Commitment Impact: Ryan McDaniel

Washington received a commitment from North Torrance (Ca.) LB/RB Ryan McDaniel on Sunday night. The talented two-way star projects well on either side of the ball, so decided to take a look at where he fits in and how his commitment will impact the 2012 recruiting class...

Before the summer, McDaniel saw offers fly in from all over including offers from Washington as well as UCLA, USC, Iowa State, Colorado, Washington State, Boise State, Arizona and Arizona State among others.

McDaniel suffered a knee injury during the second game of the season and thus didn't really put up any statistics this season, but as a junior in 2010, he posted over 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns on offense while racking up over 80 tackles and four sacks on defense.

Because of his two-way prowess, McDaniel has been offered by schools on both sides of the ball and Washington has let him know they are looking at him on either side.

McDaniel is a big, physical back on offense and Washington has been very clear that they want a "big back" for their system.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian has even said as much wanting to replicate the "Thunder and Lightning" backfield that he had at USC with the likes of Lendale White and Reggie Bush.

McDaniel abuses defenders that try to tackle him, but he has enough of a burst to get outside and beat them to the edge as well. He is a one-step, downhill runner and he runs behind his pads well.

With Tairen Owens committed, the Huskies have a player that fits the "scat back" role. Then throw in Erich Wilson, who could end up at corner or running back, and McDaniel and the Huskies are now loaded in the backfield.

So what does that mean for the recruitment of Mariner (Everett, Wa.) RB Keivarae Russell?

Russell's frame could dictate a move to slot receiver or to corner, so I don't see this impacting his recruitment at all. At least at this point.

Then throw in San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Ca.) RB Chris Brown and the Huskies have plenty of of options at running back.

Now, having said all that, if you watch his highlights, McDaniel looks like he'd eventually be a better fit at the linebacker position and, after watching the play of the linebackers this season, it is apparent the Huskies need as many athletic players as they can get.

Thomas Tutogi, Garret Gilliland, Jamaal Kearse, Matt Lyons, Scott Lawyer, John Timu and Princeton Fuimaono all return at linebacker, but the Huskies haven't been shy about offering players they feel could be difference-makers at the linebacker position.

Tesoro (Las Flores, Ca.) LB Blake Rodgers committed to the Huskies over the summer and he projects inside, while McDaniel, if the Huskies decide to plug him in on defense, looks like an ideal SAM in Washington's modified 4-3 scheme.

He is physical at the point of attack and shows outstanding instincts and recognition skills.

Washington plans to take at least one more linebacker and could take two with the likes of Jabar Ruffin, Seth Jacobs, Jared Afalava, Matthew Rowe, Joe Robinson and William Johnson also planning to visit or at least talking to the Huskies this late in the process.

Either way, McDaniel is the type of athlete the Huskies need on both sides of the ball and, as long as he successfully recovers from his knee injury, he should be a big contributor early in his career at Montlake.

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