Natrell Curtis' level of shock over Steve Sarkisian's decision to leave Washington for USC dwarfs that of most.
His situation is special. The Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe lineman spent his Monday morning with members of Sarkisian's Washington staff. They talked about the Huskies' program and the commitment Curtis made to the school months ago. There were some handshakes, and the UW assistants departed his school with a smile.
Then, just 45 minutes later, Curtis received a text. His future head coach had jumped ship. Even now, the surprise in his voice hasn't worn off.
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"It's tough," Curtis said. "At this point, I'm just so lost. I had just talked to the staff. They were literally just at my school. They were here, like, 30 minutes before everything happened. It wasn't even 40 minutes. I had just gotten done talking to them and hanging out with them. Then I leave and everything happens. I had just set up my official visit … seriously. I'm just in shock."
Despite being committed to Washington, Curtis is yet to see the school's campus. And with the UW coaching situation in disarray, there's no telling when an official visit might take place. Luckily for him, though, he has options. The most interesting of which is a standing offer from Oklahoma, which he will now consider more than ever.
"I'm going to call Coach [Bill] Bedenbaugh at Oklahoma right now," Curtis said on Monday night. "He reached out just now, but I haven't gotten back to him yet. I'm going to call him and see what's up."
Curtis still considers himself a Washington commit. That hasn't changed. He also realizes he needs to look out for himself. He has not spoken to members of the Washington staff since Sarkisian accepted the USC job, but says that if he is permitted to follow them to Los Angeles, he'll entertain the invitation.
Everything, at least for now, boils down to three options for Curtis. He'll cling to his Washington commitment, bolt for Oklahoma, which he recently visited, or find a way to land at USC. At this point, though, there's no way of telling which path is most likely.
"I haven't reached out to anyone yet," Curtis said. "I'm just shocked and disappointed right now. I haven't really been answering my phone for anyone. I'm going to try to figure something out. I'm committed to Washington, but you don't know who is going to take over. When new coaches are coming in, the new guy might walk in and wipe everybody out, you know? You don't know which coaches are going to stay."
Curtis, who helped lead his team to its first ever state championship playing both guard and defensive tackle this season, earned a total of 15 scholarship offers. He is committed to play defensive tackle at Washington and his being recruited to play offensive guard at Oklahoma.