Coach's Corner

When Josh Shirley unexpectedly fell into the Huskies' lap, I sighed with relief because he filled a hole for the 2010 class when Chris Young enrolled at Arizona Western College. I watched Young play at Auburn High School and was really impressed with his physical play as both a runner and defender. He was a solid 6-foot-1 or so and at least 215 pounds, and he looked like a beast in high school.

He was obviously good enough to play at Washington, but unfortunately for both him and the Huskies he was not a good enough student to meet the NCAA standards.

Now at AWC, Young will need to complete his AA degree before he can return to Washington. That means a two-year academic hitch in order to get the necessary credits to transfer back to UW. The history of this happening isn't very good.

I can only remember Dashon Goldson doing so of all the kids who have fallen into this category. He was a high school friend of Roy Lewis and the two of them worked their way to Washington through the back door, so to speak: Lewis transferred from San Jose State and Goldson played in the Jayhawk conference - which includes such powerhouse junior colleges as Butler, Hutchinson, Garden City and Coffeyville - before finally playing for the Dawgs. Both ended up in the show.

I remember Corey Dillon going through four junior colleges (Edmonds, Garden City, Snow and Seattle Central) before we got him eligible, but we never signed him out of Franklin High School, so it's not like we lost him and got him back. It took Rick Neuheisel, Tyrone Willingham and Steve Sarkisian one year each to grasp the difficulties in getting junior college players through the UW admissions process. With no Physical Education major or even recreation classes (or a Sports Management major like Oregon), Washington has no way of accepting any credits that are not considered academically transferable.

Junior college kids want to take only what is necessary for them to get by. That is why they are in a junior college in the first place and the first reason as to why it's probably a long shot for Young to return to the Huskies.

Chris Young won't get the academic support he needs at the JC level. Things don't work like that at that level. As a former JC coach myself, I can tell you that budget restraints make academic tutors and counselors out of the question. That is not to mention that he must also feed himself while attending a junior college. He will also be missing out on training table and all the other amenities that come with major college football.

Do you remember names like Eddie Jackson and Fred Baisy from the signing class of 2002? How about Keauntea Bankhead in 2004? Or Quinton Freeman and Tyrone Davis from 2005? There have been plenty more recently. It's hard to remember them because none made it into school at Washington, even though most committed and signed with the Huskies. In a sense their recruitment was a waste of time and money because they never even suited up, much less played for the Huskies.

I sincerely hope Chris Young has a burning desire to come home with his AA degree in hand to fulfill his dream of playing for the Washington Huskies. It will be worth the wait just to see him do what Goldson did. You only hope he turns the page with his academics and makes the commitment to having as much success in the classroom as he's had on the field. Recent history is working against him bouncing back to UW, but maybe he will be different. Maybe he will be the one to buck the trend.

I hope so, because I think he could be a great player down the road for the Huskies. Top Stories