And they would all fit nicely on any College Football Playoff bracket.
Not surprisingly, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington were three of thoe finalists. But Oklahoma making the cut surprised one national recruiting expert.
“Three of the four I expected to be in there,” said Brandon Huffman, the national recruiting editor for 247Sports.com. “But I thought Oregon would be in it instead of Oklahoma.”
Egbuka (6-1, 185) is ranked as the No. 1 wide receiver recruit nationally for the class of 2021 by 247Sports.com – and No. 2 prospect overall in the state of Washington behind Eastside Catholic’s J.T. Tuimoloau. ESPN.com has Egbuka as the No. 2 wide receiver nationally – and No. 3 in-state recruit.
He was selected as the fourth-best player in Washington by Scorebook Live at the end of the 2019 season.
So what are the common denominators among the four schools? For starters, all of them have dynamic coaching presence within the position group, Steilacoom football coach Colby Davies said.
“Emeka loves (UW receivers coach) Junior (Adams). He loves Brian Hartline (Ohio State receivers coach). He loves (Dennis) Simmons, from Oklahoma (as outside receivers coach), who has been here a ton, probably making more visits than almost anybody,” Davies said.
“The one that was an unknown … was Clemson, because (former receivers coach) Jeff Scott left for the head-coaching job at South Florida. … But he can tell there is such an emphasis with the position from Dabo (Swinney) all the way down, because he used to be a wide receivers coach, and played wide receiver.”
Davies noted it was pretty clear to deduce why Egbuka likes Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma so much. Those universities have had a combined 16 wide receivers taken in the NFL Draft since 2016.
As far as the Huskies, Egbuka has struck a really special bond with Adams, who also influenced one of his biggest mentors – former Steilacoom offensive coordinator Greg Herd, who just took the head-coaching job at Auburn Riverside High School.
Adams was Herd’s receivers coach at Eastern Washington University, and helped him greatly transition to a new position from quarterback.
“Greg raves about (Adams) – and Emeka loves (Herd),” Davies said. “He knows how much he’s developed in just the past two years under Greg, so that means a lot.”
With Herd gone, Davies said he will be the primary offensive play-caller for the upcoming season for the high-charged Sentinels, who return record-setting quarterback Chance McDonald and most of the receiving corps, including Egbuka.