LETTERS TO THE PUBLISHER

Thank you to those of you that submitted questions for the "Ask Dawgman" column. Here are the answers to the some of the recent questions from the past month. It was a wild recruiting season that had more decommits and "hurry up and waiting" than any other I can remember, and I've been covering UW recruiting since 1996. What a long strange trip it's been!


From JSM
Dear Dawgman: Khalif Barnes I think we all know about, but how is Brooks, Butler, Dicks and Reeves doing? And how about Meadows (and I for one really hope they keep him on the OL) Savicky, Kava (and I thought I heard he might not go on his mission for awhile now) and Vanneman? So what are your thoughts on these very young but seem to be very talented OL's? .

A: Barnes will wind up his career as a four-year starter at weak tackle, which is almost unheard of. Aaron Butler exceeded all expectations last year and looks like a real gamer. He started the Apple Cup and played very well. Dicks is coming back from his knee surgeries and looking good, probably at either center or guard. Reeves had to stay motivated last year in order to keep Robin Meadow off of the field, and he did come on at the end last year. Meadow was outstanding, and look for him on the defensive line this spring. I think it could be a great move as he is big, fast, and MEAN. Savicky was hurt last year. He and Vanneman are both working hard to add weight. Savicky runs so well, it would be fun to see him on DL as well (just a wish on my part, that kid can really run!). Hopefully Kava goes on his mission in another year, which would give the four incoming kids a chance to redshirt and learn the system.
From Tacoma dawgfan
Dear Dawgman:
There were numerous instances when Husky recruits mentioned that Oregon facilities are outstanding. What does Oregon has that impressed the recruits? Is it something that the Huskies could change to enhance their recruiting process?

A: Oregon has the best outdoor practice facility in the Pac-10, and their indoor practice facility is very nice. The way the Casanova Center is set up with the Hall of Fame upstairs and the locker rooms and weight room downstairs is one of the crown jewels of the Pac-10 as well. The expansion of Autzen is also a plus for their recruiting. Washington has closed the gap in facilities, however, with the renovation of their training facilities, locker rooms, and indoor practice facility and outdoor field turf field. Washington's facilities are miles ahead of where they were two years ago. It helped them pull the top classes out of the northwest for the past two years.
From Las Vegas Doug
Dear Dawgman:
I just read on TSN website that they are moving Zach Tuiasosopo to fullback. Any truth to this rumor?

A: Yes. Zach will try fullback this spring. Expect Marquis Cooper, Joe Lobendahn, and Tyler Krambrink to get more reps because of this if the move is permanent.
From Matthew
Dear Dawgman:
It has become the ritual of mine the last couple of years to wonder which direction the basketball program is headed. Your website continues to defend Bender. How much time do we need to give him? This is year nine and they are about to go 10-20 again. I understand patience but this is crazy. How long do we have to wait!

A: This spring will be very interesting, to be sure. Barbara Hedges may have a very difficult decision on her hands. Everyone loves Bob Bender, but if the fans and boosters don't support the program financially (empty seats, less donations), it will be difficult to justify keeping him. Bank Of America Arena cost in the neighborhood of $45M, and it wasn't built to sit empty. Can Bender turn it around? I believe he can, even though this is his 9th season. Has his time run out? Only Barbara Hedges knows the answer to that. That's her call.
From Jeff
Dear Dawgman:
FIRST I MUST SAY GREAT SITE. I'M ON YOUR SITE EVERYDAY. THANKS. WHAT HAPPENED TO BRANDON LOCKHART? I THOUGHT HE WOULD BE A GUARANTEE IN THIS CLASS. WHAT ABOUT DARNELL BING? IS HE OR IS HE NOT GOING TO USC? WHAT IS DONTE NICHOLSON DOING THESE DAYS & WILL WE BE ON HIM FOR THE 2003 CLASS? THANKS.

A: Lockhart is now an Oregon State Beaver. Washington lost interest in him and feel that Francisco Tipoti will be a better OL prospect. Bing did go to USC, not sure whether or not he'll qualify though. Nicholson is at Mt. Sac JC and still being recruited by Washington. Here is a dawgtale our recruiting editor Chris Fetters did on him yesterday: Donte Nicholson.
From Greg Gent
Dear Dawgman:
You've hinted that Eriks' future won't be at tailback or fullback. Where do you think he fits in? I don't think he has the instincts or mentality to play inside linebacker. Are you thinking rush end?

A: Ty will try safety this spring to see how he likes it. At 6-2 223 pounds and having clocked a sub 4.5 40, he's got the tools. Now we'll see if Bobby Hauck can teach him the trade. He's an extremely bright young man. I'd look for him to slim down to about 210-215 for the switch.
From dawgfan in Kalama
Dear Dawgman:
Who do you see starting in the tailback slot next fall? Rich Alexis struggled without a consistent QB run threat holding linebackers and DEs allowing him that extra second to pop outside. It would be Dawgball to be have that threat along with Reggie and Co. on the outside.

A: Alexis will be the man, for sure. I expect him to pick it up now that he's had a season to figure out how to run behind this line, and without Marques Tuiasosopo. When they need a speed back, look for Chris Singleton to come in. And don't forget Braxton Cleman, he's back as well.
From Mark Sinclair
Dear Dawgman:
I heard that Patrick Reddick might appeal for an additional year of eligibility. Can you tell me his status as well as that of Jelani Harrison and Geoff Shelton? If Harrison and Shelton return, what positions would you project them at in the spring? As always, thanks for the great work!

A: I have not heard that about Patrick. I think he'll probably graduate and join the working world next fall. Jelani Harrison has eligibility left and will most likely use it. His big problem has been with injuries, and that's a shame. He's big, fast, strong, and what a nice young man. It would be great to see him get to play some. Geoff Shelton is most likely done with football, unless his mind changes from last fall. Nothing official on this yet, however. I think he'll graduate this spring. Anyone that hires this young man is getting an incredible person and asset to their company.
From LloydHusky
Dear Dawgman:
what is Emtman up to? I heard that he was involved with the Washington weightlifting program. Any chance of a paying gig?

A: Steve doesn't get paid to my knowledge, no. His job is on a volunteer basis, but he is very involved with the football team and can usually be found in Pete Kaligis' office in the basement of the Graves Annex building. He doesn't really need to get paid, as he invested and saved wisely from his NFL days. What a great guy to have as a volunteer assistant, huh? He's amazing.
From Alex Roberts
Dear Dawgman:
Hey sometimes when I'm reading the visiting reports and the prospective recruits comments, and I read which player was their host I sometimes think to myself, "that's an interesting choice for a host." How does the staff decide which player is going to host which recruit? Thanks for your time and for keeping up such an awesome site.

A: The staff knows who their best recruiters are on their team, and do their homework to find out who will be the best fit for incoming recruits. Guys from the Compton area couldn't wait to meet Willie Hurst, he was a legend down in LA. Guys from Arizona like to hook up with Terry Johnson or Marquis Cooper to find out what it's like to come to Seattle from Arizona. It's well thought out who the hosts will be for a particular weekend.
From Dadaramirez
Dear Dawgman:
What if anything is being done about the late decision-making by the defensive coach(es)? Is it indecisiveness by the D-coordinator? Too much input from others or bad communication amongst the inner circle? The offense seems to have worked out the kinks. Can we get Lambright back?

A: The defense needs fixing, definitely. Tim Hundley, the defensive coordinator, knows this as much as anyone. Some indecisiveness and caution hurt against Oregon State, while the defense just didn't play well against UCLA or Miami. They'll fix it, I guarantee it. I also think that it will be fixed under Tim Hundley's watch. I think you'll see him back and I think you'll like his defense a lot better next year. We'll chat with him before spring, like we always do, and get his take.
From Tom
Dear Dawgman:
What is the status on Dan Dicks? I haven't heard his name being called in the games, How is his progress, and how's his future look?

A: Dan has made the move to center successfully, which will mean Washington will continue to be a very flexible OL. Dan will compete for the starting center job, probably with Todd Bachert and Brad Vanneman in 2002. Whoever wins the job, the others can move into the mix for a guard or tackle spot. It's all part of Myers' (and Gilby's) idea of getting their five best OL on the field at the same time, regardless of position. Dicks had to come back from surgery on his knees and he's done very well. He'll be a RS-sophomore next year and in the two-deeps for sure. He's extremely bright.
From Rick Pacholski
Dear Dawgman:
Please give us your projected two deep positions going into fall if all current players stay healthy and those injured make a full recovery. Project freshman recruits if they have committed verbally to the program.

A:OK, here goes:

OT: Khalif Barnes, Francisco Tipoti, Andre Reeves, Ryan Brooks
OG: Aaron Butler, Elliott Zajac, Nick Newton, Jason Simonson OR Stanley Daniels
C: Todd Bachert, Dan Dicks
QB: Cody Pickett, Taylor Barton
TB: Rich Alexis, Braxton Cleman
FB: Zach Tuiasosopo, Dan McCourtie
TE: Kevin Ware OR Joe Toledo
SE: Reggie Williams, Wilbur Hooks
FL: Paul Arnold, Charles Frederick

DE: Manase Hopoi, Tui Alailefaleula
DT: Terry Johnson, Jerome Stevens
NT: Josh Miller, Tusi Sa'au
OLB: Kai Ellis, Manase Hopoi
MLB: Ben Mahdavi, Tim Galloway
WLB: Marquis Cooper, Jafar Williams OR Tyler Krambrink
SLB: Anthony Kelley OR Joseph Lobendahn
SS: Greg Carothers, Evan Benjamin
FS: Jim Newell, James Sims, Jr.
CB: Roc Alexander, Chris Massey
CB: Derrick Johnson, Sam Cunningham

From Dawgster
Dear Dawgman:
What is the status of William Kava and his Mormon mission? Has he started his mission or is he still enrolled in school? I would think that it would be best to start the mission right after the end of the season, so that when the 2 years are up, the player would have winter conditioning, spring practice, and summer conditioning to get back into football shape before the next season starts. Also, does he become a recruitable athlete at the end of his mission or is he still tied to his LOI to UW?

A: William has not left yet on his mission. It may be easier for him to leave after the school year, so he gets a full year of schooling under his belt. It would be best for the team if he left after his second year in the program, to be honest, but I'm not sure what Willie's plans are to date. When he returns from his mission, he is still bound to his LOI with Washington. If he transfers, he must sit out a year per NCAA rules, unless he walks on somewhere outside the Pac-10. Tom Pace transferred from Idaho after his mission and walked on at ASU, thus avoiding the rule.
From Chris Patters
Dear Dawgman:
I love your web page! Living in Arizona it helps me to follow my huskies from a distance and keep up to date on recruiting and other aspects of husky football. It seems like every year we have to worry about Neuheisel leaving for some other school. It gets rather old. If he is under contract, how come other teams can still try and pry him away from the huskies and if UCLA collapses again next year like they did this year, do you think he is gone for that job? Thanks and keep up the good work.

A: Get used to it. Rick Neuheisel will be a hot commodity as long as he keeps winning. Washington must learn to spin it in a positive manner, and they do it pretty well. He is under contract, but keep in mind that contracts have "buy out clauses". Rick's is $100,000. If UCLA collapses, I don't think he'd leave Seattle for Los Angeles, no. He enjoys living on Meydenbaur Bay too much, and the water skiing in front of his place is too good in the summer!
From Res
Dear Dawgman:
Do you think that we could get Paul Arnold in the game more? We are wasting a legitimate big time player. He need 8-10 balls thrown to him no matter what. I guarantee you that he scores 2 TDs per game...he needs touches, give me your thoughts on him. As we all know that we have beaten Oregon 7 out of 12 and are going to lay the lumber down in Eugene next year, I want some feedback on that game, as I think it will be the most difficult to get us to the Rose Bowl. Prediction: UW 55, OREGON 6

A: I agree that Paul should get more touches, at least four per game. He is a game breaker. As for the game in Eugene, I can't wait to cover that one. It should be a barnburner. I like Washington's chances if they can stop Onterrio Smith, who will be the Pac-10's leading rusher in 2002. Cody Pickett, if healthy, is going to have a HUGE season, and that would include the game in Eugene.
From First Dawg
Dear Dawgman:
If we can go to a 12 game schedule, why can't each team in the Pac10 play each other rather than skipping a team each year? Also, why does Oregon get 8 home games and only 4 away games next year? Can't the Dawgs schedule 8 home games also?

A: There is more money to be made by not playing everyone. The schools in the conference that need the money can use that 12th game as either another home game for ticket revenue, or as a big payoff on the road for the conference. That is why the league won't adopt the "everyone plays each other" format. Washington could schedule eight home games, yes, but the quality of opponent would suffer. It's difficult to get teams of high caliber to change with this late notice, and Washington's schedule is set well in advance.
From Mike from Tacoma
Dear Dawgman:
What happened to Vernont Murray's verbal to the Huskies? I see he's no longer on your commit list. I was starting to like the idea that we might have a young 300-pounder stepping in on the defensive line.

A: Vernont (Maurice) was not sent a letter to fax in by Washington because he was not going to make it academically. He'll go to a junior college for the next two years.
From Aloha Mike
Dear Dawgman:
Aloha Dawgman, One of the things I most look forward to is your ask dawgman column. I do, however, log on daily to your dawgman site. Lambo would be a great addition to the Huskies' staff. Great site, great job. When you enjoy your work, it doesn't seem like a job?

A: Jim Lambright was a great defensive coordinator but he has no plans to return to the UW in a coaching capacity at this time. As of last week, he had not heard from anyone at the school. Thanks for the compliments Mike. We love doing this stuff!
From Ken
Dear Dawgman:
Who will replace the Husky coaches for running backs and linebackers?

A: I think you'll see Bobby Kennedy coach the running backs and I think another coach will be added from outside to coach the linebackers. I thought at first it might be Ikaike Malloe, but now I believe he's going to be at Utah. One more defensive coach is needed.
From Zach
Dear Dawgman:
How much of the original Neuheisel coaching staff exists on the team today?

A: Of the original coaches Neuheisel hired, he's lost Karl Dorrell to the NFL, Wayne Moses to USC, and now Tom Williams to Stanford. Originally Neuheisel had hoped to get Kennedy Pola to Washington from Colorado but it didn't work out. Pola coaches running backs for USC now and Wayne Moses has moved to coaching the DBs at USC. Interesting.
From SufreDawg
Dear Dawgman:
Did C Singleton use a red shirt year with his playing in the SC game? ?

A: Singleton did burn his redshirt year, as he also saw time against Miami, but his playing in the USC game was the game that started the clock for him.
From Dave in Everett
Dear Dawgman:
It seems the ink was hardly dry on the reports of Neuheisel's recruiting comments, when the Pac10 league office hurriedly announced they were going to investigate negative recruiting. Is this going to give the league office the perfect opportunity to further stick it to the University of Washington program with more censure? Thanks for the great information on the site.

A: No, this will actually help the UW in my opinion. Most of the allegations are against other schools in terms of negative recruiting, not against Washington. Washington has instances from recruits this year that have shared that other schools ripped coach Neuheisel, which is not allowed by the Pac-10 as a recruiting practice. This will get interesting before it's all over.
From Mike G
Dear Dawgman:
I apologize if this question has already been put to you. This is one of those "a friend of a friend told me" questions. Apparently the football locker rooms have been repainted in what was perceived as a "new" color scheme for Husky athletics. The former light gold, which was only recently implemented, was replaced with more of a "cream" color. I'm not so concerned about what color the locker rooms are, but are the uniform colors going to change to this called cream color? If so why? Rooting for the "Purple and Cream" just doesn't have same appeal........

A: The color scheme is now consistent across the sports for the UW. The current Purple and Gold are what you are going to see for a long time, the school has spent too much money on their identity program to do otherwise. Purple and Gold it will stay.




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