Chris Petersen on UW’s 2019 recruiting class
Washington added two four-star prospects during National Signing Day on Wednesday. The Huskies now have 22 players signed to their Class of 2019, which is ranked No. 17 in the nation and No. 2 in the Pac-12 by 247Sports.com.
But UW head football coach Chris Petersen doesn’t concern himself much with rankings. Those numbers are subjective, he said, and nobody knows how a player will perform until years after he arrives on campus.
“We just try to add pieces to the puzzle in this long recruiting process,” Petersen said. “We don’t worry about the guys that don’t come here. We need to worry about the guys that come here. … How many guys do people take that don’t pan out? That’s what hurts. … The guys that we get has got to pan out for us.”
Petersen and his staff hope four-star safety Asa Turner will be one of those guys.
Turner made his re-commitment to the Huskies official on Wednesday. He originally committed in July, but then didn’t sign during the early signing period in December. He announced last week he would join the Huskies after reportedly deciding between UW and Notre Dame.
Turner is considered by 247Sports.com to be the No. 10 athlete and the No. 198 player in the country. He also had offers from Michigan, Oregon, USC, Washington State, Nebraska and Utah, among others. Petersen described Turner as “big, athletic and rangy.”
“The secondary is certainly an area of need with the guys that we graduated,” Petersen said. “All the guys coming in are going to get a chance to compete there for time.”
Seniors Jordan Miller and JoJo McIntosh graduated from UW’s secondary. The Huskies also lost Taylor Rapp and Byron Murphy, who left early to enter the NFL Draft.
Several teams, including Notre Dame, recruited Turner as a linebacker. Petersen said the Huskies always saw him as safety, and that might have made the difference.
“I think at the end of the day, I think it did appeal to him,” Petersen said. “I think part of it is he was trying to figure out in his mind exactly where he fit. But in our mind, it was pretty clear-cut.”
Daniel Heimuli, a four-star inside linebacker, also signed with UW on Wednesday. He picked the Huskies over fellow finalists Oregon, UCLA, Utah and Alabama. 247Sports considers Heimuli the No. 13 inside linebacker in the country.
“We’re obviously watching tape of all our guys all season long,” Petersen said. “Daniel is one of those guys we we really liked a ton as a junior. He’s one of those players with a really big upside.”
Petersen said Heimuli is a player who improved every game of his senior season.
Another UW target, four-star wide receiver Puka Nacua, didn’t sign with a team on Wednesday. Nacua is committed to USC but took official visits to UW, Utah, Oregon and UCLA. 247Sports ranks him as the No. 22 wide receiver in the country and the No. 2 player in Utah. The Huskies only have one wide receiver — three-star Taj Davis — currently signed.
“We recruit 24/7,” Petersen said when asked if UW could still add another player to the class. “We’re recruiting two years back from now if we find the right guys. It’s always recruiting season.”
While UW added key pieces to its class on National Signing Day, and still might add more, the majority of players signed with the Huskies during the early signing period in December. Petersen doesn’t expect that trend to stop anytime soon.
“There’s going to be a few guys that still haven’t decided for whatever reason,” Petersen said, “but by far for the majority, that’s the signing period. ... I just think it goes to what we’ve known all along. So many of these guys are deciding in the summertime or the fall.”