Dawgman Insider Blog: July 2011

Steve Sarkisian, along with all the other Pac-12 coaches, is finishing up their Media Week obligations in New York and Bristol, Conn., home to ESPN. Here's some links to videos and audios of Sarkisian being interviewed about a number of UW football-related topics, including Jake Locker, Keith Price, recruiting, Chris Polk, and expectations for the Huskies this upcoming season.

Chris Fetters
3:15 pm

Steve Sarkisian 'Car Wash' links

Like every other Pac-12 coach, Washington's Steve Sarkisian has gone through the media 'car wash' the last 72 hours, going from press conferences in Los Angeles and New York, to written, video and audio interview requests from both coasts. Below are a set of links to give you an idea of not only who Sarkisian has been talking to, but what they have been talking about.

Sarkisian talks with Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley, live from Pac-12 Media Day in Los Angeles. They talk with Sarkisian at around the 15-minute mark.

Sarkisian talks with Chris Fowler about expectations

Sarkisian talks with Scott Van Pelt about replacing Jake Locker and more

Sarkisian talks with Colin Cowherd about Jake Locker's future, recruiting, and mobile QB's

Ivan Maisel Pac-12 Podcast. Sarkisian comes on at around the 50-minute mark.

Sarkisian with Jack Arute and Randy Cross on Sirius XM Sports

SportsNation chat with ESPN Pac-12 blogger Ted Miller, who also worked for the Seattle P-I for a spell covering the Huskies. Ted had some interesting nuggets about UW.

Scott Eklund
2:50 pm

Six Huskies sign with NFL squads

Here are the former Huskies, who went undrafted last April, that have signed with NFL teams so far...

LB Victor Aiyewa (Tampa Bay)
OL Cody Habben (San Diego)
FB Dorson Boyce (Seattle)
S Nate Williams (Baltimore)
WR D'Andre Goodwin (Denver)
FB Austin Sylvester (Denver)

LB Mason Foster (Tampa Bay) just signed a four-year deal yesterday and QB Jake Locker (Tennessee) has yet to agree to terms, but he is expected to sign very soon.

Aaron Beach
12:00 pm

Terrence Ross (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Tuesday Open Gym Report

I caught open gym again this afternoon. Suggs, Gant and Wilcox were all visiting home which diminished the quality of the run considerably, but it did give the freshman an opportunity to shine. To check out all my observations, click on the link below.

Open Gym Report - 7/27

Chris Fetters
1:30 pm

Pac 12 Media Day notes and links

You can get a ton of information on Tuesday's Pac-12 Media Day right here, with links to all the relevant news and notes.

As far as Washington specifically, Steve Sarkisian mentioned that both Semisi Tokolahi and Sione Potoae will be limited in the fall, but he doesn't expect Potoae to miss game time with a dinged-up knee. Away from the main press conference, Sarkisian told Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times that they are looking into getting a sixth year for kicker Erik Folk, and former walk-on OL Dan Kanczugowski has been declared academically ineligible for the 2011 season. Other than that, there are no other major personnel decisions, in terms of position switches or health. Sarkisian did confirm that junior college athlete Antavius Sims is expected to join the Huskies before the beginning of fall camp, which starts August 8th.

Here is a list of transcriptions for all the coaches and players during the Pac-12 Media Day. Of particular import is the conversation between the Oregonian's John Canzano and Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly, a conversation that Pac-12 spokesman Dave Hirsch tried to interrupt, but to no avail. Also, UCLA Head Coach Rick Neuheisel talks about losing freshman QB Brett Hundley for up to a month with a meniscus tear.

Here is a link to the OnDemand audio page for Dave 'Softy' Mahler of 950KJR, who was at the Pac-12 Media Day and spoke to a ton of people, including Steve Sarkisian, Chip Kelly, David Shaw, Dennis Erickson, Paul Wulff, Jeff Tedford, Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, and Nick Foles.

Here is a link for more information on the Pac-12 Bi-coastal Media Tour.

Here's a link to my Twitter feed, where I had running updates on all the comings and goings during Pac-12 Media Day

Scott Eklund
7:50 am

Pac 12 Media Day and Morning Links

-- Pac 12 Media Day kicks off at 9 a.m. with commissioner Larry Scott presiding. Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian and RB Chris Polk will take the stage at 10:05 a.m. Here is the link to the official website and their live webcast.

-- Sarkisian will also be accompanying his fellow coaches on an east coast media blitz later in the week and ESPN's Ted Miller has posted his schedule.

-- CBS Sports reviews the performance of all of the Elite 11 quarterbacks including Jeff Lindquist and Cyler Miles.

-- Fox Sports West has a list of three storylines per Pac 12 team in their blog.

Scott Eklund
6:20 pm

Tank Johnson (Getty)

Radio Show Podcasts

The Dawgman.com Radio Show on Sports Radio 950 KJR featured former Husky DT Tank Johnson, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, and currently Husky assistant basketball coach Jim Shaw.

Click on the link to listen to the interviews as well as what Kim Grinolds, Chris Fetters and Scott Eklund had to say about other subjects.

Chris Fetters
11:30 am

Lorenzo Romar (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Husky Hoops add walk-on

SEATTLE -- Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar announced the addition of walk on Alex Wegner to the roster on Thursday. Wegner, from Vashon Island, Wash., will be a freshman in 2011-12.

"We are looking forward to Alex joining us," Romar said. "He is a very good student, proven winner and hard worker."

The addition of Wegner brings the Husky roster up to 15 players total: 13 on scholarship, two walk ons.

To read the full release on Wegner's arrival to UW, click on the link below.

Romar Adds Walk-On Wegner For 2011-12

Scott Eklund
5:00 pm Tuesday afternoon news links

-- ESPN's Ted Miller says RB Chris Polk is Washington's most indispensible player.

-- Presnapread.com has a preview of Washington's 2011 football season.

-- Here is a look at Dawgman.com's top 15 in-state players this year.

-- Here's a look at the first day of the Elite 11 camp and it looks like Jeff Lindquist and Cyler Miles had solid afternoons.

-- Scout's Inna Lazarev spoke with Patterson (Ca.) DL Pio Vatuvei who has the Huskies in his top five.

Scott Eklund
6:00 pm

Cyler Miles and Jeff Lindquist (Scout.com)

Elite 11 Preview

Scout.com's Brandon Huffman previews the Elite 11 camp being held this week and of interest to Husky fans will be the performance of Jeff Lindquist and Cyler Miles who are both participating.

Scott Eklund
12:00 pm

Joel Thomas (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Saturday Radio Show Podcasts

Scott Eklund, Kim Grinolds and Chris Fetters had three guests on Saturday's radio show -- Husky RB coach Joel Thomas, Scout.com's Brandon Huffman and Vista Murrietta (Ca.) LB Jeremy Castro, the latest commitment to Washington.

Click the link to listen to both hours of the show.

Scott Eklund
7:05 am

Josh Garnett (S.Eklund/Dawgman.com)

Thursday Morning News Links

-- Here is the link to the podcasts from last night's show. In addition to Garnett, we also spoke with former Husky QB Taylor Barton about his upcoming showcase this Friday at UW and talked a lot of recruiting and talked a lot about what to look forward to in the 2011 football season.

-- Cal is starting to come under some scrutiny due to their relationship with Willie Lyles and Jeff Tedford spoke with the Mercury News' Jon Wilner about things after returning from vacation.

-- ESPN's Ted Miller says that Oregon, Stanford and USC have better backfields than Washington.

-- In case you missed it, here is the story I posted yesterday on the impact of Jeremy Castro to Washington's 2012 recruiting class.

Scott Eklund
9:00 am

Hauoli Jamora (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Wednesday Morning News Links

-- ESPN's Ted Miller puts UW's situation at defensive end in the "Good Shape" category this year with the return of Jamora, Thompson and Crichton as well as the emergence of Josh Shirley. Another name that will be a factor this fall is redshirt freshman Andrew Hudson.

-- Athlons rates Washington as the fourth-best coaching job in the conference.

-- The Mercury News' Jon Wilner has a few interesting tidbits in his most recent action/reaction story.

-- The Tacoma News Tribune's Todd Milles blogs about the start of fall camp on August 8th.

Scott Eklund
12:40 pm

Jeremy Castron

Follow up with Jeremy Castro

Husky nation got some great recruiting news on Tuesday as Vista (Ca.) Murrietta LB/DE Jeremy Castro, Scout.com's 20th-ranked linebacker, committed to Washington over offers from several other schools including Oregon, Oklahoma, LSU, UCLA and Arizona State among others. Dawgman.com spoke to the talented defensive prospect and he updated us on a couple of things...

First off, a big thanks to Brandon Huffman for breaking this news for us. Here is the link to Brandon's story in case you missed it.

I followed up with Jeremy shortly after his commitment and got these extra quotes that Husky fans (and Oregon fans) should find interesting...

On how Washington is proposing to use him: "They want me as a stand-up pass-rusher, just like they are doing with Josh Shirley this year. I'm a straight D-end, but I'll be a stand-up DE for them just like Josh is going to be. That is my dream right there, to get to the quarterback and make him pay for thinking he can throw on (our) defense."

On why he chose Washington: "They were the school showing me the most how much they wanted me. They never didn't take my call and they were always willing to talk to me no matter what they had going on and I really appreciated that. I really have a great relationship with coach (Demetrice) Martin and coach (Steve) Sarkisian and Derrick (Brown) really worked on me a lot and told me he wants to keep playing with me. I also really loved the school and the campus up there. The weather is perfect for football and I loved the academics there and their proud tradition. I also think Washington is a great football team and I wanted to be a part of what they were doing there. Their defense is real aggressive and I love the scheme they run. It fits me perfectly."

On his other top schools: "My top five were Washington, Oregon, UCLA, ASU and LSU and I was really looking at Oregon really hard and thought I would commit to them, but they had all this news coming about about recruiting sanctions and stuff like that and I just didn't want to be part of something like that. The other schools were really great, but Washington was the right place for me and they are going to use me in the best way possible."

Talk about it: Here

Scott Eklund
9:00 am

Kyle Lewis

Tuesday Morning News Links

-- Here is the story we did on Lewis' recruitment and subsequent signing and here is the official release from the Washington Athletic Dept.

-- ESPN's Ted Miller gives a nice little recap of the Pac 12 players on the various watch lists that came out last week and there are four Husky players who are mentioned.

-- Miller also has an interesting look at what it costs for a student athlete to attend each school and today he takes a look at Washington.

-- Percy Allen, who covers Husky basketball for the Seattle Times, takes a look at the incoming freshmen's first workout with the team at open gym on Monday.

-- Former Husky basketball star Nate Robinson, now a guard with the Oklahoma City Thunder, is talking about returning to football during the NBA lockout. Robinson played cornerback as freshman for Washington in 2002 before focusing solely on basketball in 2003.

Chris Fetters
2:30 am

Steve Sarkisian (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

UW announces changes to future football schedules

The University of Washington announced changes to its 2012 football schedule Monday. The Huskies' game against Nevada has moved to Sept. 8, 2018, and UW has added a game with San Diego State on Sept. 1, 2012. To accommodate the SDSU addition, the Huskies have moved their date with Portland State from Sept. 1, 2012 to Sept. 15, 2012. Additionally, the Dawgs' game at LSU has moved from Sept. 29 to Sept. 8.

To see the full changes, click on the link below.

University of Washington Announces Changes to 2012 Football Schedule

Scott Eklund
7:03 am

Alameda Ta'amu (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Monday Morning News Links

- ESPN Pac 12 blogger Ted Miller reviews the conference's defensive tackle rotations and he seems to feel Washington, led by senior DT Alameda-Ta'amu, is in great shape.

- Speaking of the Ta'amu, he was named to both the Outland and Nagurski watch lists on Friday.

- And in one more piece of news involving Ta'amu, Rob Rang of CBS Sports and NFLDraftScout.com, has the Husky defensive tackle being selected late in the first round of next April's NFL Draft.

- The San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner takes a look at what could be an inauspicious first season for the Pac 12.

- Lastly, Sports Illustrated thinks UW's 2012 recruiting haul could be outstanding if things fall the right way.

Scott Eklund
7:30 pm

Chris Polk (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Saturday podcasts have been posted

We got the Husky perspective from both sides of the ball as LB Cort Dennison and RB Chris Polk both joined Scott Eklund and Kim Grinolds in-studio for Saturday's radio show. What did 'grandma' have to say? Who does each think will be the breakout player of 2011? You'll have to listen to the podcasts to find out.

Scott Eklund
7:30 pm

Cort Dennison (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Dennison and Polk join to guys in studio for Saturday's radio show

It'll be offense vs. defense on Saturday's Dawgman.com Radio Show as RB Chris Polk and LB Cort Dennison will join the guys in studio from 9 am to 11 am. It should be an interesting show as both players like to speak their minds and with only four weeks until the start of fall camp, they will probably have a lot to say...

Tune in to listen if you can by clicking on this link.

Scott Eklund
8:50 am

Bishop Sankey's role to increase?

What the loss of Robinson, Fogerson and Cooper means

Well with the news that DT Chris Robinson and FB Zach Fogerson have had to give up the game of football due to injuries and the loss of RB Deontae Cooper to yet another knee injury for the year, what does this mean to the UW depth chart?

New players will get a look at DT

Incoming freshmen Taniela Tupou and Danny Shelton have bodies ready for the rigors of college football. What will be interesting to see is how quickly each is able to pick up the defense. Robinson wasn't going to be counted on a lot this year, but the hope was he would be able to give Sione Potoae a blow for a series or two per game. Now, Tupou will likely be thrust into that role.

Shelton could also play some of the three-technique, but his main contribution will be spelling Alameda Ta'amu and pushing redshirt freshman Lawrence Lagafuaina to continue to improve.

The expectation heading into the season was that at least one or both could redshirt due to quality depth, but with Robinson retiring and the revelation that Semisi Tokolahi won't be fully healthy for the start of the season, it appears UW is going to have to play both in the hopes of developing some quality depth.

It's hard to say whether Tokolahi will be able to be very effective this year. Some think he should just redshirt, giving him nearly 20 months before he sees the field after suffering a terrible ankle injury and there is some merit to this thought, however, if he can play, UW will probably figure out a way to get him into the DT rotation. If he's rushed back, there are only two options to explain why...he's either a) a very fast healer or b) UW is desperate for his ability to help hold up in the middle of their defense.

If he does play, Husky fans have to hope it's the former and not the latter.

Fogerson's loss is Petty's gain

Even if Fogerson had been healthy enough to play, incoming freshman Dezden Petty was slated for playing time this fall. Washington must develop a good fullback rotation and right now, Jonathan Amosa is slated as the starter. While Amosa was impressive in the spring, there is no doubting Washington would like to find someone a little more athletic who can block, but who also can be a ball-carrier as well as a receiver out of the backfield. Look for Petty to get a lot of reps in fall camp as the coaches do their best to figure out if he can pick up the blocking schemes (the toughest thing for freshman backs to learn) quickly enough to be used in important situations.

Also look for Evan Hudson, Michael Hartvigson and possibly even Marek Domanski to get some looks at fullback as well.

With Cooper out is it Sankey's time to shine?

Washington had good depth heading into the season if Cooper had been healthy and as long as junior Chris Polk, sophomore Jesse Callier and senior Johri Fogerson can stay healthy, the Huskies should still be okay. However, most schools need at least four running backs to get through a season and that means that Bishop Sankey will get a lot of reps this August and possibly in the early games vs. Eastern Washington and Hawaii.

Sankey runs behind his pads well and runs well between the tackles. He's actually a lot like Polk coming out of high school -- someone who didn't take a lot of direct shots and who ran in a bit of a gimmicky offense. The hope is that Sankey can handle the workload and figure out the offense quickly enough to be a contributor as the season moves along.

Also keep in mind that Petty could also see a lot of carries as a big tailback.

Talk about it: Here

Scott Eklund
1:53 pm

Wednesday Afternoon News Links

-- The Mercury News' Jon Wilner has an update on the Pac 12's football scheduling that fans can look forward to in the future.

-- FoxSports' Jason Whitlock takes his turn at sliming the ever slimeable Willie Lyles.

-- Dick Baird opines on the Oregon situation.

-- Lastly, Washington is heavily in the mix for aruably the top football prospect on the west coast -- Grant S Shaquille Thompson.

Scott Eklund
2:20 pm

Tuesday Softy Show Fill-In Podcast

-- Kim Grinolds, Chris Fetters and Scott Eklund filled in for Softy on Tuesday and had a lot to talk about including a visit with former Husky QB Cody Pickett, Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel and the growing story of Oregon's possible recruiting violations.

Scott Eklund
7:20 pm

Former Husky QB Cody Pickett (Getty)

Dawgman.com on KJR Tuesday

The Dawgman guys -- Kim Grinolds, Chris Fetters and Scott Eklund -- will take over the Dave "Softy" Mahler Show on KJR from 10 am to Noon on Tuesday, July 5th and they have former Husky QB Cody Pickett scheduled to come on at some point during the two-hour show.

Tune in to hear what he has to say as well as what they have to say about Husky recruiting, the Oregon situation and much, much more...

Scott Eklund
1:30 pm

Husky LB Matthew Lyons

Matt Lyons update...

"I'm 6-2, 208 pounds right now," Lyons told Dawgman.com. "Since the end of my season I've put on about 15 pounds and I feel strong and ready to go."

Lyons played safety at Dorsey, but is projected to play linebacker once he arrives at UW.

"It'll be fun getting up there and working with the coaches and the rest of the players," Lyons said. "I'm just ready to learn and work and compete. Obviously I want to play right away, but I'll just do the best I can and let the coaches make that decision."

Lyons had hoped to graduate and enroll early at Washington in the hopes of getting to Montlake in time to take part in spring football, but one class held him up.

"My grades were good, but I was missing a class that I needed to take in order to graduate early and it just didn't work out," Lyons said. "I'm all set now though and I'll be up there on the 5th (of July) and then I'll start classes at UW on the 6th and start working out with the team."

Lyons' teammate Marvin Hall is also expected to join him and he said having a fellow Don up in Seattle with him.

"Marvin and I are good friends, so it will be good," Lyons said. "It's always comforting to see someone you recognize and to be experiencing new things with them.

"I know he's excited too, so it's going to be a great up there. We can't wait."

Matthew Lyons Scout Profile

Chris Fetters
1:30 pm

Darnell Gant (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Dawgman.com on KJR

Kim Grinolds, Chris Fetters and Aaron Beach were joined in-studio by Washington seniors Darnell Gant and Scott Suggs for Saturday morning's Dawgman radio show on 950KJR. They took calls, talked to family members, gave their opinions on the 2011 UW Hoops team, and also opined on the new Pac-12.

The Dawgman guys took the last 30 minutes of the show to take calls on recruiting, as well as chime in on what's been happening at Oregon. We'll get more in-depth with those topics Tuesday morning, as we will be taking over from Dave 'Softy' Mahler 10-Noon.

To listen to all three hours of the show, click on the link below.

Archived KJR Audio - Darnell Gant and Scott Suggs

Scott Eklund
5:00 am

Dawgman.com on KJR

The Dawgman Radio Show on KJR 950 AM is on from 9 to noon and the guys will have two special guests in studio as Darnell Gant and Scott Suggs join Kim Grinolds, Chris Fetters and Aaron Beach to talk hoops for the first two hours of the show. In the third hour, they will take calls, talk recruiting and much more.

Tune in if your get the chance.

Scott Eklund
5:00 pm

Game times for Eastern Washington and Hawaii announced

Washington's athletic department announced on Friday that the first two games of the season, vs. Eastern and Hawaii at Husky Stadium, will be televised by ROOT Sports.

The game against Eastern Washington, the defending FCS National Champs, will take place on September 3rd and will kickoff at 4 p.m.

Hawaii visits Seattle the following Saturday with the kickoff set for 12:30 p.m.

Including those games, the Huskies now have five games set for television.

Their game against Nebraska on Sept, 17 will begin at 12:30 and will be televised on ABC/ESPN; their Oct. 22nd game at Stanford in Palo Alto will start at 5 p.m. and will be televised on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2; and the Nov. 12 game vs. USC in Los Angeles will start at 12:30 p.m. and will be televised on ABC/ESPN or FSN.

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