Husky Football quick memories

This is the day where you'd normally look to our front page and see how my staff has predicted the game that will ensue tomorrow. And of course those of us that dare predict a Husky loss would be forever branded, 'nega-dawgs'. It's all in fun. Well, with the Huskies idle, I thought I'd fill this space with some fun stuff to chew on while I'm downing my Starbucks Venetian blend.

Most overrated recruit: Cedric White. Anyone remember him? He was the top rated defensive linemen Washington ever signed under Don James. The Long Beach Press Telegram touted him as one of the top defensive linemen in the country, as did PrepStar and SuperPrep. He was listed as 6-4 290, and was supposedly an absolute wrecking ball inside. Well, when he got to Washington, he was about 6-1, 250, and not very fast. He didn't last more than two years in the program. In the days before the internet, not a lot of info was available and I'm not sure White would've been so highly touted. Oh well. Moral of the story? Do your homework and don't offer a guy unless you've seen him in person. The second most overrated recruit was probably K Randy Jones, a Parade All-American out of Spokane. He had range well past 60 yards in high school off of a tee, but once he got to college, he was a complete disaster. This one haunted Lambo, as he thought he had addressed the place kicking woes that had cost him two very important games the prior season.

Most underrated recruit: Steve Emtman: This one was a no-brainer. Steve passed up free rides to WSU and Boise State to come to Washington. He entered in the same recruiting class as Parade All-American Mike Lustyk. Fans didn't really know of Emtman until his sophomore year, but Randy Hart knew immediately that this guy was the real deal. Even as a freshman, Hart would point to him privately and say, ‘Watch that kid. He's special.' That is something Hart will never do, but he did it with Steve. Ask Hart what made Emtman special and his answer is simple. ‘He thought he could make every tackle on every play, and he tried to do just that. Just watch him. And if you told him any different, he would think you were an idiot.'

Best intimidation tactic: Jeremiah Pharms: Washington was playing BYU, and the Cougars had an All-American (John Tate) on their offensive line. Tate was a man-child, but Pharms got into his head in a big way. When BYU broke the huddle, Tate lined up opposite Pharms and looked into his eyes. Pharms had a cold stare, and at the same time, was letting go of a healthy stream of fluid. As Pharms' pants became darker and darker, Tate became horrified and wanted nothing to do with Jeremiah. Pharms had a big game as did Sekou Wiggs, while Tate never wanted to leave the huddle again.

Worst talent evaluation: Ryan Porter: Porter was one of the nicest kids to set foot on campus at the UW, and was a perfect illustration of how much Rick Neuheisel loved the chase but didn't necessarily do his homework on talent evaluation. Porter was a quarterback that Washington was fighting Michigan State for, and Neuheisel pulled out the charms and got him. When Porter came to camp and unleashed his first pass, it caused the media (and some players) to gasp. The ball was practically end over end. OK, it was a fluke. Then came his second pass, a 30-yard out pattern to DaJuan Hawkins. The ball fluttered so badly that you could literally hear it coming, trying to cut through the wind while the nose of the football wobbled wildly. It never made it 30 yards and the DB in coverage just watched in shock as the ball hit the ground and spun like a tiger woods 9-iron shot. It amazed me that this kid got an offer from a Pac-10 school. But I have to say, he was one of my favorite kids. He'll be successful in life, because of his attitude.

Loudest moment: USC 1981 - This was before the second deck was added to Husky Stadium, but in my 30 years of attending football games, I have yet to hear a louder roar than when Chuck Nelson kicked off into the teeth of a 35-mile an hour wind. The USC Trojan return men misjudged the ball as hit bounced around the 10-yard line in front of them. It caromed high over their heads and rolled back into their end zone. Back then, that was a live ball. The Husky return team rushed down and Fred Small recovered for the winning touchdown. The ensuing roar of the crowd was incredible. All of the fans wearing rain gear and hefty bags released them into the air and the sky above Husky stadium became a maelstrom of plastic and euphoria. Recently, Small was killed in an automobile accident, RIP. About the only other moment I can remember being as loud and as prolonged was Kenny Wheaton's interception of Damon Huard in Autzen Stadium. But that moment is for another web site…

Worst moment: Stanford 2000 - My brother (Rico) and I were in the press box watching Washington battle Stanford on a muddy, rainy field in Palo Alto. Washington was comfortably ahead when Stanford running back Kerry Carter took a handoff and came through the middle of the Husky defense. He was met by Husky safety Curtis Williams and a helmet-to-helmet collision ensued. Carter got up, Williams did not. The minute the pile dissipated, Rico and I both knew something horrible had happened. Curtis' legs were laying at an odd angle despite the fact he was face down. UW SID Jim Daves was sitting right next to me and we both were just staring, shaking our heads. I told him, "Jim, he's not moving," through a clenched Jaw. Daves didn't even look at me but replied, "I know," with an ashen face. We all knew that we'd seen something horrible, and it forever changes the way I watch football.

Funniest off-the-field moment: Stanford mascot - Stanford always brings their wacky band and mascot, a bazaar looking tree that marches, dances, and basically bounces around with the band with a perpetual goofy looking smile pasted on the front of it. Well, as you may know, Husky Stadium is really a track stadium (much to my chagrin, because it has the worst sightlines in the Pac-10), and it has a moat between the stands and the track. Well, the Stanford tree got so excited one year that he was bouncing around to the band to the tune "All Right Now", the Stanford fight song for all intensive purposes. He was really getting into it, pointing up at the Husky fans in the stands behind him, taunting them. Well, he didn't pay close enough attention to where he was on the track and suddenly…..timmmmmmmmmberrrrrrrr!!! The Stanford Tree tumbled, trunk first, into the moat. It was a surreal thing to witness from the track, as one moment there was a bouncing tree and suddenly it was as if he had disappeared into the ground. He was pulled out of the moat by the band, but the tree became petrified after that. He lost his bounce. And I think he found out what the Husky football players use that moat for during football practice….

Most athletic play: Husky Stadium, UW vs Colorado 1999 - It was Rick Neuheisel's first year at Washington and his new team was facing his former team. Colorado was deep in their own territory but had what looked to be a huge play brewing on a deep post pattern. The ball was in the air and the Husky secondary looked beaten. Out of nowhere, Husky cornerback Anthony Vontoure leaped high into the air and got one mitt on the ball. He somehow pulled off a Spiderman-like snag of the ball and pulled it to his body before flipping over in mid air and crashing to the turf at midfield. It looked like a high jumper performing a "flop" but grabbing a football pass at the top of his jump while going over the bar. It was the most athletic play I've seen to this day. RIP Anthony, you were kind and considerate and had a smile that lit up a room when you were healthy.

Best line of a prospective student athlete: Omar Nazel (USC) - We have been following UW recruiting for a long time at Dawgman.com, longer than any other web service available. That is a big reason why we are the most popular site by a landslide. Anyway, back when Omar Nazel was being recruited, our own Kim Grinolds gave him a call to inquire about his recruitment. During the conversation, KG asked him, "Omar Nazel – that is an interesting name. Can you tell me about it?" Nazel replied, "Of course it's an interesting name - it's Black!" I loved that kid. He chose USC over Washington and went on to a stellar career for the Trojans.

Have a great weekend all – Dawgman.

Dawgman.com Top Stories