It was almost 11 months ago that Myles Gaskin made his verbal commitment to the Huskies. The four-star running back recruit from Lynnwood says he’s never wavered with that commitment; instead, he’s been comfortable laying relatively low while finishing out his senior year at O’Dea High School.
As one of UW’s first recruits for the Class of 2015, Gaskin said he’s enjoyed seeing the rest of the class come together, particularly as the other in-state recruits started to come aboard, too.
“Watching all the guys commit — especially Chico (McClatcher) and Austin (Joyner), I know both of those guys — for me, as I fan, it’s just like, ‘Wow.’ It’s fun to sit back and see it all come together,” Gaskin said.
Gaskin is one of four recruits starting an an official visit to UW today, the penultimate weekend before the Feb. 4 national signing day. The other visitors, according to Scout.com, are cornerback Jordan Miller, long snapper A.J. Carty and defensive lineman Bryce Sterk. Miller and Carty have been committed to UW since last summer; Sterk, from Lynden, was offered a scholarship UW last week, Scout reported.
As a senior, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Gaskin rushed for 1,399 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns this fall and played defensive back for O’Dea. We caught up recently with Gaskin for this Q&A:
Times: You committed earlier than most do. What was the recruiting process like for you?
Gaskin: As soon as Coach Petersen was hired, I knew that he was a good guy. As soon as he got hired, I had people telling me right off the bat that he was a good guy. Another guy that went to O’Dea, Allen Mooney, had played for Coach Petersen at Boise and he gave my coach a call and said, ‘Hey, you need to give (UW) some real thought. Playing for (Petersen and his staff) will be the best thing you’ve ever done.’ I personally saw that as a sign from God that someone was looking out for you. I met Allen Mooney maybe once or twice, and for him to reach out and say that, that definitely felt like something I should do. Any my mom really wanted me to stay home. I thought I was going to go to Arizona State, but my mom wanted me to stay. You can’t make mom mad. And I committed early because I don’t really like all that the attention and all, to be honest. I just like kind of kicking it.
Times: What was it about Petersen and this staff that hooked you in so early?
Gaskin: The first time I talked to Coach Petersen, we talked for a little bit. I want to say we talked for 10 minutes and then he asked to talk to my dad. That was the first time a coach wanted to talk to my parents more than they talked to me. I think he wanted to know what kind of person I was. You can kind of tell what kind of person somebody is by talking to their parents. So I gave my dad the phone and I was sort of waiting to get my phone back but they were talking forever, so I just left to do my own thing. I think they (the coaches) dug deep to see what kind of person I was … and my parents have the utmost respect for those guys. They love ’em. When they came over for our in-house, yeah, we talked about football, but it was mostly just talking — talking and laughing back and forth, you know?
Times: As this first season went along, was there any doubt or hesitation with your commitment?
Gaskin: Man, I was 100 percent. Some people talk about how the season went (as a disappointment), but it’s his first year. He’s a great coach and he’s got to get his feet on the ground. For him to have the year he had this year, it’s like, shoot … to have the season he did, I think people are kind of taking it for granted. I look at it like, Man, y’all went to a bowl game your first season — that’s what I want to do. Give it some time. Hopefully next year we see a different type of season.
Times: What kind of expectations do you come in with?
Gaskin: My expectation is to be the best player I can possibly be. That puts me wherever that puts me. I’m just trying to do my best to help the team as much as possible and we’ll see how it goes.
Times: Looking back, how did things go in your final season at O’Dea?
Gaskin: I think I had a better year (than his junior year, when he rushed for more than 2,000 yards). Numbers-wise, no. But I was a better leader. Football isn’t all about numbers. At O’Dea, we’re a family and I have guy I know I can go to whenever, and I think that’s most important. And during the season, I was playing defense and returning punts — this was the first year I ever returned a punt. The first punt I caught, I was scared (laughs). The first two games, I didn’t even get close to catching a punt. But I got better at making myself more versatile. I played free safety and I think I had like the fourth-most tackles on the team and I had a couple picks — the first picks I ever had since little league. I didn’t have the 2,000-yard season like I had as a junior, but I think I helped the team out more. I didn’t really even leave the field. None of the seniors did. The season didn’t end like we wanted it to, but we tried our best.
Times: How would you describe your style and your skillset? What do you enjoy most out on the field?
Gaskin: What do I like? I like to score touchdowns! I like to make people miss in the hole — that’s one thing I like to do. To flip the question, though, I think I need to work on my pass blocking. That something I need to do more and adjust for college.