Monday, April 30, 2007
Spring games are notoriously tough to watch because you don't get the chance to see a lot of the offense, and the defense knows what is coming. Coach Willingham stated after the game to Bob Condotta of the Times, that they were using about 1/12th of the playbook yesterday. It was evident that the 1/12th they did use really didn't give Jake Locker a chance to showcase his skills as he went Jake Locker was 4-8 passing for 38 yards with one touchdown, one interception. Carl Bonnell was 8-15 for 127 yards and three TDs. Ronnie Fouch was 8-16 for 81 yards and an interception. Not a bad performance for Fouch who was with the 2's and just joined the team three weeks ago.
At first glance it was pretty evident that Carl Bonnell has closed some ground between himself, and Jake Locker. At second glance you have to factor in that the QB's are off limit, and the playbook didn't allow Locker to do what he does best, and that is create on the run. Once the contact begins most will see why Locker is going into the Fall as the #1 QB. Carl however has put himself back in contention, and in the end Willingham will go with the player he thinks he can win with.
One Dawgman poster had an interesting comment that Bonnell looks very good till he takes a couple of hits. Durability is a big factor why Jake Locker was pre ordained the starter before Spring practice. Locker is built like a linebacker.
Louis Rankin indeed looked improved out there, and frankly I think he enters the season as a potential marquee running back. JR Hasty didn't have a lot of room to run with the 2's, but he showed enough yesterday to prove to me that he will be a very capable backup in the Fall. The Huskies rushed 49 times for the day and picked up 209 yards. Homer, and Kravitz are going to really add something to the offense next season.
Marcel Reece played like a man among boys as he caught three passes for 44 yards and three TDs. Reese is going to be a force next year if they can get the ball in his hands enough. Corey Williams caught three passes for 73 yards, Anthony Russo caught three passes for 65 yards. The improvement in Williams this Spring bodes well. With Russo you pretty much know what you are going to get, and he didn't disappoint yesterday.
The Tight Ends weren't really a factor, and puzzles me a bit that none of them have emerged from the pack. Walt Winter had the best catch of the day for the TE's as a member of the white team when they scored their lone TD. Chris Izbicki is going to get the opportunity to play early next year.
On defense walk-on Safety from Hawaii, Jay Angiotti, had a great day with eight tackles, and a TD saving interception at the goal line. Donald Butler was a force in the middle and also chipped in eight. The Purple defense had a good day only giving up the late score. Jordan Reffett picked up a couple sacks. Daniel Howell missed the game because of an undisclosed illness. I think the defense will be among the best in the Pac Ten. Sure there are questions at DB, but I think they will be answered in Fall camp when the newcomers arrive.
Special teams were ugly in every respect, and it will cost the Huskies games next season if they don't get that area corrected. Ballman had a tough day punting the ball averaging only 26 "hangless" yards per kick. Hopefully Perkins will be healthy enough this Fall to compete for the job. Even with a leg brace on, kicking with his left foot, he seems to be ahead of Ballman. Falk the freshman placekicker will arrive in the Fall.
Goodwin, Mosley, and Lewis showed a little flash as a returners, but the influx of speed in the Fall is what will be needed to get that situation in order. Despite those challenges I expected better play out of special teams. Speed of course cures a lot of problems, so we will see what they look like in the Fall when the speed arrives.
Reese, Rankin, and Williams are going to be play makers next year.
Bonnell, and Fouch are going to be solid backup to Jake Locker
The defense is going to be very solid up front.
Darrion Jones is going to be a player.
This is the best group of Linebackers we have had this decade.
Homer, and Kravitz are going to really contribute in 2007.
The Huskies look much better in short yardage situations.
There was a lot of hitting going on as the toughness is returning.
The Huskies are going to be better at getting into the offensive backfield next year which means the turnover ratio is going to continue to improve.
Roy Lewis is going to play on Sunday, he might be the best cover corner we have had in quite awhile.
Forrester, and Wells are a good tandem at Safety, but neither is as polished as Lewis.
Chicago walk on Charles Hawkins looked impressive yesterday. Tough to say what that will translate to in the Fall when the frosh arrive. Same can be said of Jay Angiotti who probably one of the most noticeable guys on defense yesterday. Everyone wants to see walk on succeed, and I think it is great, but at this point it just means we don't have enough players. No knock on Jay, but it will be tough for him to keep up with the Frosh this Fall, which of course is always the fates of walk ons. The coaches go with the guys they invest in. Mike Gottleib is a current exception to that rule since he will probably start Fall as the #1 TE. Once again you hate to see it, because you have guys like Kirton who should be doing better, and a guy like Winter who was a HS All American. By the way, keep an eye on Walt because he is moving up the depth chart.
Darin Harris showed that he will be a pleasant surprise next year in a secondary that needs some depth. Nice to see him back out there at full contact. Harris is a tweener, not exactly the size you want at safety, and not enough speed for CB. If you add Hemphill to that mix you might have something. So we wait till Fall when the Frosh arrive.
The offensive line is going to be fine. I think the interior is going to develop into a strength as the season progresses. Bulyca looked very good yesterday, and there was a noticeable fall off when he wasn't in the game. The second string offensive line isn't very good yet, they need another year to season. Habben, Tolar, and Sedillo aren't ready for prime time. Mason is undersized, Bush who has had a decent Spring seems to be the #3 guard, and #2 center. Berglund is the #1 back up, and I expect him to earn back his scholie after all the smoke clears in the Fall.
Depth is still a big problem. We have some players, but we still don't have enough of them. The class coming in this Fall, and the one they are currently recruiting for 2008 should remedy that situation. There is wide gap between the #1's and the #2's, that has to do with quality depth. When you see a Spring game where the 2's make more of a game of it, and that should be next year, you know the program is truly healing.
Jake Locker has some work to do over the Summer, by his own admission he isn't close to being an All American yet, but he has a good idea on what to work on over the summer. I am betting that you will see a lot of growth between now, and then.
When is Johnnie Kirton going to wake up, and play to his potential? He should own this position, but that move still hasn't happened, he better watch out for Izbicki who is the complete package. He also better watch out for Walt Winter who looks like he is really catching on. That was quite a TD catch yesterday.
I think Murchison, and Mosley played well yesterday, but we really need some help from the incoming class. Davenport needs to come in ready to play, too bad he wasn't here this Spring.
Morovick needs to get better. He was brought in to ease the woes at the snapping position, but he didn't set the world on fire Saturday.
#1 Washington outraces Cal in the Montlake Cut
The top-ranked Washington men's varsity eight crew handled crosswinds early in the race, then held off a late challenge by second-ranked California on the Montlake Cut on Saturday morning.
As a result, Cal left for home with less luggage — the Golden Bears surrendered the silver Schoch Cup for the first time in three years. "There is no more storied boat race in this country, including Harvard-Yale, than Washington-California," said Cal coach Stephen Gladstone at the awards ceremony, where both crews basked in the tradition of the race that began in 1903.
I am a little disappointed in the UW Athletic Administration that they don't do a better job promoting crew races. Saturday's race was one of the biggest events int he past 50 years of Washington rowing and the athletic department treats it like a cross country race. If I was AD I would insist that all the crew races would be called live on the radio. It's not that big a deal to do it right, and with a vantage point like the Montlake Bridge it isn't that difficult to have a guy with microphone calling all the races which last only about an hour and a half at tops.
Next week we have Opening Day where we race against Purdue, and the New Zealand National team. That of course will be on the radio, but the event pales in comparison to Saturday's match up with Cal.
The Stranger Chimes in on Willingham
How do you tell if a college football coach is any good? You can't measure by wins, because you have to take talent into account -- even Don James couldn't coach Physics 201 to victory over USC. That's roughly what the NFL draft tells you: How many players on each college team were good enough to play on Sundays.
Jeremy Stevens Signs with Tampa Bay
Stevens, a first-round draft pick in 2002, was an unrestricted free agent who the Seahawks were no longer interested in retaining after the player was arrested last month in Scottsdale, Ariz., for investigation of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said the Bucs met with the 27-year-old tight end, who has had other run-ins with the law, and is confident he’s learned from his mistakes. “I think Jerramy Stevens is a good young man,” Allen said. “He is focused on doing things right for us. ... But more importantly, he understands that he has to do things right.”
Stanback and Goldson go in the Draft
Former Husky quarterback Isaiah Stanback was selected by the Dallas Cowboys while former safety/cornerback Dashon Goldson was chosen by San Francisco today, on the second day of the annual NFL Draft. RB Kenny James reportedly signed as a free agent with the Seahawks.
No. 11 Washington used a one-hit shutout by ace Danielle Lawrie and five extra-base hits to run rule Oregon 8-0 in six innings Sunday in front of 804 fans to complete the three-game sweep against the Ducks. The Huskies improve to 32-13 overall and 9-6 in the Pac-10, while Oregon dips to 39-14 overall and 4-11 in conference play.
Alex Slovic fell in his bid to become the first Husky to win the Pac-10 Singles Championship, losing to Stanford's Matt Bruch on Sunday. The Huskies did not go home empty handed though as Derek Drabble and Andy Kuharszky won the Men's Invitational doubles championship.
Matt Hague and Danny Cox each hit two homers to lead the Washington baseball team to a 20-7 win over Utah Valley State Saturday at Wolverine Stadium. Hague, the Husky third baseman, went 4-for-6 with four RBI. He also extended his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest of the season for the Huskies. Cox went 3-for-6 with seven runs batted in and Bradley Boyer, who also homered, was 3-for-6 with five RBI. The Huskies (21-20) avoided a three-game sweep with the victory while the Wolverines dropped to 19-25 on the season.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Mens Varsity Eight
1. Washington 5:58.32.
2. California 6:01.9
Women's Varsity Eight
1. California 6:47.1
2. Washington 6:53.5
Mens JV Eights
1. Washington 6:05.92.
2. California 6:07.8
Mens Freshmen Eights
1. California 5:50.62.
2. Washington 5:53.0
This is a big Crew race for Washington who is rated #1 in the country, and hasn't won a national championship since the late 1990's mostly because of the dominance of the California rowing program during that time period. Get out there on the bridge and root on the Dawg's.
Almost immediately after the races the Huskies unveil the Jake Locker era to the public. while the media has seen five practices this Spring, today's game should satisfy the media and the public since it will be a full out scrimmage with game conditions as close to real as numbers will allow.
Friday, April 27, 2007
At 9:45 on Saturday morning on Montlake Cut, the California and UW eight-man varsity crews will lock up in what both sides are hailing as their most anticipated dual meet race of the past half-century. The Golden Bears are the defending national champs. The Huskies are ranked No. 1. There is no shortage of swagger dripping off these shells. "The U Dub boat is going to be very fast," Cal rower Max Wyatt said. "But I'm not too worried about it, to be honest. I'm very confident in our boat speed at Cal." Counters UW fifth-seat occupant Robbie Gibson: "We respect what they've done. They've done it all. We're coming for them. They know it, too. That's the best part."
If you are going to the Spring game on Saturday make sure you head down early so you can catch this race. The view from the Montlake Bridge is phenomenal, and the races are fun to watch! Crew is one of Washington's oldest traditions, so if you can, come early, and root our men to victory over California!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Who will be the top three TB's this season? Realistically only 3-4 will play, and some may move to the defense. This is multiple choice so pick your top three.
Louis Rankin topped the charts with 516 votes on this one, Brandon Johnson followed with 19, JR Hasty with 16, and Curtis Shaw with 15. Even without the landslide you can figure that Louis had around 20 of the votes in this one.
Louis has looked good this Spring, and a few NFL scouts think that JR Hasty may play on Sunday's in the future if he can learn how to hang on to the ball. Hasty of course is shaking off the rust, but most feel he will be more than ready by Fall. The incoming frosh picked up quite a few votes, and we have to wait till Fall to see how they perform.
How did I vote?
I went with Rankin, Hasty, and Johnson.
Which Husky on Offense is having the best Spring so far?
Once again Louis Rankin mania gripped the poll from the outset which pushed us to the wise decision of inserting a cookie so we can't have repeat voters. Ranking was the overwhelming choice if you voted once, or 4o times in this one.
Who did I vote for?
I went with Rankin even though part of me kept screaming Paul Homer. If you have been reading this blog since it came out last July you might notice that I have been predicting big things for the lightly recruited fullback from Omaha.
This Weeks Question
We switch to defense this week and ask the question:
Which Husky Defenders will end up on the All Pac Ten team at the end of the season?
You have quite a few choices since we are nominating all the starters. You can pick as many, or as few of them as you wish.
Last years team had one first team selection, one second team selection, and two honorable mentions on defense. Only Gunheim returns from that group.
S C.J. Wallace First Team
LB Scott White Second Team
CB Dashon Goldson Honorable Mention
DE Greyson Gunheim Honorable Mention
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
The other day this Washington fan, demonstrating remarkable forbearance, told me he didn't expect Baby Jesus, er, quarterback Jake Locker to instantaneously transform the Huskies into a national title contender. This guy said he'd be -- sigh -- reasonably satisfied with "seven or eight wins and a decent bowl game."He expected a response, but it seemed best to bury my face in a foamy mug of Leffe Triple. Time out for wisdom: If you can't think of anything nice to say, just gulp your beer.
Miller does offer a ray of hope, and that is the Defense is due to be the best it has been over the past five years. Just how much better it is depends on how well the young talent meshes in the defensive backfield during pre season camp. We look strong, deep, and experienced up front. We have the best set of LB's with the best set of tools since Lambo was here.
UW opens with Syracuse, Boise State, Ohio State, UCLA, USC, and California. They will be probably only favored in one of those games, and even an improved Washington team could start off the season 1-5. Following that are Arizona State, Oregon, Arizona, Stanford, Oregon State, Washington State, and Hawaii. You can easily see that on the downside the Huskies will be lucky to win 4-5 games.
On the upside Washington splits it's first six games getting by Syracuse, Boise, and UCLA. We went down to the last play with USC, and California last year, and Ohio State is actually rebuilding a bit, so you hope we are now capable of playing against these perennial top ten clubs.
On the back half of the season we have a good chance to knock off Arizona, Stanford, and WSU. Hawaii was pretty good last year, and they are going to be pretty good again, but we should be at a point when we can beat the best in the WAC.
Oregon has beaten us soundly the past two years, there is a gap, but the Duck's return to Husky Stadium for the first time in years, so anything can happen. We play ASU on the road, and you can expect that Erickson will have his team whipped into shape. Still we should be able to play with the Devils. Oregon St had a great season last year, they finished strong, but we should be able to compete with them too.
I think it is easy to look at the negative, especially if you are betting a little money, but I think this team can win eight ballgames next season. The opportunity is there, and I really believe Willingham is going to field a team that is going to get better every week.
The key to this season will be our defense giving our offense enough time to get better every week because I think we are going to be pretty good by the end of the season. The 2007 team is still in a rebuilding phase, but a rebuilding phase with a serious possibility of upside.
2008 is the year I think it is all going to come together for this program. With an exceptional in state class headed this way most of the holes on the roster should be filled, and 90% of the team will be made up of Willingham's players.
Pac Ten Alley
The rich keep getting richer at USC.
Quarterback Mitch Mustain, who started eight games for Arkansas last season, will transfer to USC, a source said Wednesday. Mustain, 6 feet 3 and 205 pounds, had been contemplating transferring to either USC or Tulsa. He visited USC in February and also watched the Trojans scrimmage at the Coliseum this month. Mustain could not be reached for comment. Coach Pete Carroll declined to comment.
The tree sitting protest continues at Berkeley.
A team of noted San Francisco criminal lawyers has taken on the case of Zachary Running Wolf, one of several environmental activists who have been sitting high up in a grove of oak trees at the University of California, Berkeley in an attempt to block a sports complex the university plans to build on the site.
It is still all baseball this Spring at OSU, but the Beavers have some work to do.
The Beavers travel down the road to play the Pilots this afternoon. Daniel Turpen will get the start for the Beavers, trying to rebound from some shaky outings his last few times out. The Pilots will go with Right hander Danny Meier.
Oregon's offense starts to click as the Duck's head into the last week of practice.
Oregon’s offense ran for two touchdowns and threw for two others, as the unit finally began to look comfortable under new coordinator Chip Kelly. Dennis Dixon completed a five-yard scoring pass to Jaison Williams on the first possession for the first string. Brian Paysinger took a pitch and ran 41 yards for a touchdown, Andiel Brown ran for a 29-yard score and Nathan Costa threw a pretty 25-yard touchdown pass to Rory Cavaille.
UCLA has a less than impressive venue for their spring game.
But think about it -- the whole point of the spring scrimmage is to promote the team, to put on a show for the fans. It's not for the benefit of the coaches or the players, they could get just as much done (or more) with a scrimmage done in front of empty stands. As a practice, the scrimmage is no more effective than any other practice. But as a way to promote the team, as a way to build good will, as a way to show off the new product and create a buzz, maybe some enthusiasm -- it's a great opportunity. Now, it's a missed opportunity.
The Cougars lose a key player on defense. not a lot of noise coming out of Pullman this Spring.
Washington State's Lance Broadus, a starting defensive end, had surgery on his left shoulder Tuesday and might miss some games early in the football season.
Arizona wrapped up Spring practice last week.
Arizona wrapped up most of its spring work with a 90-play scrimmage Saturday afternoon that had enough good things on both sides to impress coaches, notably the head man. "It was a good scrimmage, and I was pleased with our workouts all spring. We have a chance to spread things out with looks and the different parts of the offense we can utilize," head coach Mike Stoops said. "Overall I'm really pleased. (Quarterback) Willie (Tuitama) is getting a good grasp of the offense. We need to get bigger and stronger up front. If we do that, it can be a good season for us," he said.
Stanford seems to be bouncing back a bit this Spring under coach Harbaugh.
I went to Stanford Stadium on Saturday to see how the Cardinal looked under new coach Jim Harbaugh. My early evaluation: The offense that averaged about 10 points per game last season played pretty well; the defense that yielded more than 30 per game did not. Before the second stringers even played a down, the offense had reached the end zone three times without being stopped.
A parting shot to ex Sun Devil Basketball Coach Rob Evans.
The University of Arkansas is obviously too distracted by Las Chronicas Locas De Boss Hawg to do any research on their new assistant, for if they did they might reconsider. In the AP write-up, Evans doesn't even have any career achievements listed from his last seven years of coaching, all of which happened to take place at ASU.
Monday, April 23, 2007
All eyes have been on Jake Locker as he gains the reps necessary to run the team next season. Locker has a lot of work to do to fulfill his potential. Footwork is the key for him to become an effective mid range passer. He hasn't had trouble with the deep ball, and the Huskies are in good shape once the frosh receivers hit campus to stretch the field a little bit more. Bottom line is Jake still has a lot of work to do to get ready, but he is the type of kid who will look completely different when Fall rolls around.
One area the Huskies have been working at is developing some short yardage power from the full back position this year. Paul Homer, and Luke Kravitz give Washington something they have been missing since Ty arrived, and that is the possibility of five or more meaningful carries and a couple of pass receptions out of the backfield per game. Both have looked solid in all aspects this Spring, and it will go a long way in stabilizing the offense this Fall.
Louis Rankin has been the man to watch at RB this Spring, and seems ready to have a fine senior season. The key to Rankin doing well is keeping him fresh. As you can tell by one over exuberant voter, Louis is the guy who will lead the running attack next year. The real question is who will end up behind him in the rotation. JR Hasty hasn't sealed up that spot this Spring running mostly against the #1 defense.
Marcel Reese, and Corey Williams have been the most impressive receivers so far. UW is going to need some more help from the freshmen this Fall to insert another dimension into the the receiving attack this Fall. At TE nobody has moved out in front yet, so the position should be shared pretty equally this Fall among Kirton, Gottleib, and to a lesser extent Lewis.
There has been good news on the offensive line as Washington seems to be developing playable depth at all positions. The incumbents have held off challenges at tackle, but Habben, and Berglund are poised for solid seasons. At guard Bulyca, and Rosborough are still listed as the starters, but JWF, and Tolar are giving them both a run for the money that won't end till the opening game. At Center Garcia is a given, but Ryan Bush also has had a solid Spring backing him up and pulling ahead of RS Matt Sedillo. Nice to see Ryan perform well.
On defense Washington is led by a solid defensive line that has developed some good depth. Inside Afoa, and Reffert will be backed up by Elisara who has had a good Spring, and Lobo's who appears to be healthy once again. No sign of Jovan O'Connor.
On the outside Gunheim, and Teo Nesheim have had no problem holding off Rayford, and Jones who will see plenty of action this year. Keep an eye on Jones who played LB as a true frosh, the year off to get bigger and learn a new position has payed off.
Tormey has rebuilt the young LB unit into one of the best in the Pac Ten. The Huskies will be solid three deep going into the Fall. Keep an eye on these three, all of them will get a chance to play on Sundays.
The defensive backfield is the Achilles heal of what should be a strong defense. Due to numbers this Spring the rebuilding of this unit won't start in earnest till this Fall. Jordan Murchison has had a good Spring, and his health is a good sign as he seems to be ahead of Matt Mosley. Byron Davenport will be a factor the minute he arrives.
Not a lot of noise from the safeties where Wells, and Forrester will start the season. One piece of good news is it looks like Harris is back to stay after taking more than a year off because of a back injury. He will never be a force, but he provides some experienced depth which is needed. It will be exciting to see which frosh develop quickly enough this Fall to help out.
Specialties are still a work in progress. Ballman hasn't punted consistently, and we have to wait till Fall for the freshman place kicker to arrive. It is nice to see Ryan Perkins back out on the field, and he could be very valuable if healthy this Fall.
Return threats haven't surfaced, and that isn't a big surprise because other than Marlon Wood we didn't have any other options last Fall. Look for a couple of the frosh to get early time returning the ball.
We have the Spring game coming up, and it will be the first opportunity for the general public to get a good look at this years squad. I expect a bigger than average crowd. Talking about large Spring game crowds Alabama drew 92,000 to it's Spring game this year.
Recruiting off to a solid start
Kamiak CB Justin Glenn became the fourth verbal of the Spring when he accepted an offer from Coach Willingham on Saturday. This is an unusually strong year in Washington State, and there are 25-30 kids who have the potential of getting a Pac Ten offer this year which is dramatically up from the usual 10-15. Look for Washington to continue getting commitments this Spring and Summer from the local standouts.
Scout has come out with their first National Top 100, Western Top 1oo, and Northwest Top 100 lists. The information is over at Dawgman. Here is an early list I put together that lists the top 25 recruits inside the state of Washington, and all of them look like they are headed to the Pac Ten.
With around 22-24 scholarships to give out UW could possibly fill most it's needs in state this year.
1 Middleton DE
2 Thompson DE
3 Kelemente OT.....Verbaled to UW
4 Taamu DT
5 Kearse WR
6 Guyton DT
7 DeCastro OG
8 Bronson RB
9 Schaeffer OL.....Verbaled to UW
10 Turner WR
11 Stockton S
12 Karstetter WR
13 Wilson LB
14 Mann LB
15 Edwards OG
16 Tapea S
17 Schmidtke QB
18 Taylor S
19 Leonard QB
20 Hill DE/QB
21 Henry QB
22 Glenn CB.....Verbaled to UW
23 Washington TE
24 Bernard OG
25 Manaea DT
Jason Erickson and Nick Hagadone combined on a three-hit shutout as the Washington baseball team avoided a series sweep with 6-0 win over USC Sunday at Husky Ballpark.
The 11th-ranked Washington softball team split a doubleheader with 16th-ranked Stanford Sunday. The Cardinal won the opener 3-2, before the Huskies pounded 14 hits to earn the 12-1 victory in the nightcap.
After going over two years without winning a Pac-10 Conference match, the Husky women's tennis team upset No. 38 Oregon 5-2 in Eugene on Sunday, just one day after beating Washington State. The Huskies (5-16 overall, 2-6 Pac-10) secured seventh in the standings above eighth-place WSU (14-11, 1-7) and ninth-place Oregon (12-11, 0-8).
Senior Ryan Brown won the Oregon Invitational title in the 800-meter run with the nation's fifth-fastest time Saturday, capping an outstanding two days of competition for UW athletes at the prestigious meet.
Husky Stadium, East End Zone - April 28, 10:00 am-12:30 pm
In the spirit of Washington Warm Ups, the UW Alumni Association is partnering with the Big W Club to bring you a pre-spring game party! Come see some of your favorite UW athletes flip fancy flapjacks and socialize with fellow alums, fans and Big W legends as we celebrate Washington Weekend and the official arrival of Spring with the Athletic Department's Spring Fling. Fill yourself with breakfast goodies, juice and coffee and then kick back, bask in the sun and share in the excitement of the Spring football game. The atmosphere will be as sweet as maple syrup!
When: April 28 (10:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.)Where: Husky Stadium East Endzone
Cost: $8-Alumni Association & Big W Club Members, $10 Non-members
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I was surprised that Rosborough got the most votes. I ended up picking the same tandem, but I really think they will rotate a lot this year to keep people fresh.
This Weeks Question - Who will will be the top three running backs this coming season?
Only 3-4 are realistically going to play, and we all know that Louis Rankin will start, so who will line up behind him? There are going to be lots of candidates this Fall led by Hasty, Johnson, Shaw, Griffin, Williams, and Yakaboski.
Hasty hasn't had a standout Spring, even though it is still early, so the spots behind Louis are open.
We heard about the tragedy at Virginia Tech one morning when we are at the clubhouse getting ready to golf. What a terrible thing, words can't describe the horror, and senseless loss of such an incident. We send our prayers out to the students, staff, and families of Virginia Tech.
One thing I noticed is that there is lot of excitement concerning Arizona State football, and Dennis Erickson while I was in Scottsdale. Lots of people wearing new ASU gear which is always a good sign for a program that just made a change in leadership. Erickson was much more blunt at the conclusion of Spring practice.
Coach Dennis Erickson offered no false optimism as he wrapped up his first spring at Arizona State. "We've got a long ways to go," said the former Washington State and Seahawks coach. "We really do. We're not even close to where we need to be to have a chance to be competitive in our league.
One guy I have been watching since he arrived at UW was Morgan Rosborough. I have always maintained that he has the chance to be a high draft choice when he leaves UW. Morgan is making a move this Spring and his holding off White-Frisbee who is also having a good Spring. Washington should be solid two deep at guard this year, and from what I have heard just may be improved at the position going into the fall which is what you want to hear. One thing for sure, these guys make up the largest interior line in the country no matter how you stack them. Hopefully that size will translate into more running yards, and better protection.
On Rosborough: "He is coming along. He's done some real good things. I think he is a lot closer to being in the type of shape where he can help us. He needs to continue to work on that. But I like some of the things he has done this spring. We just need to keep getting him some experience.''
The overall impression so far is that guys are stepping up, there is a lots of competition, and all of them are going to get playing time this year which means the line won't wear down as much as the season progresses.
There has been lots of focus on Jake Locker so far this Spring as he gets the important reps he needs to get ready for the regular season. Carl Bonnell has been very solid so we look set at QB. Locker isn't there yet of course, he still has lots of learning to do. It will be very interesting to see what he looks like in the Spring game.
Fifth-year senior quarterback Carl Bonnell, who is running behind Locker at this point, then hit a nice, deep pass to senior Corey Williams for about 60 yards before Murchison caught up with the receiver and pushed him down. It was a nice throw, nice run and Murchison showed quite a bit of hustle in chasing Williams down to save the touchdown.
Cameron Elisara has had a good Spring, and he can expect some reps in the rotation at DT this fall.
Redshirt freshman Cameron Elisara also got through the offensive line and tagged running back Louis Rankin for a loss. Elisara really had to show some power to get through the line on the play. It was impressive.
Louis Rankin has had a great Spring at RB and looks like he will be improved in the Fall. JR Hasty still seems to be a little rusty and has had trouble holding on to the ball in the early going. He needs to get it down because there will be lots of fresh blood here this Fall. Put Mt, Si's Brandon Yakaboski down as a TB this Fall as the Huskies want him to report in at 195 lbs.
Out on the recruiting front it looks like Washington has oral commitments from three big NW offensive lineman. Terrence Thomas from Idaho is the latest, and is listed as a soft verbal by Dawgman, along with Senio Kelemente, and Drew Schaeffer. Washington seems to be off to a good early start this season with the local kids. If you are a Dawgman subsciber Scott Ecklund has just posted an update to his recruiting blog.
Washington State made an excellent move by hiring June Daugherty to run their program. The press conference is being set up for tomorrow. They really couldn't have made a better choice. she knows the area, she already has a network set up in state, and in the West, and she has always produced winners. She can retire at a school like WSU, perfect fit.
Fired by Washington, hired by Washington State -- the P-I has learned that June Daugherty is about to be named the Cougars' next women's basketball coach. A news conference is scheduled Friday afternoon in Pullman to announce Daugherty's hiring in a move that is sure to create a lot more interest in women's hoops in the state of Washington after a longtime Dawg becomes a first-time Coug.
Did Todd Turner just get outbuzzed? That seems to be the reaction of the local scribes. Still Daugherty has a mountain to climb that is very similar to Dick, and Tony Bennett's.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I also had the rare opportunity to spend a little time with Coach Lou Holtz this past weekend. He spoke at a seminar I was at in Arizona, and I have to say he is as interesting in person as he is on TV, or the sidelines. He had some nice things to say about Husky Stadium, and the Washington program in general. He feels it will soon be back among the best in the land.
If you ever have the chance to hear Coach Holtz speak, it is a real treat. He is one of the better motivational speakers out there. He had the crowd laughing most of the time he was on stage as he drove home some important points we all can adapt to make our lives better.
One interesting thing he said about the end of his tenure at Notre Dame was that he was getting tired of maintaining, and to him the most exciting part of being a coach is building. He also said that the most important person to ask advice from is your wife, because nobody on earth wants you to succeed more than your wife.
Lou has a new book out that he autogrpahed for me called Wins, Losses, and Lessons, he jokingly said he has written three books which is two more than he has ever read.
Pac Ten Alley
Spring football is over at USC, and the Trojans have 120 days to wait till they begin the battle to live up to their likely #1 rating entering the season.
Spring football for USC is over, and the wait begins. Only about 120 shopping days until the opening of summer/fall ball. But, take heart, it’s late June when the first pre-season football mags come out!!
Cal is about to wrap up their Spring session.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Riley stood about 20 yards behind junior Nate Longshore. Riley didn’t have his red “untouchable” shirt on. Instead it was in his back pocket. Instead of a helmet, Riley was wearing a headset. And taking the place of the football was a game chart—a list of all the plays that the Cal football team was going to run through that day.
Oregon State's basketball program is going through a lot of transfers, and turmoils.
With the departure of Jeff Reinert, the Beavers quickly filled the vacant position with the hiring of Jerome Francis Jr. as assistant coach. Jerome will fill the position of working with the post players, including C.J. Giles, Roeland Schaftenaar, and Calvin Hampton.
Oregon's coach Bellotti feels the offensive line needs improvement.
Two days after Oregon’s first major scrimmage of spring practice, coach Mike Bellotti praised the efforts of his young defensive linemen and said his offensive line needs improvement.
UCLA thinks that Olsen is the perfect QB.
If a coach were to create a physically perfect quarterback from the ground up, he might end up with a clone of Olson. He is quick, mobile in the pocket and possesses strong legs. His chest is strong, chiseled and broad; his arms are long and powerful and his hands engulf yours as though you were an infant.
A Seattle jornalist that does not like WSU, c'mon....!
Ok, not really. I'm sure he/she doesn't HATE WSU. In fact he/she probably doesn't really care one way or another, I mean there are bigger items on the to-do list than striking down WSU football players with injury after injury
Arizona's offense is still a work in progress this Spring.
University of Arizona tailback Chris Jennings had eight carries and seven receptions.Get used to the work load because that is the way this offense is going to work. The short passes are going to work like a running play. The backs will get their chance to run a few times, but they better be just as prepared to catch the ball, as Jennings showed at the Wildcats’ scrimmage on Saturday.
Not much coming out about Stanford this Spring as Bay Area journalists are much more excited abot Cal, and San Jose State.
"It's a challenge to keep up with Coach Harbaugh," tight end Matt Traverso said. "He still wants to be playing. You can just tell from his demeanor. He wants to be the one under center."
The ASU blog as usual has plenty of interesting stories for us this week.
The Sun Devil family awoke to some frightful news of their own on Sunday morning as CB Chad Green was in a Scottsdale ICU after a collision with a drunk driver in Tempe around 3 am. His condition is still listed as critical but guarded, as the doctors won't really know what's going on until the swelling goes down.
Monday, April 16, 2007
I did talk to a couple of former players who visited practice last week and they felt the team was significantly ahead of where they were last year at this time. They liked the tempo at practice, and felt the defense was ahead of the offense which is usual for this time of year.
They feel that his team has a very good chance to contend once the offense comes together. Of note was the performance of Carl Bonnell who while relugated to second team status has started well this Spring. The Huskies should have two solid options at QB this Fall.
So the overall consensus from the limited sampling was that they like the direction, and they feel the team will get over the hump this season as we have been predicting.
Sorry to be so brief, see you back here late Wednesday.
Friday, April 13, 2007
One of you wrote in Jake Locker, and that one was an obvious no brainer. I didn't list Jake because everyone would have voted for him, and I wanted to open it up to guys who should be ready to break out this Spring, not someone who is going to be one of the best the minute he hits the field. Yes, Jake Locker is that good.
Who did I pick? Well I could have picked any of them, they are all players on the verge of breaking out, but I went with D'Andre "The Flea" Goodwin. We haven't had a consistent return threat in quite some time, and it would be a bonus if the fastest guy on the team gave us some help on specialties.
Who will be the starting tandem at offensive guard going into the Spring?
Bulyca, and Rosborough are the starters going into Spring, but neither have seen much, or any action to speak of in the past. White Frisbee, and Tolar are listed as the backups. Sedillo, and Bush are listed at center, but both will also be working at the guard positions. Who are going to be the top two at the end of Spring practice?
This is a multiple choice question, so pick two of the players when you vote.
I am not really as concerned about who will start as I am concerned about how many are ready to contribute in 2007. So what I am looking for is a very competitive battle to establish the depth that has been missing here for a few years.
Sedillo is officially backing up Garcia which means that unless Garcia gets an extra year of eligibility, which has been discussed, he will be the starter at Center in 2008. Bush who is a junior is ranked behind Sedillo. Bush hasn't been able to get enough weight, and strength built up during his career.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Bob Condotta's Seattle Times Article
Nelson played in 31 of 32 games this season so playing time didn't seem to be an issue, but it isn't exactly like he set the world on fire either. UW has a lot of help coming next Fall, and Nelson probably thought that in the long run he would do better at a smaller school. To me this looks like a friendly departure since he is joining ex Husky assistant, and Romar friend, Ken Bone at Portland St..
I wonder why a kid who from what I saw this year, who really doesn't have an NBA career ahead of him, would transfer to a school like Portland St where the value of a degree is much less than the University of Washington? Just some food for thought. From a basketball perspective it isn't like you are going to get to the Big Dance at Portland St either. Size of the school could have been an issue, you just never know.
Just a couple of weeks ago it seemed like UW had too many players on scholarship for next year, Now it seems they may be one short if Spencer Hawes heads to the NBA. You have to hand it to Romar for thinking ahead.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Do I think Imus should be fired? Well, I have never been a big fan of Imus, or anyone else of that genre, so I wouldn't miss him. However I don't think he should lose his job over it, once apologies have been made it just isn't that big of an issue as far as I am concerned. The guy knows he screwed up, and he isn't in denial about it. I also believe that given a chance he will turn the mistake into a positive. What will ultimately decide his fate will be the advertisers which sponsor his program in over 70 markets. It always comes down to the money.
Michael Harrison, editor and publisher of the talk-radio magazine Talkers, defended Imus. The real issue, he said, is a larger battle over the kind of coarse language popularized by hip-hop and rap culture. Terms such as " 'ho' are so prevalent in music, radio, television, and the movies these days that it's reached the point where white people think it's OK to say these things," Harrison said.
If you have ever listened to the lyrics of rap, or hip hop you realize that there isn't a lot of respect going on as it invades popular culture. It seems to me tbat it is the language of racism, sexism, separatism, and anarchy. The list of negatives goes on, but to me the message of rap, and hip hop is mostly a negative, and damaging one, that erodes our culture.
Sit back, and realize that the global multimedia companies such as Sony, CBS, Clearchannel, etc... are at fault in those area's too because they provide the money, promotion, and airtime for rap/hip hop, as well as a guy like Imus. To me it is one big global garbage chain that feeds upon itself.
I would never defend Imus in any context about what he said, but I do believe there is a double standard out there that needs to be adjusted.
Spring Game on the Internet
The UW has announced that the spring game will be available through its website, GoHuskies.com. The game will be video streamed live on April 28 and then available on-demand on Monday, April 30. The service is free, but you need to sign up and register. The official web site also will be doing quite a few player and coach interviews, so make sure you visit.
Now that Spring practice is under way, the first impression everyone has is that Jake Locker is going to have a great career from the get go. Jake has impressed all the onlookers so far, including Bob Condotta from the Times. It will be interesting to watch him grow over the next three weeks.
Jake Locker looked like the real deal at QB, running for a 77-yard TD on a simple read option at one point (granted, there was no contact, but he wasn't whistled as down and clearly outran the defense on the play).
Molly Yanity from the PI had a slightly different take.
Jake Locker, the redshirt freshman quarterback who many Washington Huskies fans have anointed the program's savior, overthrew balls, missed targets and didn't look like an All-American-to-be in the first practice of spring Monday. "I didn't throw the ball as well as I wanted to today, kind of sporadic," Locker said. "I'd complete a pass here and then throw one, you know, overthrow by a lot."
The interior of the offensive line is another concern going into Spring. Unlike the DB's where we have to wait for the frosh arrive, all the guys who will have an impact this Fall on the OL are on campus right now trying to establish the pecking order going into the Fall.
Casey Bulyca ran with the starting unit at right guard ahead of Ryan Tolar in the race to replace Clay Walker. Jordan White-Frisbee ran as the backup left guard to Morgan Rosborough but looked more than healthy enough, not seeming limited in any way. Matt Sedillo had been somewhat surprisingly listed as the backup center on the depth chart ahead of the more experienced Ryan Bush, and he took most of the snaps at that spot Monday.
Pac Ten Alley
Let's take a walk down Pac Ten Alley to see what the neighbors are up to.
Spring practice is winding up at USC and the Trojans have looked great this Spring.
There was a time last fall when Lawrence Jackson and Sedrick Ellis did not expect to be at the Coliseum on Saturday for USC's annual spring scrimmage, not as current Trojans players anyway. USC's most experienced defensive linemen were considering turning pro at the end of the 2006 regular season but opted to return and complete their eligibility."Reality set in pretty quick when I decided to come back," said Jackson, a fifth-year defensive end who had off-season ankle surgery. "I saw spring ball as an opportunity to get better."
California has had a great Spring and once again will contend with USC for all the marbles in the conference, and nationally.
The Cal football players couldn't help but be a little stunned. They starred at each other for what seemed like an eternity before finally believing what they had just heard. Coach Jeff Tedford had pulled the ultimate oddity Friday, ending practice early. With a week left in the spring schedule, the Bears have earned a 2 1/2-minute break here and there, because everything is working its way into place.
The focus in Corvallis is baseball right now, and who can blame them when they are the defending national champs.
We've got 25 games left, if you count today's game against Portland. Obviously, with 25 games to go, anything can happen. Hopefully this year's team will follow suit of last year's team, and start to play their best baseball here pretty quick. Glancing at the schedule, our next four series' are against Cal, UNLV, Stanford, and Washington. None of the three Pac-10 teams we play are currently ahead of us in the rankings, so maybe it's time to play some catch up.
Oregon has begun Spring drills.
Spring drills began yesterday and coach Bellotti said "I think we got a lot done, it was a very energetic, very active practice."
A rash of injuries is preventing UCLA from getting much needed work done this Spring.
UCLA football coaches were hoping spring practice would bring out the best in their free safeties - starters and backups. That game plan has changed. Now they just need to field enough healthy bodies to have a rotation in practice.
Bill Doba is looking for some cornerbacks to emerge.
Pressed to identify Washington State’s most important position heading into the football season, coach Bill Doba didn’t hesitate. “Cornerback,” he said. If this were the Big Ten Conference, maybe it wouldn’t be so vital. But this is the Pacific-10 Conference, and lock-down corners are essential in controlling some of the best passing offenses in the country. “If they can play man-to-man,” Doba said, “it will open up a simple cover-4 plan.”
One of the most stupid articles of the week was TSN's, Tom Dienhart's, Pac Ten coaching rating. The only way you can fairly rank coaches is to give them an even playing field which doesn't exist, so why bother? You can rank programs, but you really can't rank coaches since they don't stay around long anymore.
Arizona coach Mike Stoops is a good offense away from moving up the charts among the best coaches in the Pac-10. Right now, the fourth-year Wildcat coach is picked seventh by a Sporting News column from Tom Dienhart. “He has lived up to his billing as a defensive mastermind. And you have to love his fire and intensity. But where’s the offense? Believe me, it’s driving Stoops nuts,” Dienhart writes. “That’s why he hired Sonny Dykes from Texas Tech to install a pass-happy spread attack. Give Stoops credit for trying. I’ll be rooting for him.”
Stanford starts it's first Spring under Jim Harbaugh.
Jim Harbaugh's first day of spring practice as Stanford's new football coach had an up-tempo feel from the first drill to last. The high-energy Harbaugh also immediately brought in legendary coach Bill Walsh on Wednesday. Minutes into the workout on the Stanford campus, Harbaugh gathered his players and said, "Men, the greatest coach in the history of the game, Bill Walsh."
We save the best for last as usual as we visit the House of Heat which is examining Sun Devil tradition.
"A" Mountain, or Hayden Butte if you're all accurate and shit, is the natural landmark at the North end of ASU's campus. This article in the AZ Republic gives a brief history of the rock and the letters that have been emblazoned on its face, which have included "N," "T," and the solid concrete "A" that sits there today.
Friday, April 06, 2007
For Willingham, while he can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, he still has some challenges. One of the biggest is the practice depth this Spring which can only be remedied by the arrival of a large freshman class in August. Perfect practice against the best athletes is what breeds improvement in a football team. Just consider what USC, and Florida are practicing against this Spring? Willingham is still a couple of years away from enjoying that type of bonus.
The team is going to be young this year, the key is having new better athletes emerge as the season progresses. That is a sign of a team that is getting better ever week which was a trademark of most of DJ's teams. This particular team looks like it can do that despite what guru's such as Ted Miller of the PI are saying. I look for this team to challenge it's opponents all year long, and be more explosive on offense.
The conference race is free for all after USC, and even UCLA, and Oregon State beat them last year, so everyone has a chance even though the Trojan's will enter the Fall as the consensus number one team in the land.
The media has a few interesting notes we will share on the opening of Spring practice.
Bob Condotta starts us off with an interview with JR Hasty this morning in the Times. Does JR get it yet, not sure if the coaches are sure?
The interview was nearing its conclusion when a coach reminded J.R. Hasty that he'd better just end it so as not to miss even a second of an upcoming tutoring session.
Molly Yanity of the PI muses that Ty doesn't feel his teams have done enough since he arrived.
After two full seasons and increased production each year, University of Washington coach Tyrone Willingham still doesn't think he has done enough.
Ty has basically the same conversation with Don Ruiz of the Tribune.
“The reality is we haven’t equalized where I hoped we would be,” he said last week. “I thought we’d be that bowl team by now. But the reality of where we can go is still very much out there. We can get to be a very, very good football team again.”
Art Thiel wonders what the Sonic's would look with Spencer Hawes. If I am Spencer Hawes, I would be considering how much it would suck to live in Oklahoma City.
If you are the Sonics general manager -- and you could be, what with big changes in store -- do you take Hawes, or pass? This assumes, of course, that Hawes will declare himself eligible. He left a crack in the door for returning to the UW for his sophomore season by not signing with an agent. But the only way he's coming back is if he gets hurt, or bears are discovered using porta-potties instead of the woods.
We finish up with a nod of the head, and thumbs up to former Grambling coach Eddie Robinson who passed away last week.
Eddie Robinson was earning 25 cents an hour at a feed mill when he heard about a coaching vacancy at a small college in Louisiana. It was a time when Robinson and other black people lived in segregation.
This Weeks Question - Who will be the most improved skill player on offense in Spring Camp?
I throw a good group of skill guys up for nomination that we would like to see some increased performance from. It would be nice if some or all of these guys broke out this Spring.
WR Quinton Daniels.....Quinton was one of those guys they expected to play early and make an impact in Rick's big WR class. It hasn't happened yet because of injury. We got a glimpse of what Quinton could do last year, and this season he has the leg brace off and is back to his old speed. I would think that he is a player to watch this year.
WR Aaron Goodwin....He impressed coaches during his RS year, and takes over as the fastest guy on the team which means they are going to take a long look at his ability to run back kicks.
RB JR Hasty....We all know what Ranking can do, but we haven't seen what JR could do for awhile. This Spring will tell us all we need to know about what to expect from him the Fall because he along with Ranking will get an impressive amount of reps. A big Spring by JR could take a lot of pressure off the offense.
FB Paul Homer....UW hasn't had a kid like this here since Pat Conniff graduated. The kid can block, and we need that out of fullback. I want to see how he looks catching the ball this Spring. Can he develop into a complete player?
TE Johnnie Kirton....He has All American written all over him, but he needs to block better, and be more consistent catching the ball. He has had a couple of years experience, maybe the light bulb goes on for his junior year.
Of course you nominate someone else and write them in. When we see an other for now on we will add it to the list with your vote.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
For once UW is going into Spring healthy with nobody who is going to miss the session. This is pretty huge since for the last five or so years we had a lot of kids standing on the sideline unable to participate. you can attribute a lot of it to the new strength and conditioning programs instituted since Ty has been on board. Trent Greener has really done a good job keeping kids from getting injured by making them more flexible. While the team is healthy, the overall numbers are down, and that is something that won't correct itself till next year when the big class arrives.
Let's start our review on the defensive side of the ball.
Once again the Huskies are blessed with experience, and depth on the defensive line. The unit doesn't have a superstar, but Wilson Afoa starts his senior season as a three way starter inside at tackle. Jordan Reffett will flank him, but the coaches are looking for Cameron Elisara to assert himself, and push for plenty of playing time. Lobo's returns healthy, and could be a key back up, while Kosub could contribute while learning the ropes. That gives the Huskies five experienced guys to work with. They have two promising freshmen in Nick Wood who could play right away if needed, and Tyrone Duncan who probably could use some seasoning. Jovan O'Connor hasn't seen the field yet, and is a candidate for the four, and out program if he doesn't make a move this Spring.
Out at the end Daniel Teo Neshiem seems to have moved into the position of being the most promising player after starting as a RS. Greyson Gunheim has something to prove after a very sub par year in 2006 that saw him lose his starting job to Brandon Ala. Ceasar Rayford has done a good job to put himself into play situationally, and the Huskies will try to find the right way to maximize his talent. For the Huskies to improve out here they need some help from Atkins, Jones, and Matthews who all sat out last year learning the system, and getting physically developed. You need a couple of those guys to step up and challenge if the overall position is to be improved. Frosh Kalani Aldrich is a guy like Wood who could play right away if needed. Walter Winter has moved to TE, but he could always move back during the Spring.
Projected Depth Chart
DT Afoa, Lobos, Wood, Duncan
DT *Elisara, *Reffett, Kosub
DE Gunheim, Matthews, Jones, Aldrich
DE Teo Neshiem, Rayford, Atkins
Daniel Howell is going to be the graybeard of the group as he returns for his senior season at UW. Howell finally pushed Scott white aside last year and forced him to change positions. He is going to be flanked by two guys the coaches really like, EJ Savannah, and Donald Butler. If EJ can stay healthy he can push for all star status, he has the potential to be that good. Jones of course wrestled away a starting position half way through the season last year as a frosh. Behind them you have Stevens who will play quite a bit in specialized roles, he will be all over the field. Matt Houston has received some praise from Ty in the off season, and he figures to get his first time this year as a RS. Tuiasosopo should be be hitting his first spring with little to worry about. He actually played his first season last year after being injured his first two years at UW. Expect a player that won't concede the starting position to Butler. Trew also returns inside and did well last year when he played. Of the Frosh, Foster, and Dennison, Foster is probably the closest to being ready to play. The Huskies are bringing in lots of athletes who can play all over the field, so you could see some RB's, or DB's being moved here if the who fits the need. Sylvester is an example of a kid who could start off playing ILB, or on the offensive side at FB.
If you want to look at one area of this team that has had a total most likely successful makeover since Ty arrived it is at LB. Size, speed, attitude, and athletic ability have really increased the last three years. This is the year we get to see what these guys can do with some experience under their belt.
(Look for Houston have a good Spring, and join the rotation. Tui should be back to full speed minus the rust.)
Projected Depth Chart
ILB Butler, Tuiasosopo, Dennison
ILB Howell, Houston, Trew
WLB *Savannah, *Stevens, Foster
The Huskies have been improving the defensive backfield over the past couple of years, but two guys that will play on Sundays, Goldson, and Wallace have moved on, and that leaves some big holes to fill over the Spring, and Fall. The Huskies are still playing catchup back here with numbers for the most part, and that has been the case since the Neuheisel days.
The Huskies bring in a large freshman DB class this Fall that needs to be ready to play as soon as they hit campus. Improvement now, and in the immediate future depends on what these kids are able to do back here.
At cornerback the Huskies have three kids with a little experience, and one guy that should vie for Pac Ten honors in Ray Lewis. Byron Davenport is transfer who spent his first year at UCLA, he then transferred to a JC, didn't play, and arrives at UW to immediately fight for a starting job with Mosley and Murchison who redshirted last season. Behind them you have the frosh Persley, and McDowell. Depending on how the chips land both could see action this year because everything is extremely open to competition. Mesphin Forrester who the coaches prefer at Safety was a utility guy last year who got time at both positions.
Murchison is a guy who most people thought could contribute right away last Spring, but he has a bum knee that won't get much better, so even though he has the talent, he isn't a solid bet unless he can stay healthy. Mosley is a kid who could have lost his RS last year, he still needs some seasoning. Davenport is a cut above usual JC recruits because he really is a Pac Ten transfer. He will arrive in the Fall.
At Safety the Huskies have to replace CJ Wallace, and they have two kids with experience in Forrester, and Wells. Behind them is nothing but freshman as far as the eye can see. 2-3 guys are going to play right away. Richardson, Aieyewa, Logan, and Williams are the guys who are expected to come in this Fall and vie for position at Safety. If Wells, or Forrester go down it is going to get very interesting, and not in a good way unless one of the frosh steps up in a big way. No way to get around this, the Huskies need immediate help from young guys at this position.
One wild card going into the Spring the coaches have mentioned going into the Spring is the return of Federal Way's Darin Harris from a broken Vertebrae. Harris has some starting experience from two years ago, but the injury has kept him out of the lineup for quite some time. If he can get shake the rust off this Spring he could provide depth anywhere in the defensive backfield.
CB Lewis, Murchison, McDowell
CB *Davenport, *Mosley, Persley
WS Forrester, Aiyewa, Logan
SS Wells, Harris, Williams, Richardson
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
On a serious note, Tia Jackson looks like an excellent choice, and has excellent ties to the West after her five year stay at UCLA previous to moving to Duke.
Tia Jackson, an assistant coach at Duke, will be hired as the Washington women's basketball coach, according to sources.Jackson told the Duke players this week that she had accepted the job, a source said. A news conference to introduce Jackson could come as soon as Friday. Jackson will first meet with UW players and the advisory committee that had been set up to hire a new coach, sources said.
The Tia Jackson Bio
Labeled as one of the top recruiters in the nation, Tia Jackson joined the Duke Blue Devil staff over the summer of 2005, after spending five years as an assistant coach on the UCLA staff.
Jackson is involved in all aspects of the Blue Devil program including recruiting, scouting, practice planning and instruction. A native of Salisbury, Md., Jackson joined the UCLA staff in July of 2000 and served as the recruiting coordinator each of those years. Since joining the Bruin staff, Jackson signed a top-six recruiting class in 2003 and a top-10 class in 2002, while bringing in five McDonald’s and Kodak/WBCA All-America selections.
Prior to arriving at UCLA, Jackson served as an assistant coach at Stanford in 1999 and was an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) from 1996-99.
Following the 1996-97 season at VCU, Jackson spent the summer playing professionally in the WNBA in its inaugural season. She was the ninth overall pick in the draft and played in 28 games that season for the Phoenix Mercury. The Mercury won the Western Conference Championship under Head Coach Cheryl Miller. Jackson averaged 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds, but was unable to continue her career due to injury.
Jackson was a 1995 graduate of the University of Iowa where she helped lead the Hawkeye’s to four top-25 final rankings in five seasons she played for coach C. Vivian Stringer. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in media studies and film, emphasizing in television production and editing.
During her junior season, she helped Iowa, 27-4 that year, to a berth in the 1993 Final Four and earned NCAA Mideast Regional All-Tournament honors. Jackson completed her career at Iowa ranked 10th on the all-time school list for rebounds with 507 and seventh in steals with 168. She averaged 10.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. As a senior at Iowa, she played with fellow Duke assistant coach Shannon Perry in 1995 when Perry was a freshman with the Hawkeyes.
With her move to Duke, Jackson returned to the east coast where she grew up and was an honorable mention All-America honoree as a senior at Mardela Springs (Md.) High School. Jackson totaled 3,108 points during her prep career.
We aren't sure who the next coach will be, but we are pretty sure who it isn't going to be. I still think Semrau, and Marciniak are the leading contenders.
It remains unclear who the next coach will be for the University of Washington women's basketball team. But one person it won't be is MaChelle Joseph of Georgia Tech, who had been regarded as one of the leading candidates by some. Joseph's agent, John Meadows, said today that Joseph has withdrawn her name from consideration.
In other top secret Husky news Ty Willingham is going to open up Spring practice a bit for the media, but not the fans. The school also announced that five practices will be open to the media (but not the general public), plus the Spring Game (which is open to everybody). So six of 15 practices will be open. That's up from two, or three in past years. Oh well, at least it is progress, but how about a little love for the common fan? You know the guy who buys tickets on Saturday?
Ted Miller of the PI celebrated the news by predicting a 9th place finish for the men in purple in gold next fall. Ted needs to lighten up, I personally think the Huskies will finish in the top five and go bowling.
All the newspapers, blogs, and websites have been coming out with their Spring football previews. In the interest of lack of originality I am doing the same this week. Everyone else is trying to stretch it out by position so they don't run out of things to write about till practice starts on April 9th, I on the other hand have decided to let it all hang out at once.
Bob Condotta is doing a great job interviewing position coaches for his preview in his blog. I have to hand it to Bob, he has done a great job this year with his blog, and he is very nice to all his readers.
I previewed the offense on Monday, and on Thursday we are going to tackle, no pun intended the defense. the defense looks good to me if they can find some guys ready to play in the defensive backfield this Fall in the Freshmen class.
I was reading Nathan Ware's Fan Blog in the PI, and noticed that he had links to such distinguished sites such as Dawgman, Malamute, and even Realdawg. I sent him a friendly email requesting a link, but he has not responded. Nathan, if you are out there, I am still waiting, check your spam file. I have chosen this to be a continuing saga until we get the well deserved link.
On the mens's basketball side it looks like Spencer is going to continue exploring his options by declaring for the NBA draft without hiring an agent which alows him to return next year if he pulls out of the draft. I think this has been a foregone conclusion all along, and it makes sense since Hawes will have the opportunity to work against the nations best during the process. My gut still says he will play at UW a couple more years.
And the increasing conventional wisdom is that Hawes will likely say he will declare for the NBA draft but without hiring an agent so that he will retain the option of returning to college.
The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NBA draft is April 29. If Hawes declares without hiring an agent, he would have until June 18 to pull out of the draft and return to UW.
Bob Condotta, and Bud Withers of the Times came out with their Pre Season Top Twenty Five for basketball in 2008.
The preseason basketball rankings for 2008 are aready out and Washington State will start out the year ranked #12, while Washington has been named a team to watch outside the top 25. Talk about your complete reversals of fortune. Five Pac Ten teams are on the list, and UCLA is the consensus #1.
Bud adds a companion artice about how the Pac Ten will get a lot more national respect in 2008.
In Atlanta the other day, CBS sat Washington State's Tony Bennett on a chair for national TV, selected him its national coach of the year and splashed on the screen his name and school logo — a nice purple "W".
Pac Ten Alley
Let's take our weekly walk down Pac Ten Alley to see what the neighbors are up to.
USC is likely to start the season ranked #1 which isn't that big a surprise with all the players they have returning from last years squad.
There is no getting around it. Barring some stunning developments, USC will begin the 2007 ranked No. 1 -- and it's just the kind of prediction that coach Pete Carroll always takes in stride.
The California Golden Bears kicking game looks solid for 2007.
Growing up in Walnut Creek, Calif., Tom Schneider may never have wanted to think of himself as a special teams expert. Often associated with the most fragile members of pop-warner squads, special teams used to be where coaches sent kids to get their minimum four plays a game. But Schneider hasn’t played pee-wee football in a long time. Now recognized as one of the top place-kickers in the Pac-10, the senior will play an integral role in what looks to be one of the Cal football team’s most veteran and most impressive special teams units in recent memory.
Baseball is still the focal point at Oregon State this Spring.
Once, after being whipped by Arizona State in a 2000 game in Corvallis, Beavers coach Pat Casey went to dinner with Sun Devils coach Pat Murphy and confided that "I'm not sure I can get it done here." By 2005, Oregon State won the Pac-10 and played in the College World Series.
The Duck's start Spring practice with at least seven players who are going to have to sit out because of injury.
Dennis Dixon will begin spring drills atop the depth chart at quarterback for the Oregon football team, UO coach Mike Bellotti announced Wednesday in a statement released by the athletic department.
UCLA came close, but lost to eventual National Champion Florida in the Final Four. Pretty impressive to put together two final Four appearances on a row.
My other purpose for this diary is to thank Coach Howland, the team, and all of you for everything the past season. During the tournament, I celebrated my one year anniversary on Bruins Nation. My first posting took place against Gonzaga, and I still remember Ajax's live thread with the Austin Powers picture. It cracked me up, and I've been here ever since. Not only do I view this as a one-stop shop for all news UCLA, but I love sharing stories. We have such a diverse base here, from our elder spokesmen 66,Fox 71, and Arty, to our current students, including Ty. Each one of us has a unique UCLA experience, and I love how we use this site to share our stories, experiences, and mutual love for our alma mater.
The boys over at the Cougar blog provide us with some tidbits concerning Spring practice.
One other unrelated note, FYI. Though it's not definite, I would not expect Derrell Hutsona to be in a Cougar uniform this fall. The academic hurdles are significant, and from what I hear there are some possible disciplinary issues as well. Bottom line is that I doubt he'll be eligible to play at WSU in 2007.
In Arizona they are talking about Mike Stoops inability to make friends, and impress officials. How many guys get thrown out of their own Spring game?
Arizona coach Mike Stoops has made a reputation for himself for getting on an official or two.
His intensity is often seen on the sidelines. The Wildcats’ fourth-year coach showed that same passion again during Saturday’s scrimmage at Arizona Stadium.
At Stanford Jim Harbaugh made an ass out of himself last week by predicting that Pete Carroll was on his way out this season at USC. Is Harbaugh the next Joe Kapp?
It's been widely publicized that he has interviewed for other jobs, and that is what I've heard," Harbaugh said Monday. "I definitely said that. But we bow to no man. We bow to no program here at Stanford University." Harbaugh was talking about the importance of having a stable coaching staff when he made his initial comments about Carroll. He pointed out that Carroll has had a lengthy stay at USC, but added, "He's only got one more year, though. He'll be there one more year. That's what I've heard. I heard it (from) inside the staff."
Over at ASU they have some interesting Sun Devil body painting featuring the body of Sun Devil Alum Victoria Thornton. Isn't that what every Sun Devil coed looks like by the way? The House of Heat by the way is doing an excellent job keeping us entertained, and thanks for the link, we appreciate it guys! Keep up the good work!
With my man crush on Sam Keller in full force after Rudy Carpenter opened his big mouth, it's good to see Sam the Man in the news. If you're desperate enough for football content to come to my typo-ridden corner of the blogosphere, you probably already know that my boy SK was cited for disturbing the peace yesterday in Lincoln.
Out of Conference Opponent Blogs
It has been awhile since we looked over here, so lets see what is going on.
Spring Practice just started for June Jones and the Hawaii Warriors.
"We want to put Davone and Ryan in some different positions with some different routes. I want them to learn the outside, they know the inside," Jones said after yesterday's first of 15 spring practices. "And it'll give us an opportunity to give the younger guys a lot of reps inside."
At Boise State they are still relishing the Fiesta Bowl victory, and they are also trying to squeeze every possible marketing dollar out of it.
I got an email earlier this week and I couldn’t help but laugh. It seems in the spirit of squeezing every last bit of Fiesta Bowl fever out of the local community the university is now selling “a limited edition commemorative coin celebrating Boise State’s person season and dramatic Fiesta Bowl victory.”Seriously, a coin? That’s where we’re at with this thing now. The DVD’s I can understand, the parade was fun and the over-priced apparel at least keeps me warm, but we’ve officially taken it too far. I think the coin even tops the “official” NCCA series football local groups were hawking all over the Internet.
The Syracuse Football blog actually is getting some awards. I think the fact that we were left out is because of the East Coast Bias, more on that later.
It is not often that we get to toot our proverbial horn here at Orange::44. Other then being the runner up for The Job Award at the College Football Blogger Awards, we do not really get too much fanfare here. And frankly, that is the way we like it. We would much rather just be silently respected by our peers and readers than be put up on some orange pedestal. That being said however, turning two is no small feat to glance over. Now that the Otto Awards are all handed out, I thought I’d point out some of my favorite moments I have seen here at this humble blog.
Finally we finish with Ohio State which is reeling from being knocked out of the national championship in two sports by the Florida Gators. I don't see Oden, Cook, and Coly returning, but they can dream in Columbus.
We came up short but no shame to be found. Big Ten Champions, Big Ten Tournament Champions, Final Four and national finalist. It was a great year where we rode 22 straight and captured the nation with phenom for freshmen and seniors with heart. 35-4. Ridiculous to think about this team next year if Oden/Conley/Cook return.
Monday, April 02, 2007
You would think that if someone told you before tipoff that if Greg Oden would score 25 points and grab 12 rebounds it would be pretty hard for Florida to beat OSU. Well he did that, but Florida was in control most of the way, and repeated as national champions which isn't a very easy thing to do in this day of age with all the parity. The Gator's become the first team to repeat since Duke in 1991-92 and have added their name to the debate about the best teams of all time, not to mention one of the best athletic programs of all time.
This win completes a 2007 championship-game sweep of the Buckeyes (35-4) in college's two biggest sports -- men's hoops and football. Florida, a 41-14 winner in the football title game in January, remains the only program in history to hold both championships at the same time.
My first instinct is I hope they both lose, but since that is unlikely, I'm going with OSU because of Greg Oden. Sure he hasn't dominated in a game for awhile because of foul trouble, but the emphasis other teams place on him seem to take them out of their rythym.
Todd Turner has been "subterranian" in Cleveland this weekend interviewing candidates for the vacant Husky women's basketball coaching position. Looks like Seattle native Sue Semrau from Florida State has the edge in the battle for the job if the newspapers are correct. Expect a decision, or at least an offer early next week even though there really isn't any rush.
If you are a MLB fan the season starts today, and the Mariner's are going to be sporting a new look, and a revamped roster going into the season. To me the Mariner's are terrible when it comes to personel decisions, and once again I am predicting that Bavasi, and Hargrove are gone by June. The longer Lincoln, Bavasi, and Hargrove are in charge the longer it will take to rebuild the franchise. 110 millon for these guys?
Washington (23-9 overall, 1-2 Pac-10) managed just one hit against ASU on Sunday — a leadoff single in the third by No. 8 hitter Lauren Green . Still the Huskies won their first Pac Ten game of the young campaign.
The Washington baseball team rallied from 7-1 down to draw within two, but couldn't complete the comeback as 16th-ranked Arizona State beat the Huskies, 8-5, Sunday to earn a 2-1 series win at Husky Ballpark.
Washington senior Amber Prange equaled her career-best with a 69 in the final round of the PING/ASU Invitational, Sunday, leading the Huskies to a 14th place finish at the three-day tournament. UW shot 19-over 307 in the final round and 63-over 927 overall.
The Washington rowing program showcased its depth Saturday, winning six of the seven collegiate races contested during the season-opening Husky Open Regatta on the Montlake Cut.
The top UW crews took the day off following last weekend's intra-squad Class Day races. The rest of the Husky fleet was impressive in their six victories, including five events in which Washington crews placed one-two. The annual slate of 2,000-meter races included collegiate crews from UW, Washington State and Western Washington along with several rowing clubs from throughout the region.
Spring Football Preview - Offense
Let's take a quick look at the offense today going into Spring practice which starts right after Easter.
The good news is the Huskies have three returning starters, Jordan White-Frisbee is healthy and ready to play again, and some sophomores and redshirts are ready to vie for playing time in the rotation. Graduation took Walker, and Daniels, but Macklin, Ossai, and Garcia return.
At center there really isn't a true plan B behind Garcia right now even though Bush could fill in, and Matt Sedillo is being groomed for the future. It is critical that Big Juan has a big senior year, and stays healthy.
At the guards we are going to see some guys that haven't played much, or at all. Tolar was guy that could have contributed a bit last year so he is a favorite to grab a starting job this year. Bulyca is a junior that has been progressing, but he didn't see much action last year as a sophomore. Rosborough has size, and potential, but does he have the stamina to hold down a starting spot? Bush simply hasn't been able to put on the weight. Shugert, and Armelin look like guards to me coming in.
Jordan White-Frisbee is the guy the coaches are looking at to make a move for one of the inside spots if he can stay healthy. Jordan looks more like a tackle, than a guard, but the coaches want him to start where the competion is open for a starting job. UW likes all their players to be able to play all the positions on the line, so by Fall the best five will start.
Out at tackle you return two starters, Macklin, and Ossai, you have the addition of some depth this year with Mason, Habben, and Berglund. Berglund, and Habben are both ready to contribute this year so tackle looks pretty solid. Mason is a guy that can play inside and outside. A year in the weight room, and at the training table should have him ready to reach his potential even though he enters Spring still a little undersized.
UW had no depth last year on the OL, and the goal this year is to find ten players who can contribute and push each other.
C Garcia, Bush, Christine
G Bulyca, Tolar, Shugert
G White-Frisbee, Rosborough, Armelin
T Macklin, Berglund, Eweka
T Ossai, Mason, Habben, Fancher
Lot's of experience returning with Kirton, Gottleib, Lewis, Winter, and Williams returning. But non of them have broken out year and had a great season. Lewis is one of those Neu recruits that never really found a position, and he has been hampered by injuries. The same can be said of Walt Winter who has bounced between LB, DE, and TE. Little has been heard of Williams since the Chehalis native came to campus. Chris Izbicki is the new potential star on the block who the coaches feel is the complete package, but he won't be here till Fall.
TE Kirton, Gottleib, Izbicki, Lewis, Winter, Williams
The good news is the Huskies return four 5th year senior receivers with lots of experience, Russo, Williams, Ellis, and Daniels. They get another healthy, and in shape senior in Marcel Reese back for his senior year to lead the unit. They brought in two freshmen who should see action right away in Aguilar, and Boyles. They have a third frosh who could end up at Safety in Logan.
On paper this is a pretty good group for Charlie Bagget to work with. What this unit needs is to develop some some star power, and they will count on Reese to supply it until Boyles arrives in the Fall. Yes, Boyles is good enough to make quite a difference if he qualifies.
When I look at Quinton Daniels I think Patrick Reddick who had a similar injury history, but came on strong late in his career. Russo had a decent year in 2006, and while he isn't spectacular, he adds much needed experience. Aaron "The Flea" Goodwin debuts this year and he is going to be an exciting player. Williams hasn't really come back since his injury at Notre Dame, he just hasn't been the same guy. Cody Ellis is a situational guy. I think you will see all eight of these guys play this year since five of them will be graduating this coming Winter.
FL Reese, Williams, Ellis
SE Goodwin, Boyles, Daniels
SB Russo, AguilarRunning Backs
The Huskies enter Spring with only two scholarship RB's on the roster Hasty, and Rankin. Kirton will get another look as a situational powerback. The future of this position arrives late this Summer when Johnson, Shaw, Griffin, and to a lesser extent Williams, and Yakaboski arrive. I expect the latter to to end up playing another position. Key to this Spring is Hasty regaining the style, and pop that made him a Scout team star his freshmen year.
At Fullback Homer, Kravitz, and possibly Sylvester will get the majority of the reps. Expect Kravits to get some reps at TB due to the lack of depth this Spring. Homer was a special teams terror as a frosh, and he should assume the mantle of full time starter at FB this Spring. He will have some competition from Sylvester and Kravitz. Sylvester is also a kid that could end up inside at LB before it is all said and done. Yakaboski could end up here, at TB, Safety, or at LB in the Fall.
TB Rankin, Hasty, Johnson, Shaw, Griffin,
FB Homer, Kravitz, Sylvester, YakaboskiQuarterback
I think it is great news that Willingham is going to open up practices this Spring, let's hope he also does it during Fall Camp, and early in the week during the season. This will give everyone the opportunity to watch one of the most heralded Husky recruits of all time Jake Locker. Locker will get the majority of the reps this Spring since Bonnell will be limited as his shoulder heals. The Huskies welcome a couple of new QB's this Spring in Fouch, and Clemmons. Having them here early will make the transition this Fall go a lot smoother. These guys will be able to practice, and play if needed without going through the usual spin a freshman goes through in Fall camp.
QB Locker, Bonnell, Fouch, Clemmons