Rounding up some news and notes for Saturday night. …
— Just to wrap up the recruiting news from the past two days, the final tally for UW is commitments from John Ross and Joe Mathis (details in the blog entries below on each) while losing OL Sean Harlow, who decommitted and has instead committed to Oregon State. Harlow told Scout.com that “I wanted to go where I was most comfortable” and that he ultimately decided that was Oregon State. His decommitment leaves UW with just two current commits from OLs — center Dane Crane and guard Andrew Kirkland. UW’s class remains rated in the top 10-15 nationally by all the major services — Scout.com has it at 11 right now as does Rivals.com. But obviously if there is a need to fill in the last few weeks, it is the offensive line. UW does have a number of offers out to uncommitted OLs, so the assumption will be that the Huskies will add to that number between now and Feb. 6.
— Here is the Rivals.com breakdown of the commits from today at the U.S. Army Game and here is a notebook on the game from Scout.com (neither is a premium story). And here is another bunch of news and notes on the weekend from 247Sports.com (also free).
— There may not be much more recruiting news for a few days now as recruiting shifts into a quiet/dead period after today until Friday (here’s the calender) due to the annual American Football Coaches Association Convention. Recruiting, though, will then hit the mad dash to the finish line beginning Friday, with three straight weekends of official visits (and home visits during the week) leading up to the Feb. 6 signing date.
— In significant news concerning the 2013 season, Stanford defensive players Trent Murphy, Shayne Skov and Ben Gardner all announced today they are returning next season. Murphy was a first-team all-conference pick this year, Garnder a second-teamer, and Skov a player who has that kind of potential and the return of all three will help give Stanford what will undoubtedly be considered the best defense in the conference in 2013 (one thing to remember is that Stanford lists its players by academic year, the same way UW did in the Tyrone Willingham era, so lots of times they list guys as seniors who still have eligibility remaining). Stanford could return as many as 16 players who started the Rose Bowl and that might be enough to have the Cardinal picked as the pre-season favorite in the Pac-12 next year, depending on what happens with Oregon.
— Speaking of Oregon, as I type this there is nothing definitive yet on Chip Kelly, other than that he is meeting with several NFL teams and expected at some point soon to take one of the jobs he is apparently being offered, with Cleveland continuing to be the presumed leader (if you really want to stay up-to-the-minute, the Oregonian has this live tracker of updates on Kelly). It remains expected that offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich will take over for Kelly if/when he leaves. By the way, here are some interesting personnel news and notes on Oregon from the Eugene Register-Guard.
— Wondering what’s taking so long on the Pac-12’s investigation into WSU and Mike Leach? So is Bud Withers.
— Finally, here are some highlights of the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl Friday that featured several UW commits. The UW commits featured in the video include WR Darrell Daniels (No. 14), WR John Ross (21) and DT Elijah Qualls (31). Ross is shown early on returning a kickoff; the play where Qualls caught a short pass and ran over a defender is at about the three-minute mark; and Daniels’ cut back block is at about the 3:40 mark and his TD at about the 4:40 mark: