SACRAMENTO, Calif. -
At long last, a decision and peace.
MaxPreps U.S. Air Force All-American
safety/running back Shaq Thompson
of Grant (Sacramento, Calif.)
text and Twitter that he will accept a football scholarship to
Washington, thus ending a whirlwind recruitment that included twists,
turns and a Tosh factor.
Said Thompson in his text, "It's where my heart is; second highest grad rate in Pac-12; love the coaches."
of those coaches is Tosh Lupoi, the former Cal defensive line coach and
highly regarded national recruiter who had been hot on Thompson's heels
for two years. The two had formed a bond, not uncommon for the popular
Lupoi, a former Cal player from the Bay Area.Thompson was set for Cal with a verbal commitment to the Bears in early January at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl
, though he
admitted later that Washington was a close second and it still wildly
intrigued him since his close friend and ex-Grant teammate James Sample was there and
for myriad other reasons: tradition, academics, football upside, etc.
He also tweeted Monday night, "Just committed to the UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON #HUSKYNATION," shortly after 10:15 p.m. PST.
started to really turn against Cal when Lupoi made a visit to
Thompson's home on Jan. 15, telling him he could very well wind up
coaching with Washington. The next morning, Jan. 16, Lupoi was indeed headed to the Pacific Northwest with a substantial pay raise
was able to pluck a prime recruiter from under the blue rug of Cal, and
the domino effect means Cal ultimately lost Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, Calif.)
All-American lineman Arik Armstead (Oregon) and Thompson.
said after he met with Lupoi, he was torn. Even though Lupoi doesn't
coach defensive backs, Thompson felt a close connection, and it was
enough to make that "50-50" dead heat into a Huskies advantage.
coaches had a home visit with Thompson last week. What really settled
it for Thompson, the No. 5 recruit nationally, was an unofficial recruiting trip to Washington over the
weekend.Joe Davidson has covered prep sports at The Sacramento Bee since 1988. Follow him on Twitter: sb_joedavidson