Aug. 7, 2002
SEATTLE - Four outstanding prep football players, including two all-state performers, a state Defensive MVP, and two-time state-championship runner-up, walked on to the University of Washington football team on Tuesday, joining the 19 scholarship athletes who reported for the first day of fall camp. The 18 freshmen and one junior-college transfer will participate in two-a-day practices both Wednesday and Thursday, before being joined by returning players on Friday.
Included among the walkons is safety Scott Ballew (Westlake HS/Austin, Texas). A running back in high school, Ballew rushed for over 3,500 yards in three years as a starter, leading Westlake to back-to-back state championship appearances in 2000 and 2001. During his three-year career, Westlake lost just once in the regular season, and was defeated only three times overall. Incidentally, Westlake is the also alma mater of San Diego Chargers and former Purdue Boilermakers quarterback Drew Brees.
"I fell in love with Washington the first time I visited," Ballew said at Wednesday's freshman media luncheon. "I think it's a good fit for me and I'm excited to be here."
Joining Ballew are a trio of Washington standouts including Bellevue native Ryan Campbell (Eastside Catholic HS). An outstanding prep linebacker, Campbell earned all-state honors from both the Associated Press and the Seattle Times, and was honored three times with first-team All-Metro League honors. Campbell also boasts family ties to Husky athletics, as older brothers Todd and Graham each excelled in the pole vault for the Husky track squad during the mid-to-late 90s.
Fullback Eric Hass (Kentridge HS/Renton, Wash.) was also featured at the linebacker position for Kentridge, where he broke the school's career sacks record established by current Husky teammate Kai Ellis. As a senior in 2001, Hass led Kentridge to a 9-1 record and the co-championship of the South Puget Sound League. Hass was honored as the SPSL's Co-Defensive Lineman of the Year, and earned Defensive MVP honors at the 2001 Washington All-State game, featuring the top prep football stars from throughout the state. Hass also excelled on the baseball diamond, earning All-SPSL honors in both 2000 and 2002.
Rounding out Washington's fall walkons is quarterback Felix Sweetman (Lakes HS/Lakewood, Wash.). One of three players on the UW roster from Lakes High School, joining wide receiver Reggie Williams and offensive lineman Aaron Butler, Sweetman passed for 2,200 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2002, earning Associated Press All-State honors while leading Lakes to the Seamount League title. An outstanding prep wrestler as well, Sweetman placed fourth in his weight class at the 2002 state championships, and was an All-Seamount League selection as a senior. Like fellow freshman walkon Ryan Campbell, Sweetman also boasts ties to Husky athletics; his sister, Pam, is a student equipment manager for Washington football.