What if … Reuben Foster signs with UW?

SEATTLE -- Imagine for a moment that, instead of reading words on a computer screen, Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) stands in front of you.

The nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker is talking to Washington’s ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi and the coach’s sales pitch has the standout hooked.

Forget for a moment that Foster lives in Alabama. Forget he has Auburn's logo tattooed on his forearm. Forget the long list of suitors the senior has now that he has decommitted from the Tigers.

What if, while standing there with Lupoi, Foster shook the coach’s hand and gave a verbal commitment to Washington?

How far up the recruiting class rankings would Washington jump? What other prospects would follow his lead? What would it mean for a program that is already developing a reputation for landing top-tier talent?

What if...

The Huskies landed four-star safety Shaq Thompson to cap their 2012 class. He has already developed into a defensive standout as a freshman. Thompson’s impact has Washington fans wanting a repeat performance.

They would like to see another big name fall into the fold before signing day, giving the program a boost to its 2013 class.

Not only would Foster fill a position of need, he is already bigger than most of the linebackers on the Huskies' roster. Like Thompson, Foster has the talent to contribute right away to a defense that has shown significant improvement under defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.

While the odds are stacked against Foster having to find a way to transform that Auburn tattoo into a Washington “W,” the recruit has hinted at taking an official visit. He enjoyed an unofficial visit this summer and helped convince the Huskies to offer friend and former teammate, defensive end Joe Sanders (LaGrange, Ga./Troup County).

Foster has flirted with the Huskies just enough that fans can picture him talking to Lupoi. They dream about the impact of his potential commitment. They continue to ponder the possibility.

What if...