It’s probably fair to say that fullback Dezden Petty of Gardena, Calif., is one of the lesser-known members of Washington’s Class of 2011.
But Petty knows plenty about the Huskies.
In a recent phone interview, he explained that his grandfather was a devout fan of the Huskies, though when asked why, he laughed and said “I have no idea.”
But his memories of childhood include lots of Saturday afternoons watching UW games on TV.
“I just kind of grew up with Husky football,” he said.
So when UW came calling with a scholarship in December, it took him about a second to change his mind from an earlier commitment to San Diego State and instead decide to become a Husky.
UW coaches offered Petty, who is 6-foot and weighs about 213 pounds, after catching one of his games in person this season.
While listed as a fullback, he says coaches have also talked to him about being “a big back in the running back rotation.” As a fullback, he said UW coaches have told him they’d like to use him similar to the way Stanley Havili played at USC the last few years.
Petty is ranked a two-star recruit by Scout.com and the No. 11 fullback in the country, and also got a two-star rating by Rivals.com. He rushed for almost 1,400 yards and 19 touchdowns for Gardena, and also had 59 tackles as a linebacker.
Wrote ESPN.com in its evaluation of Petty:
“Petty is a jumbo athlete who get recruited on either side of the ball in college. A thick, well-built prospect with good height and close to ideal measurables for a major level fullback or inside linebacker. Has played quarterback in high school and is a deceptively athletic prospect with versatility. As a projected linebacker he has some speed limitations but closes with above average burst in the short-area. Straight-lined for the most part but shows he can open and turn and get depth in coverage. Best asset is pursuing downhill, attacking vertically on the outside and making production near the line of scrimmage. Not polished with his hands as a shedder but gets off blocks with good strength and can hold his base at the point of attack without getting turned. Has above average chase and pursuit speed but do feel like he could have some difficulties matching up in space on the outside and would like to see quicker diagnosing skills between the tackles despite showing deceptive agility through the wash. We like his potential total package at fullback. Shows he can catch the ball out of the backfield, get North as runner with solid burst and stalemate defenders as a blocker. Will need a bit of technical polish but the measurables, tougness and physical tools are there to develop. Overall, Petty is good, hard nosed football player without a lot of flash to his game but will produce.”
Here is some video of Petty in his sophomore year:
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