November 3, 2008

Fellner talks upcoming coaching change

On August 14th, Fresno (CA) Clovis West's Nathan Fellner became Washington's fourth commit of the 2009 recruiting class, choosing the Huskies over offers from Stanford, Washington State and San Diego State. But where does Washington stand with the California safety after the announcement that Head Coach Tyrone Willingham will be resigning effective at the end of the season?

"Willingham is a great coach - I'm glad he offered me. I committed to Washington, that's about it right now," said the 6-foot-1, 193-pound prospect. "I want to know who they bring in as coach, that will affect my decision. I want to see what he's like. I also want to meet my position coach. I might take visits to see other schools, but I definitely want to take an official visit to Washington."

Willingham's announcement was not one that surprised Fellner that much.

"It surprised me, but I know Washington's fans were getting a little tired of not winning," explained Fellner. "So I could see it coming. Willingham's a great guy and it's sad that it didn't work out, but I know they'll get a good coach in there."

Fellner gave his opinion of the type of coach the Huskies should hire.

"I think the coach they need to get is someone that can recruit good players and build good team chemistry," expressed Fellner. "They need someone who will bring some swagger back to the program and put Washington football back on the map."

Since Willingham's announcement, Fellner has spoken to the Husky coaching staff.

"J.D. Williams and Steve Gervais have been recruiting me. Coach Williams is a good coach and a great guy. I know he played in the NFL, so he obviously knows what it takes to make it," expressed Fellner. "I get calls every week from Coach Gervais or Coach Williams. Coach Gervais called me last week and told me that they know there's a lot of turmoil, but to think about the school, the tradition of the program and how much upside they have with all of the young talent that's on the team."

So why did Fellner commit to play his football at Montlake in the first place?

"I like the education - Washington has a good medical school, and I might be interested in that," said Fellner. "I really like Husky Stadium and they have a lot of history. I just felt comfortable up there."

Since committing to Washington, Fellner has added an offer from Air Force, and is hearing from many other schools from the Pac-10 and the Big 12.

"There are a few schools that are really interested and want to see my film - Arizona State, Nebraska, UCLA, Colorado, Cal, and Oregon" said Fellner. "At this point they've expressed a lot of interest, so we'll see what happens."

Fellner has enjoyed a successful senior season, leading his team in tackles, despite opposing teams not throwing his way.

"My season has been going good. I lead my team in tackles with 78 in eight games - one game I had to play with a gimp ankle. I don't have any interceptions though, because teams haven't been challenging me and throwing the ball deep. We play a lot of cover three, and if we go into cover two, they don't throw to the side I'm on. But I have forced two fumbles this season," explained Fellner. "I play free safety, and on offense, I play running back and wide receiver. For the season, I have eight rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. I also returned kickoffs, but since I sprained my ankle, I've just been focusing on defense for the last few games."

Washington and Washington State are recruiting Fellner to play safety, while Stanford has left open the possibility of playing running back as well. Fellner stated the Colorado likes him at outside linebacker. But does he have a preference?

"No, not really," replied Fellner. "I can play wherever a team needs me to play, but I do like playing safety a little bit more."

So where does Washington stand with Fellner right now?

"I'd say that I'm just committed right now," said Fellner.

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