Letters to the Publisher

Thank you to those of you that submitted questions for the "Ask Dawgman" column. OK. Recruiting is here, and it's almost over! Two weekends, and if you blinked, you missed commitments left and right. The class could use a Brandon Mebane to balance out, and a Reggie Bush to finish strong. HAPPY HOLIDAYS to everyone in the Dawgnation, and Merry Christmas, C-Dub . . . .

From Michael R
Dear Dawgman:
Brandon Jacobs, how solid is his commit to Auburn. Does Eddie Jackson have any rapport with him?

Also, with Hauck leaving for Montana and Mike Riley's recent debacle, would UW consider Riley for a position? Would he take such a position? It would be a nice way for him to get back into the college mix and remain in the PAC-10. It would also be a great fit if he can work under Rick's command. Just imagine these two recruiting stars working together.

A: I think Jacobs was going to go to Auburn all along, he was kind of placed at Coffeyville by the Tigers out of high school. As for Mike Riley, he is not going to be an assistant coach anywhere. He's going to be the head guy when the right job comes along. I thought it might be UCLA, but I was wrong. He's still a hot commodity though.
From Greg S
Dear Dawgman:
Dawgs have 16 commits already! How many scholarships do they have this year because a lot of the large name athletes haven't committed yet and we don't have any (i/e Reggie Bush).

A: It is pretty clear that Washington is going to take a full class of 25, and then will work the numbers later. At the time of your letter the Dawgs were at 16, but they are now at 21 as I type your answer. Here's the list: UW Commits. Washington will make sure they have spots available for guys like Reggie Bush and Brandon Mebane.
From Chris P in Gilbert, AZ
Dear Dawgman:
Happy Holidays Dawg fans! I've been watching the recruiting battles and I have to say I was a bit concerned at first with the UW seemingly making no progress, but with the commits of this past week it has helped to ease my concerns. My question is, who are we recruiting at quarterback and do you think it's a turn off for QB's to look at us because of the depth there? Also, I really like the in-state kids we are getting. These kids have grown up with the purple and gold and know what a great honor it is to wear that uniform. They will not let husky tradition down. One more thing, I teach at Gilbert High where our current commit, Mike Braunsten attends and let me tell you, the kid has one hell of a leg. He probably has one of the strongest legs I have ever seen. He should be a good one when it's all said and done. Keep up the excellent work.

A: Washington is looking at Karl Bonnell, former Kentwood QB that is currently at WSU part time, and his eligibility clock has not started. When he returns from the Rose Bowl, he will make his decision as to whether or not to stay at WSU or perhaps transfer to Washington. The others Washington is looking at are Dennis Dixon and Johnny DuRocher. DuRocher is an Oregon commit, and will probably stick with it, while Dixon has Washington leading at this time.
From Eric from West Linn, OR
Dear Dawgman:
Hi Dave - I had the pleasure of meeting you on that fateful Miami cruise. I have a few random questions and comments....I keep hearing about a 6'11" OL from Clackamas HS down here in my neck of the woods. I wasn't able to see Clackamas play this year, so I haven't been able to separate fact from fiction, but I believe he is only a Jr., and is supposed to be pretty beefy, not spindly, and agile. Is he too tall to be an OL in college, or would he be recruited as a TE or DL? Or is he a basketball prospect as well, and likely to be recruited primarily for hoops?

The Pac-10 coaching just got even tougher with Karl Dorrell being hired at UCLA, imo. I was really sorry to see him leave UW. I wonder now if Mike Riley might replace Mike Price, which I think would be an improvement for WSU. I think Price-coached teams lacked preparation for big games and didn't execute well in crunch time. What do you think? The Pac-10 seems like the best coached conference in college, with a guy like Mackovic as the weakest link, we must be good. Thanks Dave, Happy Holidays, and Go DAWGS!

A: Thanks for the note, Eric. I am not aware of the young man in Clackamas you asked about. But it's very hard to imagine a 6-11 guy playing offensive line. Pad level alone would make it very difficult. I could see TE, perhaps, or maybe DE. Hoops is much more likely. As for Dorrell, he's a dynamite recruiter and a good man. I think UCLA made a great hire. WSU won't be able to afford Riley. Doba is their man, now.
From Doug H
Dear Dawgman:
What do you think about the status of Barbara Hedges is, after all the problems with the coaches she has hired? Do you think there is pressure to replace some of the football assistant coaches after all the on field mistakes this season? Why are the Huskies so late in getting plays to the field and are they planning to change this for the bowl game?

A: I think Barbara will be the AD for a while longer. She's always answered that question the same, she's still enjoying the challenges and as long as she does that, she'll remain. There will be some staff shake up, yes. Bobby Hauck has left to go be the head coach at Montana. There may be one or two more changes before spring and after recruiting season is over. Why did the plays get to the field late? I thought it was a case where the Huskies like to use personnel groupings and sometimes the wrong grouping would be out on the field. This improved dramatically as the season went on, with the notable exception of the Apple Cup on two occasions.
From Poi Dawg
Dear Dawgman:
Last night I saw an unflattering story on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumble. The subject of the story was about how colleges use coeds to take recruits around campus on their visits. Most of the recruits were assigned three babes to be with them for the weekend. The story highlighted the fact that the girls were encouraged to show the recruits a "good time." Some schools even offer course credit for being a host (sounds like a WSU thing, but you need to actually have babes on campus for this type of thing to work). Oregon and ASU were featured in the story as having organized female host programs. One coach for ASU noted that "this is what our competition does, this is what we need to do to keep up." He also stated "we know what is on the minds of 17 year old kids."

Does UW have this type of program? I never hear about the babes on any trip reports. If they do have this type of thing, can you pass my e-mail on to the coaching staff. I'm 6'8", 290 lbs, I run a 4.3 40 and I prefer blonds. On second though, this is a nice time to year to be in Phoenix and no school has better looking coeds then ASU. I think I'll take all 5 visits to ASU and then commit later to UW.

A: Washington has a "Husky Hostess" program, but based on one of the posters on our site that is close to that program, they don't engage in some of the activities that the HBO program described. Thanks for your note, I just about spilled my coffee reading it!
From John J
Dear Dawgman:
Great site - couldn't do without it living in Georgia. A recent post on Dawgtales mentioned who were projected to be starters and significant contributors next year and Donny Mateaki's name was not mentioned. He was touted as the "Wrecking Machine" out of high school and had been mentioned as possibly the only true freshman who would not be redshirted. I attended two Fall practices and, while looking a bit unpolished, Donny seemed to be quite a good pass rusher and quite aggressive. I have re-visited past articles on this site and have found very little mention of him. Has he been injured? Did the staff believe that our current players were better this year and decided to redshirt him? Are the staff equally as high on him as before? I just read on this site that one of the concerns for next year was the replacement of Kai Ellis - doesn't Donny seen to fit this mold? Thanks for the information and keep up the wonderful work. Beat Purdue!

A: Donnie had shoulder surgery and was on the shelf for most of it. He will figure into next year's plans, but maybe on the inside, depending on how heavy he'll get. I don't see him as a replacement for Ellis, they are different types of player. I think he'll play the "Husky" defensive end, whereas Ellis played the "REB". I believe that Mateaki will challenge Manase Hopoi at DE, or Terry Johnson at DT.
From PW Dawg
Dear Dawgman:
My question.... in the 50's - 60's Huskies were getting good athletes out of Oregon..... now what I see are good kids ( especially big lineman) going to UCLA, USC, Stanford and a few to CAL, less an less to Udub. It's been a long time since a valley league kid has gone huskey - ( since Bo Yates ) my question ... Why don't the huskies have a bigger present in the good 4A leagues in Oregon ( Valley / midwest ) if the kid is good enough for UCLA - USC - Stanford why are we losing them to the southern schools.

A: Washington is bringing in a young man from Beaverton this year, OL Erik Berglund. But your point is well taken, Spencer Marona was the last Oregonian to come to Washington out of high school before him. The ones you mention that Washington lost to UCLA (Bryce Bohlander), Stanford (Kylee Wong), and USC (Troy Polamalu), were all offered by Washington. UW recruited them, they just didn't pick Washington.
From Shirley and Jack S
Dear Dawgman:
Just a note. I also think there is a fairly good chance that the Dawgs could run the table next year. They have a great home schedule and catch only Arizona, OSU, UCLA and Cal on the road. Not having ASU on the schedule could be a good thing but since we would have gotten them at home it might work against us. Having the Cougs, ducks and Trojans at home will be awesome. Our schedule next year looks very much like what the Cougs had at home this year and hopefully we can have the same success.

A: Excellent points. I think they will run the table. That opener at OSU is the lynchpin for the entire season, in my opinion. They win that, they don't lose again for the rest of the year.
From Sam J
Dear Dawgman
Thanks for taking the time to do this and write back. We wouldn't write if we didn't care. Recruiting time, in my opinion, is exciting. I'm thrilled to hear of commits and look to see the future stars and potential of incoming players. As far as ranking recruits goes, it's a quirky thing and not an exact science. But why is UW recruiting so many "2 star" athletes instead of putting more energy into getting those 4 and 5 star guys? I understand that the recruits have "potential", and the top recruits don't always turn out to be good, but it seems that if the school is going to use scholarships, time/money and effort, then they should use them on players who are recruited higher. Also, UW being considered tight end U, how much of an impact do you think our current tight ends could have? Much in the way Kevin Ware did this year. Would Jon Lyon be a receiving threat? Thanks.

A: Thanks for the letter. Washington does not use the same ranking system as the recruiting services do. Some of the guys that were not rated very high on the current UW team include starters ILB Marquis Cooper, CB Roc Alexander, and OG Nick Newton. Washington evaluated them and determined that they were big time, whereas recruiting services didn't really give them much pub. Jon Lyons is going to definitely be a receiving threat. They fully expect him to contribute right away.
From Anthony F
Dear Dawgman:
This is simply a tremendous site DM. Wanted to ask you these quick questions. What do you think of O'Dea's Keandre Magee? Would he be a good get for UW? Would you say Chancellor Young is and equal (or even better) Div.1 prospect for next year? In your opinion how far away is any construction work for Husky Stadium? 2-4 years? 5-10 years? Would it just consist of Luxury boxes to start with? Is there going to be a recruiting banquet next year? Any info. On when/where? I know this is a college site but maybe you know. - Certain local high schools (Bellevue and Tumwater come to mind) are very successful using the Wing-T. When I've seen it though, it actually looks pretty complex. Why does it work so well for high school football?

Thanks and Merry Christmas.

A: Magee was all-state and he's a fine player. Chancellor Young is going to be one of the top athletes recruited on the west coast in my opinion. He's big time. As for Husky Stadium, I don't think that they'll do anything before the current facilities projects are complete, or at least funded. That will take 4-5 years. You will see a new crewhouse and weight room before then, however. As for the Wing-T, I think it is so successful in high school football because of the number of options you have available. You put your best player in the slot, or "Wing", and you can get them the ball in multiple ways, and get him a lot of touches in the game. It's very difficult to defend, particularly if your defense is too aggressive. It also is very much an offense that showcases the wing back and gets him in open field so he can take advantage of it. I don't think it would translate well to college or NFL because of the speed (and size) of those defenses. You asked about our recruiting banquet - we're having it again, and once again at Emerald Downs. More details to follow on this site, but expect it to be either the THURS or FRI after signing day.
From SufreDawg
Dear Dawgman:
Time to placate me. Do you see any DL surprises on LOI day? Aside from Reffett and Mebane what other DL types are the Dawgs now pursuing?

A: Chuck Jones, Matthew Malele, and Dwight Stephenson, Jr. are the biggest three that I can think of off the top of my head besides Brandon Mebane. Chad Sutter is still uncommitted at this time as well.
From Gwen C
Dear Dawgman:
I know this is a tough question but sure would like your thoughts on why we are having such a difficult time recruiting the top defensive linemen this last couple of years? I know we are dealing with kids and all that but they are making their choices for a reason and for the most part it has not been udub. Thanks for providing all of us a great forum for all things Husky!!!!

A: Washington has gotten some good DL in recent years. Tui Alailefaleula and Donnie Mateaki were both highly regarded coming out of high school, and Brandon Ala was getting a lot of press in Hawaii. Josh Miller was an early commit but would've had more offers than just WSU and Washington. However, you are right that Washington needs another DL. Brandon Mebane would be the guy.
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