Ask Dawgman 1/12/02

Thank you to those of you that submitted questions for the "Ask Dawgman" column. I wasn't able to get to all of the letters in yesterday's column, so here are the rest. Thanks Dawgfans, you are the best. Our membership has now almost doubled from what it was during our old days, which just goes to show you, "If you build it, they will come." Now on to the rest of the letters.

From Lon in Walla Walla
Dear Dawgman: I love your column and read it regularly but I haven't heard how many scholarships the Dawgs have to give this year? What happens if they run out before some of the blue chip players like Booker...Mapu...Solomona etc. commit? Keep up the great work!

A: Washington is expected to take anywhere from 21-25 scholarship players this February when all is said and done. There will most likely be 21 spots available and the rest will either grayshirt (delay enrollment until winter) or go JC. If Booker commits, Mapu reaffirms his earlier verbal, and Solomona does the same, Washington will take all three as early as they can get them in. In my opinion, it could very well happen. I feel EXCELLENT about their chances at Mapu, very good about their chances with Booker, and I still hold out hope that Solomona will come back into the class. Arizona is pushing him pretty good right now. Thanks A LOT Coach Pelleur, who I KNOW is reading this (grin.)

From Slugdawg
Dear Dawgman:
What's the deal with Chris Solomona? ESPN shows him committed but I don't see him on your list. Also what positions were Shelton Sampson and Jordan Slye recruited to play or is that TBD? Lastly do the dawgs even have a shot with Manuel Wright for NT? Love your site man.

A: Chris is still taking visits and he told us flat out, "list me as a soft commit." That was what we went with, we respected Chris' wishes. We have a good relationship with Chris, he remembers us from when we covered his recruiting when he was in high school, and we want to honor that and not jerk his chain. ESPN doesn't cover recruiting, they use services and whatever service they used has him listed as a commit. Shelton Sampson reminds me of Derrick Johnson, to tell you the truth. I wonder how good he could be at the corner? His first position will be TB, just as Derrick's was though. Slye will first be tried at QB and then be moved to WR or LB if needed. Manual Wright will most likely go to Miami, that is my guess. Thanks for visiting our site, Slug.
From Brisky DLB
Dear Dawgman:
Will the dawgs get Booker or Dennis? Will Ngata qualify anywhere?

A: Washington has an excellent shot at Booker, he is the clear-cut number one. Dennis is a solid running back but he doesn't have the game breaking abilities of a Lorenzo Booker. Not many do, so that is no slam on anyone. Booker is that special and would make an impact anywhere he goes as a true freshman. Think Napoleon Kaufman when you think of Booker, he could have that type of impact. Dennis is a good back but lacks Booker's speed. I think Dennis will wind up at Oregon. I believe Ngata will qualify and go to BYU.
From Vaughn
Dear Dawgman:
Hey dawgman! Love your site. Do you think the fact that running backs coach Tony Alford is leaving will have an impact on Lorenzo Booker's decision? I also noticed that Booker has shown recent interest in Notre Dame. Did the hiring of Tyrone Willingham attract L.B. at all? And are there still any recruits who could add speed to the Husky secondary?

A: Sure it will hurt a little bit because Lorenzo's recruiting was being handled almost exclusively by Alford. However, Booker will chose UW because it is the best fit for him, not because of Tony Alford. Alford was a plus, but isn't the entire equation. If he wants to leave home, Booker will come to Washington. If he wants to stay close to home, he'll chose USC. That's where we are. Watch PacWest Football closely, Greg Biggins knows the Booker family very well. They trust and respect Greg and he'll most likely be the one that has the most up to date info on Lo-Bo. He would break the verbal if Lo wanted it broken on the internet, but he and his family have other plans that will be very cool for him if the recruiting services allow it to happen (IE: if they leave him alone). If you read between the lines on Greg's posts, you'll be able to tell where Lo will go.
From JL Rocket
Dear Dawgman:
Recruiting seems to have slowed a little bit the last few weeks in the terms of commits. Do you see the Dawgs finishing strong? Of the recruits that still have not chosen a school who do you think Washington has A good chance of landing?

A: I see Washington finishing very well. If they get Booker, it would be an amazing finish. I like the ‘dub's chances at him right now. I also think the Huskies will get JT Mapu and Brandon Ala.
From Husky Jim
Dear Dawgman:
Are there any Community College players that can step into our DB positions next year? The end of the Texas game was pathetic.

A: Best bet would've been CCSF's Gibril Wilson, but he's gone to Tennessee. Washington needs to upgrade the play at safety, you are right. Also, if Roc Alexander's shoulder quits separating and if Derrick Johnson returns 100%, that would help a great deal.
From Matt in Newport News, VA
Dear Dawgman:
Hey Dawgman......seeing as how Pickett is looking real good and UW also has Casey Paus waiting in the wings, where do you see Isaiah Stanback fitting in? Will he play another position, is a likely redshirt? Is he good enough at QB to redshirt a year and then possibly beat out Paus for the starting job down the road? Thanks for the input. Keep up the great work and go Dawgs!

A: Stanback runs a 4.4 and is very athletic. He could play WR or safety if QB doesn't work out. He'll certainly begin his career at QB though. That is where he was recruited to play. You always need three healthy QBs that know what they're doing on roster at all times. If one of them is Stanback, he'll stay there unless he's needed elsewhere (as Jerramy Stevens was).
From Doug
Dear Dawgman:
Can you give us a status update on Cody Pickett's shoulder surgery ?

A: Pickett had surgery to repair his shoulder. It was not as major of a repair as was discussed earlier and he should be ready to go this spring if everything goes as planned (Congrats, Becky!).
From Just Another Dawgfan
Dear Dawgman:
As usual, your site still rocks. I have four questions for you:
1. How many scholarships will we sign this year?
2. What happens if we take more than allowed? Do we renege on a few?
3. Of the prospects still out there that we are close on, what 2 or 3 would be the most important to our program?
4. Of the prospects still out there that we are close on, what 2 or 3 have the best chance of not redshirting?

A: Thanks for the kind words dawgfan. Washington will sign at least 21 this year, the most would be 25. If they take 25, they'll be over their 85 annual scholarship limit. The Huskies would not renege, they would ask some to delay enrollment until winter to get down to the 85 number. The 2-3 prospects still left that would be the most important to the UW would be DL Jonathan Mapu and TB Lorenzo Booker. Booker would play right away, and I also think that current UW verbal DE Donny Mateaki will play right away as well.

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