- Mason Kelley, Reporter, Recruiting Nation
SEATTLE -- With many of the top targets in Washington drawing out the 2012 recruiting process, there was drama all the way to signing day.
KeiVarae Russell (Everett/Mariner) turned out the lights on Washington fans, picking Notre Dame in December. He already is starting at corner for the Fighting Irish.
Big names. Big programs. Big losses for the hometown Huskies.
This year, though, the biggest names were taken off the board early.
Of the top 15 prospects in the state this season, 12 have already given verbal commitments -- three to Washington. There is little to be decided.
Here is a look at who is left, who is hovering just off the radar, and who might change his mind:
On the board
DB Teré Calloway (Seattle/Seattle Prep): The three-star defensive back has double-digit offers scattered across the country and continues to weigh his options.
WR Tatum Taylor (Seattle/O’Dea): Calloway’s best friend also has a long list of offers. Projected to fill a slot receiver position in college, the speedy senior is also weighing a number of track scholarship offers.
LB Devin Benford (Sammamish/Skyline): The three-star linebacker impressed the Washington coaching staff during the Spartans’ run to the Class 4A state championship last year. While he has yet to land an offer from the Huskies, but he could land one if they have a spot open close to signing day.
Off the radar
WR Nic Sblendorio (Sammamish/Skyline): A skilled route runner who has been a dynamic playmaker for a prolific program, Sblendorio is out to prove he is an FBS player. Both coach Mat Taylor and quarterback Browne can’t figure out why he doesn’t have more offers.
DL Darien Freeman (Bellevue/Bellevue): College coaches love Freeman on film. However, when they see him in person -- he is 5-foot-11 -- they get nervous. He has proven he can play against taller athletes and, according to coach Butch Goncharoff, the school that offers him will “get a great one.”
DE Cody Moorhead (Hazen/Hazen): Moorhead slimmed down this summer to work on his speed and agility. He said he planned on channeling his “extra little animal” to catch the attention of college coaches as a senior.
OL Leoneidas Pili (Seattle/Rainier Beach): Pili is 6-9 and weighs more than 350 pounds, so he stands out on the field. Size isn’t an issue for the senior. However, Vikings coach Mark Haley said his talent is growing to match his size and expects a school to take a chance on him.
A flip in his future?
LB Myles Jack (Bellevue/Bellevue): After the first two games of his senior season, Washington fans are hopeful the three-star recruit will flip from the Bruins to the Huskies before signing day. Will it happen, though? UCLA’s strong start certainly makes it more difficult.
LB Danny Mattingly (Spokane/Mead): Washington would still like to land the three-star recruit who is committed to Notre Dame, but the senior said this summer that “a commitment is a commitment.” That, however, won’t stop schools from pursuing him until he signs.