Edge rusher Anthony Jones, defensive tackle Sir Mells and wide receiver Germie Bernard, all teammates at Liberty High School in Henderson, Nevada, together decided to take an unofficial recruiting trip last fall to Seattle.
Bernard already was committed to the University of Washington, but Jones and Mells were not. The latter two liked their visit so much they joked about picking up alternate sports if football scholarship offers weren't extended, just so they could attend the school.
By December, Jones and Mells happily had their UW offers in hand and were committed.
For the Huskies, the recruitment of these two Liberty 2023 defensive prospects essentially was done sight unseen. The offers were based on Jones and Mells' sophomore seasons because there was no high school football in Nevada in 2020.
However, the recruiting connection with Jones and Mells quickly hit a snag. UW defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski left and joined Steve Sarkisian's new staff at Texas.
It was a shock to both Jones and Mells. It hit Jones the hardest. He grew up without a father figure in his life, spoke with Kwiatkowski for quite some time and the two forged a tight bond.
Jones stated that he was in wait-and-see mode with the coaching change, but it wasn't a shock when he decommitted from the Huskies, lesser so when he committed to the Longhorns and Kwiatkowski.
Both players earlier had been advised to take a wait-and-see approach to the Washington offer, just to see the other schools that were sure to recruit them, but they committed anyway.
Offers began to roll in for Mells after his retraction, six in the first week alone.
Once annoyed by Oregon and its unrelenting pursuit of him, Mells found the Ducks' colorful uniforms hard to ignore.
The Oregon recruiting attention directed at the 6-4, 320-pound run-stuffer was different than the tough love Washington now offered. The Huskies suggested to the youngster that he consider his development and the measurables involved — not how he looked in a uniform.
Behind the scenes, the Huskies moved on from Mells after he decommitted and reached out to other defensive linemen such as Ben Roberts from East High School in Salt Lake City.
In spite of the drama that arose around Jones and Mells, Bernard stayed firm with his UW commitment and is taking an unofficial visit this weekend. The Huskies remain an attractive school for two other Liberty prospects, Marques Johnson and Jalen Lewis, who likewise are on unofficial visits to Montlake this weekend.