Commitment Impact: Joel Willis

Pacifica (Garden Grove, Ca.) CB Joel Willis became the 18th known commitment in Washington's 2011 recruiting class Monday and as the class fills up, it seems we need to take a look at how the numbers will work, at both the corner position, where Willis will likely fit in, as well as how this affects the rest of the recruiting class…

Last year, as a junior for the Mariners, Willis was a man without a home, rushing for over 500 yards and six touchdowns, while catching 16 passes for 180 yards and two more scores while also seeing time as a corner and a punt/kick returner.

Willis told Monday night that he is being brought in to play corner, but that the coaches have left to door open to him playing on the offensive side of the ball where the team can exploit his 4.38 (hand-timed) speed, although defensively they could use that attribute as well.

His commitment means, at least right now, Washington has two corners committed – Long Beach Poly's Kameron Jackson is the other – and at least two more big-time prospects – Stefan McClure and DeAnthony Thomas – on the line as well as another up-and-coming one in Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.

With those three eying the Dawgs, the coaches will have a bit of a juggling act to perform, especially if McClure and Thomas, who are two of the most coveted corners on the west coast, decided they wanted to jump into Washington's boat.

Expect the Huskies to take three corners in this class since they only took one – Gregory Ducre – in the last class.

Also keep in mind that with 18 commitments, Washington might only be in the market for up to 10 more players in this class due to possible attrition on the roster or grade issues with a couple of current verbals who are already in the boat.

Here's a look at the numbers in the 2011 class so far…

Offensive Line
Stanwood OT Dexter Charles
Paramount OT Maataua Brown
Los Alamitos OG Siosifa Tofunga

Defensive Line
Archbishop Murphy DT Taniela Tupou
Skyline DE Connor Cree
Juanita DE/LB Jarett Finau
Walnut DE Aubrey Coleman
Taft DE/LB Brent Williams (2010 greyshirt)

Oak Grove LB Scott Lawyer
Dorsey LB Matthew Lyons

Defensive Backs
Pacifica CB Joel Willis
Long Beach Poly CB Kameron Jackson
Bishop Gorman S Evan Zeger
Jordan S John Timu (2010 greyshirt

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Skyline WR Kasen Williams
Gahr WR Josh Perkins
Graham-Kapowsin WR Jamaal Jones
Gig Harbor TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Running Backs
Central High East RB Brendon Bigelow (soft)
Norwalk FB/RB Elijhaa Penny

The Huskies are still working on getting at least one quarterback in this recruiting class and we will find out on September 6th if their top choice, Chandler (Az.) signal-caller Brett Hundley, will jump on board. However, even if he doesn't commit to Washington, they have some other prospects including Richmond-Burton (Richmond, Il.) QB Adam Pittser that they are looking at and eventually one will be part of the class.

The Huskies are also in the market for two more offensive lineman and that will likely come out of a group of about 10 prospects that includes Bishop Alemany (Mission Hills, Ca.) OT Akeem Gonzales, Narbonne (Harbor City, Ca.) OL Dontae Levingston and Saguaro (Scottsdale, Az.) OL Cyrus Hobbi among others.

Washington is also looking to bring in at least one safety and James Sample, a heavy-hitter from Grant High School in Sacramento is the top prospect on their board, while they are still working to bring in at least two more defensive linemen from a handful of prospects that include top-rated DT Viliami Moala, also from Grant, DT Antwaun Woods, from Taft, and Beverly Hills (Ca.) DE Greg Townsend.

While they already have two linebackers committed, don't be surprised if the Huskies go after at least two more since they need to find a true middle linebacker as well as one more they can use on the outside which is where Lawyer and Lyons are slated.

If you add it all up, the numbers look tight, but with Willis' skills, he could replace Bigelow who is a soft verbal (although not classified as such by Scout because he hasn't set up any official visits to this point) if the talented back from Fresno decides to sign with another school.

If Willis ends up in the secondary, he will need a year or two to polish up his game, but his speed and quickness will allow him to push for a starting position by his third year in the program. Also consider that, when he arrives, Desmond Trufant and Adam Long will both be juniors and Quinton Richardson will be a fifth-year senior while Gregory Ducre will likely be a sophomore.

If you take a deeper look at what will be coming back and where he could fit into the mix, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Willis stay at corner and, while learning to perfect his skills and technique there, he could be an outstanding punt and kick return option early in his career.

Either way, Washington got themselves an athletic player who has the speed coveted by programs across the country. Top Stories