When the dust cleared on letter-of-intent day Wednesday, the Huskies signed just four players from the state of Washington — tight end David Ajamu of Shelton, lineman Andrew Basham of Lynnwood, linebacker Sean Constantine of Bellevue and kicker Cameron Van Winkle of Mount Si.
UW also at one point had commitments from receiver Sammie Long of Lakes, who ended up at Colorado State; and lineman Jaimie Bryant of Tumwater, who plans now to enroll next January.
Signing four, though, led to the obvious question of the last time the Huskies signed fewer in-state recruits.
The answer actually doesn’t go back all that far — 2009. In what was Steve Sarkisian’s first class at UW, assembled after he took over for Tyrone Willingham in December, 2008, UW signed two in-state players — cornerback Desmond Trufant of Wilson High in Tacoma and lineman Andru Pulu of Federal Way. Obviously, that class was sort of a special circumstance with the late arrival of Sarkisian and his staff, and also was a little smaller — the Huskies signed 19 compared to the 22 of this year.
But a look through all the classes dating to 2002 shows that there have been other years the Huskies haven’t signed a lot more in-state players.
Here are the numbers of in-state players signed in each class dating to 2002:
2002 — 8
2003 — 9
2004 — 12
2005 — 6
2006 — 5
2007 — 6
2008 — 12
2009 — 2
2010 — 9
2011 — 9
2012 — 5
Part of the variance in the numbers is due each year to how the coaches assess the talent in-state — UW offered at least three other in-state players in Mead TE Danny Mattingly, Bellevue LB Myles Jack and Skyline QB Max Browne.
But in general, this year’s in-state talent crop was not regarded as being as deep as other seasons. The Times, if you recall, named only Browne and Jack as “Blue Chip” prospects, meaning the best of the best. UW got neither. But it was just two years ago when the Times named five in-state players as Blue Chips — Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Kasen Williams, Bishop Sankey, Danny Shelton and Tani Tupou — and UW signed all five.
I’m not sure either of those years really represented a trend, only illustrating again that the number of big-time recruits in state will always vary a little, as will the desire of all of those players to stay home (or UW’s ability to convince them to stay home, take your pick).