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 couple of months. Thanks for your patience. I enjoyed the past two months off, particularly reconnecting with the team and coaches during spring practices. And now, some answers to your inquiries.


From Doug
Dear Dawgman: I love this site. What role do you see Nate Robinson playing, if any for the Husky hoops team? Is Tim Galloway going to see important time for the Dawgs this fall with the wealth of talent the Huskies have at linebacker? Keep up the good work.
A: I see Nate as a kick return specialist and a slot receiver. If Charles Frederick does return this fall without a redshirt on, Nate may be moved to corner. Either position would suit him fine, and he is a major threat on kickoff returns. Thanks for the note.
From Big Al
Dear Dawgman:
1) What is up with Marquis Cooper ... I haven't heard anything about him this spring.
2) Do you think B.Myers will move D.Dicks out of the center position. Because if he stays there, he won't start until his senior year?
3) What is up with Dan McCourtie? Everyone is talking about lack of depth @Fullback. I thought this guy was the real-deal?

A: Cooper had shoulder surgery and sat out spring to heal up. He'll be fine by August, but he'll be pretty skinny. Luckily his game is all about speed (4.40 in the 40), so he'll be a fine WIL linebacker along with Joseph Lobendahn. I think Dan Dicks will play both center and guard, as Brad Vanneman gets more reps under his belt at center. There's some nice versatility there. Dan McCourtie is still just a redshirt freshman, so he has a lot of time to develop. He's not there yet and is currently well behind Zach Tuiasosopo and Adam Seery on the depth chart.
From Gary Broughton
Dear Dawgman:
I enjoyed getting to know you some this spring. With the extensive amount of injuries this spring, are you concerned about the development of the team, and specifically the defense? It seems that this team is spending so much time trying to get healthy that growth is being stunted. Do you expect the team to be healthier and improved for the season? I can't ever remember a Husky team with a run of injuries like this.

A: I am concerned about the secondary, yes. Missing three of your starters during the spring can affect chemistry on the field. However, the bright side of that was that a lot of younger players got reps and took advantage of them. Evan Benjamin and James Sims in particular looked good. The team should be nearly 100% healthy in the fall. A big key will be CB Derrick Johnson's foot and how well he recovers from workouts/practices. He still experienced soreness this spring, but he is on track to be OK by fall. DE Kai Ellis is another concern that we won't know about until August in terms of health. Everyone else should be OK though. Jimmy Newell will be healthy for the first time in two years, which will help the secondary immensely.
From BriskyDLB
Dear Dawgman:
Why no article on the mat drill times [40 etc] and bench press wts like last year?? are the times and wts not as good?? or are the coaches keeping things under wraps???

A: We use those marks when describing a player if they are going on record, or if a coach goes on record. Other than that, we didn't share that info this year. The coaches would rather have that stuff under wraps, as you mentioned, so we made a conscious effort to only reveal those times and marks that players and/or coaches referred to.
From Dawgfan in Sacramento
Dear Dawgman:
Great site! Gracias my friend. I must have missed something. Can you please explain why Francisco Tipoti shows on the Spring Roster, but does not appear on the 2-deeps. I was convinced that he would come in and at least compete for a spot.

A: Cisco wasn't ready for Pac-10 football in April. He is running with the third-team right now and wasn't able to crack the two-deeps. Hopefully he'll spend the next four months getting in better shape and increasing his strength. He is talented and big enough to be a solid Pac-10 tackle.
From B4A
Dear Dawgman:
The Huskies will have the most potent offense this year in the PAC-10. The next five games on the DAWGS schedule following Michigan are at home and against weak teams - so Michigan will be a good barometer of the team's strength. I know Michigan will have a solid offense but haven't heard anything about the "D". Are they rebuilding? Is this game likely a shoot out?

A: Washington does have the potential to put a lot of points on the scoreboard if their running game comes together. The offensive line has the potential to be great, they just need to be more consistent than they were in the spring. Rich Alexis, Braxton Cleman, and Chris Singleton bring a nice mix to the running game and if one of them gets hot and stays healthy, it could be a huge year. Michigan's defense is expected to be very strong, they are probably one of the better stopping units in the Big-10 on paper. Tacoma's Larry Stevens should be a handful at defensive end for the Wolverines. I expect the game to be low-scoring, to be honest. I also expect the guys in the gold helmets (not maize) to be "the victors".
From Dan Cooper in Eugene, OR
Dear Dawgman:
Coming to you from the sickening Duck Country called Eugene, OR. 2 questions: What is the latest on Strong Safety Dashon Goldson, and is there any potential for him to suit up in the fall??? And, any plans on having a huge rally for the team at the Valley River Inn here in Eugene the night before the Duck-Husky game?? Keep up the good work on your site!!!

A: Goldson is not expected to make it and will likely go to a junior college. If there is a rally, and I'm sure there will be, it would most likely be at Autzen Stadium, the morning before the game. Usually the night before the game you are on your own, but if you do come to the Valley River Inn, come look us up. We're usually by the fireplace, just outside the bar. It all depends on what time "Softy" gets us kicked out.
From Al H
Dear Dawgman:
Thank for this great site. I enjoy following the information on recruiting and plan on ordering the recruiting video. My question concerns the basketball program and recruiting. I read an article concerning Justin Holt the forward from Lincoln. In it he said that he was never contacted by anyone from the UW coaching staff in recruiting. This I believe shows why Bender needed to go. Even though Holt was not impressive in the 4A championship game he is an impressive player and he did have 3 solid games including a game against B. Roy where he outclassed Roy. I saw Holt play in preseason tournament games down here in Longview and he was the class player of the tournament. Why did Bender not make the effort to go after him?

A: Once they got a verbal from Roy, the former staff didn't see the need to bring in another 6-6 player. Holt also was listening to then-OSU coach Ritchie McKay very early on so the Beavers had a big early lead that probably wasn't going to be erased. I agree that Holt is a great player now, but I think that Roy has a much bigger upside. I also saw Holt outplay Roy at the tourney, but they are different players and will be in college. Roy has the ability to take over a game, whereas Holt probably will not in college. With Roy, it will all depend on whether or not he can make it academically, and whether or not Romar can inspire him enough to remain focused on every possession. Roy has skills that are unreal and can score from anywhere.
From Bawana62
Dear Dawgman:
Unless I'm confused, D1 basketball players can make a binding declaration to a university before their HS season is even over. Why don't they have to wait for a national LOI day like football players?

A: Basketball has an early signing period for recruits that wish to get their recruiting over with. Football has not adopted anything similar to that yet. Hoops recruits can sign in the early period, or wait and sign later. Romar just picked up a recruit on Monday, signing 6-6 swingman Bobby Jones from Poly, who did not sign anywhere in the early period.
From DCDawg
Dear Dawgman:
I read with interest your excellent interviews with Coach Neu and Coach Hundley before the upcoming Spring. The interview with Hundley did concern me a little in that he seemed, on the one hand to want to get the best players on the field at the same time, but on the other hand was planning to stick with the 4-3 defensive scheme. In your player profiles that followed it seemed that Hundley had difficulty finding enough solid, healthy dependable players to fill the four front line slots plus solid backups and there seemed several question marks, while at linebacker he seemed to be loaded with depth and talent. Ellis has some questions with his health and AK-47 has not played REB before. My question is, with all the depth and talent at linebacker, why not go to a 3-4? Other than Ellis, there does not seem to be an experienced REB. Also, do you think Hundley is gone if the defense does poorly this year?

A: Getting four linebackers on the field at the same time will happen plenty, just watch. Although they run a base 4-3, often times two "SAM" linebackers will be on the field and one will drop when the ball is snapped, creating a 4-3. REB is a big question mark heading into fall, very true. Anthony Kelley has played the position before, however. I think he's ready to have a big senior season, since he'll have no pressure of schoolwork on him. He'll have earned his degree by the time football starts. Behind him, you could move Graham Lasee there if Hawaii true freshman Donny Mateaki comes in ready to play the "HUSKY", or big defensive end position. Do I think Hundley's job is in jeopardy if the defense flounders? Yes. However, one of Hundley's strong suits is that he asks for everyone's input on defense, he is very democratic. New LB coach Cornell Jackson will have some new wrinkles that they'll experiment with in the fall.
From Older Dawg in ORE
Dear Dawgman:
Just received my 2002 recruitment video...And I thank you!! Yummy.. The question has been called for: What do the Husky coaches and personnel do for an athlete who has yet to pass his SAT or ACT? I get weak in these old knees when I think of who qualifies, who doesn't and such.. I'm aware of some of the programs to assist student athletes once they're enrolled but what about BEFORE???

A: Thanks for ordering the video, and we're glad you enjoyed it. It was really fun to put together! Husky coaches and personnel can do nothing more than encourage prospective student athletes to study hard, inform them of different study opportunities, and then hope for the best. They also can let the athlete know that they're still holding a scholarship for them, to reassure them.
From JSM
Dear Dawgman:
Dawgman, Let's say Kim Taylor makes it in, and in time for the 2002 football season. Will he and Shyne both have 5 years to put in 4 years at the UW? And if so let's assume that Alexander, Johnson, Cunningham and Massey area all better and healthy for the 2002 season. Let's say RN finds that 4 or 5 or even 6 CB's for the 2002 season would they and I hope they do RS both Shyne and Taylor? And when do you think we would hear anything about Pat Reddick and maybe a 6th year for Robbins?

A: Yes, both Taylor and Shyne would have a full term of eligibility beginning in the fall. Both would be allowed to redshirt if they aren't able to crack the rotation. Patrick Reddick received his 6th year of eligibility, and Robbins won't apply for one until he needs it. They are still somewhat hopeful that Robbins may be able to return this fall, with some luck.
From HA in Seattle
Dear Dawgman:
What is your opinion of the players who will be making position changes and their possible impact? I am thinking particularly of Robin Meadow and Ty Eriks. Also, which redshirt freshmen other than Hopoi do you see as ready to contribute next fall?

A: Meadow stayed on the OL and adds nice depth at tackle. Eriks will be a backup to Jafar Williams at SAM linebacker, and could be a great addition there. With 4.5 speed and good ball skills, he could be a real playmaker. Other than Hopoi, who is actually listed as a sophomore because of his partial qualifier status, watch out for Evan Benjamin and James Sims as two redshirt freshmen that will contribute this fall.
From Bellevue dawg fan
Dear Dawgman:
I have been enjoying your site for the last couple of years and check it almost daily. Thanks for all the hard work and your excellent insight on the players and program. I have been living down in south Orange County for the past 20 years and always pulled for the Dawgs. I would like to share some of my thoughts on the Huskies and Pac-10 and hear your opinion. Although I hate to admit it I feel after a decade of under achievement the men of troy are starting to put it together. I think they could be very good. UCLA is loaded with talent and still Under-coached. My worry is that much talent can overcome a lot of adversity. I feel Oregon has become a monster (The program is really good). I think Oregon State is very well coached and will continue to be an extremely difficult team to deal with. Remember last year's game? I feel these four teams will be the primary nemesis for the Dawgs over the next 5 years. Please give me your assessment of these teams and your opinion of how Washington will prepare to beat them.

A: I think UCLA and USC are always loaded with talent but neither team has dealt well with adversity or key injuries. Unless USC discovers a running game (and it looks like they may have with Justin Fargas and Darryl Poston), they will be mediocre. Washington will outscore them. The Bruins pummeled Washington physically last year but this year, I think the more experienced Husky OL won't give up 10 sacks as they did a year ago. If Pickett winds up in a hospital like Barton did last year, expect another loss. I don't expect that to happen. Washington will win because UCLA cannot replace Marcus Anderson or Robert Thomas that easily. I think the teams that will give Washington the most trouble will be Oregon and Washington State. The Ducks have a woefully underrated defensive line that the Pac-10 will learn about quickly. However, their corners may be suspect. They have the best running back in the Pac-10 and they always find a way to make the counter pitch work against us. Usually they set it up with that tight end backside dump pass that makes all of the linebackers yell, "Oh $#*t". Washington State will move the ball well if Gesser gets confident and they have the second best receiver in the conference in Mike Bush (of course we know who the best WR is, right dawg fans?). Those two games scare me the most, but ask me again in August. I wish Washington didn't miss Stanford this year, they could really struggle this year.
From Husky Heat
Dear Dawgman:
I love Washington's potential on offense next year... However, I am a DAWG!!! I miss Purple Reign!!! It is important for the Huskies DB's to step up next year. The speed will be there! Do you think they will tinker with the scheme!!! Who will be the projected starters in the entire secondary!!!

A: They have simplified things a great deal this spring. They looked more disciplined in those sets, and will move out from those simple base 4-3 sets. The starting secondary will be Carothers and Newell at the safeties and Alexander and Johnson at the corners. The nickel back will either be Massey or Cunningham. If Newell cannot remain healthy, expect Evan Benjamin to be the first safety off of the bench. In terms of speed, Newell, Alexander, and Cunningham are all under 4.5 in the 40. Alexander is the fastest.
From Aloha Mike
Dear Dawgman:
You answer all of our inquires quickly, except during recruiting, and with satisfying answers. How about you telling the readers about YOU? Likes, dis-likes, goals, education, how you ended up as Dawgman, and etc. You seem to have a tremendous following. Keep up the great work.

A: Well, I graduated from the UW in 1985 with a degree in Business. Did my MBA work at Seattle University. I play drums in a blues band that is working on a CD (if you like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn, you'd love us).

I became "Dawgman" back in 1995 when a good friend named Kevin Brager and I used to hang out on prodigy bulletin boards (whew!). The website first began then and then I partnered with Kim Grinolds and went "public" in April of 1998. It's been incredibly rewarding, fun, and a lot of work, but rewarding because of the happiness people seem to get out of visiting our site. That means everything.

The help we get on the site is amazing. People like Chris Fetters that work hard calling recruits and covering practices, Joe Kaiser for doing features and covering basketball, Dawn Van Diest for doing player features and post game interviews, Perry Huang for covering Softball and baseball, Rick Samek for doing opponent analysis, Pat Thrapp for doing opponent statistical match ups, Derek Johnson for sharing his gift of writing and knowledge and love of Husky football, Duckfighter and Groinman for providing their wit and unique points of view, Cameron Stevens for his research on past Husky games, Monte Phillips for his Husky heros pieces, and our newest intern Henry Han for his youthful exuberance and willingness to do anything to help out and make this site a better experience for Husky fans.

All of those things make the site special, but they don't make the site what it is. Husky fans like yourself do that, and that is what it's all about.

Sites all over the country have now copied our business model of being subscription-based and focused on one team, which is very flattering. When we first started that model, no one thought it would work. Our network back then (the old defunct Rivals.com) scoffed at it, but soon every site was trying it out with success. It was neat to see that model catch on.

My personal interests range from rock, blues, and jazz, golf, tennis, and Pinot Noir wines. My biggest dislike is unhappiness. I feel terrible for anyone that cannot find happiness in this life. You only get one shot at it, so why not have fun?

My goals for dawgman.com have never changed. Number one was to bring accurate and timely information to Husky fans that might not otherwise get it. Although the internet has exploded since that initial goal, it remains the same. The other goal was to have fun doing it, and we're certainly doing that. With the dot.com crashes and with our old URL we spent over two years developing and building being given away, it would've been easy for the site to die. It didn't. Why didn't it? Because of fans like you. Dawgman.com has a membership that is over thee times what it was when our old network died. That is really a testament to Husky fans and how much enjoyment they get out of this experience, and that is incredibly rewarding. Otherwise I wouldn't be doing this. I'm thrilled that the little Husky site that started back in 1996 brings so much fun and entertainment to fans around the country today.

The most rewarding experience I've had doing this was getting to know and meet Curtis Williams and his brother David. That was an amazing experience and I'll be eternally grateful to Curtis for teaching us all so much and for touching us with his spirit.

I know this was long-winded Mike, but I hope it answered your question.



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