All-Pro S Budda Baker applauds Washington Football Coach Petersen

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 24: Safety Budda Baker
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 24: Safety Budda Baker /
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Preparation is a lifelong endeavor

As you know, there are many reasons to select a college football program as a football prospect. Good fit with coaching staff, great success track record at the position, and even the eventual success of players in the NFL. But somehow, those factors which should truly matter get blended with other not-so-significant reasons like “everyone else is going there” or “it’s warm and sunny there all year round”.   Sure, if you believe you are a marginal player, enjoy life in the sunshine while you can.

But from the moment prospects depart their college program, they leave dorm life, beach parties, and sheltered lives.  From that moment on, life gets tougher. And they take just three things with them from that collegiate experience: their God-given talents, self-confidence and awareness, and all the coaching they received in college.   That’s it. Sure, there are scouting reports, national rankings, and those are certainly biased to certain schools and certain programs. But that doesn’t help one iota in the NFL.  You take three things with you. And if a recruit does not weigh those components seriously, they do not find NFL success.

Work ethic edge

Eventually, it comes down to two paths. Would you rather be overrated and disappoint, or underrated and impress?  Work ethic eventually makes up the difference from the raw talent perspective.  To highlight that point, defensive tackle Greg Gaines is a living example of a young man with football aspirations who did not turn heads before his Washington Football days.  But his work ethic never paused, and now he is one of the top nationally ranked defensive linemen.  In fact, he was a member of the recruiting class of 2014, one which was ranked seventh in the Pac-12.  Now, those recruits have taken the Huskies to the top of the Pac-12 last season, and just short of the Pac-12 championship this season.

Next: Meet the next great Washington receiver

Ultimately, it comes down to how badly do you want it? On one hand, Greg Gaines certainly does. On the other hand, Budda Baker certainly did. And so, as recruits turn into college freshmen, the new crop of the 2018 recruiting class will learn for themselves as well. No matter what the promises heard, the only thing any football player can be certain of is opportunity.

Opportunity knocking

And in the end, the 2018 class for Coach Petersen has exactly that: opportunity. From this moment on, you know Coach Petersen will offer tough challenges. But tough for a reason. In his heart, he wants his players to succeed. See for yourself how Budda Baker, a rookie safety, just earner All-Pro. And so too have cornerback Sidney Jones IV and defensive tackle Elijah Qualls just earned their Super Bowl rings, as rookies for the Philadelphia Eagles. Life comes at you fast. Washington Huskies know this, and are prepared for anything life throws their way.