Semper Fidelis Notebook

PHOENIX - There was plenty of news and notes coming out of Tuesday's Inaugural Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl at Chase Field, especially when it comes to UW-bound prospects and recruits looking at the Huskies. The West team, led by Mercer Island quarterback Jeff Lindquist, won the game 17-14. Lindquist, who committed to UW in the late spring, was named's game MVP.

Lindquist brings home the hardware - You can see more of the interview with Lindquist post-game HERE. He was only on the field for three series, but threw for two touchdowns - including one to UW target Jaydon Mickens. We'll have more from Mickens in a bit.

"This is a pretty awesome experience," Lindquist said after the game. "I wouldn't want to change it for anything. The o-line and the receivers made it easy for me, so all I did was give them the ball and let them do all the work."

Lindquist added the biggest thing he took away from the experience was the bonding and getting to know a lot of the players he'll be following in college. He specifically mentioned West punter Conrad Ukropina - who is committed to Stanford - and West safety Zach Hoffpauir - who has pledged his future to California - as two players he instantly bonded with and said they'd be great friends if they lived where he does.

Skyline's Head Coach - Mat Taylor - was taking notice of Lindquist - Taylor was coaching the running backs for the West team, but he was paying close attention to what Lindquist was doing. "Jeff did awesome," Taylor told "During the week - not that he struggled because all the kids struggled because we threw a lot at them offensively - I kept telling (the other coaches) that this kid's a stud, and he went out there and it was awesome. It was really great to see him out there. One of the things you could see was that he started to go lateral running and this speed he's not used to…so he's just got to go straight ahead. But what a great job he did, and the coaches on the sidelines were saying, 'What a great throw'…"

Speaking of top quarterbacks from the Northwest, Taylor is coaching one right now in 2013 standout Max Browne. "Max is doing awesome," Taylor said. "He's into basketball season now, but when I get back tomorrow, bright and early Thursday morning Oklahoma will be there. And then coach (Doug) Nussmeier is coming in too and Washington…so it's really going to start to heat up for him. He's embraced it the right way. He'll take it for what it is and really analyze things. He's not going to go out and highly publicize himself; he's got the offers and he's got the interest that he wants right now."

Lindquist's purple and gold partner in crime for the night - Juanita OL Nathan Dean - also had a strong game - "I assumed I would have more trouble than I did," he told afterward. "There were ups and downs, but I feel like I did better than I thought I would. I got some push on some big Alabama d-tackles, and my pass blocking was alright. I'm proud of the way I played."

The 6-foot-5, 280-pound Dean mentioned defensive lineman Jordan Watkins from College Park, Ga. - currently committed to Stanford - as the toughest player he tangled with over the week's worth of practices. He's anticipating seeing more from Watkins down the road.

Coaching changes take their toll - Dean noted to that he hasn't talked to the Washington coaches for a while, and was hit pretty hard when he heard the news that Jeff Mills wouldn't be retained. "It's sad for me because I got close with coach Mills," he said. "He's the one that recruited me. I know that's the business, but I can see past that because I met his wife and he's got a son that goes to Redmond Junior High. I understand what happened, but I'm sad overall."

Lindquist and Dean hold down the fort for UW - Neither player should be considered 'in your face' recruiters, but both Jeff Lindquist and Nathan Dean made sure the rest of the players at the Semper Fidelis All-American game knew where they were from and what they represent.

"I just had a lot of Washington pride," said Dean. "I wasn't necessarily trying to recruit kids because a majority of the kids here were already committed, so I wasn't trying to recruit them. But I just had a lot of Washington pride; I was talking them up. And I wore my Washington gear all day. And I'd have fun with other guys that were committed how our program is better than yours, stuff like that…all the factors coming back, like Keith Price and stuff like that."

Even Lindquist, who is loathe to brag and boast about anything, knew the environment was ripe for recruiting talk. "There are some guys that are uncommitted and people here are talking about college football, so why not go chip in?" he said. "So I was talking to a few guys about coming to U-Dub - like Jaydon (Mickens)."

Mickens, the heralded receiver from Dorsey High School in Los Angeles - the first Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl MVP - has talked to the Washington coaches recently. "They call me," he said. "The defensive coaches - I don't plan on being a defensive player, so that really doesn't bother me. But the offensive coaches are there, and they are hype for me to sign with them if I do."

Lindquist and Dean certainly got in Mickens' ear when it seemed appropriate. "When we got in the locker room I told (Mickens), 'Hey buddy, we've got to throw some more touchdowns, so you should come on over with me," Lindquist said. "So hopefully that should do something."

"There's a skill player who had a pretty good game tonight…so I think he might be coming in," Dean said, hinting at Mickens.

What did Mickens have to say about his recruitment? He admitted after the game that he thought he was set to make a decision there and then, but things the last couple weeks have pushed back his timeline. "I thought about going to two schools - Washington and Oregon - but I decided not to commit and take my visit to Oregon and see what's out there for me," he said, adding he'll be officially visiting Eugene the weekend of January 20th.

So what prompted the trip to Oregon? "To see what else is there," Mickens said, matter-of-factly. "You can't go wrong if you keep seeing what's out there."

Mickens had a monster bowl game, doing damage as a receiver - where he scored a touchdown - and also in the return game. If he was to choose Washington, the coaches have told him they would use him in the slot, as a receiver, running back, and also as a return specialist.

So is it straight 50/50 between the Huskies and Ducks?

"It's 50/50," Mickens said.

There's no chance that it's 51/49 in favor of one team over the other?

"Well, let's say it's 53/47," Mickens added.

Then almost as soon as he finished that computation, he revised it one more time.

"Put 60/40," he said.

And the leader?

"Washington." Top Stories