player in the state of Washington and the No. 19 interior offensive lineman in the 2022 class by 247Sports.
“He’s a fantastic run-blocker,” Huffman told The Times when Nabou committed to UW. “Like most guys that come from O’Dea, that’s something they do extremely well, because they spend four years doing that. I thought he improved tremendously in pass protection this year. He showed a little bit more agility this year, a little bit more flexibility, compared to his sophomore year when he was more of a big body who was not super technically sound but had some natural brute strength.
“Going into his junior year I wanted to see a little bit more agility, more athleticism, see him utilized better in pass protection. I still think pass pro is a little bit of an incomplete (grade), just because again O’Dea didn’t throw the ball a ton (this spring). But I thought he looked much more in shape. He looked much better athletically and dynamically.”
Obviously, other programs agreed.
As for Washington, the Huskies have five verbal commits in the 2022 class: four-star wide receiver Germie Bernard, three-star tight end Chance Bogan, three-star offensive linemen Parker Brailsford and Vega Ioane, and three-star quarterback Jackson Stratton. Their class is currently ranked 48th nationally and seventh in the Pac-12 by the 247Sports Composite, as the Huskies prepare to host seven recruits (and five four-star prospects) for official visits this weekend.
UW notably offered five in-state offensive linemen in the 2022 class: Nabou, Ioane, Rainier Beach’s Josh Conerly Jr., Todd Beamer’s Malik Agbo and Puyallup’s Dave Iuli. At this point, Agbo and Iuli — both four-star recruits — are expected to commit elsewhere.
But with two offensive linemen still committed, position coach Scott Huff’s primary focus remains on Conerly — a five-star prospect and the top player in the state in 2022. The Huskies will likely sign either three or four offensive linemen in the current class.
“Conerly can pull a J.T. (Tuimoloau) if he wants to,” Huffman said. “They will take Conerly up until the day before the first game in 2022. He’ll be the one they’re going to have to wait and see on and they’ll have to fight for, like they’re doing with J.T. Conerly is the crown jewel of this class, period, no matter the position.”
Still, in the wake of Nabou’s de-commitment, it’ll be important to reel in Conerly at that particular position as well.