Commitment review: Deontae Cooper

With the commitment of Citrus Hill (Perris, Ca.) RB Deontae Cooper to the Dawgs, fans have been asking a couple of questions. Dawgman's Scott Eklund takes a look at the film and gives his assessment of what the talented runner brings to the table as well as how his verbal impacts Washington's 2010 class.

First off, getting someone like Cooper is great for the Huskies. The coaches worked over-time hoping to get his commitment and after his visit to Montlake for the LSU game, it appears he was completely blown away with the experience.

One thing to consider when watching Cooper's film, he plays in a league and against competition that is one step up from eight-man football. That doesn't mean he's not a great football prospect, but he's going to be surprised by the step up in talent he'll be facing at the next level so it may take him some time adjusting to things.

After watching his film, it's obvious he's got a great burst and outstanding vision. He's a natural runner who isn't afraid to lower his shoulder, but he's got just enough shiftiness to be a problem for defenders in the open field. The problem comes from the fact he doesn't have that elite top-end speed, but he's got an explosive first step when he plants and goes so he has a chance to be a solid running back once he steps on campus.

So what does Cooper's commitment mean to the other backs on Washington's big recruiting board?

Narbonne's Melvin Davis has been committed since March and he fills the "big back" role the Huskies are so desperately looking for. Cooper adds the dimension of a slashing back that catch the ball out of the backfield and move the chains. Washington needs at least one more back, preferably one that can hit a home run every time he touches the ball. The Huskies need their own Reggie Bush or Joe McKnight.

Who fits that role?

Corona (Ca.) RB Jordon James would be perfect in that role. The talented back took a visit to Washington for the LSU game and loved his visit. He's got the Huskies very high on his list.

James' best 100 meters is a 10.6 and every time he touches the ball he has a chance to take it the distance. He does try and bust outside more than you'd like, but there's no doubting his abilities and what he could do at the next level.

Also in consideration for the Huskies are players like Compton (Ca.) RB James McConico, although it appears he's a heavy lean to Oregon, St. Francis (La Canada, Ca.) RB/S Dietrich Riley who some think is a heavy USC lean as well as Escondido RB Ricky Seale, a playmaker with outstanding vision and speed and La Habra (Ca.) RB Joshua Quezada, a bruising back who could play linebacker as well as fullback.

Some had thought that once one of the top Cali backs committed, there would be a flood of verbals to the schools pursuing them. That doesn't look like it's going to happen, so Washington still has a chance to get some of their top targets up on a visit.


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