Coach's Corner

Depth is such a precarious commodity in college football, especially when it gets down to replacing players as your season progresses. All position areas require balance and that should always be a consideration when building a recruiting class. The Huskies really needed to add a couple of young receivers last year to complement their already deep senior group.

They signed three but lost two, giving them a net of one. The five seniors will need to step up.

Neither Devin Aguilar from Colorado, nor Anthony Boyles from Junipero, had the qualifying test scores to meet NCAA eligibility for admissions. Thus only Alvin Logan enters this fall when practices begin Aug 5th. The two non-qualifiers are signed up and determined to pass the next SAT test to be given in mid-September.

Because Washington is on the quarter system they do not start school until the end of September. That provides enough time to request an early score and to be suited up and ready to practice when school begins session the last week of the month. They will have missed early training camp and all of the games that occurred before classes began, but they will not have missed any school.

If you have to spin it positive, both young men can now concentrate on getting off to a good start academically since they will obviously be studying a lot for the next month and a half. That's about the only positive in this entire ordeal though.

Realistically, you never expect a youngster to come in and immediately outperform kids who have been in your program for 4 or 5 years. However receiver is one of the positions where raw athletic talent can dictate playing time right off the bat. Sometimes, as in the case of a Reggie Williams, you have no choice but to play the 18-year old.

As a wide receiver coach, I once played a true-freshman, Jason Shelley, but the same year refused to play another, Fred Coleman. Both guys went on to play professionally at all kinds of levels from the NFL to Europe, to Arena ball. I probably should have given Jason another year to mature and he may have had a better career. Red-shirting Fred was the very best thing for his development at the time. We had veteran wide outs who although not as talented physically as Jason and Fred, were sure handed and tough blockers.

We also had Napoleon. We ran the ball, that's how we beat people. Coleman went on to win a Super Bowl ring and Shelley is still playing in the Arena Football League.

The current day Huskies can learn from this history. They should be alright even if Aguilar and Boyles don't make it this year, as long as the guys on the current roster are sure handed and great blockers. Catch everything thrown your way and be great open field and down field blockers.

The guys that will play are the ones that throw the block that allows Rankin or Locker to take it to the house.

What is pleasing is to see the strategy that both the kids and the program are taking to fulfill their commitment to each other. Anthony Boyles and Devin Aguilar are both slated to re-take the SAT and want to move to Seattle in order to be ready to play immediately upon getting eligible. Hopefully, they won't be needed and both can red-shirt and get off to that solid academic start in college. They are not being cast adrift by the program and both sides appear to want to make it work.

The most important thing to remember is that neither Boyles nor Aguilar have ever played a single snap of college football. You never know what you have until they strap it on and go at it live. So you never really count on a true 18 year old to do anything much less be able to compete in front of 75, 000. Contributors? Maybe. But every down players or starters? Probably not.

Logan will look good when he shows up because he is a 6-2, 200+ pound tough kid. He is as good on defense as he is on offense, probably better. He had 88 tackles as a DB. He has size and likes to hit. I'll bet he proves to be a really good blocker as a young wide receiver.

I really liked both Marcel Reece and Corey Williams coming out of spring. I think they clearly made the most progress and I can't imagine them not being the featured receivers as well as being the best blockers in 2007. Both have paid their dues and are ready to play big time. They are obviously working well with the new receivers coach and both were really impressive in the Husky Drill with their determination and blocking leverage. Both are in the best shape of their lives.

Anthony Russo brings the most playing time and best understanding of the position, but he is still slight of build and takes a beating. Regardless, Russo is a proven player who should be at his best this coming season and may be used at any of the three wide out alignments; split end, flanker, or slot.

Cody Ellis brings speed to the position and made some great plays last season and like Quintin Daniels, when healthy, has shown the ability to perform in the Pac-10.

And all of these kids are seniors.

I think the receiver position will work itself out simply because they will not be the focus of the offense. They will compliment the other positions. If Washington is going to win games this year it is going to be because they play good defense, run the football and protect the football, and win the kicking games. They will need to cut down the playing field and run the football, particularly in the second half of games. Run the ball, run the option, run the quarterback. I promise you Tim Lappano knows how to run the football and that he knows Louis Rankin could be a game breaker if you can get him to the second level of the defense. He will gain over a thousand yards this coming season and Locker will be the second leading ball carrier in most games.

Washington will attempt to mash their opponents with their monster offensive line. Wear them down and then pound them in the second half with the run. Play attacking defense and create turnovers. In the spring, this team has practiced keeping themselves in games until the fourth quarter, and giving themselves a chance to win it at the end.

Losing two receivers who have not even suited up hurts their development but this team will win because of its development over the past three years. Both of the youngsters will eventually make it into school and can grayshirt if necessary.

Too many non-qualifiers have not ever made it to Washington, or when they do qualify, they wind up going elsewhere. That trend has to stop. There has to be a solution to get these kids admitted/

Coach Willingham's staff is trying to do just that. They are sticking with Boyles and Aguilar, and encouraging them to make it. They will find study programs to assist them in preparing them for tests, and stay in contact with these young men. Hopefully it will result in both attending Washington and having stellar careers. Top Stories