It's not often that a recruit goes through the recruiting process two separate times without a stop at a junior college in between, but that was the case for ESPN 300 quarterback Kyle Carta-Samuels (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine Prep). He was one of the first 2014 recruits to make a verbal commitment when he pledged to Vanderbilt in the summer of 2012, then became likely the last quarterback domino to fall in the Pac-12 conference when he committed to Washington on Wednesday.
Between his two commitments was a long stretch of nothing -- Carta-Samuels followed his brother, Austyn, in committing to Vanderbilt and then took his name off the recruiting map -- followed by a whole lot of action when former Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin took over at Penn State, forcing Carta-Samuels to re-evaluate his options.
— KJ Carta-Samuels #10 (@KJCS14) January 22, 2014
After Carta-Samuels backed away from his Vanderbilt pledge, Washington was one of the first schools to step forward, as new head coach Chris Petersen lost former quarterback commitment Jalen Greene (Gardena, Calif./Serra) to USC and was stranded without a commitment at the position. Carta-Samuels took an official visit to Washington this past weekend -- then went on an official visit to Boise State immediately following it -- as the two Pacific Northwest schools became the finalists for the No. 264 overall prospect and No. 14 pocket passer in the ESPN 300.
Originally, Carta-Samuels was scheduled to take an official visit to Vanderbilt on Jan. 24, but the 6-foot-2, 224-pound quarterback announced on Twitter that he would no longer be taking that trip. Shortly after that announcement, he declared his commitment to Washington -- signaling out ESPN 300 safety Bishard “Budda” Baker (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue), another Washington target, in the process.
Landing Carta-Samuels is a huge recruiting victory for Washington, which is now generating some serious momentum under Petersen. The strong-armed quarterback is the first ESPN 300 and four-star prospect to join the Washington class since the Huskies lost receivers Rahshead Johnson (Long Beach, Calif./Cabrillo) and Erik Brown (Fontana, Calif./Summit) to USC and Cal, respectively.
Washington was the lone Pac-12 program without a quarterback in its 2014 class, so it won't be a shock to see Carta-Samuels quickly take the recruiting reins as the leader of the Huskies' class. He'd done a terrific job in the regard for Vanderbilt, which held a very solid class together until Franklin's departure. Washington now has 15 members in its 2014 class, with 11 of them joining since Petersen's arrival.