What can the Washington Husky recruiting staff do to recover from USC flipping DT Marlon Tuipulotu? Would you believe they already are?
NCAA recruiting is unlike any other sports assemblage of talent anywhere. The process is governed by plenty of do’s and don’ts, and there are sharp penalties for anyone who does what they shouldn’t.
And so, the myriad of colleges span the nation with sales pitches, scholarships, and stories of team pride, a bright future, and in the end, they hope to persuade a young man to commit to their program. But even if he does, another school can come along, offer a different sales pitch, a different scholarship, and their own stories of team pride. Hopefully, the young man finds enough resolve to stay true.
But occasionally, that young man has second thoughts. In fact, he may even revoke his commitment and commit to the new team. That is essentially what happened when USC pushed a hard sales pitch upon formerly committed defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu, and persuaded him to change his mind, or “flip”, and commit to their school.
Less than two weeks before National Signing Day, the Washington Huskies suddenly went from one of the top defensive tackles in the nation about to sign, to having an empty chair in the place of defensive linemen. What can the program do with so little time remaining?
The team did. In fact, the team had just hosted visits from seven young men per Aaron Siever Kropp at uwdawgpound.com. Two of the young men in attendance who were also uncommitted were OL/DL Nick Ford, and DL Ali Gaye.
In fact, in no time at all the team landed a commitment from the 3-star defensive end Ali Gaye. At 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, Gaye is already huge, and growing. The team can put him on track right away, or the team could red-shirt him to extend his collegiate eligibility and play him next season.
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Perhaps the flip of Tuipulotu is a blessing in disguise. Within 24 hours, the team had made an offer to Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, another 3-star defensive lineman who had an impressive outing at the Polynesia Bowl. He may be persuaded to join the select ranks of the Huskies. Should he do so, the class would be very solid indeed.
Should the Huskies stand pat on defensive linemen for 2017, the team can prioritize the position for the 2018 recruiting class. It’s likely the team will need to replace both defensive end Vita Vae next year as well as Connor O’Brien. Should the defensive line have a very strong season, the team may lose even more players to the NFL.
In that worst case scenario, the team would likely target as many as four defensive linemen next year. With the team’s success both on the field and in developing excellent skillsets for prospective NFL careers, the Huskies should be one of the first stops for young recruits.
It’s never easy to lose a player who is as gifted as Marlon Tuipulotu. But in the same light, it’s the program, and not an individual, which brings success to the Huskies.