Wade Exploring All Options

During the recruiting season, the actual process of getting recruited can take a lot of curious twists and turns. One such turn involved Myles Wade, a 6-foot-3, 318-pound defensive tackle from Portland, Ore., who is finishing up his AA degree and is getting ready to sign with a Division-1 school this coming Wednesday.

After talking with Scout.com this past Monday, Wade had found his school of choice - Texas Tech. He had come to the decision based on a tremendous official visit to Lubbock, and an even better in-home visit with three of the Tech coaches, including Head Coach Mike Leach. Things appeared to be over.

But Washington would not give up. UW Quarterbacks Coach Doug Nussmeier kept at it, convincing Wade that one more trip before Signing Day was an important step in erasing any doubts about his final choice.

"He made me feel like it was something I needed to see for myself," Wade said of Nussmeier's successful sales pitch. Wade, 19, is in a much different place than he was as a U.S. Army All-American coming out of Central Catholic High School. He works out at 5:30 in the morning six days a week, and based on his community college schedule he gets home at either 6:30 or 9 p.m. at night, including weekends. He has coaches blowing up his cell phone, trying to figure out where he's going to sign. And on top of that, he's still grieving over the recent passing of his mother, Lori.

It's a lot to put on a young man's plate, but Wade knows he could be a lot worse off.

"I told my Dad it's a good problem to have," he said.

So after class Thursday night, Wade quickly went home, threw some clothes in a bag and headed to the Portland Airport with his Dad Jerry, his sister and two cousins. He was off to Seattle.

Scout.com caught up with Wade late Friday night after he returned home to Portland. His trip barely lasted a day, but it appears to have made a strong impression nonetheless.

"When I got to Seattle last night and got off the plane, I was thinking to myself, what am I doing here?" Wade queried. "As the night went on and I went out and got something to eat, I noticed that Seattle was bigger than I thought."

Wade went back to his hotel, got some rest and then arrived early for his day on Montlake. "When I saw the voluntary workouts at 6 in the morning, that made me feel a little better about coming," he said. "But this team still went 0-12."

The big defensive lineman spent time with some of the defensive coaches, including new linebackers coach Mike Cox and Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt. "They kept telling me, this staff is not 0-12, we are 0-0 as Husky coaches," he said. "Coach Holt said that he wants to take me and develop me like Cedric Ellis. He said that Cedric and I have the same body type, but I'm an inch or two taller. We're built the same way. He wants to get me so that I can be better than how he did it."

Myles was also able to talk with first-year Head Coach Steve Sarkisian about Sarkisian's hopes and dreams for the future of Washington football. "When I talked to him, he was very laid back, almost the same experience I had with coach Leach," Wade said. "He told me everything I needed to know and also about what he wants to do while he's at Washington. I guess even when the team wasn't as good last year, they always had 65,000 fans coming to the games. He told me why he left USC. He wanted a new challenge."

This was Wade's first extended time on the UW campus, and he remarked on its unique qualities. "The school was beautiful," he said. "It was really foggy in the morning. I guess the Seattle Times said that it's like an Ivy League school on the west coast, and I really got that feeling. It felt like an east coast school."

Ironically enough, it wasn't the football that intrigued Wade the most on his visit; it was what he heard when he spoke with some of Washington's academic advisors.

"I saw the stadium, but the one place that was most impressive was their training table and where they get their tutoring done," said Wade. "It was in their shellhouse that looks out over Lake Washington.

"I talked to their academic people, and they told me when I get my AA, I'll already be ahead 15 credits at Washington. They said that if I stayed on track I could even start going into my master's program during my second year."

Friday night, Nussmeier drove Wade to Sea-Tac from UW so he could catch his flight back to the Rose City. "While I was going through security I still couldn't get over what the campus looked like and what the academic advisors told me about having an extra term under my belt," he said.

So what's next for Wade? He still has one more in-home visit scheduled, this one from Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini. "He'll be the last coach that visits me," Wade said of Pelini. "I know he's a former coach at LSU when they won a national championship."

Wade still considers himself committed to Texas Tech, and he expects to sign on February 4th. He's not sure if he's going to take an official visit to Nebraska, or if he even has time to. But he admitted the Washington visit has given him some room for pause. In the end, Wade said his final decision will be based on conversations with his Dad, his mentor, Joe Rollins, and ample helpings of prayer. "It's made me think about some things," he said.

"When I committed to Oregon out of high school, I should have weighed my options," Wade added. "This time around, I don't want to make the same mistake. I just want to be able to say to myself that I know I did it the right way."

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