Ralph Kinne had offers to play college football from smaller schools for better scholarships, but ultimately, playing in the Pacific-12 Conference for what he called his dream school was too good to pass up.
Kinne, Shelton High Schools record-setting running back, has committed to the University of Washingtons football program, with an official label as preferred walk-on. His official visit to UW is Jan. 25.
Its been a whirlwind the past month for Kinne, who recently had in-home visits from coaches at Eastern Washington and Central Washington as well as interest from Hawaii. He was flirted with full-ride scholarship offers, but turned them down to play for the Huskies.
I cant pass up this opportunity, Kinne said.
Kinne is now the third South Sound football player to commit to UW. Teammate and best friend, David Ajamu, recently changed his verbal commitment to UW in November after originally committing to Oregon State in August. Last April, Tumwaters Jaimie Bryant committed to UW.
Kinne was named the 3A Narrows Leagues MVP after a senior season that included school marks for most rushing yards in a game (359) and season (2,389). He scored 30 touchdowns (29 rushing) in 10 games, leading the Highclimbers to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
Kinne, who doesnt play a winter sport at Shelton, said he and Ajamu have been working out every morning in preparation for the upcoming track and field season as well as Washington. Kinne said he and Ajamu plan to be roommates at UW.
Kinne noted coaches at Washington said he would compete to see time at running back, fullback or on special teams.
To be able to compete with the best kids in the country, its the best opportunity, Kinne said.
Kinne can make his verbal commitment official when he signs a letter of intent on Signing Day, which is Feb. 6.