BY SPNW Staff 10:57AM 01/31/2012

Calif. safety and WR give Huskies’ hunt late lift

Late switch by top-rated players Thompson, Payton will upgrade Sarkisian’s third recruiting class, whose stars include two quarterbacks, Cyler Miles of Denver and Jeff Lindquist of Mercer Island.

Washington Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian will welcome his third recruiting class Wednesday. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Barring any last-minute defections, University of Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian will welcome a batch of at least 20 new players after national letters of intent are received by the school Wednesday. Huskies fans hope that Sarkisian’s third recruiting class will be notable as much for the players he’s lured as for the ones he failed to hook.

Early Monday, for example, 6-9, 310-pound Lakes High lineman Zach Banner, one of the state’s most-prized recruits, snubbed Washington in favor of USC. But if Sacramento safety Shaquille Thompson (Grant High School), considered by some the No. 1 player in the nation at his position and one of the top five regardless of position, follows through on his late Monday tweet (and confirming texts to reporters) and casts his lot with Washington instead of California, Sarkisian would get a significant boost.

On Tuesday afternoon, Washington received another oral commitment, this from Jordan Payton of Oaks Christian High in Westlake Village, CA., ranked as the No. 15 wide receiver nationally by Scout.com. Payton, 6-2 and 205,  made an early commitment to USC, changed to Cal and then took his official visit to Washington a couple of weeks ago, where Eric Kiesau, former Cal assistant, just became UW’s offensive coordinator.

Thompson also originally announced on behalf of California, with Washington widely considered a close second choice. But Sarkisian’s hiring of Cal defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi apparently caused Thompson to re-think his options. Lupoi reportedly was the main reason Thompson originally said he would sign with the Bears.

Excluding Thompson, Sarkisian’s top two recruits, in fact the only two in the incoming class ranked above three stars by all the major recruiting web sites, are quarterbacks, Jeff Lindquist of Mercer Island High School and Cyler Miles of of Mullen High School in Denver.

Lindquist, a 6-foot-3, 225-pounder who also had a scholarship offer to Stanford, made his choice of Washington public in April, and has never wavered. Mercer Island High has set a signing event for Wednesday afternoon at the school.

A four-star player, Lindquist led the West to a 17-14 victory over the East in the Semper Fidelis Bowl in Phoenix by throwing two touchdown passes. Scout.com named him the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Miles originally announced for Washington at about the same time Lindquist did, but took a recruiting trip to USC a couple of weeks ago. He has since re-confirmed his intention to sign with Washington.

Washington apparently is still in the running for another highly rated receiver, Jaydon Mickens of Dorsey High in Los Angeles. He was expected to make his choice Tuesday.

Among the in-state players UW couldn’t land: KeiVarae Russell, a 5-11, 180-pound running back from Mariner (Everett), who opted for Notre Dame; receiver Cedric Dozier (Lakes),  a Banner teammate who said Tuesday he chose Cal over Washington State and new coach Mike Leach; and 6-5, 288-pound Joshua Garnett from Puyallup, who chose Stanford over Michigan. Garnett’s father, Scott, played nose tackle for the Huskies in the early 1980s.

The following are considered the likeliest Washington signees (they are listed according to verbal commitment date):

Date Player Pos. *Rank Ht./Wt. Hometown
4/29/11 Jeff Lindquist QB 8 6-3/225 Mercer Island
5/17/11 Darien Washington CB 131 5-11/175 Orange, CA.
6/12/11 Dwayne Washington WR 171 6-2/210 Cerritos, CA.
6/13/11 Nathan Dean OT 68 6-5/270 Kirkland
6/14/11 Michael Rector WR 73 6-0/170 Tacoma
6/14/11 Malcolm Jackson DE 175 6-1/260 Spring Valley, CA
6/18/11 Blake Rodgers MLB 48 6-2/220 Las Flores, CA.
6/18/11 Kendyl Taylor WR 72 6-0/195 Chandler, AZ.
6/25/11 Korey Durkee P NR 6-4/195 Gig Harbor, WA.
6/28/11 Kalei Auelua DE 89 6-1/240 St. Louis, Honolulu
10/31/11 Erich Wilson RB 112 6-1/185 San Mateo, CA.
12/4/11 Ryan McDaniel MLB 23 6-1/220 North, Torrance, CA
12/7/11 Cory Littleton DE 145 6-4/220 Spring Valley, CA.
12/8/11 Josh Banks DT JC 6-3/285 Stockton, CA
12/11/11 Cory English C 21 6-4/285 Auburn
12/14/11 Damion Turpin DE 66 6-3/255 Compton, CA.
1/20/12 Psalm Wooching FB 9 6-3/205 Kailua Kona, HI.
1/24/12 Jake Eldrenkamp OG 60 6-5/295 Bellevue
1/24/12 Cyler Miles QB 13 6-4/220 Denver
1/26/12 Travis Coons PK NR 6-2/195 Walnut, CA.
1/30/12 Shaquille Thompson S 1 6-2/210 Sacramento
1/31/12 Jordan Payton WR 15 6-1/205 Westlake Vill., CA.

The shakiest player on this list might be defensive end Malcolm Jackson, whom Scout.com reports might sign with San Diego State instead.

*=National ranking among players at this position


YourThoughts

  • Linder

    Another great Cameron moment came when Lou walked out to talk to Cameron on 1st during the Chicago series in 2000. Supposedly said something about buying Cisco but he was giving him tips about stealing. Lots of great lines in the is article about that game: http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20001004&slug=4046093

    • SteveRudman

      Way to go on the archive dive.

  • RadioGuy

    I can remember the great skepticism when Cameron came in from the Reds to replace Griffey.  Even though he was never the batter Junior was (who was?), Cammy was at least as good a fielder (and didn’t dog it after balls the way Griffey would sometimes), was a good baserunner and a MUCH nicer guy with the fans and in the clubhouse.

    I’d like to see Mike Cameron back with the M’s in some capacity, even in the broadcast booth (he couldn’t possibly be as boring a commentator as the cadre of ex-M’s they have now).

  • Gordon

    All the best to Mike Cameron in his future.  We loved him here is Seattle, but we all died a little with each strike out at the plate.  But he was a very good player and an even better person.  All the best!

  • SteveRudman

    Thank you all for responding to this post. Cameron was a pleasure to watch and another great piece of Mariners lore. It would be fun to have him in the broadcast booth, as RadioGuy points out.

  • Burnabybound

    Mullan plays for the Colorado Rockies?

    • Artthiel

       40 lashes (with a scarf, please) for my error.

  • Unforgiven

    Art, first day covering this story?  Mullan didn’t try a clean tackle.  He was upset for a non-call moments earlier and took out his frustrations on Steve’s career.  Until he is willing to come clean on what he did and why he did it there really isn’t a reason to forgive him.  How can you forgive somebody who won’t admit what he did wrong?

  • RadioGuy

    Sorry, Art, I’m not with you on this one.  Mullan’s tackle on Zakuani was arguably the cheapest shot taken against a Seattle soccer player since San Jose’s Gonzalo Perez did the same thing to Pepe Hernandez in 1974 at a time when Pepe was playing terrific soccer and becoming a local folk hero…he was never close to the same player after he came back.

    Tackling is a part of soccer, including hard tackles.  But doing so with the intent to injure a player and threaten his livelihood?  I can’t condone it.

  • Larry B.

    To anybody who was watching that game, Mullan’s excuse for the postgame comments, “I didn’t yet know the extent of his injuries” does not ring true.  I heard the crack of Zak’s bones breaking on the TV, for goodness sake!.  I saw the look of absolute horror on Mauro Rosales’ face when he was trying to comfort Zak.  Everybody in that stadium or watching on TV knew immediately that this was a terrible injury. But Mullan, they guy who was closest to Zak when it happened, didn’t realize what he had done?  Give me a break!  I feel for the guy because he has to live with what he did, knowing that he did it in anger after thinking he got fouled moments before.  But I would be much more inclined to forgive him if he didn’t make excuses for his actions.

    • Hammtime

      Art, I agree with Larry. The extent of the injury was obvious immediately. I too was watching it and the sound…oh…that sickening sound and to see the leg flop as Zak’s momentum slowed. ugh….it makes me ill to picture it again. For Mullan to say he had no idea is either complete B.S.

      I get it. Maybe it was out of character for Mullan. But still, such reckless play can’t be tolerated. We still don’t know if Zak will ever be the same.

  • Robert Lee

    Sports need villains as much as they need heroes. I suspect Mullan will get a dose of venom upon entry to the pitch, and every time he touches the ball. The only thing that would stop that would be Steve Z. getting on a mic and asking the fans to forgive. (And even that might not work) 

  • http://twitter.com/nicktjacob Nick Jacob

    “The better thing would be to maintain a silence at his introduction, sight or ball possession. The best thing would be polite applause.”

    Anyone else’s jaw still on the floor?

  • Agentkooper

    I’ve had to look into myself to decide how I personally respond during this game, and I’m still not sure of the answer. But to compare A-Rod leaving for a paycheck and Mullan’s actions on the pitch, especially considering the outcome… C’mon Art! That’s like comparing apples and hand grenades.

  • Uatu

    The play was not unintentional.  If you watch the play, a midfielder
    tries a long pass to Mulen, but Zak steals it from him and Mulen raises
    hands in disgust to the official because he felt Tyson Wahl manhandled
    him.  He was going to get the ball back no matter what and takes chase
    once he knows no call will be made.  Note that he takes a direct line
    towards the sideline where SZ is running.  He does not change angle or
    speed because Mulen has given himself to the dark side out of
    frustration and anger and denies wrongdoing and only apologizes when he
    sees how badly he misjudged his tackle only when he finds out how
    seriously injured SZ is.  From my perspective Mulen, cost SZ a year of
    soccer experience, endangered his livelihood and mobility, and to an
    uncertain point altered his career path and earnings for the future
    because he didn’t like the call and lost his head for an instant,
    despite years of getting yellow cards and then being heady enough to
    tone down his physicality.  Zakuani is 100% class, but unfortunately, I
    am not, at least when this type of bodily harm has happened due to bad
    judgment.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USGHfAw8VZk

  • Artthiel

    Purpose doesn’t necessarily disqualify it as a mistake. But I do understand why you, Bonnell, and others are genuinely upset because Zakuani’s lost year had to do with individual petulance that was not part of the game.

  • E.

    This piece inaccurately simplifies the issues in order to reach an artificially noble point of view. As others have mentioned, Mullan’s actions had vicious intent that had more to do with retribution than with an attempt to gain possession. It was not motivated by the context of the sport but by the context of revenge. I appreciate when folks try to take the high road at times, but part of being just and fair also involves recognizing when vicious behavior occurred and responding to it with commensurate outrage. This is less about fans reacting like mindless Romans in the colosseum and more about athletes displaying brutal behavior that ends up threatening the career of a talented and smart athlete.

  • Rpoole11

    Wow, polite applause? really? That is one of the most ludicrous things I’ve ever heard. Mullan will get booed, this time, and likely every time he returns to Seattle for the rest of his career. He didn’t “make a mistake” He got angry and attacked an opponent with a vicious tackle, and unless he’s blind and deaf he knew he broke Zak’s leg.