Huskies Didn't Lose Hopkins

Like the rest of you recruiting junkies, I can't seem to get enough information on prospects who are considering UW. My primary source is obviously this site because I've come to trust Dawgman's coverage of the process. Next, like many of you, I go to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. I think he does a great job in his blog of digging up any kind of related media tidbits related to our Huskies.

Having worked primarily in the personnel end of Husky Football for 15 years, I've always felt it was unfair for me to comment on the recruiting of any of the last four systems at Washington. If I had any comment, evaluation, or analysis then it would simply be supportive.

I've usually waited until the kid is finally at Montlake, enrolled, practicing, with pads on of course, and then competing to get on the field of play. At least then I can say I've seen them in person.

Even after a kid arrives, you still don't know what you have because if you pick the right kind of kid then he will gradually get better throughout his 4-5 years on campus. How does he play as a senior? Is he graduating? Have you won with him? That is the reality of recruiting.

News this week was that Charlie Hopkins from Gonzaga Prep picked Stanford over Washington. Let me get this straight - a white kid from a private school in Spokane chose the academics of Stanford? Duh. That's like a Catholic school kid picking Notre Dame or a Mormon kid going to BYU.

You don't lose those kinds of recruits because you never had them in the first place.

That is the point here: Washington couldn't lose Hopkins because they never had him. He is deciding to go away to school and it appears that if his parents could afford to send him to a private school then they can probably afford to go watch him play at Stanford. That's his choice, and all you do is make sure he's absolutely committed and move on.

I haven't seen Hopkins play, so I would never begin to evaluate his ability. I wish him the best of luck in Palo Alto. He'd better get ready to work hard because that's how his position coach teaches the sport of football.

There is no doubt Hopkins is a great get for Randy Hart, the defensive line coach for the Cardinal, and certainly it appears Hopkins has the dimensions of size and speed to become a really good player. Rated as the No. 3 player in the state - whatever that means - he must have been pretty good.

Considering where he is from, you'd think Washington State is the school that really lost him. Wrong again, because proximity doesn't ever guarantee you getting a kid. The Cougars didn't lose him because they were never even close to getting him.

What totally amazes me is how much media coverage this gets, and it's happening all across this country. Fans of every school in Division-1 football has become obsessed with such trivial recruiting information. Everything is out in the open now and there is rarely an unknown player anymore.

"Hopkins Picks Stanford over Huskies" would seem to indicate that there weren't any other schools involved. But the reality is, there is no second place in recruiting. You either get a kid or you don't, and you move on.

We used to use academics as one of our primary reasons for picking the Huskies. It worked against the other Northwest schools and the Arizona schools, but Stanford, California and UCLA were all higher-ranked universities than Washington, so we didn't use it on them.

Believe me - I've been told more than once by a Washington kid that Stanford's academics were the reason we weren't getting them. I would counter that the majority of businesses in Washington are owned or managed by Washington alumni and less than one percent were owned by Stanford alumni. If you're going to live in this state, a Washington degree is really more valuable than a Stanford degree. I used that on Greg Lewis and he still laughs today about it.

You sell who you are, and if a kid doesn't buy it and you can't convince him otherwise then you wish him well and move on. What's great in this case is that it is so early in the process that he really helps you by crossing himself off your list. This could end up being addition by subtraction, but right now nothing from nothing is still nothing, 'cause you had nothing in the first place. Top Stories