Kim Grinolds of Dawgman brought up a good point on the DM message board, and that is who is going to be in charge of recruiting the Los Angeles area?
In 2008 Washington had an exceptional in state HS class, but in 2009 the consensus is the pickings will be below average. That means Washington will have to recruit California a lot harder, and deeper this coming season to take up the slack. I would be surprised if Washington takes more than six-eight athletes in state next season.
If you look at the Washington coaching staff they do not have a single coach with extensive recruiting ties in Southern California even though recruiting coordinator Chris Tormey knows the area well. The last Washington assistant with those type of ties was Eric Yarber who left a couple of years ago to rejoin Dennis Erickson at ASU.
Charlie Baggett who joined the staff last season as WR coach seems to be one of the logical choices even though he is not from that area. Baggett did an excellent job in South Puget Sound last season landing Kavario Middleton, and Jermaine Kearse from Lakes. Charlies only recently returned to the college game after an extended stint in the NFL. He went to school at Michigan State with Willingham, and most of his experience is back East, and in the Midwest.
DJ Wiliams is a very strong recruiter whose responsibilty has been the Bay Area, and the Central Valley of California. That is a big area of recruiting responsibilty so I don't see that being expanded into the inner city of Los Angeles.
Chris Tormey has been around Washington football forever and has proven himself over time to be an excellent recruiter, and recruiting coordinator. I imagine Chris will be spending a lot fo time with Baggett in Southern California getting introduced, and acclimated to the region.
Washington made some excellent hires this off season. All the new coaches bring fresh blood, past success, and new ideas to the program, but the major challenge the staff faces from a recruiting perspective is to fill a gaping hole in Southern California.
No official word from Washington at this point on the hiring of Steve Gervais, but expect a news conference as soon as his contract is finalized. Most people think he is going to be filling the RB coach position even though his bacground has been a tutor of QB's. Like all good coaches he can fill in at any position. Brian White on the other hand was hired as a TE coach even though he had a long run of success coaching RB's at Wisconsin. Tim Lappano's core background has been as a RB coach before moving up to offensive coordinator. He did a nice job though tutoring Jonathan Smith at OSU, and Isaiah Stanback at UW.
The point of this summary is that the staff could be reassigned once Willingham gets a feel for what he has before Spring practice. Ty as usual isn't communicating about what he plans to do, but personally I would love to see Gervais work with Jake Locker. Gervais is a former QB, and has been known for his work with QB's.
By the way the next great Washington QB after Ronnie Fouch is probably going to be Eastlake's Jake Heaps. I mention Ronnie because he is going to start a solid year or two before he graduates.
The Times ran an article on Interim AD Scott Woodward today, and his potential candidacy for the vacant AD position. Scott hasn't thrown his hat in the ring yet, but I think he ultimately will be the one who gets the job if he decides he wants it.
Ron Crockett, president of Emerald Downs and one of the school's most influential boosters, marveled at a recent Tyee Board executive meeting how quickly Woodward picked up the nuances of running the department. "He's an extremely capable guy and whatever he puts his mind to, he'd do a great job," Crockett said. "It's really up to the president and how he wants to handle the situation."Therein lies the big question — does UW president Mark Emmert want Woodward to have the job if Woodward wants it?
Nathan Ware on Steve Gervais
Personally, I think it's a brilliant move on Willingham's part that entrenches him a little deeper at UW. The administration at UW will see it as a recruiting coup in terms of persuading Heaps and his Skyline teammates to make UW their college choice. And, I'd be surprised if Gervais didn't excel in the position.