Thank you to those of you that submitted questions for the "Ask Dawgman" column. Here are the answers to the some of the most recent questions. Washington is 7-2 and still very much in the hunt for the Holiday Bowl if they take care of business against a very good WSU team.

From Greg
Dear Dawgman: Why are the Huskies playing the quackers back to back in Eugene in 2004,2005? What's up with that? .

A: The Pac-10 schedules are set by the conference and their Athletic Directors years in advance. The series between Washington and Oregon was due to have a two-year absence but both schools were able to schedule it so that it would only be a one-year miss instead of two, so the two teams will play next year in Eugene. As far as being back-to-back in Eugene for 2004 and 2005, it happens sometimes. Washington has played ASU back-to-back in Tempe last year and this year. The goal is obviously to alternate, but you can only have four home Pac-10 games so when the out years schedule gets messed up or booked up, sometimes you wind up playing a school two years in a row at their house. The Pac-10 schedules are all messed up in that sense, and there isn't a great deal the Athletic Directors can do about it. They are at the mercy of the Pac-10 when it comes to conference schedules. They have much more leeway with non-conference games.
From Paul C
Dear Dawgman:
What's up with recruiting? Please tell me that "We're taking more time to evaluate" isn't code speak for "We're really getting hosed out there!" Do the Dawgs have a shot at any instant impact tailbacks? Do you think Ty Eriks might make a good Linebacker someday?

A: Washington has been extremely cautious with offering scholarships this year, preferring to take more time to evaluate prospects into their senior seasons. This is a solid strategy and is much less risky than filling up early. Taking a lot of early commits is a good strategy if your in-state talent is solid, but this year doesn't have a lot of "can't miss" prospects in state. That doesn't mean they won't be excellent college players, it's just that there aren't many Reggie Williams' out there at this point. Washington has a FANTASTIC shot at a guy who I feel may be the best TB in California. Marcus O'Keith from Narbonne is looking very hard at the UW. If Washington gets him, be happy. BE VERY HAPPY. I think Eriks should stay at TB, it was his first season at the position. I think he should get another year at least at trying it and seeing if he likes it and if he can perhaps be the "thumper" between the tackles like Mo Shaw was. Eriks is a big, strong, fast kid. Could he play LB? Probably, but he has little experience on defense so it could be a steep learning curve.
From Husky Fan
Dear Dawgman:
Enjoy your great site on the Huskies!! Why hasn't Coach Neuheisel played Mathias Wilson in place of Rich Alexis? It's obvious that Rich is struggling from a lack of football experiences. Mathias had a great game versus WSU last year and show great improvement during spring and fall camp. I would expect him to have greater success hitting the holes than Alexis in some of our earlier game. Let Alexis mature a bit and not allow discouragement to a player by allowing him to play and eliminating transfer. Mathias is a great kid and has great potential as a good Husky recruit, if given the opportunity.

A: Matthias was given a shot at the starting fullback job when Ken Walker went down, but was unable to hold onto the job. Rich does lack in football experience, you are very correct, but I think that putting him on the bench would not help. In fact it could hurt him. Matthias did have a nice game against a very porous WSU defense last year, and there is no doubt he's physically gifted. But I don't think he has what Rich Alexis has, and that's a future in the NFL. Remember, Rich has only played football for three years. I think he'll just get better and his upside is unlimited. He is so talented, you should see him move on a basketball court.
From Brett
Dear Dawgman:
If Oregon, Stanford, UW, and WSU all finish with the same records who then goes to the Fiesta Bowl?

A: If all four teams tie at 6-2 and all teams are 9-2 then the Fiesta Bowl bid would go to Oregon AUTOMATICALLY. There is no choice to the equation. The #1 representative in the Rose Bowl (this year the Fiesta Bowl) has a particular tie-breaking formula that is used every year. In this particular case the formula goes all the way to the team that has represented the Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl the farthest back - which would be Oregon.

Thanks to Jeff Bennett for the correction.

From Larry
Dear Dawgman:
Can you list the top ten prospects from the state of Washington and tell us how the Huskies are fairing in the recruitment of each? Are there any "must haves' in the group? Thanks for a great site.

A: I can't name a top 10, but I can tell you I think the one "must have" is Garfield's Isaiah Stanback. You never leave speed and athleticism on the board, so even though Washington returns every QB from this year they still need to have Stanback because of the tools he brings to the table. The top two OL in the state could be David Beall and Keith Grennan. Of the DL, watch for Woodinville's Cameron Neel. He's raw but man what an upside on that kid. I think UW would do well to get at least two of those three in-state big guys. Ryan Cole, the TB from South Kitsap, has the speed (4.4) and strength you like in an athlete, and his personality is probably his biggest asset. I think he is nearing the "must have" category. Another to watch is Juanita's Will Haas. He could be an outstanding safety prospect and has really had a monster senior season. Hope this helps and thanks for visiting the site.
From Aloha Mike
Dear Dawgman:
Aloha Dawgman, Why does it seem that the Huskies D-backs give the opposing receivers a bunch of cushion in their coverage? Do college D-backs know how to bump and run? Is Omare Lowe as good on coverage as he should be? He seems to get burned on a regular basis. What has happened to the D-line? They don't seem to be very aggressive. I watch much football and the Huskies' defense seems to lack as much fire as other defenses I've seen. Could it be the schemes they use? Great sports info site!

A: The defense has definitely taken it's lumps this year. They have been aggressive, in fact OSU burned their aggression and turned it against them. The Huskies have not been able to get the type of pressure on the quarterback that they expected, and when you give a Pac-10 signal caller time he'll kill you and make your corners look bad. Omare Lowe has played injured this year, and has had trouble at times but overall I think he's done well considering his shoulder and leg injuries. He's a trooper. Against UCLA, DeShaun Foster had three long runs, all the result of missed assignments and missed tackles by the defense. Not a schematic problem, just mental. It's been a difficult year for the defense, I don't know that they've been able to adequately replace Ossim Hatem or Hakim Akbar. Those two early departures really have loomed large.
From HR
Dear Dawgman:
Dawgman, whatever happened to Justin Robbins?? I love this kid's ability. Also, what big name running backs are we recruiting this year? I think we could use another with Hurst graduating.

A: Robbins was slow to heal from a pulled hamstring so he is redshirting and will return next year as a RS-sophomore. The name to watch on running backs is Marcus O'Keith from Narbonne. He's big time and he likes the Huskies.
From TDBrown
Dear Dawgman:
Love the site, just a question about the Kingco Conference, whom are the Huskies recruiting from there? I know they are recruiting Isaiah Stanback from Garfield, but what about Cameron Neel from WHS or Garret Quinn from Eastlake or Will Haas from Juanita? Any other Kingco Guys getting any looks? And also, the #1 running back in the nation Lorenzo Booker do the Dawgs have any shot at him? Thanks

A: You've nailed the Kingco guys the Huskies are going after. Stanback, Neel, and Haas are three for sure, with Stanback getting the most attention right now. Do I think the Huskies have a shot at Lo Booker? Sure, Neuheisel has a shot at anyone that still lists Washington because he is such a good closer. I like their chances better at Narbonne's Marcus O'Keith, though.
From BJA1997
Dear Dawgman:
Question: I am curious why so much of the blame for UW's recent problems fall on the shoulders of the young o-line. The o-line has stepped up a lot since the first game and even when they do their jobs they still get a lot of negative criticism. Newton and Benn seem to be doing their jobs with minimal problems. Where do you see Newton next year? How about Jason Simonson? Do you see him getting any playing time? Thanks for the info.

A: The offensive line has had its troubles opening holes for the consistent running game the Huskies have featured for so long, but they've been finding a way. Against Oregon State they got behind so far so early, you could throw those rushing totals out the window. But the running game was solid against both Stanford and ASU, and will need to be good against WSU to win that game. I think Nick Newton is right where they want him, at strong guard. That is where Myers feels he excels. Jason Simonson will continue to battle Jeremy Adams for playing time as a back up. "Simo", as Myers calls him, has a lot of experience in the trenches and has good size. He could see the field next year for sure.
From Kevin Mack
Dear Dawgman:
Hey Dawgman, I really haven't heard much about the development from Freshman QB Casey Paus, is the going to be the guy for the future or are the dawgs still looking hard at Garfield QB Isaiah Stanback? My Cousin plays for the bulldogs as well and says the kid has the same sort of raw talent that guys like Michael Vick and Aaron Brooks possesses. Also, what's the word on any 2002 WR prospects? There don't seem to be many on the Dawgs' boards. Thanks and keep up the great work!

A: Casey is looking great. He has good footwork and has really improved on every throw. He used to take some throws off and make "lazy" throws on some of the easier ones, but he's not doing that anymore. Axman has him broken of that, and he's got a rocket for an arm at 6-5 and a solid 200 pounds. Washington is looking very hard at Isaiah Stanback. He is the most sought after in-state recruit right now. Of the 2002 WR prospects, the guy I'd like to see the most as a Husky is Blake Mackey from Bakersfield. That kid can fly. Washington only needs one, two tops.
From Doug Moore
Dear Dawgman:
Your site is a great resource for Dawg Fans, I check it out every day. Thanks for all the great work. Hopefully you can answer a few questions about the secondary. The corners are all very fast, and the coaches always seem to have them in the right position to make a play, but they never look back and make a play on the ball. Is that a coaching philosophy or inexperience? For all the skills and speed back there, it seems like they should have more picks. Also, how do the safeties grade out so far this year? It seems like they really miss a big time playmaker like Hakim Akbar.

A: I think the corners under Neuheisel's watch (IE: Chuck Heater) have made many more plays than they ever did under Lambright's reign (IE: Ron Milus). I've seen Roc Alexander, Chris Massey, and Omare Lowe all make plays with the ball in the air. They do miss having the safety duo of C-Dub and Hakim Akbar, you are very right. Those two had so much experience between them. Greg Carothers is a true sophomore who started three games as a true frosh, and he's the long-beard of the safeties. That has been a tough thing for safeties coach Bobby Hauck to contend with.

From Tom
Dear Dawgman:
What is the status on Dan Dicks? I haven't heard his name being called in the games, How is his progress, and how's his future look?

A: Dan has made the move to center successfully, which will mean Washington will continue to be a very flexible OL. Dan will compete for the starting center job, probably with Todd Bachert and Brad Vanneman in 2002. Whoever wins the job, the others can move into the mix for a guard or tackle spot. It's all part of Myers' (and Gilby's) idea of getting their five best OL on the field at the same time, regardless of position. Dicks had to come back from surgery on his knees and he's done very well. He'll be a RS-sophomore next year and in the two-deeps for sure. He's extremely bright.
From Pete
Dear Dawgman:
What are the chances of seeing Lobendahn on defense this year? The guy is an absolute terror on special teams! Oh yeah, how's Tyler Krambrink doing? Love your site. Thanks.

A: Joseph Lobendahn was in at the end of some games this year, most recently the blowout against OSU. He is a terror, no doubt about it. His wedge-busting prowess has become legendary already. Tyler Krambrink is ready to return to the field from a broken hand, but he's way behind because of that unfortunate injury.
From FGS
Dear Dawgman:
Could you comment on this year's class? There are a couple DT`s in Utah that could fit perfectly inside, between a raging Reffett and Mateaki, alternating with Ala and Mapu, a couple of years from now. Now, please tell me I'm not dreaming. Scott White, Jesse Taylor are a couple along with Lance Mitchell, Tremaine Towns, and Leroy White III, etc with all the speed at LB and from Ala and Ngata.......could be devastating rather quickly, unless its a veteran OL, and even the best college lines are in trouble. The OT`s will be exhausted and giving up some major sacks late in the game. The penchant for coming from behind, may be lost in the wake of some real Miami-type blowouts. With the offense looking like its personality is shaping up to be "use the pass to spread the field and then run crazy in the gaps", seems something like Florida, with a defense.

A: The DTs from Utah you speak of are Jake Kuresa and Haloti Ngata, and both are at the top of the UW wish list. With Reffett already in the fold, Mateaki would be a nice addition, as would Ala or Mapu. Washington is in on every single player you mention above so you are not dreaming.
From Matt Thompson
Dear Dawgman:
This question may have been answered already, but what is the status on Derick Johnson and Justin Robbins? Can they take a redshirt year due to injury? I live in Houston so my information is limited to just this site when it comes to husky football. Also do you think Jerramy Stevens will come back for his senior year? Thank you, Great site, keep up the good work. Go Dawgs!

A: Both are redshirting due to injury. Robbins is expected back 100% while the coaches are very hopeful that Johnson can return 100% as well. Thanks for visiting the site. I cannot comment on Jerramy Stevens' situation, sorry. He'll tell everyone what he's doing after the Miami game.
From Jim
Dear Dawgman:
Is UCLA running the table nationally with their recruiting?

A: They are having an amazing year, even more amazing than usual for them, but it's impossible to run the table anymore. With only so many spots available to fill, kids will slip away each year. But make no mistake, UCLA is having a monster year in recruiting.
From Al
Dear Dawgman:
Could you give me an update on Braxton Cleman and Jerramy Stevens. How are they progressing and when/if are they expected back into the foray? Thanks, Al

A: Braxton will redshirt and return for his senior season in 2002. Jerramy Stevens saw his first action against OSU on Saturday, and is expected to start against WSU this weekend.
From Dawgdoc
Dear Dawgman:
1.) Much has been made of the 85-player scholarship limit as a means of "evening out the competition" in the PAC-10. Yet still if you look at other conferences some teams still dominate and others continue to struggle. In your opinion why is the PAC-10 so balanced every year? Why can no one team dominate this league?
2.) Why does Jonathan Smith tend to have huge games against the Huskies? Is he just too smart for our defensive schemes?
3.) What must a Varsity Football player at the U.W. do to earn a Letter?

A: The Pac-10 is balanced because the West Coast is an attractive place to go to school. They are on TV a lot, they have decent weather, and the institutions of the Pac-10 are academically sound. Therefore the Pac-10 can recruit with a pretty national flavor. UCLA brings in Texans pretty routinely while OSU has gone more national under Erickson and Stanford is always pretty national. Washington has made inroads to Florida now. As for Jonathan Smith, we asked him that very question and he couldn't answer it. I'm not sure why he does so well against the Huskies. Washington was never able to hit him hard enough to make him miss many snaps, other than the 1999 game. To earn a letter at the UW, I believe you must play in three quarters. That is what it used to be when I was there anyhow.
From JSM
Dear Dawgman:
Dawgman, it sure appears to me that the UW is going after a lot of kids that D-1AA schools are after also. I can't believe they are looking at a kid named Arnold that has it down to the UW and NAU!! There seems to be a lot of these type kids were in on! Is this class going to be a lesser profile group than the last 2 classes were? Are we backing off on higher profile guys this year?

A: When you see D-1AA schools crop up, don't sweat it. It can mean a lot of things. For example, Fresno State is in the mix for a lot of kids that are looking at major programs. The reason? FSU has much lower entrance requirements, thus they can go after riskier recruits. Also, NAU is no slouch of a program. Rick Neuheisel's biggest recruiting coup when he was at Colorado may have come over Western Michigan when he got a very lightly regarded DB named Ben Kelly to come to Boulder. You just never know.

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