February 4, 2010 in Sports

Huskies snare top-rated safety

Gregg Bell Associated Press
 

SEATTLE – The “name” signed in coach Steve Sarkisian’s first full – really full – signing class at Washington is Nick Montana.

The surprise is Sean Parker.

“This is a big success in our eyes, one that can help us immediately, in 2010,” Sarkisian said Wednesday.

The foundation to Sarkisian’s effort to restore Washington to Pac-10 supremacy got a late boost when Parker, a top-rated safety from Los Angeles, spurned Southern California and Michigan to announce on national television he had chosen the Huskies.

Linebacker Victor Burnett of Culver City High School in Los Angeles could have signed with Oklahoma, West Virginia, Nebraska and any of the Pac-10 schools minus USC.

“That top programs wanted a kid, and he still decided to come to Washington speaks volumes,” Sarkisian said.

The 30 signed are five more than the limit for initial enrollees in an academic year. Sarkisian said he will grayshirt, or enroll late, recently injured safety John Timu from Long Beach, Calif. Washington is also enrolling some players early to count toward last year’s class, which had only 15 players enroll after Sarkisian took the Huskies’ job with just weeks remaining in that recruiting season.

One early arrival is Montana. The son of Hall of Fame passer Joe Montana will enroll in March in time for spring practice.

Montana committed months ago, adding momentum to Washington’s recruiting push in Southern California that netted exactly half the class.

Sarkisian said its “extremely realistic” that Montana, a polished quarterback from top-ranked Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, Calif., could start in 2011 after star Jake Locker finishes his senior season this fall.

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