Ask Dawgman - Portland State Edition

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From: Name Withheld

Who is the best high school player you've ever seen in person?

Dating myself a tad here for the newest generation of UW fans, but hands down it would be former UW great Reggie Williams, who prepped at Lakes. I can still remember seeing him play a game as a senior when he suffered a leg injury in the first half, continued to basically play both ways on one leg, and still dominate. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Williams was a specimen and a pleasure to watch. A truly gifted football player that was easily the best on the field every time he stepped in-between the lines. Reggie was a man among boys at the high school level. 

From: Name Withheld

Looking at the 2016 recruiting class, which players do you think have the best shot at being NFL players?

It would be a bit cliche to say the highest-rated ones - like Byron Murphy and Camilo Eifler - would be the easiest picks to make, but I think Murphy is by far the one with the best shot. I think we’re also seeing the value ‘longer’ corners have in the league, so a guy like Kentrell Love is always going to be intriguing to NFL scouts. You could pretty much list all the other defensive players - Eifler, Brandon Wellington, Amandre Williams, Isaiah Gilchrist, Taylor Rapp, and Levi Onwuzurike as pro hopefuls. On offense, Kamari Pleasant probably on paper appears the most likely. The offensive players that could conceivably have the biggest impact at UW - Nick Harris, Aaron Fuller, and Sean McGrew - just don’t have the measurables NFL teams look for in pro prospects. It doesn’t mean they can’t play pro ball, but their outlooks compared to their defensive counterparts just aren’t as easy to define this early in their college careers.

From: Frank Brozovich

Do the DM crew have a recommendation for fans that want to eat and talk Husky football, both pregame and postgame?

Good question! There are some obvious pregame and postgame UW destinations. The RAM at University Village will always be packed with Husky fans on game day, so that would be your best bet.

But for us, there are some other options worth checking out - especially if the Huskies have played early and there are night games worth watching. Joey Kitchen at University Village has become a favorite, and I can also recommend the Red Onion in Madison Park if you want something lower key and slightly off the beaten path.

From: mftap

Dawgman, could you share your views on the next few years at USC, Oregon, and WSU? It seems to me that all 3 have coaches who are less than ideal for reaching their respective programs' goals, and that all 3 would get a "sell" recommendation right now if they were stocks and you were forecasting the next, say, 5 years. Do you agree?

Hmmmmm…I can see where you’re going with WSU, for sure. Mike Leach’s contract is such that, even if they wanted to buy him out tomorrow it would cost them the better part of $6-7 million, so that’s just not going to happen. They are stuck with him and the dumpster fire that seemingly brings a new negative story to light on a weekly basis. But I will say this: when it comes to head coaches in terms of wins and losses they could do a lot worse, and have. So I see the Cougars taking recruiting hits based on the perception of the program now and where it’s going, but I can’t see the win-loss record quite going to Wulff-ian depths.

As far as USC and Oregon, I’m going to respectfully not buy what you’re selling. The Trojans will always get top talent, and while a guy like Clay Helton may not be the answer they are still going to win 7-8 games at a bare minimum. And I mean ‘bare’. I’d still be surprised if USC doesn’t win nine games this year. That’s certainly not going to satisfy Trojan fan in terms of their goals, but it will steady the ship and set things up for Helton’s long-term vision. There’s no question Helton isn’t a sexy choice for that post considering the guys before him, but he might end up being the steadiest one between him, Lane Kiffin, and Steve Sarkisian.

And Oregon? I’m not sure why people are of the mindset that Mark Helfrich can’t do well in Eugene. He’s 35-8 so far as head coach, reached the national championship game in his second year, and if they aren’t in the running for the playoff seem to be retooling for it. And outside of a lopsided road loss to Arizona in his first season and that monster loss to Utah at home last year, which was such a surprise at the time it’s become almost mythical in nature - there hasn’t been a game where the Ducks haven’t been, at the very least, extremely competitive. They may have lost games they shouldn’t have, like WSU last year, but even the best recent Pac-12 North teams have had their blips (see: Stanford at Northwestern last season).

From: Name Withheld

Do you think anybody on the current staff will eventually be a head coach?

I do, and I think there are candidates on both sides of the ball.

On offense, Bush Hamdan is on that trajectory. He’s young, he’s dynamic, he’s got experience already coaching a few different positions, and he’s on the Chris Petersen coaching tree that’s already produced head coaches like Bryan Harsin (Boise State), Sean Kugler (UTEP), and Jeff Choate (Montana State), and others that are well on their way to becoming head coaches - Justin Wilcox (Wisconsin), Scott Huff (Boise State), and Marcel Yates (Arizona).

Defensively, Jimmy Lake is obviously a star on the rise. He has both extensive college (at both the FCS and FBS levels) and pro experience, and no one is a hotter recruiter in the Pac-12 right now. There’s no doubt that if he wanted to take his shot he’d have opportunities to do so. He might have to become a full defensive coordinator first, but that’t not necessarily a pre-requisite.

As for the rest of the coaches, I get the impression that most are tied to Petersen's wagon and know they've got a great situation here at Washington. That doesn't mean a coach like Bob Gregory, for instance, couldn't venture out and take his shot like Choate has at Montana State, but I'm not seeing it right now.

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