Dawgman Recruiting Blog - 4/19

It's been a busy 10 days for the Washington football staff. They've played host to several top in-state and regional talents even garnering a commitment from OL Drew Schaefer in the first week. Week two has seen a parade of local talent along the sidelines for both workouts and Dawgman.com was able to catch up with a few of the 2007 and 2008 recruits to get their thoughts on what they saw.

Kentridge WR/DB Brandon Turner - He might be playing quarterback for the Chargers this fall, but make no mistake, Turner is a wide receiver or a safety at the next level and the young man from the valley took in Tuesday's workout and came away impressed.

"It was awesome," Turner said. "I had so much fun there. I talked to every coach at one point or another and spent a lot of time with the receivers watching what they do and how they're coached.

"I'm real business-like when I play football and that's what I liked about their practices. It was really fast-paced. The players had a ton of energy and really worked hard and the coaches were really intense and I like that.

"I don't think one coach went through the practice without yelling instructions and correcting a player on something. They weren't yelling just to yell either. They were trying to get the guys to execute better and that was pretty cool to watch."

Until Tuesday, Turner had never met new Huskies wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett. After spending some time with what would likely be his position coach should he end up at Washington, Turner said he couldn't be happier.

"He was really cool," Turner said. "We had never met before so when he walked up to me he sort of sized me up and then smiled and introduced himself.

"How can you not be impressed by the guys he's coached in the league and in college? He produces good wide receivers so I know that I would be in good hands with him mentoring me."

Turner said he plans to take in a few more practices and plans on attending Washington's spring game next Saturday (April 29th).

Rainier Beach OL/DL Alameda Ta'amu - One of the biggest athletes in the state this coming season will be Ta'amu who recently spent his spring vacation in Eastern Washington in the orchards.

"My friend and I got into this Union Gospel Mission thing and we went over there for a week and helped some of those people out over there," Ta'amu said. "I feel like I should help people if I can and I can pick apples pretty good."

Ta'amu has stated before that he prefers defense over offense and he was recently told by the Huskies that they like him on either side of the ball.

"I think they want me on defense now," Ta'amu said with a laugh. "They had told me they liked me on offense earlier, but after watching my tape some more, they said I could be successful on either side of the ball.

"I'll play wherever I am needed to play by the coaching staff of the school I end up at. I'm still open to everyone, but I will play wherever they need me."

Ta'amu said he has a good relationship with Husky linebackers coach and recruting coordinator Chris Tormey and that he likes what he sees in the Huskies.

"They are going to be good next year," Ta'amu said. "I think things will go well for them and they have good coaches in place. It's just a matter of being confident and getting off to a good start."

Ta'amu plans to attend Washington's spring game.

Lake Washington TE Chris Izbicki - It wasn't just 2008 players in attendance this week.

Izbicki has made it out to several practices so far and he said he's ready to strap on a helmet and get after it, but he'll have to wait a few months.

"It's so hard to just watch them and not get out there and go," Izbicki said. "I loved the intensity when they were doing the 'Husky Drill'.

"That just gets the whole team fired up and it fires up all of us on the sidelines too. We get all hyped up and want to get out there too. Anytime they do the 'Husky Drill' it's a good day."

Izbicki has been working for the better part of the last six months with a speed coach and said, while he doesn't know his 40-time right now, that he's pretty sure he's dropped it a bit.

"I haven't timed myself, but I feel like I'm faster and stronger," Izbicki said. "I'm working really hard to be ready to go when I report (in July)."

One currently enrolled player has been spending a lot of time with Izbicki, his soon-to-be roommate Ronnie Fouch.

"Oh he's so happy he came up early," Izbicki said. "He loves it up here and we've been hanging out a lot. He said he really loves it and that it's tough, but really a lot of fun."

Izbicki isn't doing anything in track this spring, opting to focus strictly on his preparation for the start of his Husky career.

Rainier Beach CB Vonzell McDowell - "Man it was so hard not to get out there and run around and play," McDowell said on Wednesday night about his visit to Montlake on Tuesday. "I was watching stuff I'm going to be doing real soon. I can't wait."

Neither can Washington's defensive backs coach J.D. Williams who is struggling to find bodies to plug in this spring, but expects at least three corners and two safeties this fall.

"He said it's all on me if I want to play early," McDowell said. "The staff always tells us that they don't care who plays. You can be a young guy or a senior. The best players will play regardless. I'm going to go in and try and prove that I should be playing and if I don't then I'll just have to work that much harder."

McDowell is one of the state's best sprinters, but he's been holding out of the 100 so far this year, concentrating mainly on the long jump.

"I ran an 11.2 early on, but it was pretty cold that day and it was slick out," McDowell said. "Come districts, I'll be out there going at it.

"I have a 21-4 long jump and that has been helping me with my explosiveness for football."

McDowell said he expects to be at Washington's spring game.

Mt. Si RB Brandon Yakaboski - With only two scholarship running backs on the roster, the chance to play early is very intriguing to Yakaboski who said he knows it's all on him.

"I spent some time with coach (Trent) Miles and he told me to come in ready to go," Yakaboski said. "It's all on me and the chance to play early is there, I just have to work hard and play hard and compete. That's really all you can ask for."

Yakaboski is running 11.2 100's right now at a lean 200 pounds and said the Husky coaches are happy with his size right now.

"They were really happy that I was about 200 pounds," Yakaboski said. "They want me to come in around that or 195...somewhere around there."

Yakaboski said he hopes to make the spring game.

Also in attendance over the past two weeks have been Husky signees Nate Williams and Quinton Richardson as well as 2008 prospects Central Catholic (Or.) QB Nick Green, Eastside Catholic WR/DB Vince Taylor, Eastlake OL Drew Schaefer, Evergreen QB Luther Leonard, Evergreen OL/DL Senio Kelemete, Kentridge OL Leroi Edwards and Kamiak CB Justin Glenn among others.

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