News and Notes - 11/9

Just a couple of months ago, no one knew if Joe Toledo would even play much football ever again, let alone lead the Washington Huskies in receptions. Well, he's only one catch behind the leading pass-catcher for the Huskies, and the leader hasn't played in five-and-a-half games.

Will it soon be six-and-a-half? "What week is this?" joked UW Head Coach Keith Gilbertson when asked about the status of senior wide out Charles Frederick. "We held off yesterday, and who knows if he'll be available. It would be fun to have him at full speed, and he would make an impact at punt return because we can't generate anything there."

Toledo's comeback from back issues this fall has been remarkable. "I think it's because of our trainers and how they have been able to rehabilitate his back," Gilbertson said for the raise in Joe's play. "It's the same thing they've been able to do with Tusi (Sa'au), a disc problem. And it's been an excellent job by the training staff on both of them."

Joe recently remarked to reporters that he would be open to a possible switch to the offensive line for the 2005 season. "Well, he's just a couple of cheeseburgers from three bills," Gilbertson said. "He's a good athlete, tough and smart. I think he could play tackle for a long time, and it's something we talked about this year. But when Ben Bandel and Jon Lyon both went down, we were down to one tight end who had actually played. So it's a possibility he could move there and I think he could be a good player there."

But for every Joe Toledo story, there's a Khalif Barnes story. "He (Barnes) can't do anything until after December 1st, and the chance Zach (Tuiasosopo) will play is slim. I know he really wants to play, but we have to make sure it's prudent. We have to make sure it's the right thing to do."

Gilbertson acknowledged that having his three senior offensive captains has really caused some problems for his offense. "I think it's hard to do something when you're not right in the middle of the huddle. As much as the rest of the guys respect you, they are still out on the field and you are on the sidelines. Zach and Khalif have done a nice job, but it's and awkward situation to be a captain and still be on the sidelines."

One senior that is not going to walk out with the others Saturday for their last game at Husky Stadium is defensive tackle Manase Hopoi. Because he was a partial qualifier out of high school, Hopoi needed to graduate in four years in order to get his final year of eligibility back. He's on track to do just that.

"He said he's going to graduate and come back, and I think it's a good decision for the team and it's also a good decision for his quest to play at the next level," Gilbertson said of Hopoi. "In my conversations with him, he needs another year and he feels the same way."

Hopoi will not be the only one to earn a year back, as Corey Williams (wrist) and Trenton Tuiasosopo (knee) will get their redshirt years back. Top Stories