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Petersen’s first UW class keeps state talent

Tj Cotterill Tacoma News Tribune

SEATTLE – Some faxes came in late, one letter of intent was sent upside down, and another didn’t have the correct date.

The fax snafus were little, though, compared to the stress Chris Petersen and his staff faced in having less than two months from when he accepted the University of Washington football job until signing day.

“There was some tough sledding in those two months,” Petersen said.

But in them, Petersen and his staff were able to secure a first recruiting class that appears to address needs, add talent and – what the UW had been so criticized for under Steve Sarkisian – corral the state’s top players.

Petersen’s inaugural recruiting class features six of the state’s top players, including Bellevue’s Budda Baker and Fife’s Kaleb McGary.

They were two of four four-star recruits, ranked by Scout.com, UW signed Wednesday.

Petersen had previously signed four four-star recruits combined in his eight seasons at Boise State. Sarkisian had zero four-star recruits his first UW recruiting class in 2009.

“Were we able to get some guys that we probably wouldn’t have been able to get a year ago (at Boise State)? Absolutely, no question,” Petersen said. “I think there was some really good intensity, and, boy, if we can keep this kind of recruiting intensity up all year long to this place, then I’m really excited about the future.”

Baker said he will play free safety, but Petersen talked about including him in offensive packages and the return game eventually, as well.

McGary was recruited as an offensive lineman but told Petersen he prefers to play on the defensive line.

UW also secured in-state recruits Drew Sample (Newport of Bellevue), Shane Bowman (Bellevue), and Drew Lewis (Eastlake).

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