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Chris Petersen on Huskies’ recruits, QB competition

One interesting obstacle still lies ahead for Washington head coach Chris Petersen. (AP)
LISTEN: Chris Petersen on the competition at QB

Chris Petersen and the Washington Huskies have secured one of their best ever recruiting classes, highlighted by five-star linebacker Ale (Brandon) Kaho out of Reno — Petersen’s first five-star signing.

The UW football head coach joined Brock Huard and Mike Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle to talk about the recruiting process, this year’s class, and the constant competition for the starting quarterback spot.

Which Huskies will be drafted in 2018?

Recruiting can take its toll, and between constant meetings, film study, and travel, it can feel like it never stops.

“Here’s the thing, if you don’t completely embrace… I don’t know if love is the right word, (but) love this recruiting and understand that it’s the most important thing that we’re going to do, then you need to go get another job,” Petersen said of the strain. “You need to not be in college football. It has totally changed over the years. When I started college football, I didn’t have the same mindset about recruiting as I do now. I’ve grown to really — it may be hard for me to say love it, but I certainly embrace it. And at the end of the process, I do really like it when we end up with the guys that we’ve worked so hard to (get).”

Here are a few highlights:

Does he still learn something each year he recruits? “That’s great. At 11 a.m. today, we’ll have our entire staff (meet) and we call it ‘Lessons Learned.’ And so it’s, ‘What did you learn from the season? What did you learn in the recruiting process? What did we learn from our bowl game experience?’ We do it every year …  and I always break it out, it’s like, listen, are we going to be that dumb and just keep hitting ourselves over the head with a mallet and not learn from these mistakes? And as things change, you continue to tweak, and so these ‘Lessons Learned’ that we do are just so critically important to me in terms of how we continually evolve and (remain in a) state of constant improvement at all times.”

Will be there a competition at the starting quarterback spot? “Heck yes! The number one guy that knows that is Jake Browning. Now, you know, this guy knows this system inside and out, this guy can play, this guy can win at the highest level, I have no doubt about that. But for a second if he doesn’t think he’s going to be pushed, you know, he would never think that.”

On UW Athletic Director Jen Cohen: “I really try to not do this because it’s so obnoxious and annoying to people when people pound their chest, but this is the one thing I want to say, is (like an) I told you so. I mean, it was so obviously apparent to me when Scott Woodward left who should be the (athletic director). Jen and Scott came to Boise when I got hired here … and when I got here, it was Jen and I really, solving a lot of the football issues around here. And I’ve been around a long time doing this, and there was nobody better. I haven’t been around anybody better doing this.

“She has an unbelievable feel for people… and the other thing that I know about her, really good leaders, they have to be willing to take bullets for their programs and for their people, and she will. She’ll make a hard decision and it might not be popular and it might be like you’re going to take some arrows on this. And when it comes down to it, there’s not a lot people who are willing to have hard conversations, make tough decisions, and I know Jen will. She’s the best.”

Hear Petersen’s entire conversation with Brock and Salk.