One of the questions that Chis Petersen has faced since taking over the Washington Huskies is whether or not he can recruit elite talent when competing with the other powers in the Pac-12. After securing a 2016 commitment from 4-star running back Sean McGrew out of Bellfolower, California, Petersen may well be on his way to answering that particular critique.
McGrew is an explosive playmaker out St. John Bosco High School who had been a strong lean toward the UCLA Bruins for much of his recruitment. He was swayed, however, by the full-court press put on by Washington that included Petersen personally handle McGrew’s recruitment. It’s a major feather in the cap of Petersen who sold McGrew on UW over the likes of UCLA as well as the Arizona State Sun Devils.
In McGrew, Washington gets an explosive back who uses his low center of gravity at 5-foot-8, 175-pounds to his advantage. He’s a tough runner who will bull through tackles and doesn’t fear contact but also has incredibly quick feet to change direction on a dime before kicking it into high gear and leaving defenders in his dust. His vision to find the hole and decisiveness to plant and go make him one of the top backs in this recruiting class and earned him a spot in the US Army All-American Bowl. As an added bonus, McGrew has shown exceptionally soft hands as a pass catcher out of the backfield with the ability to create tremendous gains after the catch.
While he was the head coach of the Boise State Broncos, Petersen lived on finding overlooked 2- and 3-star recruits that he could develop and build into a competitive team. Going up against the heavyweights of the Pac-12 week in and week out, Washington requires a higher caliber of player to build a roster upon. Up until now, there were some doubts about how well Petersen would be able to bring those types of players in.
But with McGrew’s commitment, Washington already has four 4-star recruits committed to their 2016 class, matching the total number of 4-star recruits they signed in Petersen’s first full recruiting cycle in 2015. With a high-caliber level of talent and the coaching and development ability of Petersen, could Washington get into the Pac-12 title race sooner rather than later?