Washington’s lost out on some pretty big-time offensive linemen from Bellevue in recent years in Stephen Schilling (Michigan) and David DeCastro (Stanford).
Jake Eldrenkamp hopes he can have the same kinds of college careers as those two, but unlike them he will stay home, deciding Tuesday night to commit to Washington.
Eldrenkamp becomes the 20th known public commitment for UW’s Class of 2012, and the third offensive linemen, all from in-state, joining center/guard Cory English of Auburn and tackle Nathan Dean of Juanita.
Eldrenkamp’s choice ultimately came down to UW and WSU — and it’s not as common as one might think that a player’s choice comes down solely to those two schools.
Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff said Eldrenkamp liked both coaches and schools “but at the end of the day, his heart was with Washington.”
Eldrenkamp told Scout.com that “I have grown up my whole life wanting to wear purple and gold. I am going to make the best of it.”
After there had been some thought earlier in the day that he might go on KJR-AM tomorrow to make his announcement, he instead made the decision public on his Facebook page, stating simply that: “I talked to coach Sarkisian tonight, I will be accepting a football scholarship to the UW.”
Eldrenkamp, listed at 6-5, 295 and projected as a guard, had visited both UW and WSU in the last two weeks and also hosted in-home visits with coaches Steve Sarkisian and Mike Leach earlier this week.
He becomes the first player from perennial power Bellevue to sign a letter-of-intent with the Huskies since running back J.R. Hasty and linebacker E.J. Savannah in 2005. (Another Bellevue High OL, Michael Kneip, has already said he will walk-on).
Eldrenkamp made the final decision Tuesday afternoon and called Sarkisian early Tuesday night with the news.
“He’s a great kid and a great student,” Goncharoff said. “We’ve had a lot of good linemen go on to have success in college and I think Jake will be another guy that does.”
Elredenkamp was a Seattle Times Red Chip selection and is the seventh player from the state to commit to UW so far.
UW is hoping it can get a similar decision next week from the last remaining publicly uncommitted in-state player with a current offer from the Huskies considering Washington — Lakes High tackle Zach Banner.
Here is some video of Eldrenkamp:
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