Dawgman Insider Blog - January

On Saturday, Dawgman.com was lucky enough to get Husky Strength and Conditioning coach Ivan Lewis on their radio show and he talked about what has been going on since the end of Washington's football season.

Posted by Scott Eklund
11:45 AM

Ivan Lewis interview with Dawgman on KJR

Who is living in the weight-room? Who has made the most progress? Husky Strength and Conditioning coach Ivan Lewis talked about those subjects and more on Saturday in his interview with Dawgman.com on KJR.

Talk about it here

Posted by Chris Fetters
9:45 AM

Kona Schwenke (© Barry Markowitz, 2008)

One more visitor this weekend?

Just when you think you've got the process figured out, it throws you a big curve ball. Such is the life right now for Kahuku (Hawai'i) defensive end Kona Schwenke. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Schwenke, who is mormon, had been verbally committed to BYU since July. But recent calls by both Washington and Notre Dame have put Schwenke on a path to where his commitment to BYU was no longer tenable.

This link leads to a story written by Brandon Gurney of Total Blue Sports, and it details the events from the perspective of Kona's father McKay, and what led to Kona taking two official visits - to Notre Dame and Washington - this weekend.

An article written by Stacy Kaneshiro of the Honolulu Advertiser here confirms this news and spells out the plan the Schwenkes will take this weekend.

The main question is - how can they feasibly do this? A source very close to the situation that spoke to McKay just before the Schwenkes boarded a plane to the mainland Thursday night, said that they have tickets to Chicago and also to Seattle before heading back home to Oahu, and that the family will spend one day each at Notre Dame and Washington before the Dead Period descends upon the recruiting calendar.

The Dead Period starts Sunday night at midnight, and goes until Thursday night at midnight. Although Sunday the 31st is technically a quiet day, coaches can host prospective student-athletes, as long as it's at their school. That's how the Schwenkes are going to be able to fit both trips in under the deadline to visit before the first day of the signing period - Wednesday - hits.

The source also said that McKay told them that Kona would choose between Notre Dame and Washington. Both schools have their ties. Current ND linebacker Manti Te'o is a lifelong friend of Kona, as both families are from the Laie-Kahuku area. We expect Te'o to host Schwenke on his visit to South Bend.

For the Huskies, they already have a verbal commitment from Kahuku's other defensive end - Hauoli Jamora - so UW could end up with bookend Red Raiders on the defensive line.
Posted by Chris Fetters
5:00 PM

James Atoe (Scout.com)

One more weekend to go before Signing Day

With just a handful of days left before high school seniors start faxing in those letters of intent, there's one more weekend to go before the Dead Period descends on Division-1 schools. That means if any prospects plans on signing on the first day of the signing period - Wednesday - they better visit a school this weekend or they'll have to wait until after the signing period starts.

With that in mind, and also understanding that Washington is darn-near full with their 29 verbal commitments to date, there's just two confirmed official visitors to Montlake this coming weekend - but they are big ones, literally; Ricky Heimuli from Brighton High School in Salt Lake City, and James Atoe from The Dalles-Wahtonka High School in Oregon.

The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Heimuli, the No. 10-ranked defensive tackle by Scout.com, has already visited Oregon, Oregon State and UCLA. Washington will be his fourth and final visit, and he's expected to sign with one of those programs on Signing Day.

Atoe, at 6-foot-7 and 325 pounds, is nothing short of a man-child, and he was attended UW's Rising Stars camp as an offensive tackle. Speaking with Atoe on Thursday, Dawgman.com was able to confirm his visit - one he'll be making with his family. We'll be in touch with Atoe on Sunday to find out about his visit and what is going on with the rest of his recruitment.

Also, Auburn's Chris Young is expected to be visiting UW unofficially, but can't make his official visit until he takes his SAT.

The centerpiece of this weekend's recruiting visits will be the WSU-UW basketball game, and just like with the last big weekend game - a 15-point win over Cal - we expect there to be some 2011 prospects in the house. We'll do some snooping around and find out who was there and give them a shout after the game to find out the latest.
Posted by Scott Eklund
9:30 PM

Butler has solid workout at Senior Bowl in Day 2

Husky LB Donald Butler looked fantastic in the one-on-one blocking drills where the running back is asked to step up and block the on-rushing linebacker.

On one play he side-stepped Wayne State RB Joique Bell to get the "sack" and on another he abused Virginia RB Rashawn Jackson using a bull-rush.

Butler also had a solid performance in the passing drills, getting deep drops and making plays on the ball in the air.

MFL Draft Analyst Mike Mayock said Butler is a player he's watching closely because he believe he'll need to play outside at the next level.

Talk about it here

Posted by Scott Eklund
9:15 PM

Husky OL Terence Thomas applying for Medical Hardship

Dawgman.com spoke with Husky freshman OT Terence Thomas and received confirmation that he is in the process of applying for a Medical Hardship and will not be an active part of the Husky football team. He will still be part of the program, much the same way that former DT Craig Noble has been, and will still be on scholarship while attending classes at the University of Washington.

"Basically, since August of 2008, my (right) foot has been broken," Thomas told Dawgman.com on Monday night. "I had surgery back in October after having a broken fourth metatarsal for over a year and then breaking and re-breaking my fifth metatarsal, it was like 'ok, this isn't working, you have to get surgery to do it'. So I got that done in October and I'm healing up from it, but if I kept playing I would eventually end up doing the same thing to my left foot.

"Washington's coaches, especially Sark and coach Cozzetto, they have been great to me. They've been working with me as well as the strength and conditioning coaches to work out this problem. But it just wasn't working out so right now I'm in the beginning process of applying for what they call a Medical Hardship where I'll still be on scholarship, but I just won't be playing."

Thomas signed with Washington in 2008 and redshirted, but with his injury he was never a factor in the depth along the offensive line.

Thomas joins Noble, QB Ronnie Fouch, RB Willie Griffin, WR Vince Taylor, LB Kurt Mangum, OL Allen Carroll, RB Terrance Dailey, RB David Freeman and RB Brandon Johnson as players to leave the program since the end of the 2008 season.

Talk about it here

Posted by Scott Eklund
5:20 PM

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reported in his blog today that House Bill 2912 has been introduced and could be a funding source for part of the remodel of Husky Stadium.

Talk about it here

Posted by Scott Eklund
4:00 PM

It was a bit of a disappointment when Cerritos DT Johnny Tivao didn't make it into school. Dawgman.com was able to confirm today that he, along with his brother, Junior, are headed to Texas A&M Kingsville next week to enroll for classes and to finish out their college football careers...

Tivao was expected to come in and compete right away for a spot in the defensive tackle rotation. At 5-11, 330 pounds, Tivao used his bulk and suprising quickness to be a force for Cerritos and was being courted by Cal before Washington stepped in with an offer.

Without Tivao in the fold, the Huskies relied on sophomore Alameda Ta'amu and Tyrone Duncan at the nose tackle position and, while both held their own, it appeared from the production of the front-four was reliant on a healthy Cameron Elisara for them to really make their presence felt.

Ta'amu did seem to "get it" as the season wound down having two of his best games of the season against Washington State and Cal, where Washington outscored their two conference opponents by a combined score of 72-10.

Ta'amu, Duncan, Elisara, Everrette Thompson, De'Shon Matthews and Semisi Tokolahi are the five returning inside players with at least some experience while Chris Robinson redshirted as he healed from knee surgery last summer.

This year, the Huskies have a rock-solid commitment from Sione Potoae, a product of Lakes High School (Lakewood, Wa.), who was a US Army All-American and they also have a soft-verbal from Aiea (Hi.) DT Lawrence Lagafuaina who recently took a trip to visit his local school (Hawaii).

Also on the list of players still in the mix are Brighton (Salt Lake City) DT Ricky Heimuli and Servite (Anaheim, Ca.) DT Kirifi Taula, who committed to Arizona before the holidays but a prospect that is still looking around. Both are expected to visit Montlake within the next two weeks.

Did the Huskies miss Tivao's presence last fall? I think when your run defense ranks 64th in the country (out of 120) allowing nearly 150 yards per game, it's pretty self-explanatory, but it was Tivao who didn't get it done in the classroom in order to qualify and thus he missed out on a gift-wrapped opportunity to play early and often for a Pac 10 team.

Washington fans have to be hopeful that players like Ta'amu and Tokolahi, along with a mended Robinson can hold up inside, allowing Lagafuaina (should he sign) to redshirt.

Talk about it here

Posted by Scott Eklund
12:05 PM

Montana confirms he will enroll early...

Future Husky QB Nick Montana was on KJR today with Softy and he answered some questions regarding his status for spring football...

--Montana said he will be enrolled for spring quarter so he can take part in spring football which starts at the end of March.

-- Said he is glad Jake Locker decided to stay so he can learn from him.

-- Said his familiarity with Sarkisian and the system Washington uses is a situation that fit him best.

-- As we confirmed earlier this week, Montana and his parents will be at UW this weekend for Nick's official visit.

-- Said if Locker hadn't come back he would have fought hard to get the starting spot, but reiterated that he is happy to have Locker back.

Talk about it here

Posted by Chris Fetters
10:55 PM

Dawgman.com spoke with Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes Head Coach Dave Miller about the recruiting status of his defensive tackle, Sione Potoae. Sione, who has long been a UW verbal commit, took an official visit to USC in December. With the changeover in staff, will new Trojan Head Coach Lane Kiffin be able to pick up where Pete Carroll left off in pursuit of Potoae?

Dave Miller on Sione Potoae

This is what coach Miller had to say about Sione and where he is in the recruiting process. "He's 100 percent solid to Washington," Miller said. "It's a done deal. He's gone through enough of the process to reinforce that Washington is the place for him."

Talk about it here
Posted by Chris Fetters
7:45 PM

Quick Lawrence Lagafuaina Update

Spoke with Lawrence earlier this week, and he confirmed that he'll be visiting Hawai'i on 1/20 but said he still considers himself committed to UW. We'll have more once he takes his visit.

Talk about it: here
Posted by Kim Grinolds
5:45 PM

Randy Hart heads back to the west coast...

Since he was released with the rest of Charlie Weis' staff at Notre Dame, former Husky assistant coach Randy Hart has been interviewing for job openings and sources are confirming he has been hired by Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Talk about it: here

Posted by Scott Eklund
7:25 AM

Morning News Links...

Rumors have been swirling that Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian will likely be a target of USC now that Pete Carroll has officially been named the head coach for the Seattle Seahawks. However, Sarkisian's boss, Scott Woodward, spoke to a local media outlet recently and said he's confident his second-year coach will remain at Montlake...

-- The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta has been all over the USC coaching change and its possible effects on Washington. In this blurb, he talks with Husky Athletic Director Scott Woodward who gave his thoughts on things.

-- The Sporting News is saying that Husky DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim is the only Washington football player who has been invited to the combine. However, there is always a chance that LB Donald Butler could be added as well.

-- Sports Illustrated's Peter King says that Jack Del Rio has already started making calls to potential assistants should he be named the USC coach. First he needs to get fired from his Jacksonville Jaguars gig.

Talk about it: here

Posted by Scott Eklund
3:21 PM

Dawgman.com on KJR...

It's always interesting when news breaks on a Friday and it directly effects the Washington football program. Dawgman.com's Scott Eklund and Kim Grinolds had a lot of discussion Saturday morning on Pete Carroll's likely departure from USC and took calls on which players the Huskies could end up snaring from the Trojans if the reports prove to be accurate...

Here is the link to the Dawgman.com radio show from this morning without commercials...

Posted by Scott Eklund
2:23 PM

Quick Presser Notes

Steve Sarkisian and Jake Locker met with the press and they spent plenty of time talking about the senior quarterback's decision to return for his fifth year. However, the Husky head man also talked about other program news so here's a quick overview of things that were discussed...

-- Sarkisian touched on the transfer of LB Kurt Mangum and also noted that S/WR Vince Taylor is also preparing to leave as well. He also noted that there could be a few more in the coming weeks.

-- Sarkisian touched on five players - RB Chris Polk, OL Skylar Fancher, OL Greg Christine, DB Justin Glenn and DE Kalani Aldrich -- who all have undergone surgery this offseason. He noted that Polk will miss spring ball, but Fancher, Christine, Glenn and Aldrich will all be possibilities depending on how they heal up.

-- Still no word on whether LB E.J. Savannah will return for a sixth year, however he is enrolled at UW and is just awaiting word from the NCAA.

-- Sarkisian said they are hopeful to see redshirt freshman DT Chris Robinson and S Will Shamburger this spring, however they are waiting on some reports to find out how much they can do.

-- Sarkisian noted that Deontae Cooper is enrolled and that it takes a certain individual to come in and hit the ground running instead of having the normal transition from high school to college. Said he wasn't for a majority of kids coming in early, but said it was beneficial for a handful every year to do that.

Talk about it: here

Posted by Scott Eklund
8:50 AM

Callier pulls in Oregon offer, but remains committed to UW

I spoke with Warren (Downey, Ca.) RB Jesse Callier last night and he said the Oregon coaches were on campus yesterday and they extended him an offer while they were there.

"It was really flattering, but I'm a Husky," Callier said. "The Oregon coach told me they needed running backs like me in their system and that with my quickness, I would be a perfect fit into their offense.

"It was really cool getting an offer from them because they are a good program and they just got done playing in the Rose Bowl, but Washington has been on me from the beginning and I really feel like they are building something up there and I really want to be part of that."

The talented running back also spoke with Husky assistant Johnny Nansen about the offer and said the man running point on his recruitment was relieved the Duck offer didn't sway him.

"He just said they were counting on me and he was glad I didn't want to go there," Callier said. "He said they are really looking forward to me getting up thereand getting to work."

Callier said he's been focused on his classes and getting his work done as he strives to graduate at the end of this month in order to enroll at Washington in late March so he can take part in spring football. The talented senior rushed for over 3,000 yards and 44 touchdowns as a senior at Warren this fall, finishing seventh in the entire nation in rushing.

"It was a good way to finish," Callier said. "You always want to finish strong and that's what I was able to do, but I wish we could have gone further in the playoffs."

Callier will join RB Deontae Cooper, who is already enrolled and taking classes, and Culver City (Ca.) LB Victor Burnett as early enrollees from the 2010 class. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Ca.) QB Nick Montana is also hoping to finish up early so he too can take part in spring football.

Talk about it: here

Posted by Scott Eklund
1:40 PM

Two Huskies will take part in post-season All-Star games

LB Donald Butler and DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim will both be representing Washington this month in All Star games.

Butler reports for the Senior Bowl on January 24th in Mobile, Alabama while Te'o-Nesheim will head to Orlando, Florida for the East West Shrine Game.

Here's a link to Ted Miller's blog on ESPN with a full list of the Pac 10 players involved in the All Star games.

Posted by Scott Eklund
8:45 am

Pac 10 Schedule Released

WALNUT CREEK, Ca. - The Washington Husky football program will culminate the 2010 regular season with its traditional in-state rivalry game against Washington State, according to the final schedule released today by the Pac-10 Conference.

The 103rd Apple Cup, presented by Boeing will take place in Pullman on Saturday, Dec. 4, marking the first time since 2006 the two teams have concluded their regular seasons in the annual contest. Since 1949, the Apple Cup has culminated the UW regular season all but four times: 2001, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Here's the link to the full press release: here

Posted by Scott Eklund
3:11 pm

Washington saw its first bit of attrition on Monday when it became public that redshirt freshman linebacker Kurt Mangum has decided to seek a fresh start at a different school...

Mangum chooses to transfer

I just got off the phone with Kurt Mangum Sr. and he has verified that his son, Kurt Mangum, a redshirt freshman linebacker with Washington has decided to transfer.

I also spoke briefly with Kurt himself and he was heading into a meeting and we should be able to get the full story when I speak to him later this afternoon.

Mangum becomes the first player to leave following the 2009 football season. Last spring, running backs Terrance Dailey, Brandon Johnson and David Freeman all left and offensive lineman Allen Carroll also decided to search for a new program.

Posted by Scott Eklund
3:11 pm

Stevenson still sold on Washington

Washington still has their eyes on several top prospects as we head into the last month of the recruiting process, but while they are focused on uncommitted players, they also have to continue to maintain their class that already has 26 commitments. Mililani S Taz Stevenson is just such a player and recently a Big 12 school made their play to get the talented athlete to pay them a visit...

Mililani's Taz Stevenson was a welcomed addition to Washington's 2010 recruiting class due to his athleticism and prototypical safety size. He's projected to play either safety position once he arrives in Seattle this coming summer, but before he can do that, he has to sign his name on the dotted line and up until recently there was reason for worry on the part of the Husky coaching staff.

With offers from schools like Oregon State, Washington State, Wyoming, Utah and his hometown school -- Hawaii -- Stevenson still decided to commit to the Huskies in late October. However, when Colorado really put the pressure on he admits he did listen to what they had to say.

"They really wanted me to visit, but I just didn't want to put myself through that," Stevenson said. "Colorado is a great school and the coaches there are really great coaches who I feel like I could have fun playing for, but Washington is where I want to be and I love the coaches, the school and everything about it too much to pass that up."

Stevenson said schools have continue to recruit him, but he remains firm in his commitment now that he has less than a month before he makes the biggest decision of his young life.

"Up to this point, there's nothing bigger for me," Stevenson admitted. "I mean, this is huge and it will determine a lot of things down the road. That's why I chose Washington. It's a great place for me."

Stevenson said he's currently tipping the scales at nearly 200 pounds and has been doing work in the weight room and out on the practice field to get himself prepared for what is sure to be a challenging transition to the college game.

"I'm working on speed and agility right now," Stevenson said. "I played in the Mainland vs. the Islands game, but since then it's been all about focusing on my workouts and getting ready to go when I get up there.

"I'm excited. It's hard to believe I'll be playing Pac 10 ball next fall. It seems like things went so fast, but it's also really cool to think about all the new things I'll see once I get there."

Talk about it: here

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