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Originally published December 31, 2010 at 6:34 PM | Page modified December 31, 2010 at 6:41 PM

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Washington lands Auburn defensive lineman Danny Shelton

Huskies get a verbal commitment from Danny Shelton of Auburn, a 286-pound defensive tackle and the state's top uncommitted recruit.

Seattle Times staff reporter

A great week for the Huskies got even better as defensive lineman Danny Shelton of Auburn High School has committed to Washington.

The 6-foot-3, 286-pounder, considered the top uncommitted player from the state, fills a big need for Washington as a defensive tackle. Shelton also seriously considered Oregon.

But Shelton's mother, Oneone, told The Seattle Times on Friday that her son committed to UW "because it's close to us and they have a good program, too."

Oneone Shelton said that while her son "liked Oregon too," that staying near his family won out.

"He didn't want to leave his brothers or his sister," she said. "He wanted to be able to go over and visit us or we can visit him every weekend."

Shelton is the third of four boys in the family and also has a sister.

Shelton made the announcement official today at the Offense-Defense Bowl today in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The first day that high-school seniors can sign letters of intent is Feb. 3.

He is the 20th player to commit for the Class of 2011 and the fifth who could end up as a defensive lineman.

Both Oregon and Washington recruited Shelton to play on defense, and Shelton said a few weeks ago that a chance at getting immediate playing time was another lure of UW.

"Coach Nansen (defensive line coach Johnny Nansen) said I have a pretty good chance of getting a lot of playing time as a true freshman because coach has a nine-man rotation on the defensive line," Shelton said. "So that sounded like I would be doing good."

Shelton's high-school coach, Gordon Elliott, said today that Shelton had been going back-and-forth on his decision until leaving for the game this week. But the coach said Shelton expressed a desire to stay close to home.

"Obviously he's strong enough and physical enough and he's got the right physical abilities (to play in the Pac-10)," Elliott said. "But that's a big jump, so now it's a matter of how long it takes him to get used to the speed of the college game. But I think he's going to be a really good player for them."

Shelton is rated as the No. 32 prospect in the country at defensive tackle and a three-star prospect by Scout.com. Rivals.com has him higher, ranking him No. 12 at his position and a four-star prospect.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com.

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