Significant decision from talent-rich Lakewood school could help Huskies re-establish state recruiting dominance.
Sammie Long didn’t think much about the broader implications that might be read into the commitment he made Monday night to Washington.
Instead, the receiver from Lakes High School in Lakewood said simply, “I just felt it was time. I just made my own decision.”
Still, Long’s commitment may have symbolic significance because he is the first for UW’s Class of 2013 and attends a talent-rich school that a year ago sent its two top players elsewhere. Offensive tackle Zach Banner signed with USC and receiver Cedric Dozier with California.
The losses of Banner and Dozier had UW looking largely out of state to bolster its Class of 2012.
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Getting Long is an early UW strike at re-establishing recruiting dominance in the state, though the class is not considered as strong as last year’s. The exception is quarterback Max Browne from Skyline of Sammamish, who is considered maybe the best at his position in the nation. Browne may decide later this spring and is considering several schools, including Alabama and USC, along with UW.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Long is rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and will likely be regarded as the top receiving prospect in the state when rankings are completed. He caught 20 passes for 276 yards and five touchdowns last year for Lakes and impressed scouts with his size and speed (he said he recently ran 200 meters in 23.6 seconds).
Washington was the first school to offer Long a scholarship last fall, though he said he recently received interest from UCLA and Cal.
“I just felt like UW was the closest to home and it was somewhere I wanted to go,” he said Tuesday.
Commitments are not binding until letters are signed Feb. 6, 2013. That leaves a long time for Long to fend off other suitors, and he said he might take at least unofficial visits to other nearby schools, such as Oregon and Oregon State just to compare.
But Long said he doesn’t plan to change his mind about going to UW, “somewhere I really wanted to go.”
Washington will begin spring football Monday. The Spring Game is April 28 at 11 a.m. at CenturyLink Field.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @bcondotta