Posted by Bryan Fischer
With just two and a half weeks until Signing Day, Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian picked up the biggest commitment of his tenure on Monday when news officially surfaced that California defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi would be moving to Seattle to become defensive line coach and defensive run game coordinator with the Huskies.
“Coach Lupoi is a terrific young coach and a dynamic recruiter,” Sarkisian said in the school's release. “He will have an immediate impact with our team both on the field and in recruiting.”
Indeed, Lupoi has developed a sterling reputation as one of the most dynamic recruiters in the country and is largely responsible for Cal's ninth-ranked recruiting class in MaxPreps's recent team rankings. In December, he made the list of top assistants who are good recruiters. Several of the Bears' socially savvy (i.e. those that have Twitter accounts) recruits have already weighed in on the move, from number five overall player Shaq Thompson saying, "he has a lot to think about," to five-star uncommitted lineman Arik Armstead adding that things just got real (he was thought to be close to committing Monday afternoon). CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter John Breech also points out that current players were left in the dark about the move, with defensive lineman Gabe King tweeting that he left without so much as a text.
The move will undoubtedly impact both Washington and Cal's recruiting classes this year and in the future. Thompson, who also seriously considered the Huskies and has a good relationship with new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox after he recruited Thompson's brother at Cal, is one to keep an eye on in terms of decommitting. Five-star defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy could also easily flip to USC or UCLA by Signing Day.
This is, in no uncertain words, a huge hire by Sarkisian and Washington. Combined with an already excellent recruiter and coach in Peter Sirmon and Washington has made significant moves in the Pac-12 North and conference at large. The road to Signing Day is always filled with a few twists and turns and this appears to be a big one out West.
More on Thompson/Armstead's recruitment from MaxPreps