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Washington leading early for 2017 OLB Ariel Ngata

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The recruiting process is beginning to take off for many of the nation’s top juniors and will pick up even more in the spring once 2016 classes are wrapped up. Folsom (Calif.) three-star outside linebacker Ariel Ngata already holds a pair of offers from Pac-12 in-state rivals.

“Washington and Washington State have offered me,” Ngata told Today’s U. “I’m also talking to Oregon, Arizona and Utah.”

Another offer could be on its way pretty soon for the 6-foot-4, 200 pounder.

“Utah is the only other school that talked about offering,” Ngata said. “They haven’t gotten back to me on anything, but they said if everything checks out I should have an offer.”

Ngata’s size and athleticism is what has him ranked as the 29th best outside linebacker prospect in the nation by Rivals.com and has the Huskies and Cougars interested.

“They said they like my pursuit from the backside and how I play the run,” Ngata said. “Those are the two things they tell me, that they like my pursuit of the plays from the back of it.”

While he has yet to take or plan any visits, both teams from The Evergreen State should be hosting the junior between now and his senior season sometime.

“I’ll schedule my visits this summer,” Ngata told Today’s U. “I haven’t taken any, but I’m going to visit Washington. That’s what I’m planning to do. Washington State would be another. Coach (Bob) Gregory at Washington wants me to come out to junior day, so that’s what I’m planning to do so far.”

The Huskies linebacker coach and assistant head coach has U-Dub in the lead for the versatile outside linebacker.

“I started following Washington at the beginning of the summer,” Ngata said. “A little before the beginning of the summer, I started watching them and I just saw them. My coach was telling me about them. My coach said he has a good relationship with Coach Gregory and Coach (Chris) Peterson. They came to school and said they were keeping an eye on me.”

Although he has a current leader, don’t look for Ngata to shut down his recruitment anytime soon.

“I’m not going to commit until spring or the start of football season,” Ngata told Today’s U. “I don’t know yet. Washington is probably in the lead right now. I’m hoping I get more offers in the spring to open up my choices.”

Location is not a factor as Ngata is also interested in some Big 12 schools.

“I have family down in Texas – Van Alstyne,” Ngata said. “I was hoping to hear from somewhere in the Big 12 like Oklahoma or Baylor. I’m interested in the Big 12. I like their style of play and the conference.”

At the end of the day, what will make one school stand out among the pack is its academics and playing time.

“I’m looking a little more at playing time,” Ngata said. “I won’t really mind redshirting freshman year, but playing time is a big factor in it. If they offer the classes I want to take, that’s what I’m looking at. I want to major in communications and my second choice is helping with children in some way.”

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