LETTERS TO THE PUBLISHER
Dear Dawgman: Hola Dawgman, A couple quick questions. Do you think that Roc Alexander might get a look at free safety? He's got the size, coverage skills and the hitting ability to seemingly work great beside Carothers. We also will have much better depth at CB than last year with the return of Derrick Johnson, a healthy Sam Cunningham, Massey and Eric Shyne, along with the incoming freshmen. Second, what's the story with Jeramy Adams? Will he be a Sr. and do you think he'll see the field? Thanks for the great job at the recruiting banquet.
A: I think Roc would be an awesome safety, because he does hit hard. The WRs all hate to get hit by him because he's fast and he's "pointy". He always gets you with a knee, an elbow, or something, and it usually hurts. If his separated shoulder heals properly, he's gonna be a star. I'd love to see him at safety but I don't think (CB coach) Chuck Heater would want that. He likes Roc right where he is for obvious reasons. Look for Ty Eriks, RayShon Dukes, and maybe Marquis Cooper to try safety this spring, and we'll see what comes of it. As for Adams, he has one year remaining and will find cracking the starting rotation very difficult. He'll need a monster spring session in April to do that, but he sure has the frame.
From Paul from Arizona
I was wondering how these summer football camps work, specifically those that are not run by the various universities themselves -- ie, the Nike camps. Are these "all-star," invitation only camps, or can any high school athlete pay the fee and attend? Who actually teaches at the camps? College coaches? Are college coaches allowed to "drop in" and contact PSA's if they're not directly involved with the camp? I just wonder about these other camps which appear to operate on a larger regional or even national basis. Thanks and love your site.
A: The Nike camps are operated by Nike in conjunction with Student Sports magazine. They are open to any high school PSAs that wishes to attend. They are great camps because they are not just "meat markets." They are camps where you can get some great instruction from folks on staff from Nike as well as area high school coaches that Nike wants to work with. The PSAs can test at any event they wish and can scratch any number they don't wish to be published, thereby removing any pressure on them. Then they can spend the afternoon being instructed by such national coaches as QB guru Bob Johnson, OL guru Marty Spaulding, and others. It's a terrific thing for the kids that attend, very positive. As for college coaches, they are not allowed to drop in nor contact PSAs at these events. Parents of PSAs at the camp can be present but they cannot recruit.
From Ted K
This is a question I should have asked the coach at the recruiting party but didn't know how he would react to it. I will leave the jabs to coach Baird (he was great- I am still laughing at some of his comments), so I will ask you. I have noticed that our defense backs don't look back to the ball when playing the receiver the last couple of years. This would cause the lack of interceptions that some people are complaining about and create big plays. Is this a technique taught by the secondary coach? I loved the way the Miami DB's covered us. I know they had more talent and a defensive line causing pressure on the QB but their DB's knew when the rock was coming their way. Our guys didn't until it was too late. As always -- you guys rock.
A: CB Coach Chuck Heater does teach the DBs to look back, and they work on it constantly in practices. Unfortunately it doesn't always translate into the games. If the Huskies get better safety help and some, ANY, pressure from the defensive line that doesn't require blitz packages, the corners will be significantly better. Chuck is a fine CB coach, his techniques are a definite upgrade from what was taught before. Bobby Hauck coaches the safeties and he and Chuck work in tandem.
Husky Jim here! Why would the football team have Wyoming, San Jose St. and Idaho on their schedule? I know the schedules are made eight or so years in advance; but tell me when these three schools were ranked or when they played GOOD football. We better get to the Rose Bowl because with these three patsies, we will not be in any BCS Bowl. Also would it not be better to play one or two of these games before playing at Michigan? At $32.00 a game the fans deserve better than that. With my Tyee I am paying almost $105.00 a seat to watch the Vandals for the third time. Thanks Dawgman!!!!!!!!!!!
A: Sometimes you cannot schedule a big name opponent, since they all schedule so many years out in advance. The schedules get slid around when teams pull out or revamp their slates, which means sometimes you have to scramble to cover the open dates. I agree, that non-conference schedule is a joke, but it may make up for a year when the UW had to play Michigan and Miami in the same year. Not good for the fans but the team and coaches may enjoy that scheduling anomaly.
From Gardner O.
I Enjoy your site and anybody that likes to talk Huskies as much as you. I hate to say it though, but I think that Washington is losing their grip on being one of the top programs. I'm all for equality amongst sports and the renovations and additions that the U. has gone through, but they need to refocus their energy on football. They need to take that track out and build their own Track and Field site where the old Baseball Stadium is, move that field down about 5 yards towards the horseshoe, put grass in where the track is and have it painted like the Rose Bowl (purple on one end and gold on the other from the 50 yard line on down and around the endzone), and the extra space between the endzone and the stands on the West end painted purple and white checked (Tennessee style) with a big gold helmet in the middle. You have got to look good when you get on T.V. They wouldn't be losing any recruits to Tennessee or Florida State it they stepped up their program. They should go back to their Gold pants on the road also, now that the Gold finally matches they would look awesome. Your thoughts? Or do I have too much time on my hands?
A: Your stadium renovation ideas are interesting, but it would require the school to perhaps take out the upper cantilever decks because if the field is lowered, the views would be obstructed. However your idea of moving the field West is very interesting. It would move the folks in the endzone with the most people closer to the action, a huge plus. I also love your idea of painting around the field. TV would love it.
To build a new track and field facility would take another facilities renovation action, and they won't do that until the current one is finished. Hec-Ed and the Dempsey Indoor are complete but there is still the Shellhouse, the baseball park, and the soccer stadium. Those will likely get finished before a new track and field venue is erected. That isn't on the drawing board as far as I can tell.
From Steve in Burien
After watching the holiday bowl it was apparent that the Huskies needed a lot of secondary help. It doesn't seem that they got any marquee DB recruits. Am I missing something, or are there some impact players entering the UW secondary?
A: Washington did miss on the safeties they were after, but if Dashon Goldson qualifies, he could be a solid one in the near future. Also, keep in mind that Benjamin and Sims (both safeties) redshirted, and Derrick Johnson returns this year. Eric Shyne is also in school now, so there is help on the way. Still, it would've been nice to get a JC safety like Gibril Wilson to help stop the bleeding. Tennessee got him though.
From Brenda F.
When the recruiting process is over and players have submitted their LOI, do coaches ever verbally abuse players they have failed to get? Commitments this past year seem to have lacked any honor. For instance The previous year when Casey Paus verbally committed to Washington based on the premise Washington would not recruit any other quarterbacks, wouldn't that have put Washington in a bind if Casey Paus had reneged at the last minute and signed with another school? A commitment shouldn't be considered a commitment until a recruit cancels all remaining visits or stops talking to schools pursuing him.
A: Coaches will never go on record and verbally abuse someone that they lost in a recruiting battle. That would be terrible PR. Your point on commits lacking honor is a good one. To consider someone a commit is erroneous before LOI day. It is nothing but a VERBAL commit, not binding. Therefore you can never leave out the VERBAL part when listing a commit. Paus would've put Washington in a terrible bind, yes. Luckily, it worked out for both him and the UW and he's now a Husky, but until LOI day, coaches must baby-sit all verbals. That is why early commits are not always what they are cracked up to be. They can often lead to unwanted headaches for the coaching staff that has to keep them, or sometimes, try to make the numbers fit around them.
First of all (and you hear this often) awesome site! I'm here every day, and much praise to all your staff during their hard work with the recruiting madness. It can't be an easy job. Anyways, just wanted to ask you, do you think Coach Neu has brought up this negative recruiting allegation because he is so irritated at losing key recruits like Booker, Solomona, etc? I mean, this can't be the first time this has happened.
A: Negative recruiting has been a part of the process for quite some time now. The interesting thing is, now that it's been brought out into the open, the Pac-10 will have to recognize and deal with it. The "honor amongst thieves" unwritten rule is now toast. Neuheisel brought it up in public out of anger and frustration, and he later went on record as having regretted doing so. He was angry, make no bones about it, but he does wish that he would've reported it to the Pac-10 first, instead of letting it slip at a press conference. He was trashed by at least two coaches to recruits and it got to him.
From Robert Hankinson
Great Site! Living in SEC/CUSA country (Louisville, Kentucky) Dawgman.com is a Godsend. I was very impressed early on with our prospective recruits. But, it seems as time went on they started bailing to other programs. What can the U do to correct this? With Reggie, Charles, Paul, and the new JC wide receiver from Kansas, will Gilby implement a west coast style offense? I can't remember having so much potential at wide out. Also, with Paus, Stanback, Sly, Barton and Pickett at QB how do you see this panning out in the next year or two? Pickett could be the next Chris Chandler. But, Stanback could be the next Michael Vick..... PS - The Dawgs need to schedule the University of Louisville.
A: Washington lost kids to Oregon, Tennessee, and ASU this year in terms of commitments. The best way to correct this is to win on the field and have fun. Neuheisel is doing that and I think it is paying dividends. It was tough to lose those kids but sometimes it's best to focus on the ones you did get. This year is a good year to do that. The Husky offense is in great shape with an experienced OL returning and the talent at wide out. A west coast (one back) offense is very possible, yes. At QB, I see Pickett hanging onto the job for the next two years and then Paus and Stanback will battle for the reigns after that. Both have big time strengths to bring to the table.
From Bob Vigil
Dawgman, I am an old alumni from Dos Palos, Ca."69". I currently live in Puerto Rico, I have followed some of the players that have come from DP through their college careers. My question, what do you think of Kenny James from DP? When do you picture him starting for the Huskies?
A: Kenny has incredible talent. Greg Biggins, Director of Recruiting for Student Sports Magazine and publisher of PacWest Football.com, loves him for Washington's style of offense because of his size and vision between the tackles. He's not the fastest kid but neither was Willie Hurst and he was a fantastic back this year for the Huskies. Kenny also has a great personality that will endear him to Husky fans. I think he'll be very successful, and he's close to qualifying. He needs to raise his SAT by about 40 points is all.
I noticed that Adam Seery, SS, 6-2, 205lbs., and Domynic Shaw, SS, 5-11, 215 lbs., are not listed in the two-deep roster. What's their status? Physically, they appear to be capable of playing SS. Love the site.
A: Both are buried on the depth chart, neither in the two-deeps. Seery has bounced back and forth between safety and QB. I like him best at QB, he is versatile. Shaw has had difficulty with remaining healthy.
From Chris Perkins
What are your thoughts on any possible renovations of Husky stadium? Do you feel that this is something that the current administration is thinking about? Would it be possible to ask Rick Neuheisel his thoughts on this subject at some point in the future? Thank you for the great work!
A: The stadium needs an overhaul but it won't come for a while. It really needs a new press box, bad. As far as other renovations, I would like to see the field moved West, but those that sit in the Eastern seats would disagree with me vehemently. Moving the field down and removing the track are options but it would require the upper decks to be rebuilt because the views from the top would be obstructed. Also, the slope of the sightlines in the lower bowls may not accommodate a lower field as well as some think. What I would love to see is a horseshoe configuration that retains the view of Lake Washington, but it would seat no more than 75,000. It may require that the current stadium be raised and a new bowl erected. Then of course a new track and field stadium must be built as well. These would be way out in the future. Rick Neuheisel doesn't want it to be too easy to get a ticket and likes the fact that you have to put forth effort to get a season ticket or game ticket. Besides that, the UW campus is zoned such that it is maxed out for parking so a bigger stadium would require an even harsher taxing of the metro system, which is about as tapped out as it can get. With no rail system in place, expansion is a lost cause. I would like to see a renovation, but no expansion of current attendance.
From Jonathan Tallariti
What ever happened to Tremaine Towns and Dominic Dixon? Did we even have offers for them? Will Nathan Rhodes have an immediate impact?
A: We don't believe that either Dixon or Towns have signed anywhere with a D1 program. Neither received offers from the UW. As for OL Nathan Rhodes, I think he'll have a very early impact at the UW. He is a huge kid that moves well. We'll see how strong he is when he gets on campus. A redshirt season would be very beneficial, as it would to any young offensive lineman.
From Mark D
When scanning your projected two-deeps from the 2/13 ASK DAWGMAN you do not mention Nick Newton or Owen Biddle. Are these guys leaving the program or is the younger talent that good to knock them out of their spots in the depth chart.
A: Newton is listed as an offensive guard, but I did leave Biddle off the list. I think he may be pushed by Benjamin and/or Sims now that they have redshirt seasons under their belts. We'll see how it unfolds. Biddle plays with a ton of heart and can hit like a truck, but if they can find a faster safety that can cover better, they'll likely get the nod. Right now, the job is Biddle's until he's beaten out.
From Aloha Mike
Oregon seems to be awfully brazen of late. They had a decent QB the Last four years that seemed to pull out games they should have lost. Who do they have waiting in the wings, and do you think their football fortunes are about to change now that Joey has graduated?
A: Oregon will rely on Justin Fife to take the reigns. He's different than Harrington but I don't expect Oregon's offensive strategy to change too much. They've got the top RB in the conference in Onterrio Smith to hand the ball to, and their offensive schemes never rely on huge play from their OL. They mostly move the pocket around and then hit you with a big counter play on the ground when you gang up on them. The interesting thing to note about Oregon is that they have perhaps the top DL in the conference if you go by hype alone. With Igor Olshanski, Seth McEwen, and Quinn Dorsey returning, Roderkus and Darrell Wright, Junior Savaii, and now Haloti Ngata added to that mix, those guys all come with serious press clippings. JC transfer Chris Solomona will redshirt but also arrives this fall. That will be something new for Oregon, who is not really known for big time defensive fronts. Oregon must replace Jeff Tedford, their QB guru and offensive coordinator, but he was essentially running Mike Bellotti's offense so I don't expect a huge change. The Ducks will perhaps rely more on their running game with Smith, and will throw to their TE as they always have in those underneath routes. George Wrightster will be their TE to watch this season. I expect Oregon to be better on D but worse on offense in 2002.
From Doug B.
How much of an impact did the Miami loss have on recruiting? And, what will Ty Gregorak's role be?
A: The Miami loss didn't cost the Huskies one recruit that I can recall. It was a terrible loss, but no one really pointed to it as reason for removing Washington off of their list. As for Ty Gregorak, he'll be a defensive graduate coach, taking Steve Fex's place.
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