Emtman likes what he sees in Holt

Like E.F. Hutton, for Husky nation, when Steve Emtman speaks "people listen". After the announcement on Monday of former USC defensive coordinator Nick Holt taking over the same position with the Dawgs, Dawgman.com caught up with the former Husky All-American and the number one overall choice in 1992's NFL Draft and he talked about his early impressions of Washington's new assistant head coach...

"I don't know (Holt) personally, but three of my friends who know him called me and told me ‘you'll like him'," Emtman said. "I think he's known for the thing that his guys will play hard. I'm an old-school guy and I think if you're not going to hire Jim Lambright back, you'd better go out and get the next-best thing."

The new coaching staff has been hard at work getting recruiting kicked into gear while also focusing on getting the current players into the weight room to show them what it takes to get back to the top of the Pac 10.

"(Ivan Lewis) and I have mutual friends in the strength and conditioning world so I think that Ivan is going to be good," Emtman noted. "He definitely has good energy and I think he's going to get after (the players) I think it's going to be okay."

After head coach Steve Sarkisian let the entire staff go Emtman thought he may throw his hat into the ring as a candidate for the defensive line job, but that didn't happen.

"I would love to be involved," Emtman said. "I haven't been invited back in any way shape or form, but I've had a couple of conversations.

"The first two coaches hired were a strength coach and a D-Line coach, so I kinda felt like I'm not wanted. But I've got plenty of things going on in my life, so it's just that I don't want to be an outsider looking in.

"I've already worked out in the weight room a couple of times and they've been there and welcoming. They didn't try to throw me out and they actually let me go in there and get my grind on so that was good stuff.

"To me it's just exciting to be in a program where I feel somewhat welcomed coming back. Last week was the first time I've seen the weight room since it was remodeled."

Just because he wasn't asked back, that doesn't mean Emtman doesn't think Sarkisian knows what he's doing.

"He gets it," Emtman said matter-of-factly. "I look at the deal and go ‘well, any change is good change, but I think we're going to end up with some guys that get after it'.

"I love the fact that they are going young, they have good energy, there's no gap there, they understand today's kids well. I support it regardless, but I wasn't until they hired Holt. Quite frankly I wasn't that excited, but now that they've hired him I think they've taken one of the great coaches away from SC so it's a plus."

And why is Holt one of the great coaches?

"I don't know (Holt), but I know he's hard-nosed and he'll get his guys to play hard and that's all we ask for," Emtman said. "If I could ask for what I want and the '91 Huskies want, we want people to walk out of Husky Stadium respecting the Washington Huskies.

"I don't even care if we win, but when you walk out of that stadium you better be respecting the Washington Huskies defense and knowing you played a football game because you know you got your ass hit and it was the 'Don James philosophy' of the nastiest legal players on the field.

"Talk is cheap, you gotta show me. But there's no reason we don't win six games next year and no reason we don't compete well. I'm just optimistic and excited to see things this year."

So, while he might not be on the staff, it sounds like the new coaching staff, especially Holt have the backing of one of the greatest Huskies of all time.

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