Naijiel Hale committed to Arizona at The Opening last July and took several visits to the Tucson campus over the last year. His commitment looked solid but Washing has quietly been involved ever since new head coach Chris Petersen took over.
“He offered me as soon as he got there,” Hale said. “Boise State was my first offer when Coach Petersen was there so I know the staff really well. I know Coach Lake, the DB coach as well and had a good home visit with him and Coach Petersen recently.
“Arizona had told me they didn’t want me to take the visit this weekend and if I did, there was a good chance they would pull the offer. I had basically already decided in my head that I was going to go to Washington so I was taking this visit no matter what. I love it up here and have some strong relationships already in place so I’m thrilled to be a Dawg.”
Those relationships involve a few current Husky players and commits.
“Me and Darren Gardenhire have been talking about playing together forever,” Hale said. “We’ve been talking about this and the two of us along with John Ross started playing together in the Snoop League since we were eight or nine. We’re all really tight and it’s going to be great to play together in college.
“Brandon Beaver is my host out here and we’re boys too. I know a lot of the guys so I have a strong comfort level with the players and the coaches. It’s really nice out here, I like the campus and the facilities a lot. It’s a strong program and I like the direction it’s going. I’m thankful to Arizona for the opportunity they gave me but I just feel like Washington is a better fit for me and this is where I belong.”