Locals sign letters of intent; UW, WSU pleased with incoming football classes

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From Bellevue to Everett and everywhere in between, local athletes signed on the dotted line on National Letter of Intent Signing Day, officially committing themselves to the next four to five years.

And while their impact will be felt at schools all across the country, the head coaches in Seattle and Pullman were more than pleased.

“There’s a lot of good players here that were recruited by a lot of people, and to keep the drama out of it and stay true to what they decided to do – we’re really proud of those guys,” UW head coach Chris Petersen said.

Said WSU head coach Mike Leach: “I would say this is a combination of the biggest and fastest class that we’ve recruited since we’ve been here.”

According to Scout.com, the Huskies ranked 5th in the Pac-12 and 29th in the country. But the quality of their 17-player class was loaded with three-and-four star talent, led by locals, Brandon Wellington from Eastside Catholic and Isaiah Gilchrist from Bellevue.

"Ever since I committed, I was ready to go," Gilchrist said. "Now that I've signed on paper, it feels so surreal that I'll be attending a university I've grown up around.

Added Wellington: "You're at home playing in front of all your fans and your family. I mean, the coaching staff is tremendous. It's like a family environment there - they're welcoming right when you step onto campus."

Meanwhile, the Cougars ranked 50th in the country and 10th in the Pac-12, and included 22 three-star recruits, adding much-needed size on the offensive line and speed on defense. It included Cascade’s Joshua Watson, part of a 25-player class that included four from the state of Washington.

"It shows that anyone coming from anywhere can be someone great," Watson said. "It gives me my shot to really be big in this world and go to the NFL one day."