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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

May 1, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Lupoi connection helps reel in Santa Margarita duo

Washington’s recruiting efforts for the Class of 2013 got a healthy kickstart the last week with four commitments.

Two came in the last 48 hours or so from the same school — center Dane Crane and safety/linebacker Connor O’Brien of Santa Margarita (Calif.) Catholic High.

And for those attempting to chart the impact of Tosh Lupoi on UW’s recruiting this year, it’s fair to say he deserves a healthy assist for reeling in Crane and O’Brien.

“Tosh has been recruiting them for a few years so I’m sure there is a comfort factor there, absolutely,” said Nate Longshore, the offensive coordinator at Santa Margarita Catholic.

And if that name sounds familiar, it’s because Longshore was a quarterback at Cal from 2005-08, serving as the primary starter there in 2006-07. Lupoi was both a player and a coach at Cal during that time, a connection that doesn’t hurt in Lupoi’s recruiting at Santa Margarita. Longshore laughed that the two committed to UW against his best wishes and that “I know my Bears were after them, too. They are good players.”

The 6-3, 205-pound O’Brien and the 6-3, 295-pound Crane were two of four Santa Margarita players who visited UW for the school’s Junior Day over the weekend.

The others were QB/athlete Johnny Stanton and offensive tackle Riley Sorenson.

But while there are a lot of connections at play here, Longshore said Crane and O’Brien made their own decisions to commit to UW.

Speaking of Crane, ranked the No. 4 center in the country by, Longshore said “he said the vibe was right and he felt like that was where he wanted to be so there was no point in dragging this out, and I support that.”

Asked what kind of player the Huskies will be getting in Crane, Longshore said: “He’s one of those linemen that has a passion for the game. He enjoys the physical play and enjoys getting in there and scrapping with guys. It’s tough to find those big guys who really have a passion for it and Dane is one of those guys.”

Asked about O’Brien, Longshore said: “He’s a projected defensive player (at UW), but he’s just a football player. He can play offense, defense, a whole range of positions. Just one of those talented kids.”

The two helped lead Santa Margarita Catholic to a 13-2 record last season and the California Division I title. Longshore said Sorenson and Stanton — whom UW is apparently now recruiting as an athlete instead of solely a quarterback — may take a little more time to make their decisions.

As for Crane and O’Brien, he said he doesn’t expect either to waver.

“We’ve been lucky to have guys at this school that are not looking for all the attention or seeing how many offers they can rack up,” he said. “Once they know, they are going to make their decision and get on with their senior season.”



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