Andersen Gets 'Fastest in New England'

(Stephanie Moebius/12)

Needing cornerbacks and speed in the 2013 recruiting class, Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen got both on Thursday, getting a verbal commitment from Everett (MA) speedster Jakarrie Washington.

MADISON - Head coach Gary Andersen and his coaching staff have secured their first verbal commitment since coming to the University of Wisconsin.

And apparently nobody except them knows who he is and what he can do.

Appearing late on the team's recruiting radar and with Wisconsin needing help in the secondary, the Badgers coaching staff offered Everett (MA) receiver/cornerback Jakarrie Washington Thursday, who promptly accepted according to head coach John DiBiaso.

The 5-10, 175-pound athlete is the 13th full scholarship player in the Wisconsin 2013 recruiting class and the 16th overall.

The news was first reported by the Boston Herald.

"Committed to Wisconsin," Washington tweeted.

Washington is being recruited as a cornerback by Wisconsin, according to DiBiaso. He caught 33 passes for 439 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior, as well as rushing for 697 yards on 75 carries for 15 scores. Defensively, Washington recorded two interceptions and two fumble recoveries, one of which was returned for a touchdown, leading the school to a third straight state championship in the state's highest level.

According to DiBiaso, Washington popped on the radar after assistant coach Mike Ruth, the 1985 Outland Trophy winner out of Boston College, spoke to members of the Wisconsin staff at the Walter Camp Award dinner. The recruitment went quickly as Wisconsin reached out to Washington last week and visited with him today.

Washington had no offers at the time committed, but was also getting interest from Texas Tech and UMass.

The following is an interview with DiBiaso

Washington seems more than some a speedster looking at his numbers. What kind of athlete has he been for you?

DiBiaso: He's the fastest kid in New England. We went to all the camps over the summer and for the past couple years and he's had the fastest 40-yard time among college recruits this past year (approximately 4.3 to 4.4 40-yard dash). He has track speed. He played wide receiver and cornerback for us, returned punts and kickoffs. He's very versatile. We are just thrilled he is going to Wisconsin.

If he is so fast and so versatile, why do you think he was under recruited?

DiBiaso: He did had some offers, but there were some issues outside of his control. He has a 3.0 GPA. Needless to say, it turned out great for Wisconsin.

Mike Ruth got the wheels in motion with Wisconsin, so when did the Badgers' coaching staff make the initial contact with him?

DiBiaso: They spoke with us on the phone after the Walter Camp dinner (January 10-12) in which Mike, our assistant coach, attended. One of the Wisconsin coaches were there, as well as some other coaches, and Mike told them about (Washington). We got calls from Texas Tech, Wisconsin and some other schools. We liked Wisconsin because they were a Big Ten school and had gone to the Rose Bowl. More importantly, they had a great academic reputation, so it worked out well.

Talk about the relationship Bill Busch was able to develop with you and Washington so quickly that the commitment felt comfortable?

DiBiaso: We sat down and (Busch) asked me about him as an athlete. We watched some film, meet with Jakarrie and had an interview with him to talk about football, his home life and things. When he got done, they just seemed to click and coach was impressed by the film. As in most cases, coaches want to see it rather than hear it from the high school coach, because we tend to overrate our own players. Everything was on film and saw all the things that we talked about were accurate. He offered him and he accepted on the spot.

How has he grown in the three years he was a starter for your school?

DiBiaso: His first year as a starter we won the state championship and he was of our slot (receivers). We had a boy go on to play at Boston College and starts at BC at cornerback (Manuel Asprila). We had a boy that was player of the year in the state and he went to Princeton (Matt Costello). Jakarrie was a role player on that team as a sophomore.

We won the state championship again and as a junior became much more involved in the offense. My son was the quarterback and he went to Dartmouth. Jakarrie was his primary receiver and we broke the state touchdown record. He really came on big as a junior.

After all those guys had graduated, he became the man and was league MVP, one of the top players in the state. He carried us on his back for the third straight state championship. He's gone from a role player to a key component to the guy.

He's come from a winning program and we've sent a lot of kids to Division 1 schools. Our left tackle this year is going to Notre Dame (four-star John Montelus, rated No.2 OG in the country). We're sending some kids to BC, our vice principle played at Penn State as a running back and we have a couple teachers in our school that played at Syracuse. We have a pretty rich tradition and he's latest in a line of good players.

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