Big Ben knows this is the time

Ben Bandel became a Washington Husky without much fuss, which is the way the Washington coaches would love to have it. The 6-7, 260-pound tight end from Murrieta Valley High School in Murrieta, California did look at a couple of Pac-10 schools and even took some visits. In his heart, however, he knew from an early point that he wanted to be a Dawg.

It's been a very hectic time for Ben Bandel, especially these past few months. Once he signed that letter-of-intent to come to Washington, there were certain things he wanted to do. Things he knew he probably wouldn't get a chance to do again. "Coming from southern California, I basically tried to put a year worth of stuff into one month before I got here," Bandel told "I went everywhere, including the beach, Magic Mountain, hung out with my friends, and had a lot of fun. I did it, and I also worked out and stayed in shape in the meantime. Going surfing was the highlight of the summer, I love it. I have a 10-foot board."

Surfing as conditioning? Bandel doesn't endorse the idea, but he admits to certain residual benefits. "It requires balance, and it really builds up your shoulder strength," he said. "I have really strong shoulders from paddling in the water and getting up on the board. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a training regimen, but it's something to do on the side."

Bandel also took part in the East-West Shrine All-star game in July. "It went great," he said. "I didn't have any passes thrown to me but I blocked great and it was a good time. It was fun."

If there was one position were a true frosh just might be able to sneek in a few plays with the first team, it could be tight end. With Kevin Kevin Ware and Joe Toledo seemingly ensconced in the first two positions, Bandel has a chance to compete with Andy Heater for some mop-up time. "It would be great to play," Ben said. "I've thought about that and it would be great if it works out. If not then I'll redshirt and take another year. Whatever it takes to be playing, I'll do it."

All it took was that first orientation day for Ben to know that things were never going to be the same for him. "It was great to put on the purple jersey," he said. "I can't wait to put it on for game day."

And now he can start working on a new 'to do' list while he's at it. Top Stories