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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

January 31, 2010 at 8:54 PM

Huskies lose kicker to Oregon, a few other notes

Three days left to signing day, the time of year when crazy things can happen.
One of them that happened tonight isn’t good news for the Huskies as kicker Alejandro Maldonado of Colton, Calif., who had been listed as a commit to UW since June, said he has changed his mind and will sign with Oregon.
“Yes, that’s true,” he said when contacted by the Times about rumors he had switched allegiances, saying he made the decision today.
While UW has a returning kicker in Erik Folk, who will be a junior next year, it had sought to add depth to that spot, and rumblings were the Huskies figured Maldonado could come in and at least handle kickoffs next season, if not win the PK job outright. He also punted and would have been a contender for that job when Will Mahan leaves after next season, if not sooner.
Maldonado visited UW for the Apple Cup and seemed solidly in the fold — he hadn’t visited any other schools until taking a trip to Oregon this weekend. His coach, Harold Strauss, hadn’t indicated any other trips were in the works when I talked to him at length this week gathering info on Maldonado.
Maldonado said he hadn’t really planned to take any more visits but said a chance meeting with Oregon special teams coach Tom Osborne in the parking lot at the Oregon-UCLA game in Pasadena in October kept the Ducks in his mind — he attended the game just as a fan, he said (and said he was visiting guys he knows who play for Oregon). He said a few people around him told him he should at least take the trip.
“I didn’t want to go at first,” he said. “I didn’t want to make Washington mad. But I was curious, so I went to check the place out. I took a visit at the last minute and it was pretty neat when I was up there.”
He said the fact that Oregon’s place kicking situation is more wide open than UW’s helped factor in his decision, as did the fact he knows a few more players on the Ducks’ roster.
He said he called UW coaches today with the news.
“They were upset,” he said. “I knew they would be upset. … But I’ve got choices to make to go where I was going to be happy and where I can succeed and where I think I will succeed and I had to go along with that.”

Maldonado is the second player who had been committed to UW since last summer to switch up this month and instead head to Oregon. WR Keanon Lowe of Portland also changed allegiances last week.
— Much of the recruiting news breaking tonight isn’t what UW fans would have ideally hoped for as is also reporting tonight that DL Kirifi Taula of Servite High in Anaheim has recommitted to Arizona. Taula had visited UW last weekend and said later that he had given a commitment to UW coaches while on his trip, though his father, Vic, said shortly after that his son was officially undecided and wouldn’t make any decision until after taking his final visit to UA. I talked briefly with Vic Taula again tonight and he said that his son is still not officially committed anywhere. But quoted Taula as saying that “I’m going to go to Arizona.” Given that his father said his son is still making up his mind, this may continue to be one best written in pencil until Wednesday.
— also reported that DT Lawrence Lagafuaina of Aiea, Hawaii is now back to “50-50” in deciding between Hawaii and UW after taking a trip to Hawaii this weekend. The network also reported that DE Kona Schwenke did not visit UW this weekend instead visiting only Notre Dame and seems likely to end up with the Irish. Lastly, also reported that LB Josh Shirley did indeed take a visit to Miami this weekend but will still decide on signing day among UW, Miami, USC and Arizona.
— The Salt Lake Tribune has an update on DT Ricky Heimuli of Salt Lake who visited UW this weekend. Heimuli is quoted as saying that he will make an announcement of his decision at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday and will decide between UW, Utah, Oregon and UCLA. (There’s also info in there on LB V.J. Fehoko who apparently no longer has UW in his plans, or vice versa).
— As noted in this story, CB Jeremy Ioane of Honolulu visited Notre Dame this week and will announce, likely on signing day, among UW, Boise State and Notre Dame. MaxPreps says that ND leads for Ioane.
— Thanks to a reader for sending along the Cream of the Crop list from the Contra Costa Times of the top recruits in the Bay Area. Included is UW commit DiAndre Campbell.

— The LA Times has a good wrapup of where thing stand with a number of LA area recruits.
All for now.



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