6′-3″ point guard Nigel Williams-Goss, the No. 57 prospect in the incoming high school senior class in the nation, verbally committed to Washington on Wednesday. The heady point guard picked the Hukies over a list that included Harvard, UCLA, Oklahoma and UNLV. Williams-Goss was formerly pledged to UNLV, under previous head coach Lon Kruger.
Williams-Goss has played high school basketball at powerhouse Findlay Prep (NV), but he is a native of Happy Valley, Oregon, which is a suburb of Portland. He is the first verbal for Washington in the 2013 class, and comes on the heels of a 2012 class in which the Huskies only signed a sole player, junior college shooting guard Mark McLaughlin.
On one of the best teams in the country, Williams-Goss had a great junior season, averaging 15 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
Williams-Goss has had an interesting trajectory throughout the last four years. As an 8th grader, he played up on a very good I-5 Elite team which featured numerous D-1 bound players, holding his own against 17-U competition. Based on that, and starring performances at middle school all-star camps, some considered him the top prospect in the country in his class.
Since that time, others have caught up to Williams-Goss, but he remains a player capable of being very useful in the Pac-12. He’s a smart, tenacious player that has the type of skills that a winning team needs. He’s also been a key factor in California Supreme’s very solid performance to date in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League
Regarding his commitment to Washington, Williams-Goss wrote on a blog at the National Recruiting Spotlight:
However, at the end of the day I had to follow my heart and it was the University of Washington that I felt most comfortable with. I felt that Washington met all the criteria that I was looking for in a school and basketball program. There is no substitute for a coach that has watched you mature over a time span of four years and stuck with you through thick and thin. The only two groups of coaches that I can honestly say have helped in my development as a person and player are [Head] Coach [Michael] Peck and the staff at Findlay and Coach Romar and his staff at Washington. And because of that I will always feel most connected to these two programs. I am excited and very thankful to God that he has blessed me with this opportunity to extend my basketball career at the University of Washington.
After some key misses in the 2012 recruiting class, Washington could be primed for an excellent group in 2013. Williams-Goss is an excellent piece to start with, and two top-25 recruits, forward Aaron Gordon and guard Jabari Bird both have the Huskies near the top of their lists. Additionally, the current No. 1 prospect in the nation, wing forward Jabari Parker also is believed to be considering the Huskies.