This is the beginning of the time of the year when coaches take some time off, attend conventions, and complete their planning for Spring football. In other words there isn't going to be a lot going on football wise till April 9th which is the start of Spring Practice. The Spring Game is on Saturday April 28th.
UW still has one announcement to make, and that will be the hiring of a WR coach to replace Eric Yarber who moved on to Arizona. DJ McCarthy from UCLA is another name that has been recently floated around. Ty probably has a good idea of who he wants to hire, but he takes his time.
Recruiting for the 2008 class of course has already started with the Huskies already having a few offers out on the table to the usual top prospects. The coaches hit the road for evaluation at the end of the dead period.
Basketball is going to be filling the void till Spring football. Let's hope the Huskies can make it interesting. I am thinking NIT more than NCAA right now.
As you can see I have made a lot of changes on the site over the last two weeks. I think it looks a lot better, and I like the ability to ask poll questions. The countdown clock is pretty trick too. Most importantly the readability, and aesthetics's are 100% better. If you guys have any other idea's on how to improve the site just let me know. We seem to have quite a few readers, if you gauge it by the the counter, but it would be great if we had around 20 people commenting on a regular basis.
Tommy James Passes
Don James older brother Tommy who was a member of the Cleveland Browns passed away this past week, he was 83. Here is a link to a release put out by the Brown's.
The Stanford and Cal Series
The Huskies opened with a physical win over California that was highlighted by a viscous beast type of game out of Brockman with the return of Spencer Hawes to double digits. The Huskies went on to sweep as they powered by Stanford on Sunday night to sweep the series. Up next is Wazzu on Wednesday night in Hec Ed which is arguably the biggest game so far this year. Once again it is another must win for Washington over a highly ranked national opponent. The Huskies travel to take on Pittsburgh in a nationally televised game on Saturday. The Huskies then head South for a road trip to the Willamette Valley to take on the Oregon schools, before finishing at home against UCLA, and USC. Six more games left on the schedule and not a lot of margin for error.
Weekly Husky Poll Question
Last week we asked which newcomer would have the most impact next year and the reader's picked RB Brandon Johnson two to one over everybody else.. Good pick, but I think the most dramatic bump will happen with the WR's, and Anthony Boyles was my pick.
This week we are voting on who will have the most rushing yards in 2008. You will notice that I didn't list Jake Locker. If you take a close look at the photo I posted of Jake in an earlier post you have to be amazed by the size of his legs...the kid is going to be a rock.
Recruiting Under the Influence
Recruiting prospective athletes to play football at BCS schools is a tough job. The school's that are best at it often bend the rules as far as they can go. The NCAA often chastised former Washington coach Rick Neuheisel for doing the same thing. They eventually gunned him down in a witch hunt which resulted in both the NCAA, and Washington who fired him at the NCAA's urging, paying him a settlement that totaled in the millions. In the end the NCAA got what it wanted, and that was Neuheisel out of college football.
Looking back of course Rick's petty crimes look as harmless as putting a fruit basket in a college recruits hotel room, but that is how it has always been at Washington.
While recruiting at Washington this season was pretty straight laced around the rest of the country it has become pretty ugly as schools such as Illinois, and USC were under suspicion of foul play before the ink was dry on the LOI's.
Accusations brew in McKnight's recruitment to USC
USC has been walking a very fine line ever since Pete Carroll arrived on the scene. The Trojans problems have ranged from Reggie Bush, and his family being paid by an agent he met in the USC locker room, to USC alums, and boosters calling, or fraternizing with recruits during the recruitment period. WR Duane Jarrett was suspended temporarily for taking extra benefits for living in a luxury apartment he shared with Matt Leinhart which Matt's father, a USC booster paid for.
The NCAA and the Pac-10 Conference are currently investigating whether Reggie Bush or his family received "improper benefits" from agents while he was playing for USC. Yahoo Sports has been investigating the Trojan program for some time trying to identify any misdeeds that have taken place in the recruiting of athletes at the school, or the obtaining of special benefits when they play there.
Currently Southern California is looking into whether it may have violated NCAA recruiting rules while pursuing highly rated recruit RB Joe McKnight. McKnight is hailed as the top RB in the country this year, and if you have seen his film, he is truly a gem.
McKnight signed a national letter of intent with USC on Wednesday and made comments during a news conference that seemed to suggest communications involving former Trojan Reggie Bush, who is now with the New Orleans Saints. USC coach Pete Carroll denied any call took place, and McKnight's high school football coach said the recruit misspoke during the news conference. During the Wednesday news conference, McKnight said Carroll set up a conference call so he and Coach Curtis could talk to Bush and ease concerns USC might face sanctions.
Coach Curtis told the LA Times on Thursday that he spoke to Carroll during McKnight's recruitment, but not on a conference call with McKnight or Bush. He also said McKnight told him "Coach Carroll was talking to Reggie on the speakerphone and Joe was able to listen and hear Reggie Bush's side of the story," the newspaper reported. After being informed of Carroll's denial Thursday night, Curtis called McKnight and later said the recruit never heard Bush on a speakerphone.The story has changed quite a bit over the last few days as USC, Carroll, McKnight, and Curtis his HS coach, and guardian have decided to deny that it ever happened, and all involved just misspoke because of all the excitement surrounding signing day....right, that is a lot of misspeaking by a lot of different people involved.
Where there is smoke, there is fire, and the NCAA isn't going to be able to continue to ignore the transgressions of one of it's Golden Children much longer. I like Coach Carroll, and admire what he has built at USC, but it has become obvious this program has been living in a grey area for some time regarding recruiting. In the SEC they get mad, and they also get even, don't expect LSU to let this one slip under the rug.
More USC Accusations
It seems USC has been sending limo's (NCAA Violation) to pick up local recruits in the Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles. Town cars for the airport are ok, (according th the NCAA) and it was billed as a town car charge, but SC once again is skirting the rule's by having it billed as a town car but sending a limo courtesy of a USC alum,...where there is smoke there is fire....insiders say the NCAA is very reluctant to go after a team in a major TV market and is turning a blind eye towards USC's transgressions. Nice job Miles Brand!
Notre Dame Spreading Rumors of Illini Cheating?
Illinois had it's best recruiting class in decades, but Big Ten opponents, and Notre Dame are allegedly churning out rumors that perhaps the Illini weren't on the up, and up this year. Illinois by the way snagged three prime recruits that Fat Charlie coveted, and that didn't play very well in South Bend.
Zook won't pretend he wasn't stung by a New York Times story in which former Michigan State coach John L. Smith wondered how a school that went 4-19 over the last two seasons could attract top-notch recruits. "Where there's smoke, there's probably fire," Smith told the paper.
Interesting quote from Smith who still stings from an Illini upset this season, and subsequent brawl that helped send him out the door at Michigan State.
Zook has a major problem with rival coaches whispering that he and his staff used illegal inducements in signing blue-chippers Arrelious Benn and Martez Wilson. Zook doesn't want to seem, uh, paranoid, but it's clear he believes Notre Dame played a role in the Times' story. He believes the timing of the piece—it ran on national signing day—was intended to hurt Illinois' recruiting efforts.
The rumors going around are that Illini assistant coaches gave illegal inducements to recruits to get them to come to Illinois. Fat Charlie has been known to open his mouth before thinking, and he can be pretty creative with the truth. Of course Fat Charlie won't go on the record, according to Chicago newspapers he, and other coaches prefer to float anonymous accusations to the media without the fact to back it up.
Arizona Hates Oregon, and California
There were more than 100 Division I-A football coaches who held various versions of happy-happy signing day news conferences Wednesday. Arizona's Mike Stoops seemed more ready for a bar fight.
"The negativity around recruiting never stops. It's unfortunate, but it's the ugly part of our business,'' he said. "People speak negatively about us and me. That's all right. I don't forget. They said some stuff last year and we got back at a lot of people. We're going to have our shot back on the field. Believe it, we will."
A Note on Star Rankings
From 2002 to 2006, Oklahoma signed 17 five-star recruits and 43 four-star recruits. In that same period, Boise State signed a mere trio of four-star recruits. I'll assume you know which team won the Fiesta Bowl last month.
Husky Recruiting Notes
S/QB Shane Horton ended up committing to Nevada Las Vegas, and passed on the opportunity to greyshirt at UW.
Transfer CB Byron Davenport still has some schoolwork to do so he will not be enrolled by the time Spring Practice starts.
Molly Yanity takes a look at the cream of the 2008 Class
Recruiting coordinator Chris Tormey said the Huskies already have made inroads with 10 current in-state juniors. Tormey can't speak about specific recruits because of NCAA rules, but three juniors claim to have scholarship offers already in hand: Kentwood running back Demetrius Bronson, Lakes tight end Kavario Middleton and Kennedy defensive end Everette Thompson.