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Ask Dawgman - Utah Edition

Ask Dawgman is back, and we’ve got more questions from enquiring Washington fans asking about the No. 4 Huskies as they travel to Utah this upcoming Saturday to face the No. 16 Utes on ESPN's College Game Day stage. So let’s get right to the questions!

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From: Chris Gunner

How many times had Corso put on the Husky headgear? What were the results?

DAWGMAN - Well, Lee Corso has only put on the Husky headgear once during his now-famous College Game Day prediction segment, at Michigan in 2002. Washington has only been a part of four ESPN College Game Days: 1998 at Nebraska, 2002 at Michigan, 2003 at Ohio State, and 2013 in Seattle when UW hosted Oregon. The Huskies are 0-4 in those game days, so they’ll be looking for their first College Game Day win Saturday in Salt Lake City. 

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How do you think UW will finish out their OL recruiting for 2017? 

Here’s our answer, courtesy of Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst Brandon Huffman: “I still think that Stanford is going to win the Foster Sarell Sweepstakes, but I think the Huskies have made it much closer than it was two months ago and have given Sarell a lot to think of.  Right now, I’d still give the edge to the Cardinal, but this one could get interesting the closer we get to his decision.  That said, I still the Huskies finish out with Henry Bainivalu, getting the No. 2 lineman from the state and go down into Northern California and Sacramento and land Orlando Umana.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see them continue to push for Alijah Vera-Tucker and potentially get a visit from him and if they can get him in for an official, all bets are off.  The third lineman will be interesting. Could it be Sarell? Can they flip Vera-Tucker? That remains to be seen, but I think worst case, they land Bainivalu and Umana.”

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UW has quite a few redshirt freshmen that don't see much action, guys like Roberts, McCoy, etc.  Are they injured?  Can you provide some updates on the redshirt frosh?

DAWGMAN - There is only one redshirt frosh that hasn’t played in at least one game so far this season, and that’s Michael Neal. He’s been injured. Outside of that, all the other 13 redshirt freshmen have played at least a game. That’s the benefit of playing as many players as the Huskies have been able to, especially during the non-conference games. The ones that have played the most are Austin Joyner, Benning Potoa’e, DJ Beavers, Andre Baccellia, and Quinten Pounds. Jusstis Warren and Jared Hilbers have also played during Pac-12 play, so that means Jason Scrempos, Ricky McCoy, Henry Roberts, Devin Burleson, Bryce Sterk and Kyler Manu only saw time during the first three games but haven’t done anything since. 

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From: Alex Mackenroth

How big of a class will UW take this year? 13 commits now and heard you guys say they don't have much room left.

DAWGMAN - It’s true. The operating number that we’ve gone with for 2017 based on graduation numbers and a reasonable amount of attrition is 17. And obviously that’s a rough number, so it could fluctuate one or two spots depending on any additional attrition. Also remember that Jacob Kizer is expected to enroll in the winter as a grayshirt candidate from the previous class. There’s 10 current scholarship seniors: Jeff Lindquist, Joe Mathis, Brandon Beaver, Darrell Daniels, Kevin King, Psalm Wooching, Cameron Van Winkle, Jake Eldrenkamp, Shane Brostek, and Damion Turpin. So where do the other seven come from? Well, there’s always players that see the writing on the wall and decide they may have better opportunities elsewhere - like we’ll see this weekend with former UW QB Troy Williams, now starting at Utah. And there’s also the chance a number of juniors may want to jump to the NFL. Elijah Qualls, Sidney Jones, Budda Baker, Azeem Victor, Vita Vea, John Ross III, Dante Pettis and Keishawn Bierria are all juniors that could absolutely test the waters. And then there’s sophomores that redshirted that could also go pro in theory, players like Vita Vea, Greg Gaines, Kaleb McGary and Jojo McIntosh might be curious about their draft grade. For the record I don’t think any redshirt sophomore will pro but I do expect a few juniors to jump. I won’t name names here: you can judge for yourself.  

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From: @moore628

K.J Young? Just taking him awhile to pick up the playbook?

DAWGMAN - I was on record during fall camp that it would K.J. until at least the bye week before he would start to make an impact - if at all. I know there was a lot of excitement to get a former true freshman starter who played at Oklahoma, but transferring to Washington as late as he did meant Young was really behind the 8-ball. He’s learning a new system, getting used to new coaches and teammates, as well as a whole new school environment. That’s a lot to take in, but there’s no doubt Young is a talented receiver. Perhaps the Utah game is one where he starts to make an impact. He did travel to Oregon, so that’s a positive sign that the UW coaches are seeing enough in him right now to take him on the road. 

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From: mftap

Just wondering where Dawgman stands on the impact of Tedford. Some feel he's the sole reason for the offensive improvement, as opposed to Smith improving, or the players executing better. With Tedford unlikely to stay long, I'm wondering how critical/integral you feel he's been and whether the offense will regress to 2015 levels simply because he is gone next year, or whenever he gets another shot at coaching. Thanks

DAWGMAN - I know it’s going to be a popular take from now on that Tedford’s involvement was the key ingredient that jump-started Washington’s offensive attack in 2016, but Tedford’s role was very limited in scope. His official title is ‘consultant’, and I think that title is pretty true to the actual role he played. He was a backstop Smith could use during the week to bounce ideas off of while game-planning and was extra pair of eyes in the booth on game day. He wasn’t allowed to coach players, so whatever impact he would have made in that area was done second-hand through the position coaches. There’s no question Tedford is an offensive genius: it’s a reputation he started to build during his time at Oregon. But after a stab in the pro ranks (he coached the BC Lions for a year), there’s no doubt he wanted to get back to coaching in college. And acting as a consultant at Washington should be seen as a win-win: he gets his name back out there and the program benefits from his experience. 

I don’t feel the offense will regress when Tedford leaves. The biggest reason why the 2016 offense is so much better than the 2015 version is because of the players and their developmental jump from year one to year two in key areas, namely quarterback, running back, and left tackle. Those are essential positions, and the growth shown by Jake Browning, Myles Gaskin and Trey Adams have been more critical in my opinion than the addition of Teford as a consultant.

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