Sunday, January 6, 2013
Big weekend gives Huskies momentum
By Mason Kelley
SEATTLE -- It started Friday.
On the NFL Network during the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, John Ross (Long Beach, Calif./Jordan) stood behind a table lined with hats.
The four-star receiver committed to Washington.
The next day, during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on NBC, Joe Mathis (Upland, Calif./Upland) had his chance to reveal to a national TV audience where he would play college football.
The ESPN 300 defensive end, who was picking between USC, Washington, Alabama and UCLA, committed to the Huskies.
Two days, two televised commitments.
When it comes to receivers and defensive linemen, Washington’s 2013 class rivals the best in the nation. Ross, who is also a capable corner, becomes the fourth receiver to commit, and Mathis is the sixth defensive lineman to provide the program with a verbal.
The addition of the two standouts shows two things. First, it proves Washington, with 11 commitments out of California, is going to continue to be a player among the top talents in that state. It also shows that some of the nation’s top prospects -- the Huskies have five members of the ESPN 300 committed -- believe in the program’s sales pitch.
Washington wants to build a national brand and getting a pair of televised commitments in one weekend brings plenty of attention to the program. And it helps when current commits such as receiver Darrell Daniels (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) and defensive lineman Elijah Qualls (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande) play well in national all-star games.
The Huskies did get some bad news Saturday when offensive lineman Sean Harlow (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) flipped his commitment to Oregon State. And, while the program is down to a pair of commitments at that position, his decision didn’t do much to dampen the momentum picked up over the weekend.
In fact, walk-on commit Ryan Turman (Bellevue, Wash./Interlake) has been using his Twitter account to hint at a commitment that could come Monday.
Last year, Washington’s late recruiting push landed Shaq Thompson, among others. The Huskies seem primed for a repeat with their recent haul of four-star standouts, leaving fans to ask one question, “Who is next?”