So what does Ajamu's flip from the Beavers to the Huskies mean - not just in terms of the numbers, but also for the tight end position and the impending battles with other Pac-12 schools for top recruits? It means a few things...
1) How the numbers crunch out - As I detailed in my scholarship breakdown two weeks ago (click HERE if you want to see the complete breakdown), 22 scholarships seems to be a fair number to look at as a baseline for the 2013 class. That means, with Ajamu's commitment, Washington is getting close to their final numbers - assuming everything else holds. But I doubt very much it's going to end up being that simple. There's still a lot of wiggle room with players still with side issues (Basham, Farria) and others that are still being wooed by other schools that could turn before February.
Does Ajamu's commitment mean Washington is done offering tight ends? It could be, as another target - Mitch Parsons of Colorado - has apparently moved on after hoping the Huskies would offer. They haven't yet, and may not after receiving Ajamu's commitment. With numbers tight and needs still at RB, OL and DB - you can see where getting only one tight end for this class makes sense.
There's also those players Washington has targeted that are currently committed to other schools right now - Ajamu simply being the latest one. That leads to point 2…
2) How will the battles go before Signing Day? - Prying Ajamu away from the Oregon State Beavers was not the battle it could have been, mainly because Ajamu was straight-up with OSU as soon as the Huskies offered and UW has been straight-up to him about his recruitment. They evaluated some other players but decided at the end of the day they saw what they needed to in Ajamu to offer. A lot of recruiting isn't like that, which can obviously muddy the water quite a bit. For starters, schools usually aren't going to give commits up without a fight - unless they've also been doing some scouting and believe there are others out there that fit their needs more. UW has had the tables turned on them in recent years when guys like Kameron Jackson and Keanon Lowe - among many, many others - have gone to other schools, while UW has taken the same approach and picked up players like Derrick Brown, Travis Feeney, Shaq Thompson, Pio Vatuvei, Psalm Wooching, Bishop Sankey, Dezden Petty, Cooper Pelluer, Hauoli Jamora and many others of note from competing programs. It's the nature of the beast. It's already happened for this class, with Derek Babiash (Arizona) and Poasi Moala (UCLA) - and don't expect Ajamu's switch to be the only one.
With Steve Sarkisian and his staff searching high and low for the best talent, as well as getting committed players like Chris Hawkins (USC), Jermaine Kelly (UCLA), Danny Mattingly (Notre Dame), Max Redfield (USC), Kyle Fitts (USC), Pierre Cormier (Arizona) to already take official visits to Montlake, you know they aren't done raiding. Jalen Ramsey, Brayden Kearsley and Eddie Vanderdoes are three other committed players to schools that have told us they will officially visit Washington at some point before Signing Day, and you know they are going to do their best to try and get players like Moala, Myles Jack, John Lopez, Kenneth Clark and Nico Falah to also visit before it's all said and done. To use one of Sarkisian's fishing analogies, those aren't guppies; those prospects are King Salmon.
3) What are the Huskies getting in Ajamu? - You can watch highlights of Ajamu's senior season HERE and make up your own mind. Their plan for him as they explained it to David? Make him the next Austin Seferian-Jenkins. And he believes they can do it. He has the physical tools to be the same kind of mismatch ASJ has been the last couple of years, but obviously he's not quite there in terms of being the complete package Austin was when he prepped at Gig Harbor. He's not as naturally fluid with his movement, but make no mistake - he runs well for his size and is coordinated for a big man. He is a skilled big man and the kind of athlete you would think UW would have to recruit in order to fill the sizable shoes left by Seferian-Jenkins when he's done after the 2013 season (ASJ has one more year of eligibility after that, but if he does anything like what people expect he'll be off to the NFL in a shot). The other plus that makes Ajamu a quality pickup is that not only does he play on both sides of the ball for Shelton Head Coach Matt Hinkle, but he played on the offensive line as a junior - so he's comfortable blocking and mixing it up in the trenches. So you're getting a skilled big athlete who has also shown toughness at each step of his development, as well as a love of initiating contact and moving piles of players around.
You can already see the chain of events unfolding; Ajamu signs with UW in February and enrolls in the summer LEAP program. As a redshirt freshman he learns the ropes behind ASJ, Michael Hartvigson and Evan Hudson. Then when ASJ declares for the draft Ajamu will by then have a full off-season and spring football behind him so he can go into the 2013 fall camp competing for playing time with Hartvigson and Hudson. This, at least on paper, is how a transition from one top player to another potentially top player is supposed to happen.
David Ajamu Scout.com Profile
Recruiting Impact - David Ajamu
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