January 30, 2012
Shaq Thompson decides on Washington Huskies

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Shaq Thompson made it official via texting and via a Tweet - and that's the new generation of recruiting for you - as his exhausting and emotional whirlwind has met a bit of closure.

The Grant High School All-American safety wrote in a text moments ago that he will go to Washington on a scholarship tour for the following reasons, "It's where my heart is; second highest grad rate in Pac-12; love the coaches."

The agreement was sealed after Thompson made an unofficial recruiting trip to Washington over the weekend. He had taken an official visit during the fall, and was hosted by his close friend and former Grant teammate James Sample, a Huskies safety.

Thompson said that Cal and Washington were neck and neck most of the season, and even when he gave a verbal commitment to attend Cal, he was still wildly intrigued with Washington.

Then the Tosh Lupoi situation unfolded and the domino effect could impact the Pac-12 for years to come. On Jan. 15, Lupoi made a surprise stop to Thompson's home, awhile after meeting with Pleasant Grove lineman Arik Armstead.

Lupoi told Thompson that he very well could be headed to Washington and to keep the Huskies in mind, and sure enough Lupoi was bound for Washington the very next morning, on Jan. 16.

Thompson told us then that he had grown close to Lupoi, never mind that Lupoi coached defensive line and Thompson works in the secondary. Didn't matter. The coach and player formed a bond.

Thompson re-opened his recruiting, calling Cal and Washington "50-50." In the last week, Thompson had a home visit with Cal coach Jeff Tedford, who received two verbals from Thompson in the last year and still lost him. He also had a Washington home visit, with Lupoi, and an Oregon visit with Chip Kelly.

Thompson and Armstead spoke at length about college possibilities and fantasized about going to the same program. They considered Cal, then Oregon - very much. Now they'll face each other as Armstead is off to Oregon. So Lupoi leaving Cal cost the Bears Armstead, who was heavy on Cal, and Thompson.

The deciding factor was the weekend trip to Washington.
Thompson will formally sign his Letter of Intent paper work on Wednesday, at Grant High, have it faxed and then hustle off to class.

At long last, Thompson gets relief. No more calls, trips and speculation. He heads to Washington as the Sacramento area's most heavily recruited player since defensive lineman Reggie Rogers of Notre Del Rio (which consolidated into Grant) in 1983.

Rogers went on to become a first-round pick by the Detroit Lions in 1987, No. 7 overall.
For more news and updates, follow on Twitter: sb_joedavidson



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Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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