For Austin Hooper, it is time to take a step back.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive end (Concord, Calif./De La Salle) spent the weekend on an official visit to Washington and has been riding a wave of “euphoria” since he returned home.
Now he needs to take time to see if that feeling is the trip talking or something that could send a signal that he is coming closer to a decision.
“I’ve just got to take a step back, let that euphoria kind of just simmer down a little bit, so I can see if I truly love it or if I just feel happy off the trip,” said Hooper, who is rated No. 264 in the ESPN 300. “I only took one trip. I still want to take trips to the other schools I’m interested in. It was awesome, but I’m still going to give it some time. I just got back from the trip, so obviously I’ve been thinking a lot about Washington.”
Hooper, whose hosts were Erik Kohler and Cooper Pelluer, showed up in Seattle on Friday and had the opportunity to sit through team meetings. Then he watched the Huskies beat Utah 34-15 Saturday.
“It was cool to see a game in the Seahawks’ stadium,” he said. “It was definitely fun to watch Washington play, watch their offense, watch their defense, see all the schemes they run. They’re a good football team. They’ll make it into a good bowl game by the end of the year.”
With a late game Hooper didn’t get much time to tour the city, but was able to get a better sense for how the Huskies would use him if committed to the program.
“They said they want me to play one of their defensive end spots, a position where you can do a little work from a two-point, go down to a three-point and just kind of get moved around the field a lot,” Hooper said.
The senior said he hasn’t lined up any other visits yet, but he expects to take a trip to Oregon at some point.
“All I know is I would like to take a trip to the University of Oregon,” he said. “Other schools, we’ll see.”