New UW coach nabs WSU recruit

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SEATTLE — Chris Petersen got his first taste of the Apple Cup rivalry on Monday.

The new Washington coach received his first verbal commitment from a recruit for the Huskies, pilfering a three-star defensive back from Washington State University in the process.

Darren Gardenhire had made a verbal commitment to the Cougars on Nov. 24, five days before UW’s 27-17 victory in the Apple Cup.

Gardenhire, out of Cabrillo High School in Long Beach, Calif., had also drawn interest from Boise State when Petersen was the coach of the Broncos. After Petersen called to offer Gardenhire a scholarship Monday morning, Gardenhire said he de-committed from Washington State before accepting the UW offer.

“Coach Pete was on the practice field and he was fired up (when I told him),” Gardenhire told the recruiting site 247sports.com. “I’m a Husky—this is it.”

Gardenhire is listed at 6 feet, 200 pounds, and he is said to be open to playing either cornerback or safety in college. His cousin is Washington running back Dwayne Washington.

“Man, Washington has always been my dream school,” Gardenhire told Scout.com. “When Coach Petersen left Boise State to take the job at Washington, I was hoping I would get an offer. He called me this morning and told me he was offering, and I was so excited about it.

“My whole family has always been big Husky fans. I have a lot of cousins who go to school there, including Dwayne Washington. I’ve already visited the school twice and camped (played at a football camp) with them in the summer. I stayed on campus with Dwayne and just love the place. There was no doubt I was going to commit, but I had to do it right, so I called Washington State and de-committed first.”

Gardenhire is the sixth recruit committed for UW’s Class of 2014. Verbal commitments are non-binding.

PRICE’S SHOULDER HEALTHY

Senior quarterback Keith Price said Monday he is “completing healthy” as he prepares for the final game of his UW career against Brigham Young in the Dec. 27 Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco.

Price injured his right (throwing) shoulder against UCLA on Nov. 15 and sat out UW’s 69-27 victory at Oregon State a week later. He returned against Washington State, completing 15 of 20 passes for 181 yards with two total touchdowns and one interception.

“I feel much better than I did coming into the Wazzu week,” Price told reporters after practice Monday morning. “I remember during the game I had a hot pack on me the whole time. . . . I’m completely healed and I’ve been rehabbing ... There’s only one way to go, and that’s up.”

NOTES

— The Huskies are scheduled to practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week and then depart for San Francisco on Sunday.

— Petersen has not made any official announcements about his coaching staff, but the new UW coach watched practice Monday morning with Keith Bhonapha, who was the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Boise State.

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