recruiting banquet so you can see them for yourselves, along with expert commentary by UW recruiting coordinator Chuck Heater, the only guy that knows all of the stories firsthand. And now, on to the letters . . ."> recruiting banquet so you can see them for yourselves, along with expert commentary by UW recruiting coordinator Chuck Heater, the only guy that knows all of the stories firsthand. And now, on to the letters . . .">


Thank you to those of you that submitted questions for the "Ask Dawgman" column. We're coming up on the end of recruiting, the class is nearly full. Be sure to come to our <a href=><b>recruiting banquet</b></a> so you can see them for yourselves, along with expert commentary by UW recruiting coordinator Chuck Heater, the only guy that knows all of the stories firsthand. And now, on to the letters . . .

From Lone Dawg
Dear Dawgman:
I read somewhere that the Huskies are recruiting a running back out of Las Vegas that runs the 100m in 10.5. Is this true? I also read that the Huskies hadn't offered a scholarship as yet while UCLA has. Could you provide more information on this? Thank you. After comparing another site for the last month, in my humble opinion, this is far and away the quality website.

A: I believe you are referring to Cornell Johnson. He was tentatively scheduled to visit last weekend but it never materialized. I'm not sure that Washington is recruiting him anymore, most likely because they feel they will get Louis Rankin. Thanks for the kind words about our site. We're glad you enjoy it.
From Dave Kerkhoff
Dear Dawgman:
Love your site. I am a committed Dawg fan of over 45 years. Maybe I should just be committed, period. I am excited about the recruiting class and the potential for some others to really fix some areas of need at TE and REB and some others. New Defensive coach. All looking better. BUT,.I am concerned like some of your other fans have written about our attitude displayed on and off the field. Boastful and 'smack talkin' with a swagger that 1) doesn't seem appropriate considering our overall performance and record. 2) shouldn't be representative of our program in history and intent. Seems like the only team that conducted itself with some dignity in the PAC -10, throughout the season was USC. Should that tell the coaches something? Why should we sink to the Ducks or Beavers level in smack talk and intelligence? I would rather have our kids show poise and class and act like winners. I am not saying to not have fun i.e. the Heisman pose of Bailey or not be intense but the focus should be on making plays and rhythm of the game and not the utterable epithet that some players think is so cute. I would hope we rise above this era of false arrogance.

A: Washington got spanked and the Purdue players made no bones about using Husky smack talk as motivation. There is a lesson to be learned, and I think this team will learn it. The senior leaders of 2003 need to make sure that it is ingrained on the younger players.
From Husky Heat
Dear Dawgman:
I really believe the key for the HUSKIES will be the defense in 2003. All offensive lines get better with experience. Alexis will be better because the younger guys and his injury problems will push him to the end in spring. But we have to many athletes on defense to play soft zones. That Purdue game was frustrating!!!! Those zones were like prevent (prevent you from winning) zones. I know on occasions coaches will allow other coaches to come in and watch practice or visit other coaches to gain pointers. We had some of the best defensive coaches around in the 90's. Does former coaches Jim Lambright or Don James visit many practices? Any discussions regarding coach Neuheisel visiting other top defensive schools to help aid the defense?

A: Coaches James and Lambright do attend practices from time to time, but mostly it is just to enjoy the surroundings and not lend help. They are retired and enjoying their lives away from football. Coaches often visit other universities to pick up pointers, but they rarely discuss which schools they have visited. It's something they like to keep to themselves.
From Ted K
Dear Dawgman:
Can you tell me what happened to our recruiting of Viliamu Kuaea? I knew early on he had grade issues, but read later that he was getting them where they needed to be. He was touted as a can't miss talent on both sides of the line. If grades were an issue, wouldn't a greyshirt be an option to get this kid. I am at a loss because he seems like just the type of recruit we have been craving and he is a local kid. Also, are the Dawgs offering Cornell Johnson and what are our chances of getting this guy? Keep up the good work.

A: Viliamu has grade issues and will very likely wind up at a JC. He has the body to be a great NT or OG in two years after earning his AA. Grayshirt could be an option but JC seems more likely. Cornell Johnson has no offer from Washington to my knowledge. I'm not sure that he was identified as one of UW's hot prospects.
From Mike in New Jersey
Dear Dawgman:
Great sight and great info. I have one huge problem, not with the sight, but with the husky running game or lack thereof. It is making me crazy. I believe #8,Kenny James, along with a more experienced, committed and developed o-line, will be the solution. When he was being recruited, Tom Lemming of ESPN could not say enough about him. Yes, unproven, but I have a feeling that he has the determination, heart and desire to carry the running game on his shoulders. Forget Alexis. He had his chance. Give James, Singleton, Sampson and even Bradley a shot. But I am certain that James, just as the other great husky tailbacks who wore #8, will lead us back to the Promised Land and a win in buckeye country in 2003! In your opinion, what do you think of K. James??

A: I think you are placing too much blame on the tailback and not enough (or any) on the line. It is a shared responsibility in my opinion. I think that Alexis could be a very good back if he's healthy, and he's going to be a senior. I haven't seen enough of Chris Singleton, but when he's been in I like him a lot. James is a different type of back than Singleton, he's a between the tackles guy with a lot of wiggle. Singleton is more a burner, as is Shelton Sampson. I love the potential, if the OL can get in sync. Bradley may be given a shot, but I'd sure like to see him out on the corner.
From Rob D
Dear Dawgman:
I was looking at the future schedules, for the football team, and I noticed that after we play Oregon at home next year, we play them on the road two years in a row. Why is that?

A: Pac-10 schedules have been out of sync for years. They don't work out to be true "home-and-home" games for another year or two. Every school in the Pac-10 has this problem with one school or another. The schedules are set years in advance.
From Chris P in Gilbert, AZ
Dear Dawgman:
I too was very upset with the lackluster loss to Purdue in the Sun Bowl but lets face it Dawg fans, the year was a bust! We had no running game, our defense played well only in spurts and we just weren't as physical as the classic smash mouth Dawg days of old. However, I see a light at the end of the tunnel. Although Neu is recruiting more finesse players, I believe we have more talent and speed than any other Husky team in recent memory, not counting the 1991 team. If our young guys can step up and the seniors can lead and as you said, "fix the damn running game," we will all be feeling Rosy this time next year. If not, I think it would really be time to take a strong look at what Neu has done to the program. What do you think? Also, I don't hear much about Notre Dame transfer Cory Jones. He is red-shirting next year or will he play, and if so, will he contribute right away? Thanks for a great web site and hang in there, Husky fans, if all goes well, a Return to Dominance is right around the corner. WOOF!!!!

A: If the Huskies can fix the running game, it will solve a lot of ills and provide some margin for error. I honestly believe that is the key to 2003. As for Corey Jones, he will be eligible in 2003 and will get looks at SAM linebacker, and that job is wide open with the graduation of Jafar Williams.
From KRC in Bellingham, WA
Dear Dawgman:
I love your sight. However, I'm really depressed with the season that finished! So much hope at the start of the year and many loses! Some of things that rile me are offense line, the running backs we have and the ones we can't recruit, play calling, execution, and how the losses are increasing for the pass two years and could continue to increase for a while! Why?

The offense line: Everyone is pointing to the fact the Huskies have 5 guys back who started in the offense line (including Dicks filling in for Zajac), but their run blocking ability is suspect to say the least. 968 total yards after 13 games is a joke. There were more than 50 individual players in Division One who rushed for more yards than the Huskies did as a team! Coaches are taking a big chance not bringing in more talent this year. Where do the coaches expect to see the improvement next year, from the weight room? If these guys get any bigger they'll be too slow to get back four or five steps to pass block. Even then Cody Pickett was sacked, rushed, and hit at least 400% more this year then Ken Dorsey was at Miami the past three years combined. Is this the line that you think will carry Washington to the Pac-Ten title and maybe a possible National Championship? I would be surprised if more top recruits like Reggie Bush don't go somewhere else to play where the line play is at least consistent. For every hour the offense line spends in the weight room they need to spend two hours on the Stairmaster, bicycle, versa climber, and treadmill. Then substitute some fruit and vegetables for gravy and potatoes. We need leaner and faster linemen, not just stronger linemen.

Recruiting running backs: Since Cory Dillon's record year in 1996, we haven't gotten any back with like talent. Remember some of these players lost? Sirr Parker, Joe Igber, Cris Brown, Lorenzo Booker, and Reggie Bush to name a few? Even the dreaded Cougars get better running backs from junior colleges then we get as four-year players. All our backs get hurt because they run into 275 lb defensive linemen one yard behind our line of scrimmage.

Phil Snow might be a good pick-up for our defense. I'm glad he wasn't coaching at UCLA when they lost to Miami and Wisconsin a few years back. That was a great offensive team with little defense. One position change I would like to see would be the moving of Carothers to linebacker from safety, because we need more speed at safety. He was beat to the outside couple times in the Sun Bowl alone. He was beaten so bad on one play he took it out on a Purdue player out of bounds that cost us more field position. He's a great hitter and the linebacker spot is made for him.

I'm a long time season ticket holder (1983) and Tyee member since 1987. I love traveling with the Dawgs and watching them play on the road, but there is no way I'll be going to watch them play in Columbus! The Buckeyes will kick our butts. I can't watch another game like the Sun Bowl 1995 or 2002, Nebraska 1998, USC 2002, or Miami 2001. The Miami game in 1994 was fun!

We lost to Michigan this past year and everyone was saying if we just get past them we'd be fine. Boy was that a mistake, we lost 5 more times. People are all ready saying this about the up coming season with the Buckeyes. What is there that is so promising? If you told me that every day the scout team, loaded with freshman redshirting in 2002, was whipping the starters in practice, I'll fly down to Vegas and put money of Washington winning it all in 2003! But no one is saying these freshman will be better then the seniors leaving the team this year. Speaking of seniors I think only one, our kicker John Anderson, might get drafted into the pros. After watching Miami play Ohio State and saw their combine speed, I'm scared, really scared. How many of those players will be playing in the NFL next season?

I'm also really glad we beat the quacks, leave-it-to-beavers, and the kitty cats to end the year and give me hope before the Sun Bowl. But right now I'm depressed.

Keep up the good work and hopefully next time I write I'll be eating my words!

A: No charge for the therapy session (smile). Many undoubtedly share your skepticism. I mean, when was the last time the Huskies had a team that couldn't run the football? That needs to get fixed and I believe it can be fixed if the staff dedicates this spring to running the ball, and introducing more option to create some misdirection to help the offensive line. The line has to prove they can drive block and not just pass protect, that is where an option can help, if the fullback dive can be sold. I honestly believe that Alexis, Singleton, and James are talented enough to get it done.

You really should come to Columbus – it's going to be a great trip, win or lose. I predict that the Huskies will make you eat your words and they'll stun the Bucks on the road.

From Lloyd Husky
Dear Dawgman:
Although I (like everyone else) would like to see a top five ranking for our recruiting class, I can't help but feel excited about seeing so many Washington athletes in our class this year. I feel that if you want to be a major college performer (or professional for that matter), you should be able to catch, run, or throw the ball in all manners of weather conditions. I don't think that our highly recruited brethren from Southern Cal can achieve those same goals in the time that they are allotted in our program. They may be faster then the average Washington recruit but I just don't see them performing well in the Pro's unless they are good at performing in the worst conditions.

A: The key to Washington recruiting will always be the same – get the top 10 guys in-state to stay home and then augment that with out of state talent. Neuheisel knows this well and will stick to it. Losing Johnny DuRocher was a major hiccup, but take your hat off to Oregon for locking him up before the UW could really make a hard charge at him. Your point about performing in all weather is an intriguing one. The local kids certainly will be more accustomed to playing in rain and wind. Interestingly enough, the fastest two guys in the class are from in state (Derrick Bradley and Cody Ellis.
From Mike G
Dear Dawgman
I've read the newspaper articles regarding the new co-defensive coordinator alignment the Dawgs will have in place next year. It would appear from the news articles that both coaches are OK with this arrangement. What is your honest "feeling" about how the two men (Hundley and Snow) will co-exist? What other tangibles does this arrangement bring to the Husky table besides coaching knowledge? Thanks for you time.

A: My honest feeling is that it will work great. Tim Hundley is the most democratic coach I've seen, and very much relies on the input of his staff and takes it to heart. Having Phil Snow help him will not be a problem at all. Hundley doesn't have a big ego, he just wants to win.
From Dawgby in BC
Dear Dawgman:

A: Only if another Steve Emtman arrives. You have no idea how easy he made it on cornerbacks because he would take two, sometimes three blockers out of the play, freeing up guys like Don Jones and Andy Mason to blast around the ends. The 4-6-attack defense worked well with Emtman, and corners that could cover with no safety help. Pac-10 offensive coordinators had it figured out by 1994, though. Everything comes and goes in cycles, so you may see it come back. But for now, the offensive coordinators have learned how to beat it consistently.
From KGlein
Dear Dawgman:
I think there is a philosophical divide between what we think of as "Husky Football" and what Coach Neu has implemented. The UW offense is quarterback-centric. The scheme was designed with the focus primarily on the play of the quarterback. Remember, our last successful rushing attack revolved around Tui. Can the Huskies run the ball without a dual threat QB with the current scheme? I've noticed that the QB shows the ball to the defensive before handing it off to the RB. Why do they do this and then completely abandon the play action pass plays at the first sign of trouble? I would like to see more slight-of-hand from our veteran QB and enough misdirection plays to keep defenses honest. Suggestion for Coach Neuheisel, visualize you won the MVP of the Rose Bowl after rushing for 225 yards as a running back, then start drawing up some running for yourself.

A: Fix the damn running game. That is where the problem lies. No matter if it takes slight of hand, option, shovel passes, I don't care. This team needs to be able to run the football. Thank you for your note.
From Purple Blood Maniac
Dear Dawgman:
This is the ultimate site on the net, it helped me a lot while I lived in Arizona. I have been seeing all these letters all year criticizing the coaching staff and I myself have yelled at the TV screen a few times at some of the calls they made in certain situations. But I figured I should not rush to judgment and see how the season turned out, and it looked like they had figured it out and got thing's turned around and then here comes that prevent defense again. All the prevent defense does is prevent you from winning. All it takes is patience on offense to pick it apart. And it leads to long drives that eat up clock. I believe in dancing with the girl that brung ya and the girl that brung us was an aggressive defense, it saved the season, and they go back to the system that hadn't worked all year it really boggles my brain. I too have faith that next year is gonna be a magical run for us, but not if the same defensive system is employed, that will cause a very similar year to this year so let's hope Phil Snow can help make some changes. I believe that Alexis will have a 1000-yard year next year - the guy is good and we should all have faith. Go dawggies!!!!

A: Glad you like the site! I think Phil Snow will help Tim Hundley a great deal. Hundley is very open to input from his staff, which lends itself well to working with Snow, who coordinated some outstanding defenses at ASU and UCLA. I'm excited to see how it will work. I share your enthusiasm about Alexis – if he can be healthy he's plenty good enough.
From Frank
Dear Dawgman:
How high will the huskies be ranked in the fall? I would like to see Jim Lambright come back on the coaching staff. What do you think?

A: I think the UW will be ranked #9, given that they have a senior QB and so many returning starters up front. And of course Reggie. The media will read that and rank them very high in the pre-season. Lambo will most likely not be back. I don't think he and Barbara Hedges will work together again anytime soon. It was not a friendly parting of the ways when Lambo was fired.
From Scott
Dear Dawgman:
I know next season is a long ways off, but I wanted to get your "early" predictions for next year. Weaknesses this year were obviously in the running game and a young defense. Will both of these improve enough next year to make a run at a Pac-10 title or even a national championship?

A: I think both will improve enough to run the entire table. Until they prove me wrong, I believe it. It's the homer in me. But make no mistake, the running game ABSOLUTELY must be fixed.
From Sam Jizzo
Dear Dawgman:
Dawgman, Do you think any of the incoming HS recruits will play next year or will it be much like this year's class, mostly redshirting? If so, who, and how much of a contribution will they have? Thanks. Looking forward to the recruiting banquet!

A: I think that one of the freshman receivers will certainly get a shot at playing time. Look for Bobby Whithorne, Craig Chambers, and Corey Williams to challenge for some playing time in the four-WR sets. Derrick Bradley, with his speed, could get a look as a kick off return guy or perhaps a corner position. Other than those guys, I hope the rest of the high school guys redshirt. The two JC guys can help right away (TE Jon Lyon and DE Mike Mapu).
From Lon
Dear Dawgman:
Do the Huskies still have any interest in Jason Goodman the TE/LB from Montana and if so why haven't they offered him? From what I hear he likes UW and is supposed to be pretty good. My second question is in regard to the D-line, the best UW teams I can remember all had one thing in common, a ferocious pass rush. This year's team rushed the QB well at times but not with very much consistency, since this years recruiting class looks to be thin in this area are there any potential D-line recruits out there that the Huskies have their eye on for next year? Thanks for all the time and effort that you put into making our site the best, it's appreciated

A: I think Washington is done at TE with Jon Lyon and Casey Tyler. As for DL recruits, I think Jordan Reffett, Mike Mapu, and Chris Hemphill are going to be it.
Link to past columns of Ask Dawgman

Click the button above to ask dawgman a question. You'll need to have your browser's e-mail capability enabled for this button to work.

[ more Ask Dawgman columns ] Top Stories