All of Washington football’s 22 scholarship members of the 2020 recruiting class signed during the early signing period in December, so National Signing Day has been all about the walk-ons
In 2019, when Washington football signed Drew Fowler as a preferred walk-on, Husky recruiting experts lost their minds, as the three-star linebacker turned down offers from UCLA, Utah, and Louisville to walk on at his hometown school. This year, Jimmy Lake and his staff have one-upped themselves on the PWO front.
The Huskies added a ton of talented in-state players after an official visit in late January, and over the last week commitments have continued to roll in, and it’s safe to say that this is the best class of walk-ons to ever sign with Washington. The class includes five three-star players that had scholarship opportunities at either the FBS or FCS level, but turned them down to walk-on with the Huskies.
Meki Pei is one of the Huskies’ best and most important gets on the walk-on front this year. The Hawaiian safety is following in his parents’ footsteps, who both attended UW, and Pei was also named the defensive MVP of the Polynesian Bowl. In a game that featured a ton of four and five-star players, Pei came down with two interceptions, forced two pass break-ups, and also recorded eight tackles on the night. It’s worth noting that Washington has now signed three of the last four Polynesian Bowl MVPs, as both the offensive and defensive MVPs from the 2019 game also signed with the Huskies (Puka Nacua and Daniel Heimuli).
The other recent commit is another big-time defensive back, Isaiah Strong from Pullman, Washington. Seahawk fans will remember Isaiah’s father Mack Strong, who was an All-Pro fullback during his 14-year career with the Seahawks. Isaiah is a big, long, athletic defensive back who could be an exceptional safety with the Huskies in the long term, and in the short term, he’ll definitely be a standout on special teams.
The last three-star that the Huskies acquired is Bothell athlete Christian Galvan. Galvan, who played running back at Jacob Sirmon‘s alma-mater, will remind a lot of Husky fans of Sean McGrew. A shorter, speedy, and shifty back, Galvan excels as a punt-returner and catching the ball out of the backfield.
Keeping players like Galvan and Strong in-state on walk-on offers, while adding a player like Pei from Hawaii gives the Huskies an unbelievable amount of depth. Being able to say that your walk-ons were nationally rated recruits with scholarship offers to other schools is something not a lot of programs can say.
While we probably won’t see any of this year’s walk-on class on the field in 2020, the quickest route to the field for all of them will be on special teams, (i.e. Edefuan Ulofoshio), which is huge for the Huskies, who struggled mightily on special teams in 2018, before returning to the top 20 in 2019. An elite special teams unit can be the key to victory every now and again, and players like this can help the Huskies take the next step towards a national championship.