I imagine some of you are going through a bit of withdrawal as the Husky football season is now over. The second season is actually just about over two since UW now has 21 verbals for the 2008 class with only four more to go. I can't remember the last time Washington was this far ahead in the game. Usually UW's success is determined before Christmas, we don't do well in January, and if we are still recruiting then it means we are filling in with plan B types of kids. That doesn't seem to be the issue this year even though we filled in with some sleepers from California early. As film comes in on those sleepers though you can tell that are staff did a good job evaluating. Take David Freeman for instance who played for Charles Mincy in HS, the kid looks like the real deal. He is really quick and can move. I can imagine him returning punts int he future.
Over on the message boards things are starting to settle down as people get excited about the recruiting class. If you look at the little poll we are running it seems most people were in favor, or at least didn't mind another year of Willingham. I think didn't mind is more the key phrase. Put me in the didn't mind category. I wanted Mora, but I can still live with another year of Willingham because I don't dislike him in the least bit. I think it is going to be real interesting to see what changes they make.
I am still recovering from the Hawaii trip, and coming home means there is always a lot of work to catch up on. I wish we played those guys every year. It would really help with recruiting in the islands, and it is a great December trip to make every other year for the fans.
John McGrath's column in the News Tribune last week was probably the best I have seen this post season regarding a list of to do's for Ty and his staff in the off season. It would go a long way if Willingham loosened some things up this year. He needs to understand that the local media, and fan base are not the enemy.
As far as all the complaining goes we are going to drop out of that for the most part during the off season. I am going to try to accentuate the positive and put together a lot of information analyzing the Huskies in 2008. I think we can have a pretty good team if some questions get answered this Spring on defense. The return of Garcia really means we are going to have a pretty good offensive line next year. I think Denbrock has done a fantastic job bringing these kids along. It all starts with the offensive line.
What about Baer? What is Ty going to do with Kent Baer? Everyone agrees that changes need to be made, and bringing in some new hungry defensive coaches with great credentials would go a long way in helping the team. I think Randy Hart stays, but Tormey, Baer, and maybe even Williams are up in the air. On the offensive side we lose Trent Miles who was named head coach at Indiana State. I think most fans would also like to see a new special teams coach to replace Bob Simmons. I don't expect Ty to announce changes until after the New Year if any are going to be made.
Talk about huge, this guy is huge. I keep hearing people say that he will likely play right away, but I doubt it unless he makes a quantum leap in development over the next nine months which usually doesn't happen to a kid till he hits campus. Alameda was the only kid to sign over the weekend, but my instincts tell me to expect a verbal from Carroll, and Thompson within the next ten days.
Another kid that visited was David Decastro from Bellevue. He verbaled early to Stanford this year but is now wavering between the Tree, and UW. Education seems to be the key with this kid more than anything else. Stanford degree's are worth a lot if you know how to use them, and are hard to turn down. Hopefully he received a lot of good info on academics this past weekend.
Weekly Poll Question
Last week I asked if you were in favor of Mark Emmert's decision to give Ty another year, 57% said yes.
This week let's look at the kids left on the Plan A board. That is quite a list to choose the four remaining kids from. Who do you think the four will be? This is multiple choice so pick the four you think the Huskies will get.
Over at Washington State things really haven't gotten rolling yet because WSU is still searching for a new head coach. Mike Price dropped out of the running last week. I'm not sure if if he eliminated himself, or if he was eliminated by WSU. the two top candidates at this point are probably John L. Smith, and Paul Wulff. Smith is very much a retread who was one of the nations top upcoming coaches a couple years ago at Louisville. Disaster struck his career at Michigan State when his team gave up on him after repeated coaching gaffes. Wulff on the other hand is younger, a WSU grad, and just finished the season at Eastern with a loss to Appalachian State in the I-AA playoffs.
If you look around the Northwest this year you have to rate the Huskies a solid #3 at this point. WSU is really good, and I was impressed over their win at Gonzaga last week. Both of those teams could go a long way in March this year. As for the Huskies I think they are going to do better in conference this year than last year. Even though they lost at the buzzer to Pitt I saw a team that was beginning to jell and form it's identity. Appleby really adds a lot to this team int he form of senior leadership, and three point marksmanship. I read an article bemoaning the loss of most of the Hawes recruiting class. I don't think it is that big of a deal to tell you the truth. Romar is still recruiting really well and it is just a matter of time before he comes up with the right combination and experience to make another big run. That run could come as early as the start of conference play.