Johnson, Barnes talk about 2014 commit recently spoke with 2014 UW commit Rahshead Johnson, as well as his head coach at Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan - Thomas Barnes. Johnson joins a number of Jordan players now at Washington - John Timu, Princeton Fuimaono and Siosifa Tufunga, and even though he's only a sophomore Barnes thinks Johnson's commit will stick.

Rahshead Johnson:

Was Rising Stars your first camp outside California? - "That my first time going out and competing with people. I just liked the atmosphere and the way people act up there."

What did the UW coaches say about playing there? - "They said it would be a great future and that I have a lot of room to get better because I'm still young."

Did it matter to see so many Jordan players at UW? - "It was good to see somebody from my high school who is going to college."

Did you think you were going to get a UW offer at the Rising Stars camp? - "I didn't think I was going to get an offer; I just thought I was going to go there and do good. I didn't think about getting an offer from Washington."

Do you think your commitment will stick? - "I have two years to go, but that's where it looks like I'm going. But we'll see what happens in two years."

From 1 to 100 percent, how committed are you right now to UW? - '90 percent'.

Scouting report? - "I'm fast, I'm physical, and I can run good routes."

Have any schools shown interest since your commit? - "Arizona and California have expressed interest."
Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan Head Coach Thomas Barnes:

First recollection of seeing Rahshead, and did you see the Pac-12 potential in him then? - "I saw him when he played Pop Warner. He and John Ross were on the same team and they were both outstanding athletes from the giddy-up. From the first time you saw him I was like, 'This kid is special. It's not hard to see."

What makes him special? - "He's a competitor. He's one of those rare kids that you get - no matter what the situation is or what's going on - he's going to compete and he's going to raise his game to beat the guy that's in front of him.

"We're not trying to give our best; we're trying to give what's required to be successful and to get a victory. He does what is required. If that means I've got to run through this guy, I'm going to run through him. If it's required that I've got to shake this guy out of his shoes, that's what I'm going to do. He just has that type of mentality. He's going to do whatever is required to win."

Rahshead's current height and weight? - "5-11, 170-175."

Does he play both ways for you? - "He plays both ways. He's a corner, safety, wide receiver, slot, tailback, kick returner, punt returner. He's a threat. Any time he's on the field he's a threat to score - on offense, defense or special teams. He has explosiveness, great lateral movement, great quickness, great vision. He has that 'IT' factor. You don't know what 'IT' is, but whatever 'IT' is, he has it."

Did you think he would be offered at the UW Rising Stars camp, and were you surprised at the quick commit? - "When we got to Seattle - we all flew together - we connected with some of my former players that are already up there. We were hanging out and they were showing him a real good time. The next day we were walking around campus, getting a little campus tour - John (Timu) took us around, stuff like that - and Rahshead was having such a good time he said initially before the camp even started, he said 'Coach, if they offer me I'm committing. Right now.' I just looked at him and said 'Man, get out of here!' But I understand…he's only going into the 11th grade and sometimes it's hard to get that scholarship offer right on the spot unless you're killing it, so I was like, 'We'll see.'

So camp started and a few hours later he comes up and said, 'Coach, I committed.' I was like, 'Come on, get away from me. Get out of here, you're lying!' Then one of my other players came up and said, 'Coach, Rahshead just committed!' I was like, 'Whatever'. Then one of Washington's coaches came up and said, 'Rahshead just committed'. And I was like, 'What?'

"So then I texted his Dad and said, 'Your son just committed to U-Dub'. He said, 'We'll talk about it later'."

So how have things been with the commit since Johnson went home and had some time to think about it and talk about it with his family and coaches? - "He's comfortable with it. I think he's happy. His Dad is like, 'If that's what you want to do, then do that. If you feel it like that…he really felt it. If that's what you really feel, I can't fault you for that. It's early in the process to commit, but if that's how you feel, then go with that."

Do you think this is a commitment that will stick? - "I do, just because of the fact that the guy that recruits our area is a Jordan guy - Johnny Nansen went to Long Beach Jordan. So there's that connection and a sense of family. At our school we try to make it a family situation where everybody is cool with each other. The kids actually hang out and talk to each other. When John, Sifa and Princeton come down and come to the school, I walk off the field. I'm like, 'OK, you guys run practice'. That's how they get to know each other. They take over. It's just a great relationship."

Have schools picked up interest in Johnson since his commitment? - "A few schools had already expressed interest already, but Washington was the first school that offered him. So that interest hasn't changed and that offer from Washington hasn't changed."

Do you think he would take visits to other schools if offered? - "Of course I would want him to go and look at other schools and talk to other schools just so he can be sure U-Dub is the place for him, but it seems pretty solid. We already have three guys up there, so it seems pretty solid to me. We'll see. He still has two years to decide."

Thoughts about a pipeline going from Jordan to UW? - "Yeah, they do really well up there. Timu's starting and Bobo (Fuimaono) is starting, so that's a nice situation for them."
Commitment Impact:

So what does a commit mean this early on? Of course when you put Johnson's commitment alongside Tate Martell's commitment for UW's 2017 recruiting class, you really wonder what a commitment to a school really means nowadays.

In many ways, Johnson's commitment to me feels a lot like Brendon Bigelow's commitment to UW for the 2011 class, an early commit that eventually switched course and signed with California. I'm not saying Johnson will end up doing the same thing Bigelow did, but I do sense a similar pattern: A top California athlete makes a very early decision for Washington. Eventually other schools will come after Johnson, which will test his commitment to the Huskies. It's at that point where you'll know just how 'committed' he is to the Purple and Gold.

Best case, the Huskies hold onto Johnson - who is already getting some very early mention as a top, top athlete for the 2014 class from southern California. He follows players like Marvin Hall, Kendyl Taylor and Jaydon Mickens as smaller, quicker athletes that can break plays for big YAC and touchdowns.

Worst case, Johnson gets offered by everyone up and down the west coast and re-opens his recruitment, ultimately signing with another school. Even in that scenario the Huskies get a significant takeaway. Ever since Steve Sarkisian stepped foot on UW's campus he has tried to elevate the recruiting profile in southern California. He did it right away in 2009 by signing Nick Montana - and even though that didn't work out in the long run on the field, Sarkisian was able to parlay the name recognition for recruiting gains in the LA area, eventually getting Montana's Oaks Christian teammate Erik Kohler to sign, as well as other top LA talent - like Sean Parker.

In the public relations game, Sarkisian and his new defensive coaches - especially Tosh Lupoi - continue to hammer away at the other top west coast programs for a spot among the top recruiting programs. And even though Johnson's recruitment is a long ways from being complete UW has sent its first shot out for the 2014 class. With USC already picking up two top offensive linemen from southern California for that class in Toa Lobendahn and Jordan Poland, the Huskies can't wait when it comes to letting the top LA players and high school coaches know they mean business. Stanford and Utah have also picked up 2014 commits, so the rule of thumb in recruiting nowadays is you can never start too early stockpiling top talent.

By getting an early commit from a player like Rahshead Johnson, they've signaled their intentions. Top Stories