Dawgbytes - 8/31

The questions persist. Will Dashon Goldson prove to be an immediate contributor on the defense? How much time will the true frosh play on the defensive line? What in the world is going on with the tight ends? And we haven't even gone close to the quarterback question. Washington Head Coach Keith Gilbertson knows about all the questions and has one simple answer - let 'em play.

"We have enough questions about us because of the nature of our inexperience that only game situations and game speed will answer those questions," Gilbertson said Tuesday. "I'm sure Pat (Hill) likes the experience of his crew and how they react to the game. We have some guys that we won't know how they'll react until the game starts."

A couple of off-the-field questions were answered Tuesday afternoon. As reported by the Seattle Times Monday, receiver Jordan Slye is academically ineligible for the 2004 season. "He is not with us and won't be," Gilbertson said of the 6-5 sophomore from Franklin High. "I visited with him and his father yesterday and he won't be back. He may be back for spring football. His grades are definitely an issue, they are the central focus."

Slye's absence opens up another scholarship, and Gilbertson hasn't figured out what he's going to do with it. "I think there's a lot of different ways to go," he said. "You can reward guys that have walked on that have been here for a while, have made contributions and have been in the depth. And when you don't have many seniors you like to save some, because I think we have the opportunity of possibly bringing in three or four mid-year guys. We've been getting a great reception from around the west coast in some areas that we need to concentrate on for the winter, so that might happen. And we want to make sure we have adequate numbers for our high school class. We have such a small amount of seniors, it's a small group."

In some positive news, true frosh defensive end Jasper Henry, from Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, has been academically cleared and is now in Seattle. He will start working out with the team, but has to go through his five-day 'acclimatization' period that the rest of the team did earlier this fall. "The rule is a little different after the first game, but he's already here, so he'll go through it," Gilbertson said of the acclimatization period. "He'll have two days of no pads, two days of shoulder pads and then one day in full pads before he's ready to go."

Goldson, the 6-1, 200-pound safety from Harbor City, California by way of Coffeyville Community College in Kansas, might be seen as 'The Intimidator' to many, but Gilby wants his play to speak for itself.

"All kinds of guys have nicknames, and then you watch them and wonder how they got that nickname," he said. "Later you find out they gave the nickname to themself. I don't want a guy with a nickname. I want a guy that can make tackles and can play. We'll call him something at the end of the season.

"I think he (Goldson) will improve our play at safety, but it'll take some time to adjust because the move from junior college to this level is quite a jump. But as he plays and gets more experience, he'll be more effective."

As the safety position takes a step up, the tight end position took a step back. Junior TE Joe Toledo, hampered by lower back issues for a while, reinjured his groin Monday, moving Jon Lyon into the starting position. "He's seeing a doctor this afternoon, so I won't know until after practice," Gilbertson said of Toledo. "Our people don't think this is related to his back. His back has actually been fine."

With Lyon getting the nod Sunday against Fresno State in UW's opener, Dash Crutchley now moves into the two-deeps, with Rob Lewis and Michael Gottlieb backing him up. "Jason Benn has the ability to move back there if we need him too," Gilbertson added.

All the receivers, like Anthony Russo and Corey Williams, are expected to be one-hundred percent for Sunday.

Jordan White-Frisbee is just one of a handful of true freshmen on defense that are expected to play against the Bulldogs. Gilbertson has been so impressed with White-Frisbee's play that Jordan will never see the working end of a redshirt. The same can also be said of defensive end Greyson Gunheim.

"I think everybody will end up contributing, but he (White-Frisbee) came in at 330 pounds and at only fourteen percent body fat," Gilbertson said. "He's a fine athlete. He's not maybe as mature as the others, and I don't expect him to be. He just got done with high school, but he is a real talent and I think he has a chance to be a really, really good player.

"Sunday that line is going to get a 'rat-a-tat-tat' coming right at them. They are going to get tested right out of the chute. They (Fresno State OL) are physical and they are big and strong. If you watched them play UCLA last year, it was very impressive."

Gilbertson also said that Daniel Howell and Darin Harris will get special teams duty, and Trenton Tuiasosopo might also see action Sunday.

Personnel issues aren't the only things Gilbertson has had to deal with. With new rule changes - such as a player's number being called out on a foul and the coach's ability to now call a time out from the sidelines - the coaches have been trying to practice for scenarios where they can take advantage of the changes.

"I really don't think it's necessary," he said when asked about the rule calling out a player's number after a penalty. "That's my opinion, but I don't know why they are doing it. I know it's a National Football League rule, and when you're making money and you're men - that's one thing. But this is the college game, and when something like this happens, it takes it to a level of professionalism that we don't need at our level of play."

And the coach's ability to now call a time out? "In one way, you are always trying to work on a situation to save a time out or get the clock stopped to kick a field goal at the end, so in the past you were always training your players a certain way," Gilbertson said. "But now, I'll be able to tell a guy that I want a timeout with four seconds left, and be able to do it from the sideline.

"The thing I'm still going to do is train our players to still do it the old way. From where I call timeout from the sideline, by the time the official from the sideline gets the clock stopped ... I think you have to do both as a failsafe."

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