Impact Report: Erik Brown

When Erik Brown verbally committed to Washington at The Opening, it actually ended a lot of speculation involving the 6-foot-1, 175-pound receiver prospect from Summit High School in Fontana, Calif. For months Brown was silently committed to UW, then silently committed to UCLA. Then in early July, Brown broke his silence on television.

"I'm going to play my college football at the University of Washington, U-Dub," Erik Brown told ESPNU during The Opening. Brown chose the Huskies over offers from Notre Dame, Nebraska, Boise State and UCLA. "I have a great relationship with coach Sark, coach (Eric) Kiesau, I love it up there and I loved the environment when I finally took a visit. I would have made a decision earlier if I had been there before, but I hadn't."

What kind of player is Brown?: "They are getting a very good receiver,"'s Greg Biggins told FSN'com's Lindsey Thiry shortly after news of Brown's commitment to Washington. "I don't want to use the word great too often, but I think he's got that potential. He's long - 6-1, 6-2 - he ran a 4.62 electronic 40 time, which is very, very good. He has great hands, he never fights the ball. What I mean by that is sometimes you see guys double catch or watch the ball into their bodies…he just catches and goes. He has soft hands, smooth - pure receiver, pure route runner. He has a chance, along with another Washington commit - Rahshead Johnson - to be the top-two receivers in Southern California. Great get for the Huskies.

"The guys they've gotten, they can all play. I like their class a lot, but for me Brown is a difference-maker. People always want to talk about stars; this is a legit guy that can come in and play for anybody in the Pac-12. He's that good. SC, Oregon, Cal…anyone. He can play for that school. It definitely shows that U-Dub is doing some big things."

How did Brown describe his game when asked about it after making his commitment known? "Speed, size, I catch everything," he simply said.

Reputations are paying off: Brown admitted the reputation of both Steve Sarkisian and Eric Kiesau weighed heavily into his decision-making. "I know what (Sark's) capable of and I know what coach Kiesau is a capable of," he said. "I actually called (former California WR) Marvin Jones and asked him about coach Kiesau when he was at Cal and he told me he's a great guy. That's somebody I definitely want to learn from."

UW shows well at The Opening: At The Opening in Beaverton, Ore. - the biggest prep recruiting showcase in the country - Washington prospects and commits showed up to perform and did themselves proud. Obviously Brown is the focus here and his commitment on national television gave the Huskies some much-needed exposure for recruiting, but he wasn't the only one rocking the Dubs that week. Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei cornerback Jonathan Lockett showed off at The Opening just days after publicly committing to Washington at their Rising Stars camp. There were three UW commits at The Opening - Brown, Lockett, and Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) Tight End Chase Blakley, who was on the winning Field Generals 7-on team.

There were plenty of UW recruiting targets at The Opening: Bellevue DB/ATH Budda Baker is at the top of the list, followed by two Portland (Ore.) Jesuit players - Joey Alfieri and Henry Mondeaux. Top national running back Joe Mixon was also there, as well as tight end Dalton Schultz, receiver Michiah Quick, cornerback John Plattenburg, and linemen Viane Talamaivao, Damien Mama, Kammy Delp and Ainuu Taua.

Huskies on a roll with receivers: "Rahshead Johnson, John Ross last year…Damore'ea Stringfellow…these are all southern California receivers that they're coming in and stealing right from USC and UCLA's backyard," Biggins said. "USC offered half those guys and UCLA offered the other half, so these are guys…they aren't slappies that no one wants. These are premier players. I think it shows how great that staff does. They do a really good job from Sark all the way down…everyone talks about Tosh and he does a great job, but Kiesau, Heyward, Sirmon - they are all great. They do a great job recruiting and they out-recruited everybody for all those receivers I just mentioned."

After picking up the nation's No. 11 (Damore'ea Stringfellow), No. 15 (John Ross), and No. 20 (Darrell Daniels) receiving prospect for this upcoming season, Washington has now backed up that amazing effort with commitments from the No. 21 (Rahshead Johnson) and No. 32 (Brown) receivers in the country. You'd be hard-pressed to find a program who has done a better job recruiting receivers nationally the last two seasons than Washington.

What can Brown do for UW?: There are some that think Brown has the capability to play right away, but with so many talented receivers in front of him will he get that chance? "He needs to put weight on, he needs to get stronger," Biggins said of Brown. "Those are the two biggest areas that most freshmen need. They signed a heck of a receiver class last year, so it depends on how those guys project, almost. He won't come in and play right away if there are already three kids in there that are starring. He has the ability to play early at least if he takes a redshirt year by his redshirt freshman year. Again, as polished as he is and as well as he catches the ball…he's a smart kid, which means he should be able to pick up the playbook fairly easily, read a defense, find the open spot…I would say not be surprised if he plays as a true freshman, redshirt freshman year for sure."

Brown's commitment allows UW to move on to other positions of need: Conventional wisdom is currently suggesting the Huskies won't sign a large 2014 recruiting class. Based on the numbers as they stand right now they are one over their 85 total number before fall camp and they lose only 13 seniors to graduation after the 2013 season. Obviously there's a lot of time for those numbers to move, especially if a player like Austin Seferian-Jenkins, for instance, decides to turn pro. But that aside, it looks like the number Washington is expecting to sign in 2014 is around 17. Breaking that number down to specific positions, the Huskies were expected to only use two of that total number on receivers. With Brown's commitment added onto Johnson's earlier pledge, UW is done taking receivers for the 2014 class. It means they can move on from that position and focus the lion's share of their efforts on other spots.

Will the commitment stick?: Brown has said subsequent to his TV commit that he still plans on taking some visits to other schools despite apparently being firm in his decision to be a Husky. "For me, he's wanted to go to Washington for a long time," Biggins told Thiry when asked about the strength of Brown's commitment. "I don't think he ever really fell in love with UCLA like he fell in love with Washington. Before he even took a visit to Washington he was saying, 'I really want to go to Washington, I just need to see it first'. He just felt that connection. He wanted to get away from home, so because of that I don't think he's married to playing for a USC or UCLA. If you want to say home, I get that. But he doesn't want to stay home. He wants to get out. He took that visit to the Rising Stars camp and loved the area, loved the staff - loved everything about it. I think it looks good. I think they've done a good job with him, and if they have the kind of year they should have, they should win 8-9 games - I think he's rock solid." Top Stories