Dennis Still Locked on Three

<b>Hershel Dennis</b> is a 5-11, 175-pound running back from Long Beach Poly High School in Long Beach, California. Dennis and four other of his Jackrabbit teammates headed north to Seattle, Washington this past weekend on an official visit to the <b>University of Washington</b>.

"It was good," Dennis told last night. "I was looking forward to the trip. I didn't know what to expect. I went up there with Manual (Wright), Darnell (Bing) and Winston (Justice). Maurice (Murray) came up on Saturday."

Hershel mentioned a few things that stuck out on his official visit. "Man, we were fed a lot," he said. "The campus was nice and the facilities are great. Their locker room and weight room were really nice. We got a chance to meet the players and get a feel for what their practices were like. It was a very nice environment. Overall it was a pretty good trip."

When it came to the academics, Hershel was able to get all his questions answered. "I had a chance to meet the professors that I'll be dealing with. They were in the business program. They talked to me about all the different things I would be expected to do in the program."

Hershel's host is a SoCal Prep legend in his own right, Dominguez' Willie Hurst. "He just let me know that if I decided to go to Washington that there would be a period of adjustment," Dennis said. "California and Washington are two very different states, so expect to take some time to get used to things."

Watching Hurst and the other running backs, Hershel noticed some differences between the Dawgs and the Jackrabbits. "The practices are pretty up-tempo like some of ours are. Everybody is always running to their stations, never standing still. They are psyched up all practice long."

He also mentioned that the UW practices were somewhat similar to what he's seen in SoCal. "All of them seemed pretty much the same," he said. "They are all working hard and hustling. The practices are all very organized."

In specific, Dennis noticed that the offense the Dawgs run isn't that much of a stretch from what the Jackrabbits run. "They are running a pretty basic offense," he said. "There's some pro-set I, some 4-receiver sets...a pretty simple offense, things that can stretch the defense, like draws."

Hershel also talked about his conversation with running backs coach Tony Alford. "He let me know that I would have an equal opportunity to play if I decided to come up there," he said. "I like his style of coaching a lot. He really focused on the little things and went after Willie a lot on stuff like holding on to the ball. He also talked a lot about pass-blocking, which impressed me, because I'm going to need to do it all if I expect to make it to the next level (NFL). That's my ultimate goal."

Dennis also had some nice things to say about Rick Neuheisel. "He's a good man," he said. "I had an opportunity to play some games with his kids. He's a cool cat, a nice man. He also seems like an honest man. He just told me how Washington is a fine place to go to school and that Seattle is a great city to live in."

Hershel isn't in a rush to make a decision, and in fact has four other official visits he is planning to take. "I'm going to Oregon on January 4th, USC on January 11th, Florida on January 18th and UCLA on January 25th. While Hershel still maintains that he'll choose between the Huskies, Ducks and Trojans, he's not counting out the Gators or Bruins. "I want to take those trips to make sure I still have options," he said. Top Stories