Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pac Ten Alley

May is almost upon us and that means things will seriously step up on the recruiting front. This is the time of year when coaches hit the road, and the combines begin. It is also the time when you expect to see a few local commitments.

Washington, and Washington State are the only Pac Ten schools who have not received a single commitment for the 2009 class. One reason for that is it will be a comparative down year in Washington State talent and numbers wise. Another reason is WSU has a new head coach, and Washington has a coach who is about to jump out of the frying pan, and into the fire.

There are some nuggets out there in state, but expect Washington to win out in most cases even though Paul Wulff at WSU is going to make a strong early run for the available in state talent.

Here is a quick look at the top talent in Washington which will be supplying the 2009 recruiting class in no particular order.

  1. De'Andre Coleman DT Garfield (UW Offer)
  2. Desmond Trufant CB Wilson (UW Offer)
  3. Tony Heard LB Edmonds-Woodway (UW Offer)
  4. Alex Ferguson RB Kentridge
  5. Gino Simone WR Eastlake (UW Offer)
  6. Allen Mooney LB O'Dea
  7. Kirby Moore WR Prosser
  8. Travis Long TE Gonzaga
  9. Danny Kistler OL O'Dea
  10. Anthony Luna OL Gonzaga
  11. Marcel Sealey LB Kamiak
  12. Tre Watson CB Kennedy
  13. Nolan Washington CB Kennedy
  14. Lucas Schindelle QB Bellarmine

I would expect that the Huskies will offer another 4-5 in state players once the evaulation process is completed in June. UW likes to see the majority of the players at their camp before making offers.

Pac Ten Alley

Now its time to take a walk down the coast to see what the neighbors have been up to.

I don't think Oregon will miss Jonathan Stewart that much in 2008. They are loaded and at least three deep at running back.

Watching LeGarrette Blount run over and around flailing Oregon defenders during spring practices -- thereby easing concerns over the departure of first-round NFL draft pick Jonathan Stewart -- it's impossible not to wonder how this elusive, 6-foot-2, 230-pound running back got away from the southern regional powers that coveted him, such as Alabama and Florida State, which were far closer to his hometown of Perry, Fla."

Paul Wulff is rebuilding the culture at WSU, but don't expect "Cow Tipping" to be a casualty.

“There's improvement, but we're not where we need to be," he said. "We still have players that don't fully understand the responsibility you have of being a college student-athlete, and that it's different than being a college student. They need to be held to a higher standard – whether they like it or not they're going to be – so they might as well accept it. There's a lot of success so far, we're just not where our culture's gonna be yet. We're working on that.”

News from the gridiron at OSU.

OSU ran 25-odd plays in a full 11 on 11 scrimmage with no restrictions on hitting (except YOU CANNOT BELT THE QB) ... then the Beavers did some red zone stuff. "There were some good parts, but nothing altogether looked very good,'' was Riley's quote about the scrimmage. ... I think he was trying to say it was nothing special.

California is trying to reclaim some attitude.

The in-house word last season was that Cal was missing Desmond Bishop and Marshawn Lynch, guys who were vocal enough to gain their teammates' attention throughout the practice week and athletic enough to demand it for Saturday game days. Though injuries stood in the way of the development of some of the sexier stories during spring, the leadership problem, which was mostly blamed for the fall from No. 2 in the nation to a 7-6 record, might have been answered.

Johnny Dawkins takes over down on the Farm.

Johnny Dawkins was officially ushered in as the new head coach of the men’s basketball team during a 4 p.m. press conference held by the athletic department yesterday. Introduced by Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby, Dawkins seemed cool throughout the conference, although he continually emphasized his excitement at the opportunity to be at the helm of the Stanford program.

The Trojans had ten players drafted this weekend.

More than a week before the NFL draft, USC quarterback John David Booty ignored convention and said on a national television broadcast that he hoped to be selected by the Minnesota Vikings. The admission was a bold break from potential draftees' usual statements about not caring whether a particular team selected them.On Sunday, Booty got his wish when the Vikings traded up in the fifth round to choose the quarterback who led the Trojans to two consecutive Pacific 10 Conference titles and Rose Bowl victories.Booty, the sixth quarterback chosen in the draft, would have preferred to be selected higher than the 137th overall pick, but the result suited him fine because he joins a Vikings team that is without a truly established starting quarterback.

UCLA wraps up the spring with Olson in command at QB.

Olson, who started the last two seasons but was Cowan's backup this spring, moves way into the forefront of a quarterback derby.However, before he gets on the field, the broken bone in his right foot must heal. He will meet with doctors Monday to decide whether or not to have surgery to implant a screw to aid in the healing. "Everybody I talked to with this type of fracture said the screw is probably the way to go, but I haven't made any decisions yet," Olson said. "I want to do the thing that is best for my body and get back as fast as I can. The screw sounds like the way to go." Olson should be back in June, which gives him plenty of time to get ready for August training camp and the Sept. 1 opener against Tennessee. But after being relegated to second-string just a third of the way through spring practice, he wasn't taking for the starting position for granted."It's not my call," Olson said. "It never has been, and never will be. All I can do is just try to keep a positive attitude and just keep working. It's not a good thing to be out six to eight weeks, but luckily it's toward the end of spring ball and I'll be back for fall camp, but it's tough because you're missing time you can be (practicing) what we learned (in spring ball)."

Most people expected a lot more out of the UA defensive ends including me. I thought the Wildcats had hit the mother lode with these two kids, but they sputtered.

University of Arizona defensive ends Jason Parker and Louis Holmes have found themselves a place in the NFL as free agents. Parker is heading to Kansas City, while Holmes has been picked up by the San Francico 49ers. "I think this is a perfect fit for me," Parker said. "I've really beenworking out hard since pro timing day, and I'm ready. I am going to a mini camp on Thursday and I'm going there to stick out and not just be one of the guys."

ASU looks like the team to beat in Omaha this year.

No. 16-ranked California played like Little Leaguers on Sunday right down to their early bailout from an 18-2 embarrassment against No. 4 Arizona State. Cal coach Dave Esquer called no mas after the top of the seventh inning at Packard Stadium, using travel curfew as an explanation for a game then at 3 hours, 22 minutes, not especially long by Pac-10 finale standards. ASU coach Pat Murphy naturally agreed to the mercy killing since his team got in extra at-bats by sending 16 to the plate in a 10-run second and 11 in a five-run fifth.


hairofthedawg said...

Wulff's job just got harder at WSU with Condotta reporting that they've lost six scholarships due to grades. That's going to hurt. In more news from Bob's blog, it's nice to see Triplett back in the NW with the Seahawks. If Tubbs can play in more than a few games I really like the way the new DL is shaping up, even with the potential trouble Bernard's in.

I was wondering the same thing about Blount at Oregon. How did they reach down into that area and get him? He sounds impressive and I hope the team's ready for him.

John Berkowitz said...

Oregon has been winning for quite some time now, it is a hip place, so they get looks from a lot of people.