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January 16, 2013
Ralph Kinne had an opportunity to join the Washington football program and the Shelton running back just couldn't pass it up.
Central and Eastern Washington had offered him. It appeared Hawaii would as well.
But after visiting Washington this weekend the 5-foot-10, 210-pound back decided he wanted to be a Husky.
"Actually," he noted. "I made my decision a while back. A week ago. I didn't make it public until [Monday].
"It's just the atmosphere at the school. It's just great. It's a great opportunity academically because it's a really good school. It's top of the line football. You mix those things together and you can't beat that."
Joel Thomas was an inspiration for Kinne before he left the program.
"He was a great coach," Kinne said. "I went to a football camp my sophomore year. That's when I first started taking football really seriously. He inspired me. I got to talking to him at the end of December, beginning of January again, right before he left.
"He told me I'm very talented and I can be outstanding for the Huskies. They didn't need another back but they wanted me on the team. They said they would love to have me and I could earn a free ride later on in my career."
One message in particular resonated.
"He told me not to worry about my short-term goals but to think about my long-term goals," Kinne said.
This past fall Kinne had 252 carries for 2,389 yards and 30 touchdowns.
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