Michael Porter Jr. backed out of his letter and instead signed with Missouri. Blake Harris signed with Missouri, too. Daejon Davis signed with Stanford. Mamoudou Diarra requested a release from his signed letter of intent, too.
That left Garfield High School guard Jaylen Nowell as the lone member of Washington’s once-touted 2017 basketball signing class still undecided about his future. Until now. On Tuesday, Nowell announced via a video message on his Twitter account that he will remain signed with UW and play for the Huskies under first-year coach Mike Hopkins.
Nowell, a 6-foot-4 guard, is rated by Scout.com as a 4-star recruit and the No. 82 overall prospect in the 2017 class. He signed with UW in November, part of a five-player class considered the best in school history. But the March 15 firing of coach Lorenzo Romar triggered an expected exodus, and Nowell wound up the last man standing. Romar recently accepted an assistant coaching position at Arizona.
By reaffirming his commitment, Nowell becomes the centerpiece of a class that now includes West Seattle guard Nate Pryor and O’Dea guard Michael Carter III. It also appears that Hopkins’ decision to retain assistant coach Will Conroy -- a Garfield alumnus who is close with Nowell -- and hire former Seattle University coach Cameron Dollar helped keep Nowell on board.
“This next step is very critical in defining me as a student and an athlete,” Nowell said in the video. “With that in mind, I’ve decided to put my faith back into my city and remain a Husky. I look forward to growing and developing under the leadership of Coach Hopkins, Coach Conroy and Coach Dollar. Thank you all again for your support. Go Huskies.”