Ask Dawgman 7/29

Thank you to those that took the time to write in letters during this beautiful northwest summer we are experiencing. We hope you've been enjoying our 7-on-7 reports, and our practice reports and player features are right around the corner, as is football season! Fall is coming, and now on to the letters.

From SuFre Dawg
Dear Dawgman: Who are the interior defensive linemen the Dawgs are recruiting? Would you rate them as to probability and quality.

A: A few of the top interior DL names include Mathew Malele, Brian Soi, Brandon Mebane, and locally Richy Mulcahy and Chad Sutter are also on the radar. If Viliamu Kuaea can make academics, the senior from Lakes High in Tacoma could be an outstanding interior DL prospect. Any of these young men would be outstanding gets and all are considering Washington. The one that hurt was losing Leon Drummer to Cal, but he wanted to stay local and he lives near Berkeley's campus. He was the one I thought Washington would land after he raved about their summer camp.
From Hawaiian Husky
Dear Dawgman: Is U-dub actively recruiting a kicker to replace Anderson after his senior year? I remember the year before he arrived when UW lost a few games for want of a decent place-kicker.

A: Washington has an outstanding walk-on place-kicker named Evan Knudson. He's just a sophomore so look for him to vie for Anderson's job once he graduates. Two kickers that the Huskies are looking at are Michael Braunstein and Eric Azorr. Braunstein was at the UW camp and impressed both as a PK and a punter.
From Mick
Dear Dawgman: What is the real story on Bill Gillespie? Thank you and keep up the great work.

A: Rick Neuheisel wanted to go a different direction. All of the shoulder injuries may have had something to do with it, but Neuheisel thought that Pete Kaligis could do a better job of getting the athletes ready to play football and stay healthy. Gillespie did an outstanding job of getting kids stronger and bigger, however. We wish Pete luck and know that he'll do a great job. He's intelligent and relates extremely well to the student athletes.
From Charlie
Dear Dawgman: Please help me understand more about the offensive line. What the capabilities are of an athlete suited for tackle versus those for the guard position? I see comments all the time commenting that a player is best suited to one over the other.

A: Tackles are the guys with the long arms and that can go laterally the quickest, so they can move outside to pick up ends or blitzing linebackers. They are normally taller athletes with great balance, and their centers of gravity are normally a little higher than a guard or center. The shorter guys with the quick first two steps and motors that drive forward are the interior guys. Lower centers of gravity help them get leverage against the interior defensive linemen.
From Ray
Dear Dawgman:
1) I'm getting concerned that we might not nab a top-flight QB with this year's recruiting. What do you think? I really think we need one every year. How do we look for Dixon in CA?
2.) There have been various discussions about re-configuring Husky stadium (ie. lowering the field, taking out the track etc.), but I think the first thing to do is add Luxury boxes. In your opinion where could this be done? I understand the press-box needs remodeling/updating. Why not just add on from there and do the same on the N.side?
3.) Who makes decisions about nutrition for UW players? For example - I've noticed that some players come in needing to gain weight. Combined with proper weight training do they have a dietician on staff to help them eat right? Or is it part of the weight training program?
4.) Why do you think DL are so hard to find? Is it because it's not a position that's developed well in HS? Seems like finding these guys is always like getting a diamond in the rough.

A: Washington will grab a solid QB recruit every year. This year it will be either Dennis Dixon, Richard Kovalchek, and even though he's committed to Cal, don't rule out Cary Dove. As for your stadium reconfiguration ideas, luxury boxes are the easiest way to fund it, so that would be the best choice. However the current cantilevers over the stadium aren't designed to hold that kind of weight. It would most likely require a demolishment and reconstruction of one (or both) of those. A new press box is a must and will be part of any remodel for sure. Removal of the track is a very sticky proposition because it is an endowment. A new track stadium would need to be built and that wouldn't get done until the current facilities upgrades are completed. Lowering the field would help if the water table issue can be solved, but it would ruin the upper seating views. The top 10-20 rows of the stadium would be useless for football viewing if they go too low with the field, and the current lower bowl has sightlines that are for the current surface, not one that is lower. I'm not sure how that would work, either. You asked about nutrition – that is Dr. Suzanne Steen's responsibility. She handles the entire UW athletic program in terms of nutrition. Weight training is now the responsibility of Pete Kaligis for football. Your final question about DL recruiting – the reason why it is so difficult is because there are so few athletes capable of playing that at a high level. Most DL's must be developed, there are very few Brandon Whiting's or Terrell Suggs'. If you don't have them in your own backyard and you have to go out of state to recruit them, the competition is going to be very tough because the demand is so high but the supply is not so much down, but not defined. You must be able to develop and project defensive linemen. Manase Hopoi played linebacker in high school but he's going to wind up an outstanding DL for the Huskies in very short order. That is a good job of projection by Neuheisel and staff.
From Cory Brewer
Dear Dawgman: I recently read your responses to some Husky fans' questions on the site. One guy asked about retired #'s, and you said that there were three of them. So I ask you, Why doesn't UW display these #'s in Husky Stadium somewhere? I'd also like to ask what you think about UW retiring Curtis Williams' #25 - I think they should do it.

A: Great question Cory. I have no idea why the retired numbers are not displayed in the stadium. I don't think that the Huskies will retire Curtis' jersey but I do know that they will do something special in terms of remembering him. Just watch.
From Aloha Mike
Dear Dawgman: In May the coaches' tour made its way to Longview. This is the first time I have attended. What great fun! I was even able to talk with coach Neu. The question is do you or have you ever attended one of the coaches' tour sites? Longview is the coaches' favorite stop it has been rumored.

A: I have been to the one in Olympia, and they are a great way to meet the coaches and see who the golfers are (hint: Don't play Neuheisel for money, you'll get fleeced). Yakima is also a favorite stop of theirs. I'm glad you had the chance to attend one, Mike. They are awesome!
From Diego Dawg
Dear Dawgman: Just wondering how Cody's shoulder is doing? Also, Do you think Alexis is ready to step up to the next level? If so, the offense could be scary. Can't wait for the season. My fingernails have almost grown back!

A: Cody's shoulder looks great. We'll all have a better idea of how it is when he takes that first hit, which probably won't come until the Michigan game. I do think that Rich is ready to step it up, he is very focused this summer and is in the best shape of his life. Watch out for Chris Singleton, though. I've got a feeling about that young man with the 4.4 speed and his 6-3 200-pound frame. He reminds me of a big Walter Payton.
From E-burg Dawg
Dear Dawgman: Why don't we try Charles Frederick at Corner? We seem to be ok at depth at Wide receiver.

A: Frederick will play receiver, as that is where he'll have the most impact on a game once he finds his bearings. He'll make his mark both as a return man and a receiver in the next two years. Depth at CB is getting very good now. Safety is the area where more depth is needed. Talent is good but there isn't any experience. That will be fixed by next year as both Benjamin and Sims will play in 2002.
From Big Al
Dear Dawgman: Who is the last Husky to appear on the front-cover of a Sports Illustrated issue? I mean full-cover, Emtman-92 doesn't count.

A: Sonny Sixkiller back in 1970, I believe. Don't be surprised if Reggie Williams is on the cover in 2003 though.

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