Commitment Impact: John Ross

With Sean Harlow's de-commitment from UW to OSU taking a little bit of the shine off of an impressive Husky showing at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl Friday in Carson, Calif., the crowning moment was that of Long Beach Jordan ATH John Ross' public commitment to Washington during the game.

Ross, during his announcement, had seven hats on the table in front of him - perhaps a record (!) - with Tennessee, Washington, California, Oregon, UCLA, Oregon State and Washington State represented. The Bruins had received a public commitment earlier in the game when Mater Dei TE Thomas Duarte picked up the power blue hat, but Ross never reached out that far.

The purple hat with the gold W was within close reach but his brother, Gregory Filer, wanted to do the honors. "I'll be attending the University of Washington," Ross said, as Filer handed him the UW hat. "I feel at home, and there's so many of the players that I know there and I'm comfortable with the coaches and the environment."

And so ended a recruitment that had been ongoing for many years. As Ross said, he is familiar with a lot of the players - and there's a good reason why. The Jordan-UW pipeline has been going strong for the last few seasons, including John Timu, Princeton Fuimaono and Siosifa Tufunga. Rahshead Johnson is another LBJ player that is already committed to Washington for 2014, and Ross said during our conversation with him Saturday that Johnson is excited to be a Husky and his commitment to UW is rock-solid.

So what kind of player is Washington getting in the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Ross? He said his biggest trait is his elusiveness, and when you couple that with his breakaway speed you can see why he is rated as one of the top-30 receivers in the country by Much like how Steve Sarkisian used freshmen Kendyl Taylor and Jaydon Mickens, Ross is a player where you try and get the ball in his hands any way you can. He's played some running back at Jordan, so that's always a possibility, but more than likely he'll be a slot receiver that will also do damage on fly sweeps and in the quick screen game.

But arguably his greatest asset to the Huskies might be in the return game. Ross mentioned how he's extremely comfortable back returning kicks, and he could be the x factor UW has been looking for on special teams for years. Kevin Smith showed glimpses before his injury and Mickens was a serviceable option last year - but the combination of Mickens and Ross back deep could prove too tempting an option for Sarkisian this fall.

What does Ross' commitment do for the number of receivers the Huskies plan to bring in for 2013? Right now has UW ranked with the 5th-best WR/TE group for the 2013 recruiting class. The group includes Ross, Demorea Stringfellow, Darrell Daniels, Sammie Long and David Ajamu. With 21 known public commitments, the Huskies could find themselves with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to receivers. Long has taken an official visit to Montana and could end up taking other official trips to schools like Utah and Oregon State. Daniels has set up an official visit to UCLA this next weekend, and Stringfellow has tweeted that while he's still committed to UW he'll be visiting LSU and Notre Dame soon. He's already officially visited Nebraska.

What this means is that there's still a long way to go for things to shake out. And that leads to the next point…

With so many top prospects still on the boards, UW is going to start feeling the numbers crunch very soon. With Harlow's de-commitment the Huskies are in need of at least two more offensive linemen, which would bring their total of 2013 commitments to 23. Add in possible immediate impact players - the 'King Salmon' of this class - and Washington would be able to top this class off the way they want to.

The play of the five Huskies at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl underscored what is going on with UW recruiting right now; they are a hot brand. And more importantly, their recruiting efforts are beginning to peak at the right time. It didn't hurt their cause that Upland, Calif. DE Joe Mathis picked their hat at the U.S. Army All-American Game Saturday, especially with other top targets playing like Eddie Vanderdoes, Michael Hutchings, Nico Falah, Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack.

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