Another Boise State football verbal commitment has changed his pledge to former Broncos coach Chris Petersen and the Washington Huskies.
Highland High (Pocatello) linebacker Kyler Manu, who verbally committed to Boise State in April, said Monday he is now committed to Washington. The Huskies, who play in the Pac-12, are part of one of the so-called "power five" conferences that recently were given more autonomy by the NCAA.
"It was a really hard decision, because I have so much respect for Boise State," Manu said. "... with the power five stuff, too, that was a factor because I want to have the chance to play for a national championship."
Manu also noted his relationship with Petersen as a draw, along with the fact that Boise State has a wealth of linebackers. The Broncos will likely play a base defense that uses two linebackers under coach Bryan Harsin. The group currently has seven freshmen or sophomores, one junior and two seniors on the roster.
"BSU has a ton of linebackers and Washington needs more of them," Manu said.
Manu said he had quietly told the Boise State staff a month ago he would look elsewhere. Two weeks ago, he visited Utah, Boise State and Washington to see their fall practices in action. He called Boise State linebackers coach Andy Avalos on Saturday to tell him he was going to commit to the Huskies.
"I know it tore him up inside because he loved coach Andy Avalos and the program there," Highland coach Gino Mariani said. "But I think the chance to play in the Pac-12 and maybe play for a national championship had a role. He already knew coach Petersen pretty well, so he was comfortable with them, too."
Manu had 92 tackles and three interceptions for the state runner-up Rams last season as a junior. He also had interest from Wisconsin, Idaho, Utah and Utah State in addition to the Broncos and Huskies. Six recruits who were committed to Boise State at one point signed with Washington in February after Petersen left Boise State for Seattle in December.
Below is the Broncos' updated 2015 commitment list:
— OL Garrett Larson, 6-4, 250, Fruitland HS
— QB Brett Rypien, 6-2, 185, Shadle Park HS (Spokane, Wash.)
— S Darrell Stewart, 6-1, 190, Nimitz HS (Houston)
— WR Akilian Butler, 5-10, 181, West Mesquite HS (Mesquite, Texas)
— CB Ladarryl Blair, 6-0, 183, South Oak Cliff HS (Dallas)
— DB Damion Wright, 6-1, 195, Bishop Mora Salesian (Los Angeles)
— WR Bryan Jefferson, 6-0, 190, Leesburg (Fla.) HS
— LB Drew Berger, 6-1, 220 Coeur d'Alene HS