25 days, 25 names: Joe Mathis

Sometimes a prospect’s commitment says a lot about the direction of a program.

When Joe Mathis (Upland, Calif./Upland) committed to Washington during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl -- he picked the Huskies over USC, UCLA and Alabama -- it showed the program is still on track toward becoming prominent on a national level.

It showed Washington can compete for the top prospects in California. And, it showed that, after taking a look around, Mathis couldn’t find a program that provided a better fit than the Huskies.

The 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end originally committed to Washington during his junior year, but later decided to look around.

When he decided to commit to the program for a second time, he cited the program’s “family” atmosphere, a common refrain from recruits who commit to the Huskies.

Rated the No. 267 prospect in the ESPN 300, Mathis is one of five current commits who made the list of the nation’s top recruits. He is one of three defensive ends in Washington’s 2013 class, the latest addition in a group of dynamic defenders.

Mathis finished his senior season with 77 tackles -- six for loss. He piled up 10 sacks. His ability to pressure the passer makes him a valuable addition to a defense that is piling up playmakers.