Cade Otton says Friday, of all days, wasn’t the best for his cellphone to oddly shut down. But he probably has plenty of texts and congratulations to look forward to when it’s back in working order.
Otton — a soon-to-be senior at Tumwater High School, who is rated as a three-star football recruit by Scout.com — verbally committed to the University of Washington after attending its practice Friday afternoon.
“I knew going in that if I had a good feeling about it — which I was pretty sure I was going to — that I’d want to commit there,” Otton said.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“Everything about it, really, is just awesome. I’ve loved going there the past three years and competing in camps and getting to know the coaches, so that’s what led to my decision.”
Otton (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) is expected to play linebacker for the Huskies, though he said it is possible he also could play offense. An AP all-state and Olympian all-area selection last year, Otton led Tumwater with 138 tackles (105 solo, 12 for losses).
He reeled in 26 receptions for 500 yards and nine touchdowns at tight end as a junior and moonlights as the T-Birds’ long snapper.
Otton said his visit to UW’s practice confirmed what he already believed about its staff — welcoming and passionate. Plus, the campus is “hard to beat,” he said.
“It’s kind of like what my grandpa preaches — it’s a lot more than football,” Otton said. “ They want a well-rounded person, not just a football player. That’s something that really spoke to me and attracted me to the program.”
Otton’s grandfather, Tumwater’s legendary coach Sid Otton (384-129 in his 48-year career and Washington’s all-time winningest high school coach), who will retire at the end of Cade’s senior season, was excited by the decision.
Cade was entertaining 13 offers, and passed up Nebraska and Oregon State in favor of UW.
“He’s with a great program and he’s closer (to home). ... Very, very excited,” Sid said.
“Being able to play in front of my family every week, and friends,” Cade said, “That’s something that will be really cool, and I look forward to doing.”
Cade said his commitment will allow him to refocus on his senior season at Tumwater, which begins practice on Aug. 17. The T-Birds lost in the Class 2A state title game last season in the final seconds. The program has five state championships in its history, all under Sid Otton. The most recent was in 2010.
“It’ll be a big weight lifted off of my shoulders,” Cade Otton said. “I’m excited to get this out of the way and focus on Tumwater football and winning a state championship.”