On a day when college football reopened its recruiting doors for the first time since March 2020, removing all pandemic restrictions, the University of Washington football program got immediate results, landing a top prospect in its own backyard.
Long thought to be favoring the Huskies, O'Dea High School's Mark Nabou, a 6-foot-4, 311-pound offensive lineman, made his pledge official on Twitter, joining recruits in the Class of 2022.
A 3-star recruit and considered one of the more desirable line prospects in the region, Nabou's star rose over a short spring high school season.
O'Dea High continues to be a steady feeder of football talent to the Huskies, with Nabou following running back Myles Gaskin, punter and holder Race Porter, cornerback Mishael Powell, inside linebacker Ruperake Fuavia and former teammate and fellow Fighting Irish offensive lineman Owen Prentice to the school in the past half-dozen seasons, either as scholarship players or walk-ons. Gaskin now starts in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins.
Furthermore, O'Dea has two national recruits the Huskies no doubt are pursuing for the Class of 2024. These elite players are running back Jason Brown and 6-foot-5, 330-pound offensive lineman Isendre Ahfua. Brown holds Washington and USC offers while Ahfua has an offer from the Trojans.
Looking closer at the UW's current recruiting class, Husky Maven recruiting analyst Trevor Mueller said that the Huskies might be halfway done with their offensive-line commitments.
"It's a bumper crop for offensive linemen in the state this year," Mueller said. "But there are a limited number of seats spots available for the 2022 class."
Nabou and Arizona's Parker Brailsford have offered offensive-line commitments.
Four fairly well-regarded linemen remain available across Washington state in Josh Conerly from Seattle's Rainier Beach High, Malik Agbo from Federal Way's Todd Beamer High, Puyallup High's Dave Iuli and Graham-Kapowsin's Vega Ioane.
The Huskies likely will take two of those four, with Conerly considered the best of this group by recruiting analysts.