Commitment Impact: Tairen Owens

Washington got some good news earlier this week when Muir (Pasadena, Ca.) ATH Tairen Owens decided to end the recruiting process before it really began and committed to the Huskies shortly after getting offered. Here's a look at where he will fit into the depth chart and how his commitment impacts the 2012 recruiting class...

At first glance, Owens may appear to be the same size as the recently departed Jordan Polk, who never made much of an impact as a player in his three years at Montlake. He also is used much in the same way that Curtis (University Place, Wa.) used Washington State-bound Rahmel Dockery who many Husky fans wanted to see the coaches take a flier on late in the 2011 recruiting process.

However, when you watch his highlight reel, you can see his explosiveness and quickness, something that Dockery didn't necessarily have as well as his legitimate breakaway speed.

"We used him a lot like a Dexter McCluster was used when he was at Ole Miss," Muir coach Antwan Sims told "He did a little of everything for us, but he's a legit running back at the Pac 12 level because of his vision, his quickness and because a lot of schools are now going to that two-back system where they don't have one guy taking all the carries.

"He'll fit great into that type of a system."

Washington has told Owens that he will get his first look at running back, where he will fill the role that Jesse Callier took on last season as a freshman.

Imagine Owens on the fly sweep, taking the handoff from the quarterback at full speed and making one cut and then getting vertical. His explosive first step is what really sets him apart. He plants his foot and goes and while he's elusive he doesn't just dance around and stay in one place. He's always leaning forward and using his outstanding vision to find creases in the defense that he can exploit down the field.

With Chris Polk likely headed to the NFL after the 2011 season, Washington will only have three scholarship running backs on the roster – Jesse Callier, Deontae Cooper and Bishop Sankey – when Owens arrives.

"Last year as a sophomore, Tairen ran a 10.8 100 in track and he's just getting started this year so we'll see how he's improved," Sims noted. "He'll be a 4.4 40 guy when he gets into college. I think he's a breakaway guy, a guy who can make you miss and then run away from you too.

"Besides all of his physical skills, he's a real leader. He doesn't talk a lot, but in practice, he is always setting the tempo for us, making sure guys are running drills at the right pace and doing things right and he's a guy who will help you anyway he can.

"He just wants to win and he wants to help his team win and that's the most important thing to him and that type of attitude is what you want in your guys."

Even with the presence of Owens, Washington will still look to bring in at least two more backs, one of which could possibly move to another position if necessary.

Mariner's Keivarae Russell has been on Washington's radar for quite some time and there's no reason to believe he isn't still very high on their list of desirable prospects. Also throw in the fact that Citrus Hill (Perris, Ca.) RB Davien Payne is a big back who could fill the role of the power-back while Valley Christian (San Jose, Ca.) RB Byron Marshall and Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Ca.) RB Ishmael Adams are both players who fit into Washington's system perfectly due to their size, quickness and vision.

This is only the start of what could end up being an epic recruiting class for the Dawgs with the talent available both in the state of Washington as well as in recruiting hotbeds for the Husky coaches.

Sit back, relax and buckle up because it's going to be a crazy ride…

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