Monday, December 31, 2007

Walker to UW?

Various sources are reporting that the UCLA DC is headed to UW. More on this after it is confirmed....Happy New Year Husky Fans!

The Monday Morning Wash

I was over at Dawgman last night and noticed that the Huskies had moved up to #7 in the country in recruiting after a few adjustments to some unevaluated recruits star ratings. As I have said before this is probably the best recruiting class Washington has had since the early 1990's. The class has everything you want, balance, speed, and utility. Washington has a shot at staying in the top ten once it all balances out, but expect Oregon, and USC to finish strong.

The dead period has been exactly that with Washington only needing 3-4 players to fill out it's 2008 class. That is good news because Washington historically does best in December. When there are plenty of spots left to fill in January it usually spells trouble.

Rick Neuheisel has some buzz going on down South this week after being named head coach at UCLA. He talked to DeWayne Walker about sticking around to be his defensive coordinator but he didn't get an immediate yes from the coveted Bruin assistant. That bodes well for Washington which has made a big time two year offer to bring him North. Michigan's Ron English hasn't made any decisions either waiting for word on what is going on at UCLA, and Washington. My inside hunch is that Walker is heading North. Another inside hunch is that Norm Chow isn't going to want to work for Neuhesiel.

The PI's Ted Miller thinks that Rick is going to lead the Bruins back to the top of the conference. He has been cocky enough to say they will be a Pac Ten power under Neuheisel. I have been thinking along the same lines, but sometimes Rick simply defies logic. We are talking about a smart guy that was unable to follow the rules, or keep his nose out of trouble at both UW, and Colorado. Logic dictates that the public spanking he got at UW taught him a much needed lesson, the problem is like I said, Rick tends to defy logic.

The Husky basketball team has it's last remaining tuneup before conference play today when they face Idaho State at 3:00 pm at Hec Ed. Most of us were encouraged by what we saw Saturday at LSU. That was a quality win, and comeback on the road against an SEC team. On the other hand LSU isn't exactly a power this season. UW will know exactly what they have when they face WSU to open the season. The Cougars have climbed out of oblivion and now are a very good possibility to make the final four in March. Why do I say that? Winning the tournament starts with defense, and WSU is one of the best defensive teams in the country.

How will the Husky basketball team do this year? Well I actually think they will end up doing better than last year in conference. You have to like the way the team stepped up the last couple of games with Ryan Appleby dinged up. Pondexter is obviously the key for this team in conference play, if he can keep up with the assertiveness and become a scoring option it bodes well for these guys.

On the girls side fired UW AD Todd Turner didn't exactly get the sizzle he was looking for from Tia Jackson and a top rated recruiting class. The Husky women certainly are not playing together very well to start the season which is an expected by product of changing coaches, and coming in with a young team. I wouldn't be surprised if the Cougars led by ex Husky coach June Daugherty whack them in conference play. Jackson is a young coach with excellent bloodlines who has never run a big time program before. Like her young team she is going to need some time to mature into the role.

Bowls

California is down early 21-0 to Air Force which isn't a very big surprise since the Bears have been mailing it in the entire second half of the season. This team has proven to be a big challenge for Jeff Tedford who was being hailed as a coaching Messiah over the last couple of years. Cal can't adapt to defensing the option. The chop blocks are just killing them. Teford is really going to have to do a serious job reclaiming this team in the off season. Cal has come roaring back in the second half to take the lead 35-27. The AFA QB went down with one of the worst knee/leg injuries I have ever seen....very gruesome.

Jonathan Stewart set a Sun Bowl record with a career-high 253 yards rushing and Justin Roper threw four touchdown passes in his first start as Oregon beat South Florida 56-21 on Monday.
The Ducks (9-4) scored 28 straight points in the third quarter to snap a four-game postseason losing streak, their first bowl win since beating Colorado 38-16 in the Fiesta Bowl after the 2001 season.

UW Routs Idaho State

Jon Brockman scored 21 points and collected 11 rebounds Monday as the Washington Huskies rolled to a 82-50 victory over Idaho State. Brockman, just chosen as the Pacific-10 Player of the Week for the second time this season, got seven of those points during a 13-3 run to start the second half, helping Washington expand a 14-point halftime lead to 24 with 16:31 to play. His double-double was his eighth in 13 games this season.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Nathan Ware on Neuheisel

Nathan Ware isn't mincing words on how he feels about Rick Neuheisel.

Rick Neuheisel is a liar. Rick Neuheisel is a cheater. Rick Neuheisel is not a man of integrity. Those are facts not opinions. I'm embarrassed that he ever worked for our university. He's destroyed two football programs and a leopard doesn't change his spots.

I agree with what he is saying in the past tense, but I really would like to think that Rick Neuheisel has learned from his mistakes, and will do a much better job in all area's at UCLA. Only time will tell what type of can of worms the Bruins have opened up for themselves.

As far as DeWayne Walker goes I am hearing he is staying, and I am hearing he is going....I guess it just depends on who you believe. We should find out Monday which way he is leaving, but on Friday he looked like he was headed to UW.

Goodbye Blaine we all will miss you

The Seattle Times is opening the New Year by making all types of budget cuts in the search for survival. Like all major metropolitan newspapers they are struggling to stay profitable, or even stay in business. The Internet has really hurt the dailies nationwide, but what has hurt the dailies more is not being able to adapt and take advantage of the new technology.

One of the first cuts was recent retiree Blaine Newnham who writes a column once a week on Sundays. If you are like me you will miss his input each week, and once again another slice of what makes Seattle is being sacrificed in the name of profitability and progress. Hopefully Blaine resurfaces elsewhere since he has more than a few words, and paragraph's left in him.

Frank Blethen of the Times is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and he never has been. Cutting talent isn't the way you increase profits and stay alive. You stay alive by being more aggressive in your online distribution and revenue model. Until the Times and other metro dailies realize that they won't be able to make the transition.

In the end — and this is the end — did I write as many positive columns as negative ones? Did I simply follow the pack, or did I try to guide it?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Neu Day at UCLA

Rick Neuheisel was hired today to be the head coach of the UCLA Bruins. UCLA did about everything they could not to hire them, but it all came down to the simple fact that nobody of prominence wanted to take the job.

I think Rick is actually a smart choice who will do well at UCLA.

I guess we will find out on Monday if DeWayne Walker wants to stick around, or move on to Washington.

Oregon State Holds Off Maryland

Senior running back Bernard rushed for 177 yards and a touchdown in his final game for Oregon State, and the Beavers pounded out a 21-14 victory over Maryland on Friday night in a rain-soaked Emerald Bowl. James Rodgers rushed for 115 yards, caught an early TD pass and recovered teammate Bernard's fumble for the second half's only score as the Beavers won their fourth consecutive bowl game under coach Mike Riley. Rodgers has the same type of skill set as Husky recruit David Freeman which is good news for Husky fans.

Huskies knock off LSU in Baton Rouge

The Huskies rallied back from a 41-27 halftime deficit to beat LSU 73-65. The Dawgs were led by Pondexter, Brockman, and Morris.

Washington took their first lead of the day on a 3-pointer by Ryan Appleby that put the score at 49-47 with 11:10 left in the game. Pondexter led Washington with 17 points, 11 of those coming in the second half. Morris scored all but four of his 15 points in the second half. Also scoring in the double digits were Brockman, with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Appleby, with 12 points.

This was a big win for the Dawgs who are finally starting to jell heading into conference play. You have to wonder if this win will be what they need to start playing like a tight unit for the rest of the season. For one thing it was good to see Pondexter finally have a breakthrough type performance.

Friday, December 28, 2007

More Puppy Chow

Rumors are out that UW is about to hire a TE coach from Arkansas. Alex Wood who has experience coaching with Dennis Erickson seems to be the guy that Willingham has settled on. No official word yet since Wood's contract with Arkansas does not end till December 31st.

Another rumor floating around is the Huskies have offered a DeWayne Walker a two year contract which would make him one of the wealthiest college assistants in the country if he accepts the job. UCLA on the other hand still has not announced it's selection of a head coach, but all fingers are still pointing at Rick Neuheisel. UCLA AD Dan Guerrero is probably on the hot seat himself since he has literally bungled the coaching search up to this point. Latest word was he was trying to convince Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe to interview for the job.

No recent word on the RB coach position but I am thinking they are waiting for UCLA to figure out what they are doing on that one to. Dino Babers has expressed interest in the opening.

This in from Bob Condotta over at the Seattle Times. A story published today in the Highland (Calif.) Community News that hinted that UW backup quarterback Ronnie Fouch may be thinking about leaving the Huskies in search of a better chance at playing elsewhere isn't true, Fouch said today.

Fouch is a kid with a great attitude who will play quite a bit before he moves on from UW. The story seems to be nothing more than a bunch of bunk according to Fouch who says he is extremely happy at UW.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Puppy Chow

Coach Willingham has spent the post Christmas period looking for a new defensive coordinator. According to Bob Condotta over at the Seattle Times he is waiting to see what UCLA is going to do before making a decision. Obviously DeWayne Walker is the top candidate even though he still may end up with the head coaching job, or stay on as the DC and Asst. Head Coach.

Ron English who Willingham has also interviewed may end up at Louisville if UW doesn't offer him the job soon.

Tough to say which way UCLA is leaning but according to the newspapers in LA the AD has screwed the pooch on this one. Guerrero seems to be grasping at straws trying to find anyone other than Walker, or Neuheisel to take over.

Neuheisel wants the job so bad that he has gotten a number of his rich fraternity brothers to pony up over $4 million in donations plus salaries for top assistants if they name him head coach.

My money is on Rick at this point.

If I was Ty I would hire English while he is still available rather than wait on Walker. A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush!

Defensing the Spread

We didn't learn very much about defensing the spread offense last night as Purdue slipped past Central Michigan 51-48 in a game that should have kept most of the nation entertained last night. The 99 points tied the second-highest total in a bowl game that ended in regulation, trailing only the 2003 Insight Bowl, where California beat Virginia Tech 52-49.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Did anyone see the Boise State game? A pretty exciting second half with a great comeback that just fell short for the Bronco's.

The bulk of the bowl season gets rolling today. Let's take a look at the slate before we enter the weekend.

Tonight: Motor City Bowl @ Detroit

Purdue at Central Michigan

(If you want to learn more about the spread offense, and stopping the spread offense be sure to check this game out. Both of these teams have been running it for a number of years.)

Thursday: Holiday Bowl @ San Diego

#11 Arizona State at #19 Texas

(How good was the Pac Ten this year? UCLA lost to a team it had already beat in Las Vegas, how will the Sun Devils do against Texas after being aced out of a BCS bid?)

Friday : Champs Sports Bowl @ Orlando

#14 Boston College at Michigan State

(BC was the darling of the first half of the season rising as high as #2 in the country. )

Friday: Texas Bowl @ Houston

TCU vs. Houston

(This one is on the NFL Network.)

Friday: Emerald Bowl @ San Francisco

Maryland vs. Oregon State

(Oregon State had another strong finish and spends Christmas time in the Bay Area.)

Basketball

The Huskies have two games left before entering conference play. They face LSU on Saturday, and Idaho State on Monday. The 7-4 Huskies could use a sweep to get ready for conference play which starts against Washington State on January 5th.

Entering the conference season with a 9-4 record would be helpful in qualifying for a tournament this Spring because the Pac Ten should be one of the top two conferences in the nation this year. Washington needs to avoid the disastrous conference start they had last season to keep interest up as the season progresses.

Washington State, UCLA, Arizona, USC, Stanford, and Oregon are the favorites to advance to the Tournament in March. WSU, and UCLA both have been ranked in the top ten all season.

Football

It is looking like either Ron English, or DeWayne Walker will be the next Husky defensive coordinator. Both are excellent recruiters who have their eyes on head coaching jobs in the near future. I think odds are best for English right now since Walker will likely stay at UCLA if Neuheisel is named head coach.

As for Neuheisel and UCLA, the dance continues as UCLA looks for anyone they can find that is more qualified, almost importantly has less baggage. People have been chuckling about Al Golden from Temple but he is a guy that can get the job done. Just because you have never heard of him, and he has the almost impossible task of being the Owls head coach doesn't mean he isn't ready for the job.

Look for UW to have a new DC shortly after the new year if all goes to plan.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

That noise you heard....

That noise you heard last night was the collective sigh of the Husky Nation when Ryan Appleby went out of the game with back spasm's last night. This team isn't going to win many games without his accuracy from the outside, but Dentom, and Overton stepped up big time last night to fill in the void. What exactly is happening with Pondexter? It is about time for him to have a breakout game before conference play begins. We needs steady play from him if we are going to go anywhere this year.

If you have been watching this edition of Husky basketball this year you may notice that they seem to get a little better with each game. I am not sure what that will mean when Pac Ten play comes around in the the next couple of weeks, but this team will get better as the year goes on. I like Artem Wallace and what he brings to the game. The kid is really mixing in well with Brockman on the front line.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday Thoughts

UCLA is taking on BYU tonight in the Las Vegas Bowl which is a major audition for DeWayne Walker's candidacy to the be the new head coach of the school. UCLA has been striking out in it's quest to find a head coach. Mike Bellotti, and Dan Hawkins turned them down last week which means the job will either go to Rick Neuheisel, DeWayne Walker, or Temple's Al Golden. Keep an eye on Walker tonight, if they do well he just might earn himself a head coaching job.

Walker could very well be the new Husky DC by New Years. I think tonights game will be fun to watch for all Husky fans as we analyze whether Walker is the correct fit for UW if he comes available.

Dawgman's Chris Fetter's had a very interesting interview with Scott Woodward the new interim AD at Washington. I don't know if this guy will end up being the permanent AD, but he really gets it. One thing that stood out in my mind was his comment about Willingham needing to make changes to bridge the gap between himself and the fan base. I like that, and we will see what changes Ty decides to make starting this Spring.

The Husky basketball team is going to be playing Cal State Northridge tonight at Hec Ed. The game is going to be on FoxNW later this afternoon and it should be a pretty entertaining game. The Matadors tend to run and gun, and the Huskies haven't played a team yet this year that plays with that type of tempo. should be a good test for Coach Romar's young crew.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bellotti to UCLA?

According to Tracy Pierson at Scout.com it is almost a done deal.

"Some sources have indicated that the deal is actually in the stages of being finalized."

Why would Mike want to head to UCLA when he is a god at Oregon?

Are things getting that stagnant at Oregon?

Mike would be recruiting the same type of players from a more local base. Would UCLA actually pony up enough money for him to make the change? I would think it would take close to 2.5 million a year to lure him South...keep tuned on this one.

If the move is made count on Boise State's Peterson, California's Tedford, or Colorado's Hawkins to be first in line for the job in Eugene.

It look's like Brian Dohn of the Daily News is reporting on this too.

UCLA’s coaching search has taken them to the Northwest, where several UCLA administrators met with Oregon coach Mike Bellotti, sources said. Bellotti is 105-50 since taking over at Oregon in 1995, and is considered one of the top offensive coaches in the West.

"Holy Tommy Prothro" is all I can say!

Early Impact

One of the questions people have is how much is this recruiting class going to help the team in immediate terms. I guess to answer that question correctly you need to also blend in the red shirts, and grey shirts from the previous year.

The Huskies have the potential to have 25-30 players from these two classes on the field for the first time next Fall. That is up to over one third of the roster, and yes it will have an immediate, and positive impact in 2008.

The kids in highlighted in red are guys I expect to have a good chance to earn either a starting spot, or at least play quite a bit by being part of the rotation.

One place you are going to get immediate impact you can measure is on special teams. Think about what this influx of speed is going to do to improve that area?

2007

QB Ronnie Fouch is only a snap away from running this football team. All reports from Spring and Fall indicate he is going to be the real deal. Hopefully he gets some experience this year.

RB's Griffin, and Yakaboski are going to be in the competition to see who succeeds Louis Rankin. Both could have played last season but were not needed since Rankin, and Johnson were so durable.

WR Alvin Logan attracted a lot of attention last season. He will compete for a starting job being one of only three returning receivers. This kid could also move to Safety depending on need.

TE Chris Izbicki was last years big recruit but he sat out to get bigger, and stronger. It should pay off this Spring. It will be interesting to see if he can push Kirton, and Gottleib out of the way before Middleton hits campus.

OG Scott Shugert was so impressive as a frosh they considered playing him mid season in 2007. Look for him to join a crowded rotation at guard this season. Armelin, and Fancher. are developing well. Expect them to add to the meaningful depth and increase the competition this year.

On the defensive line Tyrone Duncan, and Nick Wood sat out most the Fall recovering from surgery. Both were highly thought of coming out of HS. their development will be very important to the success of the interior DL rotation. Of the two I think Wood has the best shot next year. Duncan had shoulder surgery and it takes a while to come back from that.

DE Kalani Aldrich may need another year to gain the size he needs to compete. He lost thirty pounds last season while adjusting to college life.

At LB Cort Dennison won weekly awards for being a member of the scout team. If goes 3-4 we could see a lot of him in 2008.

Safety Quinton Richardson looked ready to play physically last year, he could be moved to LB this season, or just fight it out at Safety.

Marquise Persley gained praise from the coaches as the season went on. They think he is going to evolve into a pretty good CB.

Folk sat out the Fall with a back injury, but he has the best leg on the team.

2008

At running back Freeman could start off returning kicks. I am pretty sure that Dailey, Bronson, and Fogerson red shirt but they will all get auditioned in the competition to succeed Louis Rankin.

Boyles, Aguilar and C. Polk are going to play right away because they will have a full spring and Summer under their belts. The temptation would be to red shirt Kearse, Bruns, and J. Polk, but the competition on the field early this Fall will determine the true pecking order. All these kids have the ability to play right away.

Kavario Middleton is going to be in the rotation at TE, or DE from the get go.

With Wood, and Duncan sitting out most of last Fall the Huskies are going to give shots in the rotation to Noble, Kelemente, and Ta'Amu. A lot of this depends on if UW converts to a 3-4, or sticks with the 4-3. Kelemente has the best motor. Noble has the most strength, and Ta'amu has that one thing you can't coach....massive size.

If Washington goes to a 3-4 they are going to need more inside linebackers. Bradly Roussel will play early if that is the case.

You can count on two frosh DB's getting early playing time this year to split up the class. John Tate, and Justin Glenn look to be the best prepared to challenge at corner. Maybe Vonzell McDowell picks up a RS in 2008. At Safety Taylor could play early especially if Richardson is moved to LB. If E.J. Woods ends up heading North you can count on him playing right away.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ron English

The hottest subject right now in Huskyland is who is going to be the new defensive coordinator. News out of LA we reported yesterday is UCLA's DeWayne Walker is Ty's leading candidate at this point.

Not so fast....Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports that Walker currently makes $360,000 per year which is around $120,000 more than what UW was paying Kent Baer. UCLA notoriously underpays it's head coaches so the news that they are paying an assistant that much is a surprise. It also means they are likely going to retain him if he wants to stay no matter who the head coach happens to be.

Rick Neuheisel is the leading candidate at this point and he is proposing that they hire Chow to run the offense and retain Walker to run the defense. Chow of course probably won't come unless they hire him as head man, but you have to admire Neuheisel's chutzpah in making that suggestion. I predict Neuheisel will be named head coach this week, and Walker will stay at UCLA. Walker has voiced a preference to stay at UCLA.

Ron English

Another guy that Bob mentions that we have alluded to is Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English. I like English better than Walker to tell you the truth. According to reports I have read English is unlikely to be retained by new Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez.

English, like Walker, is on the fast track to become a head coach in the near future and interviewed for both the Michigan, and Arkansas head coaching jobs.

Ron is familiar with the Seattle area after spending a year on the Seahawk coaching staff under Mike Holmgren before going back to Michigan to assume the DC position.

English was named the Rivals.com National Defensive Coordinator of the Year during his initial season as the defensive signal caller. The 2006 defense rated among the nation's best, finishing first against the run, fourth in sacks, seven in third down defense, 10 in total defense and 15th in scoring defense.

A 15-year veteran of college coaching, English spent five seasons at Arizona State. He coached secondary all five years with the Sun Devils, the final two years with the cornerbacks and the previous three seasons mentoring the safeties. English also tutored the secondary for two seasons at San Diego State (1996-97) and served as the outside linebackers coach at Northern Arizona (1996). His first stint at ASU was as a graduate assistant coach handling the defensive line during the 1994-95 seasons. English began his collegiate coaching career as the defensive backs coach at Mt. San Antonio College (1993) in Walnut, Calif. He coached one season at Ganesha High School (1992), his alma mater, in Pomona, Calif.

English was a four-year letterman (1987-90) and senior starter at safety for the California Golden Bears. He also started on special teams all four seasons at California.

Everette Thompson

Kennedy HS DE Everette Thompson has verbaled to Washington after picking them over Oregon, and Oregon State. Thompson is rated four stars by Scout.com and is the fourth defensive linemen the Huskies have picked up this recruiting season.

UW's defensive line class may be one of the best in the nation this year with Noble, Kelemente, Ta'Amu, and Thompson. All were given a four star rating by Scout earlier this year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rebuilding the coaching staff

Washington started the process of rebuilding it's coaching staff yesterday by firing Kent Baer, and Bob Simmons. Trent Miles left the week before to take the head coaching job at Indiana State. Those three were the nucleus of the staff that Willingham brought from Notre Dame.

Most Husky fans have been asking for the heads of these coaches for the last couple of years. Most are absolutely sure that the Huskies would have won more games if someone else was in charge of the defense and special teams. The reasoning is if you throw Jim Mora in the coaching box, the second half collapses immediately stop, and the team is headed back for bowl games.

Not so fast....while I was never a fan of Baer's defenses, the main reason Washington has had problems on defense and special teams has simply been talent, and depth. Teams that are deficient in talent and depth fade in the second half no matter how much heart they have.

If you take a look at Don James special teams which were a work of art you will notice that he had plenty of depth to work with. Special teams were the place for young rising stars to get attention before moving into the starting line up. Depth, and lack of speed is the biggest reason special teams at Washington haven't been special over the last three years.

I think special teams actually improved this season. We did better in every category except on kickoff returns which was massaged by moving the ball back five yards this season to create more excitement. Special teams will improve dramatically again in 2008 simply for the reason that there will be more talent and depth on the team.

Against all odds the 2008 recruiting class may be one of the best since the early 1990's. Don't pay too much attention to the star ratings since the local kids are usually docked a star they would have had if they lived in California. This class is solid, fast, and balanced. It is exactly the prescription that is needed to cure what ails the Washington football program. More than anything talent determines what your fate is going to be out on the football field. This class has tremendous talent in all area's.

It is no secret that Willingham is in the double secret probation phase of his coaching career. Any assistant who signs on with the program comes with the understanding that this is likely only a one year gig unless Washington is bowl bound next season. So exactly who do you tap to fill the holes in the coaching staff at this point?

I don't think Ty is going to have any problems finding quality coaches to replace Miles, and Simmons. Dino Babers from UCLA has already shown plenty of interest in the RB position and has extensive recruiting ties in Southern California. As for Simmons he was a defensive coach that was an odd fit coaching TE's, and special teams. Ty shouldn't have much problem finding a coach that can take up his slack or perhaps assist in a different area.

The key hire will be at defensive coordinator. The challenge is to find one of the most dynamic up, and coming assistants in the country to run the defense. If they can't find anyone to bite, Chris Tormey likely will assume the position and Ty will bring in a LB coach to replace him.

I have always liked Tormey, but his units performance this year was lackluster. He also didn't show us anything that would indicate he was the type of guy we need to rejuvenate the defense. If they promote Tormey it means that they couldn't find anyone else, and that will be a bad sign in my opinion.

I don't know exactly which direction UW is going to go on this, but for Ty to survive he needs to bring in new blood, and fresh ideas on defense. He needs to make a splash with a lot of sizzle or he would have been better off retaining Baer. The most important recruit of the 2008 season is going to be the defensive coordinator.

Jim Moore

Jim Moore of the PI has decided to take the angle of lambasting Ty for Kent Baer, and Bob Simmons.

He's an undeserving fall guy, Paint Dry Ty's scapegoat for a 4-9 season. Just once I'd like to see a head coach who takes the sword and spares his assistants.

This is an interesting comment because Ty did fall on his sword at Notre Dame for refusing to fire assistants. I guess you are damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

Dewayne Walker

According to newspaper reports from California the Huskies are going to go hard after UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker. Walker is a finalist for the head coaching position along with Norm Chow, Rick Neuheisel, and John Harbaugh.

In a twist, though, sources said if interim coach DeWayne Walker is not hired as the full-time coach, the University of Washington will make an "intense" push to hire Walker as its defensive coordinator.

Walker meets all criteria for being a great hire. He understands the Pac Ten, is recognized as one of the finest young coaches in the country, and he is a tremendous asset as a recruiter. The word is Walker would like to stay at UCLA even if he isn't named head coach, but UW will be able to pay him quite a bit more than the Bruins.

Walker is in line to be a head coach sooner than later no matter what he does. Turning around the Washington defense would give him a big boost towards a BCS coaching position. Keep an eye on this rumor, it has legs.

Walker joined the Bruins from the Washington Redskins, where he had coached the secondary, specifically the cornerbacks, the previous two seasons (2004-05) under head coach Joe Gibbs and highly-respected defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. He also served as secondary coach of the New England Patriots for three seasons, the first two (1998 and 1999) under Carroll and the third (2000) under Bill Belichick.

Walker began his coaching career at Mt. San Antonio College (1988-92), serving as secondary coach for four seasons before becoming defensive coordinator in 1992. He then gained valuable experience by coaching at Utah State (1993), BYU (1994), Oklahoma State (1995) and California (1996-1997) before moving to the Patriots. Walker played three seasons professionally - one in the CFL (Edmonton Eskimos in 1982) and two in the USFL (Oakland Invaders in 1984 and Arizona Outlaws in 1985).

In college, he was a two-year starter at Minnesota (1980-81) after playing at Pasadena City College for two years.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's Official....Baer and Simmons Gone

It is now official from the UW, Baer, and Simmons are gone. Both coaches have spent the last three years at Washington and served on Willingham's staff at Notre Dame prior to moving to Seattle. Baer has spent a total of 13 years as an assistant under Willingham, which included seven years at Stanford University. Prior to his stint at Notre Dame, Simmons served as the head football coach at Oklahoma State University from 1995-2000. It looks like Tormey, Hart, and Williams are being retained since UW made the announcement official.

PI Reports That Baer is Fired

The Seattle PI is reporting that Washington defensive coordinator Kent Baer has been fired after spending 15 years as a member of Ty Willingham's coaching staff. No word yet on the status of any other assistant coaches but expect those announcements to be made this afternoon. A UW spokesman did not confirm the report, and said no announcement is planned at this time.

Here are a couple of names on the wish list that should pop up that Washington would be interested in.

Dewayne Walker UCLA....Walker is probably the favorite right now for the head coaching job, but if he doesn't get it he might want to head to UW where he could be in place to replace another head man on the hot seat.

Mark Banker Oregon State....We all have to agree that Oregon State plays a tough brand of defense and we would all be satisfied if Banker could be lured away.

Ron English Michigan....I'm not sure if he is available but there has been a coaching change in Ann Arbor which means Rich Rodriguez will be bringing in some of his won people.

Chris Tormey Washington....He was under fire almost as much as Baer so his job may be in doubt too. Tormey, who has served at UW for 13 seasons, is the Huskies' recruiting coordinator.

Jon Tenuta Georgia Tech....I am not sure what his status is right now after the coaching change but Husky fans would be excited to see him here.

The Monday Morning Wash

A slow weekend if you are a college football fan, but relax the bowl games start on Thursday and will keep us company almost every day through New Years. As far as recruiting goes the infamous dead period has begun where coaches get a little time to relax before everything picks back up after the first. Not much to report as far as Husky recruiting goes this weekend. Nobody popped the question but a few are getting close.

Since the dead period has started some Husky fans are eagerly awaiting word on if there will be additional changes to the coaching staff. The decision seems to be Ty's, and Ty's alone so something if it happens should be announced before the holidays.

Miami Northwestern

Did any of you get to watch the Florida 6A Championship game this weekend? Tough to find a better HS team in the country than these guys. Jacory Harris didn't finish the game after leaving with a left knee injury with 11:41 left in the fourth quarter. Harris completed 17 of 32 passes for 281 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Harris who will visit Washington in January looked good to me. WR Tommy Streeter caught a TD pass. Miami NW won the game 41-0. Both Harris, and Streeter will be visiting UW in January. I'm not exactly sure what the connection is between those guys and UW since Miami is 3200 miles away from Seattle.

Coaching Carousel

Rich Rodriguez has decided to move on from West Virginia to Michigan as the new head coach of the Wolverines. Michigan is getting itself a new hot young head coach and they are also going to get a complete change in offensive philosophy as they convert over to the spread offense which just might be the tonic the program needs to get past Ohio State.

For West Virginia it is an official day of sadness as they loose a coach who has won at least ten games in the last three seasons. Rodriguez's West Virginia contract, which runs through the 2013 season, has a $4 million buyout clause if he leaves before next September. Look for one of Rodriguez's assistants to get the nod at WVU to keep the continuity going.

As retired WVU and College Football Hall of Fame Coach Don Nehlen sagely told the Detroit News: "I think it's a great, great, great opportunity for (Rodriguez). I think it's tremendous. There are very few Michigans.

"When you coach at West Virginia you walk on water in West Virginia, but when you coach at Michigan, you walk on water, period. There's a difference. Some people around here (West Virginia) don't want to believe that."

Scratch Gary Pinkel's name off other schools' wish lists. Missouri's coach has become a bit of a hot commodity in his seventh season, leading the Tigers to No. 1 before losing in the Big 12 championship game. But on Saturday, as the team returned to practice for the Cotton Bowl, Pinkel said he was staying put. "I'm going to stay at Missouri," Pinkel told The Associated Press. "I'm very committed here. We've made a lot of gains this year and I'm just going to try to keep working hard and keep building the program." Pinkel, 55, said he'd like to end his career at Missouri.

How about Bobby Petrino bolting from the Atlanta Falcons before the season was finished to take over at Arkansas? I think it caught most of the NFL by surprise. Petrino is becoming an East Coast version of Dennis Erickson.

Keep an eye on Paul Petrino who is joining his brother at Arkansas. Petrino will be the Razorbacks' offensive coordinator next season. If Pasul has some success over the next year or two look for him to be the next hot assistant. The Petrino's are Helena, Mont., natives who played football at Carroll College for their father, Bob Petrino, Sr..

UCLA isn't being very creative when it comes to finding a new head coach. Top UCLA coaching candidates that have been mentioned are, DeWayne Walker, John Harbaugh, Norm Chow, and Rick Neuheisal. Only Neuheisel has been a head coach before. Chow would be interesting, but I doubt he gets the shot. Walker is probably the favorite since he is keeping things intact during this process by saving the recruiting class.

David Cutcliffe molded quarterback after quarterback into Heisman Trophy contenders and prized NFL draft picks. Now comes an even tougher construction project, transforming downtrodden Duke into a winner. The Tennessee offensive coordinator and mentor to the Manning family of quarterbacks was introduced as the Blue Devils' head coach Saturday. Duke passed on ex UCLA coach Karl Dorrell. Think of this as an audition for the Tennessee job when it comes open next season.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Huskies Slip by Portland

This was one of the slower weekends of the year even though the Husky basketball team tried to fill the void against Portland on Saturday. If you saw it at Hec Ed, or in the comfort of your home on TV you have to be worried about this edition of the Husky basketball team as they near the beginning of conference play. Portland isn't very good, they are a bottom of the WCC type of team that Gonzaga eats for breakfast while getting fat for the NCAA tournament. Ryan Appleby scored 18 points, including a shot with five seconds left in the game, to lead Washington to a 67-63 nonconference victory.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Puppy Chow

We head into the weekend with recruiting almost wrapped up for 2008. Official word on DeCastro, Carroll, Thompson will be coming very soon. Those three are the main targets remaining to round out the class.

UW still may choose to go over the limit in 2008, and they also have one more scholarship they can offer for 2007. There are a couple of kids from Miami, Florida they are interested in that will visit in January.

I think we can all breathe a big sigh of relief that the staff has had such a successful recruiting year. This is a very good class, a class that will finish inside the top twenty, or maybe even higher. I like this class much better than Neu's feature class which included Frederick, and Williams. There wasn't as much balance in that class, and the linemen turned out to be just average at best. This class is more solid, and realistic even though it won't finish as high in the ratings. Remember kids like Nathan Rhodes who pumped up the numbers but never enrolled. This class doesn't have any of those question question marks.

One thing to note, the ratings are very subjective, and you can throw them out the window the minute the class is finished because then it becomes a matter of getting them in school, keeping them in school, and developing them over the next 4-5 years.

I am not sure who is visiting this weekend so check in over at Dawgman tonight to get word on what is going on at UW this weekend.

A good question that has been floating around the message boards lately has been the subject of grey shirting. Grey shirting has kind of fallen out of vogue lately, but UW will have a couple unintentional grey shirts in Aguilar, and Boyles enrolling this Winter. I think it is possible that UW could ask a kid or two to defer enrollment until next January if necessary.

Tidbits

This in today from Nathan

Tyrone Willingham on the recruiting trail: you can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him. He picked up a commitment from Bradly Roussel - a LB from Louisiana. This is the second year in a row that Willingham has pulled a recruit from thin air from the eastern part of the country. Remember, he picked up a commitment from Austin Sylvester – a FB/LB from New Jersey – about this time last year.

Mitch Barnhart from Kentucky has taken himself out of the race to become the next UW AD before the race even started. He signed a five year extension with Kentucky this week. No word on who Washington is talking to, or even if they are talking to anyone at this point, but Bill Moos still remains viable according to the rumor mill.

Word on the street has it that Rick Neuheisel wanted the WSU job but couldn't get an interview despite the support of the Go To Guy. He will interview at UCLA which has serious reservations about him after all the trouble that surrounded him at UW, and Colorado. I have said it once, and I will say it again, the next school who gets Rick is going to get a very good coach.

There has been a surge of support for Neuheisel in regards to UCLA, with former players and alums calling and emailing the athletic department on his behalf. Neuheisel interviewed for the opening at Georgia Tech. He was beaten out by Navy coach Paul Johnson for the position.
"He would be the perfect guy," said a former UCLA player, who requested anonymity. "He would love to go against (USC coach) Pete Carroll. He would be the charismatic guy UCLA needs. He would definitely give the program energy."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Recruiting

One of the most amazing things going on concerning Husky football right now is the recruiting class they are assembling for 2008. After the Arizona loss I honestly thought this class was going to get away. If it had it would have been curtains for this program for another four years because this is a cornerstone recruiting class.

The last cornerstone recruiting class by the way is graduating this year, and it was the last recruiting class assembled by Rick Neuheisel. These big 25-28 man classes set benchmarks that last half the decade.

The news that Redlands Chris Polk had given Willingham a verbal commitment was big news last night. Polk is a kid that will start classes on January 7th. That means Washington will have three top freshmen receivers on campus this Winter, Spring, and Summer which will give the receiving corp a huge boost in 2008.

Chris Polk literally came out of nowhere because there wasn't a lot of fanfare or information after his visit. UW, and the Polk family really kept things private on this one so the verbal was a true surprise to the fanbase.

The verbal was a coup that echoes up and down the West Coast because Ty stole a top player that Pete Carroll covets. That doesn't happen every day, and Washington is also in good position to poach some top talent from UCLA if Dewayne Walker isn't named head football coach. They might even be able to poach Walker.

One of the biggest reason Willingham got his fourth year was because of the way this recruiting class was developing. I don't know what is going to happen on the football field next year, or if Ty will win enough games to save his job, but this class gives the UW a very sound foundation for the future just in a nick of time.

How does this class rate with past classes over the last decade? Well I sincerely think that if they finish up with the linemen remaining on the board it may be one of the best since the days of Lambo, and James. Hindshight is 20/20, but this class should be much better than the one that brought in Reggie Williams, and Charles Frederick. This class is developing a lot of balance, it has effectively put a fence around the state, and it fills the teams biggest needs.

We have four kids left to fit in this class, and there is room for one more kid that they can count back toward the 2007 class. Two are going to be offensive linemen, one is going to be a defensive end. The last one or two may be surprises. Keep an eye on some soft verbals to UCLA. S Woods and CB Hester come to mind.

Pac Ten Alley

The next few weeks are going to be very interesting to watch over at the University of Washington athletic department. First of all the Huskies are going to kick off a search to being in a new high powered individual to run the athletic department, secondly Ty Willingham has to be looking over his shoulder at this point with Turner gone, and finally we get to see if Willingham is going to make any changes in his coaching staff over the dead period which begins after the weekend.

I think the most important thing going on right now is the finish of the recruiting season, and the intrigue about how Ty will shape his staff for next season. I think it is a given that he needs to replace his longtime assistant Kent Baer and revamp his defense. Does he promote from within and give DJ Williams a shot? DJ is the only coach on the defensive side of the ball who hasn't served time as a coordinator. Do you bring in someone from the outside? Whatever you do, you have to shuffle things up.

As for the AD search it will work itself out over the holidays as the candidates begin to emerge. Mitch Barnhart, Don Moos, Dan Bebee are three guys that are going to be gauged for interest.

Willingham made a remark on his radio show earlier in the season when Dan Pederson was fired at Nebraska. He said that when the guy that hired you get's fired you better be looking over your shoulder. Kim Grinolds brought that up in his Dawgman Radio broadcast with Chris Fetters this week. You have to wonder what is going through Ty's mind right now.

Nathan Ware

John: What do you think of the announcement today that Todd Turner has resigned as UW Athletic Director? What do you think happened?

Nathan: I think I know what happened and I subtly mentioned it in my Monday Morning Longsnapper column. Several of the sports programs at UW are subpar. Only a select few programs are succeeding at a high level. And, forget about the Director's Cup standings. Those are garbage. Look at the individual programs and take them for what they are. The most important thing is that the "Big 3" programs (football, men's and women's basketball) are not doing well. You can't succeed at UW and have that be the case. Pure and simple. It's time to win and Mark Emmert put his foot down.

Nathan: The fact that WSU wrapped up their coaching search put former Oregon AD and WSU coaching search leader Bill Moos back on the open market. Any coincidence with the timing?

John: No doubt about it, Moos is going to be one of the top candidates, if he is available. If I am not mistaken, he has a non-compete clause in his settlement with Oregon concerning becoming the AD at Washington. I am not exactly sure when that stipulation is or what the financial damages would be to him if he reneged on the part of the contract. If Washington truly wants Bill Moos, all it takes is the right amount of money. I just think that Emmert and Turner reached a point where they didn't agree on enough issues to keep him around. Like you say the "Big 3" aren't doing very well right now and - as much as Turner hates to admit it - NCAA sports is about money and you make money by winning.I don't think there was any urgency concerning Moos, I just think it was time to let Turner go to appease the masses, send a clear message to Tyrone, and get the boosters who were falling by the wayside excited again. I think it was a wise move by Emmert because it is going to allow a highly divided fan base to begin to heal.

Pac Ten Alley

We took a little break, due to travel, but now it's time to take a walk down the coast and see what the neighbors are up to.

The coaching search commences at UCLA as Karl Dorrell is likely headed to Duke and a second chance. De Wayne Walker's name keep popping up as one of the top candidates.

Rye already posted the news of UCLA interviewing DeWayne Walker. I guess that this interview became public because, given what we have been accustomed to from the Walker contingent in that last few weeks, the news of this interview came from Walker himself. Dohn predictably plays the lap dog role by offering up the following statistics to boost his favorite candidate.

Basketball coverage is in full swing over at the Oregon blog.

Forwards Maarty Leunen and Joevan Catron combined for 43 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Ducks to a 93-66 victory over Sacramento State on Tuesday night in Eugene.Leunen had a season-high 23 points and added 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season for Oregon (8-1). Catron scored a career-high 20 points to go with eight rebounds. Both were 8-for-10 from the field.

Where exactly would USC play of they didn't stay in the Coliseum?

USC's website dedicated to updating fans on the status of Coliseum negotiations was magically wiped clean over the weekend, kind of the way former basketball coach Henry Bibby used to force the athletic dept. to erase the losses during his stint as interim coach from his official record. Those death threats followed by last week's brush off from the Rose Bowl apparently caused USC to take a timeout. As a gesture of good faith towards the members of the Coliseum Commission and the many other elected officials working diligently to resolve the lease dispute between the university and the Coliseum Commission, we are temporarily removing our request for assistance from this site, as well as the contact information for those officials who are directly influencing the resolution of this matter.''

ASU held on to beat Arizona in the season finale. I think Arizona could actually be ready to turn the corner next year.

Three in a row. Seven of the last nine. UA's bowlless streak is nine and counting while ASU will go to their fourth straight. 364 more days of knowing we're better than them. So what if we're not going to the BCS. Unless you're in the title game, big freaking whoop (there's also several million dollars at stake, but I digress). A tilt with Texas in the Holiday Bowl is nothing to sneeze at, especially since one important fact seems to be overlooked: ASU is co- Pac-10 Champions

What Mike Riley could really use for Christmas is a top caliber quarterback.

In a smart move by Riley, it was announced Monday that Moevao will start on Dec. 28. Some are saying it's a shocker... but I think it's the right move. Moevao's 3-0, he's got the team rolling in the right direction, and inserting Canfield into the mix now would be an unnecessary change.

When you recruit in the same state as Dennis Erickson these things seem to happen.

University of Arizona football recruit Ryan Bass, whom the Wildcats were counting on to help their running attack, may be starting to have second thoughts about attending UA. Bass, Rivals’ top-rated all-purpose player, from Centennial High School in Corona, Calif., has told Scout.com he is seriously considering Arizona State after giving the Wildcats an oral commitment earlier this year.

John Wilner of the Mercury rates the college coaches in the area on this years performance.

I meant to get this posted much earlier in the week, right after the end of the regular season. But I got delayed by other events — stuff for the Merc and the Hotline. For instance: Nate Longshore’s bone chip and all that resulted. So it has now been almost a week since Stanford and Cal finished up, almost two since SJSU shut it down. In general, it was a pretty disappointing year for the Bay Area teams. SJSU swung and missed at a bowl bid, Cal soared and then crashed. Stanford was the biggest upside surprise, but only because expectations started in the gutter.

Not much going on at Cal after a disapointing season.

Shortly after finishing practice last Saturday afternoon, Chris Conte takes a seat in the bleachers as the rest of the California football team trickles out of Memorial Stadium. Eyes focused on the field, Conte begins discussing his season as a true freshman. But running backs coach Ron Gould, who recruited Conte, interrupts. "How're you doin', baby?" Gould asks

WSU gets a new coach, Brink graduates, and Brinkhater may have to find a new nickname.

While Wulff hits the recruiting trail, and he was out there last night and will burn it up until Sunday along with some of the assistants before the "dead period" starts Sunday, the logical question now is who's going to be on the staff? There is a lot of speculation being thrown around right now, so we'll get right to it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Best of Todd Turner

"It's clear that Gilby's a veteran and knows what he's doing," Turner said. "He's been through some adversity in his career, but I think that's toughened him up. He's focused and determined now, and you can see it, and that excites me."

The decision was "kind of an evolution,'' said UW athletic director Todd Turner today. "Keith and I were honest with each other. We both agreed the program needs shot in the arm and investment, so we're going to do that.''

"When we began our search, if you had told me that we would be at this point today; announcing a coach that had in 10 years taken his team to six bowl games, including a Rose Bowl, had been named Pac-10 Coach of the Year twice, had been named National Coach of the Year once, had been recognized by the Sporting News as the Sportsman of the Year, the first college football coach ever to achieve that award, a man who had graduated virtually all of his players, who had never had a slip up with the NCAA then I would have been absolutely ecstatic."

“Notre Dame's expectations are high, their traditions demanding. They made a decision they felt was right for Notre Dame, and it was to our benefit"

“Anybody with half a brain can get on the Internet and say whatever they want — pay no attention to that,” Turner said. “I’m not worried. He’s the Huskies coach. Husky fans everywhere are going to support our coach. They may second-guess for a short time if he was the right coach. But over time, as they come to know him and watch our team, they will agree that this guy is special.”

"The Internet is an interesting thing. It's an identity-free medium that is available to anyone with a computer and a keyboard."

"I'm sticking with a guy who's been there before," Turner said this week of the former Stanford and Notre Dame coach. "A guy who's tough, who's smart, who's principled. He isn't learning on the job. He's done this before, so I have complete confidence in him. I have no concern whatsoever in his ability to take us where we need to go. I'm just not sure about the timing of it."

"Being among the country's top programs presents a number of challenges, not the least of which is maintaining our ability to compete for national championships."

"Opinions without the facts are dangerous. We should strive to provide the facts. We are not afraid to answer tough questions because, frankly, if we don't people will make up their own answers... and those may not be based upon the facts."

"I envision the same things for the women's program that I do for the men's," I believe we have all the pieces in place to be a program that can be every bit as good as Stanford and Arizona State and can challenge Connecticut and Tennessee.

"We need to have our flagship women's program, along with women's volleyball, have positive buzz in our community, and it just wasn't there," Turner said. "As much as we willed it, it wasn't there. We need to re-energize things."

"Strong fences, make for good neighbors."

"What I do worry about is the difficulty of this year's schedule at this particular time in our program's rebuilding process. Are we ready to go toe-to-toe with Syracuse, Boise State, Ohio State, UCLA, and USC on five consecutive Saturday's to begin the season? I'm not certain even the most veteran, bowl-tested of teams could navigate that run unscathed. However, I like our mind-set. Coach W. and his staff see this not as a daunting challenge; rather, it is an opportunity to make a monumental statement about the future of Husky Football."

It's a totally different universe in college football," Turner said. "I'm not thinking that the third year now is the same as it was 30 years ago."

"The kids are not the same," he said. "They've got a different level of commitment and focus and determination. Our biggest challenge is to try to field teams that look like Southern Cal or Cal or Oregon or Ohio State, and we've got some work to do there. ... I'm as disappointed as anybody when we lose a game. But you have to look at the big picture, and the big picture is vastly improved."

"In my mind, I think the one thing that is most critical for us is recruiting and trying to find players for our program that look like the players we are playing against, and have a lot of them that are fast, big and strong and talented,"

"What people need to understand is that this is a very, very difficult rebuilding job, Maybe as difficult as any in the country for a number of reasons."

"Nothing about our vision for the stadium has changed," Turner said. "We still have the same long-term list of objectives that we are trying to address."

"I think the Internet and talk radio have changed the nature of our business more than anything I've dealt with in my 30 years," says UW athletic director Todd Turner. "It's forced us in many ways to have to deal with faceless, nameless, genderless, coverless people — that we're not sure who they are, whom they represent or what their agenda is."

"It just was enlightening of where our society, our culture has gone and where their expectations are about what constitutes a quality program on a campus of higher education... "

"I just came to the realization that there is too much controversy in the air. It's taken a lot of the fun out of it for me and made it very difficult on the president, and I'm at a point in my career where I don't have to be an athletic director to be happy or be successful."

Turner said he would never say winning is not important, “but the message that our students hear, that our coaches hear, that our leadership hears from the general run-of-the-mill fan is that the only thing we really care about is how many games they win. And I have to look at that after 32 years of doing this and say ‘wow, is that really what we are all about? Have I been that na├»ve all this period of time? I have been spending all my time on the student-athlete experience and trying to create better lives for people and the proper place in higher education when all I should have been worrying about is how many games we’ve won.’ Why didn’t I go to the NFL if that’s all it’s about.’’’

"One outcome that I think should be measured is the experience the athletes had here," he said then. "I'm proud of what I'm hearing from our players. But if all that matters is the win-loss record, I've got to examine what I'm doing."

"In recent days, I’ve seen a side of athletics that sickens me with the incessant interloping of uninformed, unenlightened, self-anointed experts who look upon intercollegiate athletics solely as entertainment to satisfy their own self interests."

"In time, Coach Willingham will be extremely successful and everyone will say, 'Oh, I knew that was going to happen.' "

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Turner Reaction

Today was a welcome surprise for most Husky fans because it showed that President Emmert has been listening to you, and change is coming.

This parting doesn't seem to be as amicable as Emmert painted it to the media today as Todd Turner has a different story to tell according to Ted Miller. In a nutshell Turner didn't want to go, but he was forced out of the job and both of the parties agreed that now was as good a time as any. The Washington fan base wasn't buying into Turner, and his ability to get anything done was becoming seriously compromised. The writing was on the wall this Fall when the stadium plan was tabled for more discussion this Spring. At that time most surmised that Emmert didn't want to kick the project off with someone that wasn't going to be in charge very much longer.

Turner's parting remarks were, "I learned a lot about the institution and the leadership and the support group during the last two or three months. And I can understand why -- if what I've learned is true -- why there's some people who might not think I'm the best fit at Washington."

Todd Turner feels betrayed, but the truth is Todd never understood the culture he was trying to change. He didn't understand that it only needed to be cleaned up and not changed. He didn't understand that finishing last in football is not acceptable no matter how hard the kids play, or how much they attend classes.

The inside word is that Ty Willingham was as good as gone before the first snap of the Hawaii game. The only thing that saved his job was a decent recruiting class, possible pressure from the NCAA, and the NAACP. Added to the mix was the fact that Emmert is going to the Legislature to ask for a record amount of money and firing Ty, paying him off with 3 million wasn't going to float that boat. In the end Emmert made the right decision, and when he got back to Seattle he decided to start the rebuilding of the athletic department, and Husky football by showing Turner the door first.

How does this affect Willingham? Well he has to know he is next unless he pulls out an unlikely miracle season in 2008. It is going to take eight victories for Ty to have a chance at retaining his job next year. You can label Willingham a "Dead Coach Walking". Willingham doesn't have any buffer anymore with Turner gone, and you have to wonder if his agent is on the phone with Duke, and Navy this weekend where Willingham would be a good fit.

The dead period is coming up after this weekend, and that is the time when Ty has to bite the bullet and fire some of his coaches. Baer, Tormey, and Simmons are the likely sacrifices. With Miles already gone that would mean a lame duck coach has to hire up to four assistants in the off season. Ty just might be better off keeping what he has and circling the wagons. Thinking about bringing in a top defensive coordinator? Think again because unless a top guy has his eyes on Ty's job, he isn't going to come here.

Change is in the wind at Montlake, the people have been heard, and the resignation of Turner isn't a scapegoat type of move, it is the first step in a year long process that will yield a football savvy AD in the Mike Lude style and a new football coach to lead the program back to the top.

We all would have preferred a swift execution of all parties after the Hawaii game as was planned, but I like the way Emmert is going about this. I made a comment that if I was in his position I would have probably made the same decision based on the way the pieces were currently placed on the chess board.

Today was a big day Husky fans, it signals the start of a positive change that should lead Washington out of the basement in the Pac Ten.

In conclusion Todd Turner never got it. He was trying to recreate Vanderbilt on the shores of Lake Washington, and while he is a fine man, he never gave the people what they wanted which was a top twenty football program. The key to success in any political position is giving the people what they want. Todd gave us what he wanted, and that was his biggest mistake.

He was totally disconnected from the fan base, and he did everything he could to build an us versus them relationship with the fans, and boosters. I will never forget the story I heard about longtime Husky booster Herb Mead getting in trouble for walking in to visit Randy Hart without the right credentials. Turner simply never got it, and because of that he is now gone.

Who should be the next AD? Well he should be somebody cut from the same cloth as Mike Lude. You need a guy that understands football. A guy that has coached football and has moved over to the administrative side. You need a guy that knows how to critique his head football coach and Washington hasn't had one of those since Milo retired.

Many people are mentioning Mike Cragg from Duke who is a UW alum as a front runner for the position. That is all fine and well but at Duke he has been a basketball man, and we all know that Duke is even worse than Vanderbilt when it comes to college football. I only have one wish, and that is Washington hires a guy that understands football as well, or better than the head coach.

Todd Turner Steps Down as UW Athletic Director

This one is hot off the presses, Todd Turner has resigned as AD at UW. I imagine this will make a number of people happy over on the boards, but it takes me by surprise since he still had some time left to go on his contract.

We haven't heard anything but conjecture so far, but on the Softy show today they seem to think that Turner resigned under pressure. It could have to do with some of the statements he made this year. It also could be connected with the lack of fundraising. It could have been that he was resistant to changes on the current coaching staff. Tough to say until Todd Turner or President Emmert are interviewed.

How does this affect Ty Willingham? Well it really sets him up to do some things that he might not want to do. He loses his biggest supporter, and now he has to work with a stranger who probably has his own ideas of who the head football coach at UW should be.

It is definitely a victory for the boosters who will get a new guy who is going to be more football and fundraising oriented. I think whoever the new guy is he is going to jump start fund raising. Guys like Fleenor who decided to drop out may just drop back in again. It is a good compromise.

I think it was a good move by Emmert. We needed to shake things up and since they didn't fire Willingham this year why not bring in a new AD to create some spark who understands football. Turner understood football better than Hedges, but his philosophy didn't mesh with what we all wanted out of Husky football.

I will have more on this as it develops.

Some candidates that come to mind

Mike Cragg

Mike Cragg joined the Duke Athletics Department in May of 1987 as an assistant SID. He was promoted to Sports Information Director in 1990 and spent 10 years in that role before moving into the director’s position of the newly created Duke Basketball Legacy Fund during the fall of 1999. In 2004, Cragg was promoted to associate athletic director. Cragg has numerous administrative responsibilities within the basketball operation, including the coordination of the annual K Academy, the Duke Venture Capital Co-Investment Fund and the establishment of the Fuqua / Coach K Center of Leadership & Ethics. In addition he coordinates the planning and implementation of projects in and around Cameron Indoor Stadium and the study of the new Duke Basketball Training Facility.

Cragg, a native of Yakima, Wash., is a 1986 graduate of the University of Washington. He has helped coordinate media operations at numerous national events, including serving on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four Media Coordination Committee in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2000. He and his wife, Paige, live in Durham with their daughters Shelby and Michaela.

Cragg was considered for the job back when Turner was hired.

Bill Moos

The investments made by Bill Moos early in his tenure as athletics director paid off in recent years with trophies from his 2001 Pac-10 champion and Fiesta Bowl winning football team, his 2002 Pac-10 champion and NCAA Elite Eight men’s basketball team, and his 2002 WNIT champion women’s basketball team.

But while he has changed the landscape of University of Oregon athletics, both figuratively and literally, Moos certainly isn’t resting on his laurels.Merely a glance at the Autzen Stadium expansion, Ed Moshofsky Sports Center, Casanova Center, and adjacent playing fields offers the magnitude of the ever-changing facility enhancements underway in Eugene.

A driving force behind the most successful era of the University’s athletics department in recent memory, Bill Moos is in his 12th year as the ninth man to serve as Oregon’s director of athletics.

Moos has initiated more than $160 million in facility improvements at Oregon. In addition, he renewed the department’s commitment to the future by coordinating the efforts that made the $90 million Autzen Stadium renovation a reality in 2002. The project added 12,000 new seats, 32 new suites, a new Club at Autzen and a new press box to the stadium, making it an even better place to view a college football game.

Moos is currently retired and building a cattle ranch in Eastern Washington.

Andy Geiger

Andy Geiger (born March 23, 1939), was the seventh athletics director at The Ohio State University. Geiger was named athletic director on April 29, 1994. He officially took over the job on May 16, 1994 following his tenure at the University of Maryland, College Park. Geiger was also the athletic director at Stanford University from 1979 to 1990.

Geiger retired in June 2005, one year before his contract was up, saying 'the job wasn't fun anymore'. Many speculate that this decision was made because of two scandals, the first involving former Ohio State football tailback Maurice Clarett, the second involving former Ohio State men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien. Geiger is believed to have been involved in a cover up of the school's athletic department following the NCAA's indictment of Clarett.

Geiger is retired and living in Sequim, Washington.

Bob Stull

Bob Stull is the athletic director at UTEP. He has previously served as head football coach at Massachusetts, Missouri and UTEP. A native of Davenport, Iowa, Stull was a three-year letterman at Kansas State, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees. He began his coaching career at Dubuque Senior High School in Dubuque, Iowa. He was the offensive line coach at Kent State from 1971 to 1974 under Don James.

He then followed James to Washington, where he was receivers coach (1975-1978) and later offensive coordinator (1979-1984).

After two seasons at Massachusetts, Stull was hired at UTEP, where he posted a 21-15 record from 1986 to 1988, culminating in a 10-2 record and an appearance in the Independence Bowl after the 1988 season. Stull didn't fare as well at Missouri, compiling a 15-38-2 record in five seasons. While at Missouri, he was involved on the losing end of the famous "Fifth Down".
After his coaching career, Stull entered administration at Washington. He rejoined UTEP as athletic director after a 10-year absence.

The Pride of Tenino

Now that we are settled back in our routines I thought I would post this photo from the Hawaii trip.

This is T90 (Jack) with my wife Kate. Notice if you would the fantastic purple overalls he wears to the games. His wife made them for him and they look great at the tailgate!

This photo was taken at the UWAA event before the game. The UWAA did a fantastic job putting together this party. The food they had was just fantastic since they served Kailua Pork which is the BBQ of the Islands.

This was T90's first trip back to Oahu in over 30 years. He was stationed there when he was in the military during the late 60's. So he had a great time checking out all his old haunts.

I wouldn't mind if the Huskies played the Warriors every year. I think it would be great if we could finish the regular season up in Hawaii every other year. I'm not sure what the rules are concerning playing in Hawaii. I do know that you get an extra game when you travle there, but I am not sure if you can do it every year.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wulff the choice at WSU

Paul Wulff, 40, will be formally introduced as the Cougars coach Tuesday at a 3 p.m. news conference at WSU's Bohler Athletic Complex in Pullman. Wulff, an honorable mention All-America center at Washington State in 1989, did not return phone messages Monday night. Contract details were not released.

Wulff, a native of Davis, Calif., has spent his entire 15-year coaching career at Eastern Washington. He started as a volunteer assistant, later served as the offensive line and strength coach, added the offensive coordinator duties, and then became head coach in 2000.

Wulff owns a 53-40 record, with just one losing season in eight years as head coach. He guided Eastern to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) national playoffs three of the past four years. Eastern reached the second round this season, losing to two-time defending champion Appalachian State, and finished 9-4.

AS LEGEND HAS it, when he was a player at Washington State in the late 1980s, Paul Wulff had his appendix taken out on a Monday and played in the Apple Cup five days later.

The Monday Morning Wash

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.

Baer

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.

Ta'Amu

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.

C DeCastro
C Solomon
OG Carroll
OG Ikehara
TE Guice
WR Pickens
WR Ward
DE Thompson
DE Hill
LB Magnum
LB Rousell
LB Panapa
LB Stuckey
CB Hester
CB Long
S Woods
S Germany-Satchell

WSU

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.

Husky Basketball

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.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Converting to a 3-4 Defense?

There has been recent suggestions in the media that Washington should consider switching to a 3-4 defense. UW ran a 3-4 under Jim Lambright, and also ran it in the initial days of Rick Neuheisel. Lambright reasoned that it was easier to recruit stud linebackers than stud defensive linemen. When Neuheisel took over he made it clear that they wanted to switch back to a 4-3 but it would take awhile because they would have to recruit the players to do that.

If you take a good look at next years returning roster, and also who the Huskies are recruiting this season you can tell that Washington still plans to run a 4-3 defense next year. Washington currently does not have a commitment from a single linebacker this recruiting season even though their are candidates among the DB's and RB's on the current team, and in the 2008 recruiting class.

To run a 3-4 type of defense you need 12-16 linebackers in your program and 9-12 defensive linemen. To be effective you need a big run stuffer at nose tackle which Washington currently does not have. You need a Larry Triplett type in the middle to be effective. If you look at Washington's current roster it would be pretty hard to identify a run stopper you can rely on in the middle for next season.

Let's take a look at what we currently have lined up for next season if the alignment remains the same. You have 12 DL, and only seven LB's.

DT O'Connor Sr Wood Rs Noble Fr
DT Elisara So Duncan Rs Ta'Amu Fr
DE Jones Jr Matthews So Kelemente Fr
DE Te'o Nesheim Jr Aldrich Rs Thompson Fr

LB Savannah Jr Stevens Sr
LB Foster So Houston So Dennison Rs
LB Butler Jr Tuiasosopo Sr

Now who would you move to LB from the defensive line? Kalani Aldrich comes to mind since he has had trouble keeping weight on. Everette Thompson is a another guy you could consider. All the rest of those guys including Darion Jones who started off LB are pretty much pre destined to be either DE's or DT's. You could move Yakaboski over from RB, and perhaps move up Nate Williams from the DB, but you lack the thumpers you need in the middle to provide depth.

We have four pretty decent LB's coming back next year in Tui, Savannah, Foster, and Butler. We didn't get to see much of Butler last year because of injury, but when healthy he can be a difference maker. The temptation of course is to play all four at the same time, but if you look closely at the depth chart we just don't have the bodies behind them the to get by if injuries happen. It also retards the growth on the defensive line where we have definitely recruited for the 4-3.

I just don't think we have the personnel to run the 4-3 at this time even though you will see us rushing three from time to time next year which just happened to be a huge complaint that Husky fans had about Baer's defense last season. We would often substitute a nickle back like Williams for a defensive lineman. In the 3-4 you are basically substituting a LB instead of a DB. That extra LB is usually a DE type who is standing rather than getting down in a stance. It really doesn't matter does it? The bottom line is we need a better pass rush, and better coverage out of the DB's no matter which alignment we run out of.

I think we are going to have a pretty good team on offense next year. I'm not worried about the receivers graduating either. The one's we had simply weren't getting the job done, so I look forward to seeing what kids like Shaw, Goodwin, Aguilar, Boyles, and Logan can do in their stead. Louis Ranking had a great year in 2007, but I bet Brandon Johnson goes over 1000 yards in his sophomore season.

The big question for 2008 will be about the interior of the defensive line. UW needs two run stoppers to emerge at the interior positions. It will be a very interesting to see how the young kids develop this Spring since they didn't get much playing time this Fall. I was surprised at that, I expected to see more of Elisara last year, but we did have three senior DT's. Burntridge Dawg keeps mentioning Jovan O'Connor a senior who hasn't seen the field yet in his career getting a shot this Spring. Wood and Duncan spent most of the Fall recovering from injuries so I don't know how last years touted frosh will contribute next season, or if they will gain the conditioning needed to make a push. I think Noble, and Ta'Amu have great shots to play this Fall if the answers are not found this Spring.

We all agree for UW to get to the next level the Defense has to improve on way or another. I just don't think that improvement will come from a change in alignment.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Pitt Barely Escapes Washington

DeJuan Butler shook his arms at the screaming Washington student section trying to quiet them down. Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon looked at the scorer's table for any sign that the Panthers (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) would remain unbeaten.

On the opposite side, Justin Dentmon was being mobbed by his Washington teammates for apparently hitting a needed game-winning shot.

In the middle of the chaos, a Pac-10 officiating crew stared at a tiny television monitor, trying to determine if Pittsburgh would remain undefeated.

The Panthers are 9-0. Barely.

Dentmon's runner in the lane as the buzzer sounded was disallowed after a lengthy video review, and the Panthers held off Washington's late rally for a 75-74 victory Saturday.

Despite the loss the young Huskies are showing improvement as the conference season gets closer. The return of Ryan Appleby gave the Huskies a needed boost from outside which takes a lot of pressure of Brockman on the inside.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Early Look at the Class of 2008

Washington looks like it may have it's entire recruiting class wrapped up before Christmas this year which is quite an accomplishment for a 4-9 team which should have been headed to a bowl game. Blessed with a strong in state class the Huskies are turning in the best class since the early days of Rick Neuheisel, in fact you may have to go back a bit further to find a better class.

While the Huskies are doing well in state, as I said earlier they are not getting the job done in California this year. Washington went plan B early. Sometimes that works when you pick up a Donald Butler, or a Mason Foster, but this staff has really shied away from taking on the big guys. Usually you wait to offer some of the kids that have verballed from down there, but this year UW went for them early.

This presents a potential problem because right now UCLA is imploding because of a coaching change. A number of those kids who verballed to UCLA early our having second thoughts and there probably won't be room for them at Washington. It will be interesting to see how that works out over the next few weeks, but my gut instinct says that UW may have jumped the gun to early on some of the prospects they signed from the Southland.

Let's take a close look at what we have so far with the class nearly completed.

QB Dominique Blackman
QB Luther Leonard

Blackman was on top of most of the recruiting lists at the start of the season but he fell like a rock after getting in trouble and getting suspended for the first couple of games of the season. Leonard is a raw talent who needs lots of work. I was a bit surprised when we offered him before December. All in all it was a good class when you consider the Huskies have the starting QB position filled for the next four years with Locker and Fouch.

RB Terrance Dailey
RB David Freeman
RB Demetrius Bronson

UW picked up quite a few RB's that can play a multitude of positions. Speed is the quickest way to turn around your football program, and all four of these kids can play on both sides of the ball even though they will all get a look at RB first. Of the four I think Dailey is the guy who has the most potential to help out next season. Dailey signed early, but he picked up a lot of interest as the season went on. The Vacaville product may be the best RB in N. California. Bronson and Fogerson most likely are ticketed for defense, but like Yakaboski last year you just never know till they hit Fall camp. I know a lot of knowledgeable people who were very impressed with Fogerson even though I personally think he lacks speed. I see Fogerson as a Safety. Freeman was coached by ex Husky Charles Mincy who thinks the kid is the real deal. while this part of the class lacks the superstar quality it did last year we now have a very solid stable of talent to work with.

WR Jermaine Kearse
WR Cody Bruns
WR Jordan Polk
WR (Carl Moore JC)
WR (AJ Pickens)

UW was able to get commitments from the three top receivers in the Northwest this year. These are kids who couldn't resist the opportunity to play with Jake Locker over the next three years. UW is going to take at least one more, wither Carl Moore, or AJ Pickens. Actually the could take both since Moore would count against last years class. Picking up Moore would be incredible because you are talking about a kid with the size and maturity to get it going immediately. Pickens is a good friend of Blackman and I think UW will have a very good shot at getting a commitment from him this weekend. If UW brings in all five of these guys you have to give them an A plus. If Moore doesn't come, and most think he is headed to Florida the class still gets a solid A. Moore would be the icing.

TE Kavario Middleton
TE (Demetrius Guice)

UW needs to bring in two TE's this year. Middleton who is one of the top players in the country was a great way to start the class at TE. He can also play a very mean DE, but I think they keep him on the offensive side of the ball. We haven't heard a lot about Portland's Guice lately which makes me think he could be headed elsewhere. Corey MacKay from Eastlake was recruited as an OLB, but he played TE in HS. Everett Thompson is a kid who would make an excellent TE, but I think they put him at DE. He hasn't committed yet, but I bet he does this weekend.

OL Terrence Thomas
OL Drew Shaeffer
OL (Allan Carroll)
OL (Jonathan Solomon)
OL (David Decastro)

Thomas and Schaeffer are going to be fantastic players. Both of these kids are big and very athletic. One thing that worries me is they are the only two true OL verbals we have so far. Decastro would be a very big get if UW can change his mind about Stanford this weekend. Getting a visit out of him with all the local kids showing up this weekend is a big deal. Carroll is a good friend of Willie Griffin and I think he ends up a Dawg. Solomon is more of a late bloomer who picked up a lot of interest as the season went on. I'm not sure UW takes him if Decastro decides to stay home. Keep an eye on this position. With a 25 man class you really need five guys for your OL.

DL Alameda Ta'Amu
DL Craig Noble
DE (Everette Thompson)
DE Senio Kelemente

Most HS observers felt that at the end of the year Kelemente was the best prospect in the state. That's right, people felt he was better than Middleton because of the fire he showed on every down. this kid has a big frame so he could end up moving inside, or make a switch over to OL. The need however is on the DL, and he will likely start off as a DE. Thompson hasn't committed yet, but I think the chances are around 90% that he will this weekend. This kid is one of the best in the West and UW will be able to build a pass rush around this kid. Noble is the rock you build with inside. He is arguably the best interior DL on the coast. Ta'Amu is a kid I am more reserved about. He has a lot of size and needs a lot of work. UW is going to start him off on defense out of need, and also to help with his speed and conditioning. You have to give this part of the class another A.

LB Corey MacKay

MacKay came on strong this year to get an offer from UW. He may be the only LB the Huskies take this year. I thought the Huskies really needed an inside thumper this year and I don't see on yet. Panapa is still a possibility, but I think we may have run out of spots if UW takes two TE's. No knock on MacKay, but we need a thumper with speed for the middle to develop.

DB Justin Glenn
DB John Tate
DB Anthony Gobern
DB Vince Taylor
DB Greg Walker
DB Johri Fogerson

Washington filled it's need for young bodies with this class but the California guys may lack some of the star quality the competition has been focusing on. Glenn, and Taylor are the cream of the in state class and both should have fine careers. Glenn could actually see action next year if needed. Fogerson is a guy we talked about earlier who projects more as a Safety rather than a TB. Walker is a sleeper from San Diego who was a LB in HS. Gobern and Tate were HS running backs that Coach Williams projected as being good CB prospects. The class at this point lacks a true kid that can come in and help turn things around aright away though that could change with the fallout going on over at UCLA. My main concern is if UW will have enough room if a couple of those UCLA kids decide to head North now that Dorrell has been fired.