Turns out the Washington Huskies got their man – just 5 1/2 months later than first hoped.
Josh Shirley, one of the coveted "hybrid" defenders on the West Coast from Kaiser High School (Calif.), and a News Tribune "Western 100" selection for 2010, has signed with the Huskies.
Just 3 1/2 weeks ago, UCLA – the school Shirley chose on national letter of intent day in February over Southern California and the UW – released the linebacker/defensive end after theft charges were filed against he and two other Bruins.
Those charges are still pending in Southern California.
In recent days, rumors swirled that Shirley might be close to signing at the UW. On Thursday, Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian made it official.
"We are very aware of the circumstances surrounding Josh," said Sarkisian through a statement released by the university. "We have done our due diligence and truly feel that this is not indicative of his true character or the way that he was raised. We are excited about the opportunity Josh has to excel on the football field, in the classroom and in his personal life in our environment, around our people at the University of Washington."
Shirley was certainly a signing-day target in February, but the Huskies lost out on him. They did grab safety Sean Parker, out of Narbonne High, as a late get.
The signing of Shirley gives the UW 17 California signees in the 2010 recruiting class. Fall camp begins Aug. 8.