The recruits wore matching black Washington jackets and somber expressions. They had just watched the Huskies fall to No. 11 USC 24-14 and followed behind the Huskies as they trudged toward the locker room.
Two weeks after a home win over Stanford that sent recruits storming onto the field, the prospects had little to celebrate.
The Huskies had chances to win both the game and send another message to recruits during a big recruiting weekend -- but they came up short.
While it isn’t likely to change the minds of Washington’s current commits, but the program had an opportunity to win over some of its top remaining targets. Washington came up short on the scoreboard, but there were a few recruiting positives to pull from Saturday’s game at CenturyLink Field.
Mattingly (Spokane, Wash./Mead) -- a Notre Dame commit -- was wearing that black Washington jacket on a weekend that featured an unofficial visit from defensive line commit Elijah Qualls (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande), who has earned a reputation of turning from recruit to recruiter.
Quarterback commit Troy Williams (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne) was on an unofficial visit wearing a purple Washington beanie, a Huskies hoodie and a pair of black gloves featuring a “W” on each one.
Williams was joined by several other prospects who have given verbal commitments, including offensive lineman Sean Harlow (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente), kicker Cameron Van Winkle (Snoqualmie, Wash./Mount Si) and offensive lineman Andrew Kirkland (Portland, Ore./Jesuit).
Tucker (Monroe, La./Ouachita Parish), a linebacker commit, was on an official visit.
In addition to commits on unofficial visits, several in-state prospects who are high on the Huskies’ list were also in the stands.
As they have done all year, Bellevue (Wash.) teammates Myles Jack (a UCLA commit) and Bishard “Budda” Baker (a 2014 prospect) watched with several other players in the program.
Junior offensive lineman Kaleb McGary (Fife, Wash./Fife), fresh off his scholarship offer this week, stood on the sideline before the game wearing a cowboy hat and a cutoff-sleeve shirt. Devante Downs, a 2014 running back from Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) who also received an offer this week, also attended the game.