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More: How did the Huskies do?
The Washington Huskies could really afford to upgrade their defensive depth after the way they've been bludgeoned the past few years. And it looks like they're doing just that with some key commits the last few weeks. First Shaq Thompson switched from Cal to UW, then Cleveland Wallace switched from Oregon State to Washington, and now Dominguez cornerback Brandon Beaver adds even more depth into the secondary.
Beaver committed moments ago to the Washington Huskies over the California Golden Bears and the Utah Utes. Beaver has been recruited by UW for a long time, and Steve Sarkisian seemed to get the go-ahead from Beaver to make the announcement before Beaver went on Fox Sports West and picked the UW hat.
To discuss Washington football recruiting, head on over to UW Dawg Pound. To talk about Cal football recruiting, check out the California Golden Blogs. To learn more about Utah football recruiting, best to head over to Block U.
Cyler Miles has been conflicted for awhile but where he wants to go to college. The Mullen quarterback might be saying that he's sticking with his original commitment, but does he really mean it?
Miles has been committed to the Washington Huskies for awhile, but the USC Trojans have been doing their best to try and woo him away from Seattle. I wouldn't imagine their pitch, but it'd probably have something to do with the great offensive traditions of SC and general success of the program, plus the possibility of throwing to all those great wide receivers that the Trojans now boast.
QB Cyler Miles just spoke again with USC as he nears his 1 p.m. announcement— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) February 1, 2012
Miles told The Denver Post that he has letters of intent from USC and Washington, and will choose which school to sign with at Mullen around 2 p.m. today.
Miles, the No. 1-rated recruit in The Denver Post's class of 2012 rankings, committed to Washington last summer. But commitments are non-binding; today — national signing day — is the first day recruits can sign binding letters of intent with colleges.
Miles apparently brought two LOIs from both USC and Washington to his announcement. There, he finally eventually announced for the Huskies. The quarterback appeared to be very conflicted but has held true to his original commitment, keeping Washington's class at 24.
Jordan Payton, a consensus four-star recruit, has reportedly changed his mind once again, choosing to commit to the UCLA Bruins here on National Signing Day, per multiple sources
The wide receiver out of Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, CA had previously committed to three different Pac-12 Conference schools in USC, Cal, and Washington.
The school has not yet announced the signing of Payton, a 6'3", 205-pound receiver. But the news was first tweeted by Sean Ceglinsky of ESPN. Brandon Huffman of Scout.com confirmed the news, as The Cool Sub on Twitter:
Oaks Christian is officially announcing that Jordan Payton will sign with #UCLA.— Jonathan Gold (@TheCoolSub) February 1, 2012
Jordan Payton Junior Year Highlights (via ALLSTARAPPROACH)
Payton is the 15th highest ranked wide receiver by both Rivals and Scout.com. So far on National Signing Day, UCLA head coach Jim Mora has only officially announced four signings: defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy, linebacker Jeremy Castro, quarterback Devin Fuller, and linebacker Nate Lese.
For wall-to-wall recruiting coverage, head to SB Nation's National Signing Day 2012 hub.
Brandon Beaver is one of the last remaining top recruits remaining that might or might not commit this afternoon. The Dominguez cornerback has narrowed his list down to a final three. The Washington Huskies are considered to be the favorites in this race, even if they've lost Beaver's main recruiter Demetrice Martin to UCLA, they've still been on Beaver the longest. However, the California Golden Bears and the Utah Utes could also find their way into this contest.
Beaver will make his announcement this afternoon on Fox Sports West sometime around 3-4 PM (originally reported as 3:45 PM, it was moved to 3:15 PM). You'll be able to watch the announcement live on FoxSportsWest.com.
To discuss Beaver and Washington football recruiting, check out UW Dawg Pound. To talk about Beaver and Utah football recruiting, go to Block U. To follow Beaver and Cal football recruiting, go to the California Golden Blogs.
Jaydon Mickens, a wide receiver recruit out of Los Angeles, CA made a verbal commitment to the Washington Huskies on Tuesday night.
According to his Rivals.com profile, Mickens is a four-star recruit and the No. 11 best wide receiver in the class of 2012.
Mickens chose the Huskies over Oklahoma State. Though he is only 5'8", his athleticism and speed garnered him scholarship offers from several Pac-12 schools including California and USC. Mickens will join former Dorsey High school teammates and current Huskies Matthew Lyons (Linebacker) and Marvin Hall (Wide Receiver).
This latest commitment for Huskies Head Coach Steve Sarkisian caps off a successful recruiting day. The Huskies also gained commitments from OL Shane Brostek (Kamuela, HI) and Jordan Payton (Westlake Village, CA),.
Here are highlights from his junior season at Dorsey High School:
Jaydon Mickens Dorsey High Class of 2012 (via utrhighlightvideos)
Jordan Payton has had a whirlwind recruitment. First he committed to the USC Trojans, but when it was clear that the program didn't have him seriously on his radar, he decommitted and started looking elsewhere.
First it seemed as if the California Golden Bears would be the favorites to get Payton, but then he started taking a look toward the Midwest and giving serious consideration to the Michigan Wolverines and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. After awhile, Payton seemed to turn back and give a look to plenty of Pac-12 programs, but then he finally ended up back at Cal.
However, once his main recruiter Tosh Lupoi and receivers coach Eric Kiesau bolted for Washington, it didn't become a hard decision for Payton to decommit and start over again, and after a visit up north, he ended up with the Washington Huskies during his Signing Day announcement on ESPNU on Tuesday morning.
It looks like it's over. I think..
Jordan Payton is one of the top remaining targets of the 2012 recruiting class on the West Coast, and is probably one of the few wide receivers left who can make an immediate impact. Although he remains a soft verbal to Cal, he's still very much up for grabs and is set to make his decision on TV today.
As of right now i will be announcing tomorrow at 1 30.— Jordan Payton (@JordanPayton) January 30, 2012
Forgot to say on EspnU— Jordan Payton (@JordanPayton) January 30, 2012
Update: Payton is announcing at 1:10.
It's widely considered to be a three-team race between Cal, UCLA and Washington.
If Payton were to decommit, the Huskies are considered the favorite, as Tosh Lupoi was Payton's main recruiter at Cal and is probably prominently involved in his recruitment to Washington. UCLA is also a possibility as the hometown team as another lynchpin in Jim Mora's surging class. And there's still the possibility that Payton sticks with Cal, the school he committed to at the Army All-American Game.
To discuss Cal football recruiting, check out the California Golden Blogs. To talk about Washington football recruiting, go to UW Dawg Pound. Head on over to Bruins Nation to check out UCLA football recruiting.
Steve Sarkisian and the Washington Huskies might have just landed their biggest recruiting victory when they picked up the prized jewel of the Cal recruiting class and got him to make the move to UW.
Just committed to the UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON #HUSKYNATION— Shaq Thompson(Grant) (@ItsShaqThompson) January 31, 2012
Shaq Thompson is considered one of the best safeties in the 2012 recruiting class. The Grant safety is the all-around package and was expected to be a game-changer as someone who could start the moment he made it onto campus. Thompson has always liked Washington, and it looks like the movement of his main recruiter was enough to make the difference in getting him to come Northwest. A few other factors could've also played a hand in his final decision.
It's official: Shaq tells us the reasons for Washington are: "It's where my heart is; second highest graduation rate in the Pac-12..."— Joe Davidson (@sb_joedavidson) January 31, 2012
Just heard from Shaq;Wash was a close 2nd to Cal earlier;really likes Tosh Lupoi,academics;best friend James Sample is there. It's done.— Joe Davidson (@sb_joedavidson) January 31, 2012
Baseball was another big factor for UW, Sark was willing to allow him to miss some spring ball, family appreciated the flexibility— Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins) January 31, 2012
Looks as if the poaching of Tosh Lupoi from Cal to Washington might've made the difference.
The Washington Huskies are preparing for national signing day on February 1 and are focusing in on their targets for the fall of 2012. One of those targets is four-star offensive tackle Zach Banner from Lakewood, WA.
Chris Egan of King-5 TV in Washington tweeted on Saturday night that it appears Banner is currently deciding between the Washington Huskies and the USC Trojians. Egan says that the official announcement will be coming on Monday.
The Huskies are one of five teams to pay a home visit to the 6-foot-8, 305-pound player, along with USC, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. Over a dozen other schools have made offers. According to Banner's ESPN scouting report, he excels at pass blocking and possesses both strength and toughness.
More from SI: Lupoi hire has major recruiting ramifications
Scott Enyeart is a staff writer and podcast contributor at Field Gulls, covers the USC Trojans for Neon Tommy, and has unique connections to both Pete Carroll and Steve Sarkisian from their respective days down in Southern California. He's a former D-1 coach (UNLV) and with his coverage of Pac-12 football and though his ties to Sark and Carroll, he has a great perspective on pretty much every level of football that is happening on the west coast, from high school and up, and has innumerable connections therein so I love to hear his take on things.
Enyeart was on SportsRadioKJR's Dave "Softy" Mahler show earlier this week and had some interesting things to say about UW's newest hire, Tosh Lupoi.
Said Scott: "It's probably the biggest hire that [Steve Sarkisian has] made as a head coach. Tosh's reputation and just what he's been able to do in the short time he's been in the profession, is pretty unparalleled."
Make sure you give it a listen, and follow Scott on Twitter. For more on the Huskies, make sure you check out UW Dawg Pound. To discuss Cal recruiting, go to the California Golden Blogs. To see more of Scott's work on the Seahawks, head over to Field Gulls.
It looked so simple. Jordan Payton was going to be a California Golden Bear. Payton committed to Cal at the Army All-American game, and it looked as if he was going to be joining an elite college football class of wide receivers in the Bay Area.
But then both Eric Kiesau (Payton's position coach) and Tosh Lupoi (Payton's primary recruiter) bolted from Cal for UW in the past two days. Suddenly, although he's still committed to Cal, Payton is open to looking around, and his Twitter feed is full of up-to-the-minute updates. And it appears the Huskies are well in the mix with Cal, as Payton was visited by Lupoi and defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. Payton will also be getting a visit from Michigan, and expect UCLA to pick up their recruitment. Adam Gorney of Rivals confirms as much.
Cal has a lot of fighting to do to keep one of their top wide receivers.
Kiesau was California Golden Bears' wide receivers coach and the passing game coordinator. He joins defensive line coach and recruiting guru Tosh Lupoi as two members of the Cal coaching staff to bolt for the Huskies.
Lupoi's defection caused shockwaves down the west coast as one of the best recruiters in the country left Cal for the Huskies and a big pay raise. It isn't known if Lupoi had anything to do with Kiesau's decision to join the staff as well with the two not being associated with one another due to being on different sides of the ball, but Lupoi had to make the gig more attractive to Kiesau since Kiesau has a recruiting past as well.
Kiesau spent only one season as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator at Cal after previously serving as WR coach and recruiting coordinator for four seasons (2002-2005) in a previous stint with the Bears. He then spent 2006-2010 on the University of Colorado coaching staff.
With Tosh Lupoi headed to the Washington Huskies, the California Golden Bears have to worry about holding onto their recruits. Top among the targets is probably one of the best recruits on the West Coast, Shaq Thompson.
Thompson publicly committed to Cal at the US Army All-American Game a few weeks ago, seemingly following in the footsteps of his brother Syd'Quan. But Lupoi was one of Shaq's primary recruiters, and Thompson seems to be openly reconsidering the Huskies.
There's a lot for Shaq to like about Washington, particularly the fact that now Husky defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox helped recruit his brother when he was at Cal and that Lupoi will be joining them. Washington seems to have critical advantages in coaching that could go a long way toward securing his commitment.
For the most part, college football assistants stay under the radar, aside from offensive and defensive coordinators. But many times, these somewhat anonymous position coaches are the most vital pieces of programs, especially on the recruiting trail. These relatively quiet, high-paid assistants are the piece of the puzzle that makes everything go.
Which is where former Cal assistant Tosh Lupoi comes in. Unless you follow recruiting closely, Lupoi probably isn't a household name. He took root at Cal and quickly became the Golden Bears' ace recruiting. This year's top-15 class after a season that was nothing spectacular? Lupoi was the man behind-the-scenes, piling up highly-touted recruits along the way.
Despite Cal not having a winning Pac-12 record in the last three years, Lupoi's efforts landed Cal many top recruits who would have previously never seriously considered Cal as a destination. The loss of the coach who is arguably the best recruiter in the country is already having implications for the Golden Bears.
Be sure to check out the rest of the article from SB Nation Recruiting.
Combined with Justin Wilcox -- Lupoi has a long-standing relationship with the new Washington defensive coordinator -- the Huskies have put together a superb team of assistants on the defensive side of the ball. Lupoi is one of those somewhat anonymous, well-paid assistants because he simply delivers, striking a bond with recruits and hauling in big-name prospects.
While Lupoi will coach the defensive line and coordinate the run game on the defensive side of the ball, make no mistake about it: this was a hire for recruiting purposes. And with the former Cal ace in Montlake, the Bears' huge recruiting class may be in peril. You can bet Lupoi will go after some of the kids he recruited, and plenty of other Pac-12 coaches will be circling the wreckage, trying to flip kids until the last possible moment.
Cal's Tosh Lupoi is Cal's no longer. Washington gives Lupoi an offer he can't refuse and he bolts for the Huskies in the biggest signing of the Pac-12 offseason.
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