Federal Way standout and five-star power forward Jaden McDaniels took to social media late Tuesday night to announce his long-awaited commitment to play for the University of Washington over Kentucky.
McDaniels’ commitment lifted the Huskies into the top-10 recruiting class in the nation, joining five-star center Isaiah Stewart and four-star guard RaeQuan Battle from Marysville Pilchuck.
The commitment immediately vaults the recruiting class up with UW’s best, and former players took notice.
“Both (McDaniels) and Stewart are program changers, even if just for one year as both are pros right now,” Eldridge Recasner said.
Recanser, now an analyst and color commentator with the Pac-12 Networks, played for Washington from 1986-1990, where he was a three-time all-Pac 10 selection before a 12-year professional career — eight in the NBA.
For Donald Watts, a former Lake Washington and Husky guard from 1995-98, landed McDaniels was key to reloading a roster that lost much of its talent to graduation, and the NBA Draft coming off its first NCAA Tournament appearance in eight seasons.
“It’s really exciting for our program on the rise that lose almost all of their production, to be replacing it with the top talent in the country right from you back yard,” Watts said, “it’s as exciting a time as I can ever remember being a ‘dawg.’ “
Brock Huard, a former UW and NFL quarterback-turned radio show host, said the basketball team is beginning to compete with the successes of Washington’s football team in recent years.
“Mike Hopkins has quickly taken the UW basketball program from worst to first and ended the Huskies’ tournament drought as well,” Huard said. “He now adds further momentum by out-dueling (Kentucky) for Jaden and keeping the local star at home.
“Look out Chris Petersen and Husky football, Hop and Husky hoops is coming for you.”
Other former Washington standouts weighed in on Twitter:
Scorebook Live analyst Dan Dickau contributed to this report.