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Sunday, April 21, 2013
ATH Downs takes in Washington spring game

By Erik McKinney

The rain might have put a bit of a damper on the Washington spring game, but the Huskies coaches were ready to take advantage of having several of the region's top prospects on hand, including one of the top in-state targets, athlete Devante Downs (Mountlake Terrace, Wash./Mountlake Terrace).

"It was pretty fun," Downs said of his visit to the spring game. "The only thing I didn't like was the rain -- having to sit there in it and not being able to play."

It was a return trip for Downs, who was just at Washington for its junior day earlier this spring. And while the spring game was held at Memorial Stadium, about 15 minutes from the university, Downs said he and several other recruits were able to get another look at the renovations taking place at Husky Stadium.

Devante Downs
Devante Downs enjoyed Washington's spring game and his look at the Husky Stadium renovations.
"It was more completed than the last time I was there," Downs said. "They put the goal posts up and more of the field was down. They let us on the field through the tunnel, which was really cool."

Downs said there wasn't time for a tour or academic discussion -- he said that will take place during his next visit to Washington -- but he was able to spend time going over film with the coaches and sit in on player meetings.

"They showed us the game against Stanford and how they see us fitting in," Downs said. "Right now they see me as a running back, but of course the linebacker coach keeps talking to me about playing there. I'm open to that as well, but right now it's mostly running back."

Downs shone on both sides of the ball last season and will likely do so again as a senior. He said schools are fairly split on where he could wind up at the next level, but Boise State, Michigan and Oregon State are recruiting him exclusively as a linebacker. His other offers, which include Arizona State, California, Stanford and Vanderbilt, see him as a running back. Downs said the Sun Devils, Cardinal, Commodores, Beavers and Huskies are recruiting him the hardest at this point.

"They're definitely one of my favorites," Downs said of Washington after his visit. "They talk to me the most and are always having conversations with me."

It's shaping up to be a busy spring and summer for Downs, as Wisconsin coaches will be on campus on Monday, and Michigan, UCLA and USC coaches have told him they will be by in the coming weeks as well. Downs will be in Northern California next month for the Oakland Nike Camp, which he will pair with visits to Cal and Stanford. But before any of that, Downs will take an unofficial visit to Oregon State next weekend.

At this point, Downs is doing his best to keep an open mind as he goes through the recruiting process.

"I'm just looking for the best opportunity, with a combination of a good education and a chance to make it to the next level," he said.