Success: see 'Owen Biddle'

Everyone loves feel good stories about people who succeed against all odds. In the world of college football, these stories come from the lives of a walk-on player coming into a big time program with nothing but their heart and desire. Ben Mahdavi went from a walk-on to team captain. Joe Jarzynka captured the imagination of all fans with every punt return. The line of walk-on stars at Washington continues with Owen Biddle.

Biddle was a standout running back at Bellevue High School where he earned four varsity letters during a decorated career. As a senior, he set a KingCo 3A record with 1,576 rushing yards and earned many accolades from numerous publications. That got Owen named to several All-State and All-Area teams and he left a big mark on the prep scene.

Then, he chose the hard route, deciding to walk on at Washington with his dreams. Now nearly five years later, Biddle is set to begin his senior year and hopes to have left his own imprint on top notch Division I competition when it is all over.

"It's kind of good and bad," said Biddle of the thought of his upcoming final season as he wrapped up spring drills. "We had two new coaches this spring so it was all completely new. We learned new terms and started over with a new slate."

The new coaches Biddle was referring to are Phil Snow (new co-Defensive Coordinator) and the shifting of Cornell Jackson to coach the safeties. The new coaches allow for the entire secondary department to re-adjust and fix any problems with the help of fresh minds.

"He (Snow) brings competitiveness because everyone is trying to show him what they can do," said Biddle. "It's a clean slate so that guys who haven't played before have a whole new chance and the guys who have been starting have to start all over again. He brings in a lot of new ideas and a lot of knowledge."

Instead of having just one coach handle both the corners and safeties this season, that task has been divided up between Snow and Jackson. Snow will handle the corners, while Jackson will focus exclusively on the safeties. Biddle believes that these personnel changes bring along a great amount of benefits.

"The reason why we did that was so that we could communicate better," he said. "This year, we are splitting up and we're working together so we're combining both. That's important, so that we can tell the corners what we can see and be on the same page."

When he first arrived on the scene, it took a while for Biddle to earn playing time outside of practice. But when he finally got the opportunity, he ran with it and made sure he was not just a scout player anymore.

Biddle was an absolute terror on special teams during the 2000 season. He earned special teams MVP honors four times in route to being named the Special Teams Player of the Year by his teammates.

Coming to Washington was the only logical choice for Biddle. After all, purple and gold is in his blood. His grandfather graduated from the University of Washington in 1947. His father earned his teaching certificate from Washington. His mother and grandmother were also Huskies. Not only that, his two older sisters, including Anna, a former Huskies soccer standout, have graduated from Washington. His uncle Greg Brooks was a defensive back for the Huskies from 1974-1978 and was a member of the 1978 Rose Bowl Championship Team.

Biddle also has a Rose Bowl ring.

All the hustle and dedication finally paid off for Biddle at the 2000 Rose Bowl against Purdue. Not a bad place to start your very first game in the collegiate ranks. It was one of many memories Biddle recalls.

"Starting in the Rose Bowl was pretty good, but my first play on special teams against Idaho on kickoff coverage always sticks out," recalled Biddle. "The best part about it was walking out. (of the tunnel) When I'm out on the field, I don't notice the crowd anymore. But for the first play is when you really notice the crowd and it's amazing."

Biddle has since then added another dimension to his special teams play. All 5'11 and 190 pounds of him can be seen as the long snapper on the offensive line for the punt team from time to time.

"It's coming along good," said Biddle as he laughed. "I have always been a backup long snapper here and I long-snapped in high school. They are giving me some chances so we'll see if I can keep consistent."

The way Biddle goes full speed at any position has earned him much praise from his coaches. Coach Jackson in particular, has certainly been impressed with the work ethic.

"Owen is a unique football player," said Jackson. "He's a great tackler and an aggressive player. He loves football. I'm glad we have Owen because he is deceptive, meaning he's not a 4.5 guy or a big guy but he's a football player.

"If Owen Biddle runs a 4.7, he runs it on every snap. Owen is a FOOTBALL player. He's a great, hard-nosed guy."

There is a lot of emphasis on the word FOOTBALL when Jackson describes Biddle. He probably will not be remembered as a safety, a special teams standout, or even a long-snapper for that matter, but as a FOOTBALL player.

Ironically, there are not that many players who finish their careers in college with such an identity.

"Hard-nosed guy who walks on and loves to play football," Biddle replied when asked how he would like to be remembered.

"That's it." Top Stories