Life has been “a little hectic” since the reigning 3A South Sound Conference MVP announced his commitment to Eastern Washington on Friday.
Peninsula senior Sean Skladany described the overwhelmingly positive barrage of messages from friends and family that have lit up his phone since his announcement, which came after months of navigating his own recruitment over zoom. As he parsed through a sea of information about each one of his options, he discovered his e-recruitment helped him assess each school through a singular lens.
“It was kind of hard, because I couldn’t really be in person and see (up close) how everything is,” Skladany said, “but at the end of the day, it’s really about the people, you know?”
He found his “people” in EWU, and became the fourth in-state class of 2021 product to verbally commit to the Eagles since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kamiakin standouts Messiah Jones and Woodley Downard committed within days of one another in July, then Bethel quarterback Kekoa Visperas committed on Sept. 24.
All share a common throughline in why they say Eastern wanted them: versatility.
While Downard will likely be a wideout, Jones, also a disruptive D-lineman, expects to be a tight end and Visperas, also a capable defensive back, will play QB.
Skladany has one thing in common on each side of the ball: his impact.
Skladany is a 6-foot-2, 208-pound running back/defensive end who is equal parts menace on both sides of the ball. He ran for 821 yards and 17 touchdowns and logged 63 tackles, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception during his junior year, helping Peninsula win a 3A SSC title and make the playoffs, where it lost to Mt. Spokane on the road in the first round.
Eastern Washington wants Skladany, a 2-star recruit (per 247 Sports) who also held an Air Force offer, to be a hybrid D-end and linebacker, which will mean packing even more onto his already-burly frame.
Skladany visited the school once this summer during a jamboree. He saw the storied red turf and what all was available to see despite the campus being largely closed and coaches in a still-active NCAA recruiting dead period. His one-time experience was enough to
“I just loved the feel of it, you know?” Skladany said. “I just love the vibe they have. They just have such a family, close-knit vibe to have.”
The piecemeal campus visit preluded by months of calls from head coach Aaron Best and members of his staff, which Skladany said started around the beginning of COVID shutdowns.
In the following months, Skladany has focused on speed training, “so no one can bring me down.” He’s slimmed out a hair, dropping around seven pounds from his 215-pound playing weight last season.
“Right now I feel like I have the power,” he said, “but once I have the speed, I feel like it’s going to be totally different.”
Skladany’s junior season highlights
(Lead photo by Vince Miller)