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A Look at Washington's Expanding Recruiting Footprint

Examining how the Huskies are branching out in their pursuit of football talent.

The University of Washington football coaches make Washington state, Oregon, Hawaii and California traditional recruiting stops each year.

Under Chris Petersen, the Huskies occasionally dipped into Wyoming, Montana and Idaho to sift through those states' top talent.  

More and more, the Huskies have turned to Texas, Arizona, Utah and Nevada for recent talent. 

That's just two time zones.

In signing  15 players for the 2021 recruiting cycle, the Huskies aimed small and missed small, signing 13 of them from Washington, Hawaii and California.

In fact, of the 91 offers sent out by the Huskies, a dozen went out to players outside of the usual recruiting footprint to players in Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC territory — to no success.

They expect that to change. They know what they want and will find a way to get it.

"Washington has always done a great job of identifying the type of players that they feel they can have success with," said Trevor Mueller, Husky Maven college football recruiting analyst.

The Huskies patiently have done well in pulling top players from Texas, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. 

It's time to take the next step.

"It takes time to build those relationships, to build pipelines," Mueller said. 

The Huskies are pursuing Tennessee cornerback Myles Pollard, Missouri rush end Samuel M'Pemba, Ohio quarterback Drew Allar and Colorado running back Gavin Sawchuk, hoping to make inroads.

They're selling the program's NFL track record, the UW education and the team atmosphere as reasons to come West.  

All four of those high-profile prospects have stated they will likely use an official visit to check out the Washington campus after online connections were made.  

"One of the benefits of the new way that recruiting is evolving is that a virtual visit can connect the prospects and the schools," Mueller noted. "It's a great way to introduce out-of-state kids to Washington and a pathway to getting them onto campus."

Having no on-campus visits last summer or game-day visits certainly didn't help the Huskies with closing out on any of the distant prospects it previously pursued.

That could change. 

"When on-campus visits are allowed, I expect the Huskies to be able to close on many of the highest priority prospects," Mueller said.