As they offer scholarships, University of Washington recruiters seem to do it in stages by position. This past week, they proposed financial assistance to five quarterbacks.
During that flurry of activity, Kalen DeBoer's staff appeared to move on to the offensive line.
In rapid-fire progression, the UW coaches offered Kahlee Tafai, Peter Langi, Lipe Meadows and now Luke Baklenko.
They're all huge high schoolers from Southern California holding a lot of promise in what they do.
It any of them sets himself part from the others, it's Baklenko — he has a prior Husky connection.
His mother, Jen, used to work for the UW as an assistant beach volleyball coach and helped launch the program in 2014.
Luke had to be about 8 or 9 back then.
Baklenko since has grown to be a 6-foot-6, 300-pound offensive tackle for Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, California.
He could kick a lot of sand in people's faces.
Jen Baklenko was quite the athlete herself as a volleyball player for the University of San Diego. She became a three-time All-WCC selection and the conference player of the year in 1994, and went on to play professionally.
Her son from the Class of 2023 currently holds 13 football scholarship offers, with Boston College, BYU, Arizona State, California and UCLA among his other suitors. He's said the Bruins are pushing the hardest for his oral commitment.
The younger Baklenko emerges at a private high school that has sent several players to the UW, though most of them didn't stay long for whatever reason, such as quarterback Nick Montana, Joe's son, and linebacker Josh Calvert, the latter now playing for Utah.
Baklenko comes highly recommended, with Prep RedZone offering the following scouting report on him:
“Baklenko is one of the taller linemen on this list at 6-foot-6. He moves well for his size and makes good blocks down the field in the running game and on screens. Oaks Christian even uses him as a puller in their power running game and he is effective at that too. His pass protection is good because he uses his strength well and I am curious to see how he would do against the top speedy edge rushers in the state. Baklenko is a mean player, within the rules, who does not wait for the game to come to him.”
Baklenko, who's one of three siblings, no doubt hung around the UW athletic facilities a lot at an early age and would know what he's getting into in Seattle, though he no doubt could use a refresher with a campus visit.
He carries good size for a lineman coming out of high school, or for any athlete for that matter, but he probably could trim down to become a volleyball player if needed.
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