Ask Dawgman - 7/10/04

Washington football and basketball recruiting is kicking into full gear shortly, and both squads are doing their off-season work with the strength and conditioning programs. Welcome to July, Dawg fans, but fear not. I believe that the Dawgs are going to get a quarterback from California to fill in the void left by the Mariners signing of Matt Tuiasosopo, and are still very much in the hunt for perhaps the best power forward on the entire west coast.


Scott P

So what do the Dawgs do now that Matt Tuiasosopo will play baseball? Does this put the Huskies behind the 8-ball in QB depth?

A: No question, losing Matt was a blow to the program. The new offense would've fit his skills perfectly. To fill in that gap on the roster, Washington is going all out on Taft's Josh Portis, a dual threat quarterback. Portis was on a campus visit last week and came away with the Dawgs as his clear leader. Chris Tormey is a master recruiter and I just don't think he'll lose him. I predict Portis becomes a Dawg, and will be an early entry into the program in the spring. He's one heck of an athlete with a 41 inch vertical leap and 4.5 40 to go with his arm. Watch him on the recruiting radar this year, but my hunch tells me he winds up in Seattle.
From Paul Ayson
Dear Dawgman:
It's hard not to think that we won't get slapped with something so severely that it brings back memories of sanctions from the early 90's. The "major" charges that the NCAA is pointing out are nothing but a bunch of BS. First of, how did we get a competitive edge from Nehueisel's gambling rampage? Second, did we really get a competitive edge by giving 40 something recruits a boat ride across Lake Washington? In my humble opinion, UO gets more of an advantage by flying in recruits from all over the country in chartered flights and arriving on campus on Uncle Phil's bright yellow Hummer and yet no violations have been committed at Eugene. Oh well. Have a great day my fellow dawgfan.

A: Washington has pretty much cleaned house with the exits of Neuheisel, Hedges, Richardson (who was a scape goat if you ask me), and Aronson. While it is possible that Washington will get hit with harsh penalties, at least this time they'll have a UW president with a spine instead of an agenda. Emmert has fought this, as has interim AD Dick Thompson, and I think you'll see a different result this time rather than what happened in 1990 when you had an AD that was asking players to make negative stuff up against the school in their "defense". Lincoln Kennedy was irate over that, and pretty much cut off all communication with the UW because of it. He is just now reconnecting with the school. As far as Oregon goes, sure Phil Knight is the best owner in all of college sports, but all schools have benevolent boosters. Let's not kid ourselves. It's just that those other benevolent boosters don't have those Nike dollars flowing in, that is what makes Oregon unique.
From Jeff Koontz
Reggie and Cody gone to the NFL. Too many red jerseys during spring ball to play a real scrimmage. The Diamond Dawgs ousted in the first round emphatically by Tulane. Utah's A.D. spurns UW to stay in BFEgypt. Matt Tuiasosopo & K.C. Herren gone to MLB. Goodrum to USC. NCAA sanctions possibly on the near horizon. Oh yeah, and Nate Robinson's almost early departure to the NBA early. Where the hell is the light at the end of the Husky Tunnel ?! If you don't see it either, can you have Coach Baird make something up and sugarcoat it for a Dawg? PLEASE!!

A: Dick is up fishing in Alaska, but I'll bet he'll have some good fish stories when he gets back. There is no question that the UW faces some trying times ahead, but with a new president focused on athletics and a new AD to implement his vision, better times loom ahead. It may take a couple of years, but I'm confident the Husky Ship has a good rudder now.
From Doug "Wack" in Olympia
Some folks were asking about the former O'Dea linebacker Jayson Bass. Owen and I follow him (don't ask why). He is now in his 10th year of minor league ball, having just turned 30. The good news is he is having a great year. But.....he is playing for the Saltillo Sarape Makers in the AAA Mexican League. He gets to play in Monterrey (and I don't mean California). Now you are in the know. Hope to see you in Oly in August.

A: Thanks Wack. Good to hear from you, and hope to see you and Owen again very soon!!
From Brenda Fisher
It seems the state of Washington has a year where many high school basketball players are nationally rated and will be sought after. What are the chances of UW getting them to stay home? The players I had in mind were Mitchell Johnson, Martell Webster, Marcus Williams, Jon Brockman, and of course Artem Wallace had already committed to UW. After the 2004-2005 season won't there be at least 5-6 spots available on the roster for new recruits?

A: I think that Jon Brockman will stay home. He is the key to this class, as he has that "Beast of the paint" mentality that the Dawgs could really use. The rest are up in the air. Marcus Williams appears to be waiting for a better offer before he jumps at his UW opportunity, so we'll see how deep that recruitment goes. Johnson is very open right now, but he'd be a nice point guard to take over with Appleby. He has a nice stroke and good handles.
From Jeannette Wild
Do I have anything to look forward to for this coming season?

A: The offense will be exciting. Count on that. Other than that, cross your fingers. Injuries on either line could spell doom.
From Rob Johnson in Issaquah
Matt Tuiasosopo's career as a Husky is not necessarily over, he can always come back to play, like Chris Weinke and Akili Smith. Not to mention Matt Smith who signed with Stanford out of HS and played three years for the Ducks after playing 3 or 4 years of minor league ball. Also these two guys who played Husky Football after a career in MLB. 1981 Jay Roberts DE Centralia Atlanta (1) 1980 David Trimble WR Yakima Toronto (6). If you ask me, having Matt grow and let his body mature while away training it'll do him some good as a Football Player. He'll be an instant stud, and could very well start for 4 years straight.

A: Great note Rob. Thanks for sharing it. I remember Jay Roberts (now deceased) and remembered David Trimble as a decent return man for the Purple Reign dawgs in 1984.
From Rob Johnson in Issaquah
Matt Tuiasosopo's career as a Husky is not necessarily over, he can always come back to play, like Chris Weinke and Akili Smith. Not to mention Matt Smith who signed with Stanford out of HS and played three years for the Ducks after playing 3 or 4 years of minor league ball. Also these two guys who played Husky Football after a career in MLB. 1981 Jay Roberts DE Centralia Atlanta (1) 1980 David Trimble WR Yakima Toronto (6). If you ask me, having Matt grow and let his body mature while away training it'll do him some good as a Football Player. He'll be an instant stud, and could very well start for 4 years straight.

A: Great note Rob. Thanks for sharing it. I remember Jay Roberts as a special teams standout and real crowd guy (who later got into a bit of off the field trouble, I believe he passed away in a car crash) and remembered David Trimble as a decent return man for the Purple Reign dawgs in 1984.
From Adam
OK, to quote Coach Baird, maybe this is just some more "sour grapes" here, but I can't help but be pissed about how Goodrum can sign a LOI to Washington, tank a class at his JC to become a recruitable athlete again, pass the same class, and head off to USC on a full ride…all inside of 6 months!!! With all of the convoluted f***ing rules that the NCAA comes up with, how in the heck can they allow a kid to sign an LOI and then go play at another school within the same conference without having to at least sit out a minimum of one season??? Can you please weigh in on this? BTW, I'm heading off to South Bend for the Notre Dame game this year…with all of the negatives (as bad as a 3-8 record, I've read from some prognosticators) I'm hearing about our team, how about giving me three things to look forward to for next season, and why we'll have a stronger team than the "experts" predict.

A: Dick told me all along that he thought USC was pulling funny stuff on the Goodrum recruitment, and he nailed it. But since Goodrum was not eligible for the UW, he became recruitable again, and in comes USC to scoop him up. He'll probably play inside there, whereas UW wanted him as a rush guy on the edge. Was it shady that he didn't make it into the UW academically? I don't think so. Should he have to sit out a season? I don't think so. As far as three things to look forward to, how about 1) A totally different offense, 2) A running attack that works, and 3) some weight room strides by the offensive line that have Pete Kaligis and Steve Emtman excited.
From TacBluesDawg
Dave, do the kids pay much attention to what is being said about them regarding the upcoming season ? Also, are there leaders amongst them yet that are willing to get into some faces during the summer and let them know that 6-6 with no bowl is completely unacceptable when you wear a Husky uniform ? Thanks and keep up the good work.

A: Good to hear from a fellow musician (although I'm a drummer, does that count?). The kids do pay attention to a degree, but how they react to it is what's important. Some kids will use negative publicity to pull together and motivate them, while others will sulk. This team has great chemistry and does more things "together" than past Husky teams. Whether or not it carries over to the football field remains to be seen, but watch for some great leadership from Casey Paus, Derrick Johnson, and Joe Lobendahn. They are the guys that folks look up to form what I've seen.
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