When Devante Downs first heard the news, he paused. He thought for a second and asked, “Is this real? Are you kidding?”
On the other end of the phone was Washington coach Steve Sarkisian, who had just offered the 6-foot-2, 240-pound running back (Mountlake Terrace, Wash./Mountlake Terrace) a scholarship.
“When he told me he was serious, I was so happy,” said Downs, who wasn't expecting an offer when he called the coach. “It’s really big. It’s kind of a relief but, at the same time, it’s something I can enjoy, because I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”
The scholarship offer is the first for the junior, and that is something he will remember as he moves through the recruiting process.
“At the end of the day, UW is always going to be at the top of my list,” he said. “They offered me first. They’re the hometown school, and I’ve always wanted to go there.”
However, while Downs is excited about the opportunity to play for the Huskies, he is not ready to give a verbal commitment, wanting to keep his options open. He has plenty of time to make a decision.
While some schools looked at Downs as a linebacker, Washington offered him as a running back.
“It makes the deal even sweeter, because I’ve always wanted to play offense,” Downs said. “And, now that I have the chance to go to UW, it’s even better.”
He is the second in-state running back the Huskies offered recently, joining sophomore Chico McClatcher (Federal Way, Wash./Federal Way).
“It would be crazy,” Downs said, when asked about the possibility of sharing a backfield with McClatcher. “It would be a load off your shoulders. It would be a load off their shoulders. If they’re keying on you, they’ll be able to get big runs. If they’re keying on them, it will help you out and you’ll get big runs. It’s basically just spreading the wealth.”
During an interview Monday, Downs was as humble as he was excited, enjoying the moment as he made calls to share the news.
“I’m just thankful for all of the coaches for even considering me for this opportunity,” he said.