SEATTLE — Who needs ESPN at 8 A.M when you can do it yourself at 10:05 P.M Monday night? Not Shaq Thompson apparently. Thompson, rated as the No.1 safety in the country by both Rivals.com and Scout.com out oph Grant High School in Sacramento, made his decision on his Twitter account tonight.
“Just committed to the UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON #HUSKYNATION”–@ItsShaqThompson
On the same day top in-state offensive tackle Zach Banner committed to USC over Washington, Thompson changed his verbal from Cal to Washington. According to several people close to Thompson he always had Washington in his heart but every visit changed his mind. First it was his original commit to Cal before Tosh Lupoi headed north to Seattle.
That’s when his recruiting went completely off the charts. Thompson was torn and as a result more schools became an option for the five star safety. Oregon, UCLA, along with Washington and Cal became his final four. As the weeks went on he silently committed to Oregon, UCLA and even Washington and his decision changed daily.
This Sunday Arik Armstead, a close friend of Thompson’s committed to Oregon and the thought was that Thompson might join him. According to ESPN West recruiting blogger Greg Biggins Thompson even bought an Oregon hat, had his name engraved on it, but then had second thoughts.
Surprisingly under the radar Thompson, along with fellow (former) Cal commit Jordan Payton took an unofficial visit to Washington this weekend. That visit sealed his decision to commit to Washington, with Payton likely joining him.
However, none of this could have taken place without the hiring of Tosh Lupoi. Lupoi, who is known as one of the best recruiters in the country, made a shocking move by leaving Cal for Washington. Both Lupoi and Thompson are very close to each other and that has been a major sticking point throughout his recruitment.
The “Calgang” was all set to transcend the Cal program and takeover the Pac-12 over the next few years, starting with this class. When Lupoi left, so did Cal’s top 10 recruiting class. Arik Armstead picked Oregon on Sunday, Thompson picked Washington tonight, Ellis McCarthy picked UCLA a couple weeks back and Jordan Payton will likely pick either Washington or UCLA.
With Thompson committed to Washington it will raise their class above and beyond what was expected. Thompson will likely not redshirt and pair alongside current free safety Sean Parker, in an overhauled Husky defense in 2012.
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Here are some Twitter reactions:
Head coach Steve Sarkisian (who always tweets “Woof” when a recruit commits):
1st tweet:????! ????! ????! ????! ????!!!!!!!!!!!! (at 10:19)
2nd tweet: WOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!!!!! (at 10:23)
Dave “Sophty” Mahler: Shaq Thompson says in his twitter feed he has commited to Washington. GINORMOUS Get for Sark. #1 Safety in all the land. WOW!!!!!
Dustin Hawes: Shaq must really LOVE Tosh Lupoi..he’s not even his positional coach. Can’t honestly say I’ve seen a class meltdown as badly as this Cal one
Tara Turnure: Shaq Thompson just announced he is a Husky!! #UW
Arik Armstead: I want @ItsShaqThompson To come to the o just as much as yall but he going to be successful where ever he go