Commitment Impact: Marcus Farria

When you build a prototypical defensive end in this era of college football, you design them like Marcus Farria. At 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, the DE from Centennial High School in Peoria, Ariz. is a physical terror that could very easily be the next Josh Shirley for the Washington Huskies.

And Farria, the 17th known public verbal commitment for the Huskies, had plenty of scholarship offers to choose from - per's database Farria had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Colorado, Notre Dame, Oregon State, San Diego State and Utah.

But those that follow prep sports in Arizona feel like Farria could be the best pure talent in the state - if that's what he wants to be. And this is coming from a state that has a wealth of talent for the 2013 class - including Priest Willis, Cole Luke, Devon Allen, Chans Cox, Kenny Lacy, Jalen Ortiz, Tyler Bruggman and others.

The issue? Farria missed some playing time as a junior trying to square some off field issues, and it's also known that he needs to get his grades in order to qualify academically for colleges. So that has scared off many schools.

So what does his commitment to Washington mean? - It means two things. One, the Huskies aren't going to shy away from incredible talent they can mentor through the knucklehead mistakes. Two, they clearly feel that's exactly what has happened in the case of Marcus Farria.

Much like what happened with Josh Shirley, who was accused of stealing a student's bag on the UCLA campus, subsequently arrested on felony theft charges and then eventually dealt with after the Bruins dismissed Shirley and he joined the Huskies.

"When the whole thing went down, we just did our research and did our homework and really looked at the entire body of work and everything that went in," Sarkisian said at the time. "Sometimes we are in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people, and that's not necessarily indicative of who we are as people."

The same could be said for Farria and the troubles he's been in. It honestly hasn't been anything to even rise to the level of what Shirley was accused of - but it has contributed to a pattern of behavior that could be described as questionable, especially when you are counted on as a great teammate that makes great decisions and is supposed to put team first.

So what does Washington's commitment to Farria mean? - After doing research and talking to people involved with Farria's commitment to UW, two things have become apparent. First, the UW coaches have a lot of respect for Centennial Head Coach Richard Taylor, his leadership and his hard-nosed approach to dealing with discipline and toeing a hard line when it comes to behavior. In talking with Taylor, it sure sounds as if there's going to be a no-nonsense approach in dealing with Farria, and that he believes 100 percent that Marcus is capable of putting past mistakes behind him and deal with things off the field in the in the classroom in an appropriate manner. Centennial has the pieces in place to make that happen; now it's just on Farria.

Taylor has a huge ally here in the UW coaches. Now that they have a huge vested interest in getting Farria to campus, they'll do everything they can do within NCAA rules to make sure Farria is taking care of business. In many ways, the coaches will treat committed players just like they would with current players - meaning that if mistakes are made there will be consequences. Except instead of getting 'tombstoned' by Ivan Lewis for missing a class or a workout session, a recruit may pay the price by having his scholarship offer rescinded.

To add to that, there's a thought out there that Farria committed to UW because of the fear that schools were pushing away from him due to his off-field behavior and he was scared no one wanted him anymore. There may be truth in that, although it's incredibly hard to know if that was the case. Either way, the relationship with Farria and UW - one that's been blossoming for some time - is now fully set, and the ground rules for how that relationship evolves have been laid out and are crystal clear; do the right things on and off the field and there won't be a problem.

So how did UW and Farria get to the point where a commitment was possible? - Simply put, his Rising Stars camp experience turned Washington around. Up to that point, you could have put UW in the group of schools that weren't sure Farria was going to be able to turn things around to the point where they could trust him to do the right things. They weren't alone. But during his time in Seattle at the end of June, he apparently blew them away with his demeanor, behavior, willingness to do everything that was asked of him, and of course his limitless ability on the field. And it was his Rising Stars experience that gave the UW staff the green light and make this commitment a reality. Because ultimately a commitment has to be a two-way affair, and if Farria hadn't come to Seattle to spend some quality face time with the UW coaches, it's doubtful they would have accepted a pledge. It's amazing what 48 hours can do.

In the final analysis, Farria is the kind of defensive end you dream about getting - especially if you're looking to get back to the point where you are consistently competing for conference titles. He's the guy you draw up on the board as the player you're looking for; explosive off the edge, relentless and hungry. He is Josh Shirley 2.0. And considering how well Shirley has done at UW on and off the field since his move from UCLA, Washington fans should be ecstatic about Marcus Farria's commitment to the Huskies. This staff, under Sarkisian's leadership, have shown they have the requisite judgement to make tough decisions on players other may shy away from. They aren't going to give up on a player just because of some knucklehead moves because - and let's face it - we have all been there at one time or another.

Player Analysis - "Farria is an extremely raw prospect but shows flashes of big time ability. Great burst off the ball and great speed. Has the ability to chase plays down from the backside. While he uses his burst to get to the QB, he will take himself out of plays in the run game by just rushing upfield. With improvement in run defense and on his technique, Farria's ceiling is incredible." - Arizona Analyst Jason Jewell

"He is the most explosive, has the best first step of any player I've coached in 40 years. I've had coaches from around the country…he had probably 10 offers before anyone saw him on film just looking at him and with coaches asking me how he compared to other players we've had…they offered him before they ever saw him play in a game for us. His upside is outstanding. If he gets in a program where he's going to put on weight and year-around lifting and coaching, I think he's going to be someone a lot of people know about." - Peoria Centennial Head Coach Richard Taylor Top Stories