It's not often that a prospect gets offered before the beginning of his sophomore season. It's even less often that a player gets offered before ever playing a down of varsity football. However, that is the case with Gig Harbor High School's Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who received an offer from the University of Washington last week while visiting Montlake.
"I went up there for an unofficial visit with Jake Heaps, Kasen Williams, Zach Fogerson and Jamaal Kearse. I was in Coach [Tyrone] Willingham's office and he offered me," explained Seferian-Jenkins. "I was kind of startled when he offered me. I was really excited and really humbled. I was surprised but at the same time I wasn't, because Coach [Tim] Lappano said he wanted to offer me."
Although he hasn't turned 16 yet, Seferian-Jenkins already stands at a mighty 6-foot-6, 250-pounds. While he could grow into an offensive lineman, the young playmaker is being recruited as a tight end. However, it is wide receiver and defensive end where Seferian-Jenkins will play next season for the Tides.
"Schools are recruiting me for tight end. But hopefully when I play defensive end, schools will recruit me for that. I feel like I can be an asset to any team at that position as well," explained Seferian-Jenkins. "It's hard to say which position I like more. I like catching the football - getting yards, getting touchdowns. But I always like to see a quarterback's eyes before I hit him. There's no other feeling like that - hitting a quarterback hard."
It's obvious that Seferian-Jenkins loves to use his size to his advantage.
"I think I have really good concentration when the ball comes to me," expressed Seferian-Jenkins. "I'm pretty strong and really physical with cornerbacks. I'll knock them out, no doubt about that. I'm fearless. I'm always trying to get that extra yard for my team."
On the recruiting front, aside from Washington, the big-bodied sophomore-to-be is hearing from the likes of Arizona State, Washington State and USC.
"I got a questionnaire from USC. Washington State's coaches came to my school, but I wasn't there," said Seferian-Jenkins. "I've also been in contact with Arizona State and I've met Offensive Line Coach Greg Smith."
Seferian-Jenkins currently favors the Huskies and Sun Devils, both of which he connects on a personal level with the coaching staffs.
"I'm a hometown guy from the Seattle area. I would like to play for my parents and my friends. I'd like to be a part of bringing Washington back to glory," expressed Seferian-Jenkins. "I like Coach Willingham because he's an honest guy. He's looking for three things in each one of his players. One, a great person. Two, a great player. Three, great in the classroom. If I can do all of those things, the sky is the limit. Those are three things that everyone wants on their team. I don't know who could beat them if they have a team filled with people like that. I also like that he's a Fellowship of Christian Athlete."
"I really like Coach Smith. I'm always calling him, talking to him about anything," expressed Seferian-Jenkins of his interest in Arizona State. "Even though I don't know him that well, it feels like I've known him awhile. I connect with him very well."
Washington and Arizona State aren't the only schools that have caught the eye of Seferian-Jenkins, who has also taken an interest in the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, UCLA and California.
"The best talent is down there. They're professionals out there. Alabama and Georgia have good people at every position. You can't slack off." explained Seferian-Jenkins of his interest in the southern schools. "I also have family in that area."
Seferian-Jenkins further discussed Alabama.
"Nick Saban has coached in the NFL and he knows what an NFL athlete is," expressed Seferian-Jenkins. "If you're coached by him, than you're getting some serious coaching. You can take it all in and become a better player each and every day."
Seferian-Jenkins will have more than coaches trying to persuade him to attend their particular school. His father, John Jenkins II, played tight end for Eastern Michigan in the 1970's and is a huge fan of the Wolverines. His mother graduated from Washington and remains a big Husky fan.
"My mom wants me to go to Washington. Every time we're sitting down at dinner, she'll say that Washington is a great school," explained Seferian-Jenkins. "Washington is definitely at the top of my list, they're building something really special there and I can see it."
Seferian-Jenkins has a few things he'll be looking for in a school, and offered a little insight on his opinion of the Husky program.
"Number one - academics. Number two - how I fit in the depth chart. Number three - how good the coach is, what he's done and what he's about. Number four, if they're winning," explained Seferian-Jenkins. "Willingham is a big factor for Washington. The type of players they've been bringing in like Deandre Coleman, Kavario Middleton, Jermaine Kearse - I figure they're bringing in pretty big names which will make them better. I think they're going to surprise people this year."
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