Tag Archives: James Johnson

The Good Guys Pac-12 Picks

Before I begin, I’ve seen rumors swirling that James Johnson will red-shirt this year because he doesn’t want to miss half of his senior season.  This has not been confirmed and is speculation so far but I think it’s pretty good speculation. Take it as you will.  Now, on to the post!

It’s the first week of Pac-12 picks and today is the first game.  Nothing can really describe my excitement.  I understand that some of you are bigger fans of the NFL and don’t share my level of excitement for the college game.  That’s fine.  But, for me, the college game is so precious.  It’s here for 12 or 13 times a year and then it is gone.  Those 12 or 13 games a year have supplied some of the best days of my life and always bring a fresh air of excitement to my sports world.

This week on our Pac-12 picks, we picked most of the same teams.  There are only 2 Pac-12 teams that play road games this week.  There’s only one Pac-12 team that is an underdog.  Most schools play teams that we won’t hear about again this season.  That’s okay.  For this week, we’ll give the Pac-12 a break on the schedule and just be thankful that it’s back.

Arizona vs. Toledo – Saturday 7:30 P.M.

The Good Guys:  Arizona

Arizona State vs. Northern Arizona – Thursday 7:30 P.M.

The Good Guys:  Arizona State

California vs. Nevada – Saturday 12 P.M.

The Good Guys:  California

Colorado vs. Colorado State – Saturday 1 P.M.

Andrew, Matthew, Dan:  Colorado

Joe:  Colorado State

Oregon vs. Arkansas State – Saturday 7:30 P.M.

The Good Guys:  Oregon 😦

Oregon State vs. Nicholls State – Postponed

Stanford vs. San Jose St. – Friday 7 P.M.

The Good Guys:  Stanford

UCLA at Rice – Saturday 4:30 P.M.

The Good Guys:  UCLA

USC vs. Hawaii – Saturday 4 P.M.

The Good Guys:  USC

Utah vs. Northern Colorado – Thursday 4:15 P.M.

The Good Guys:  Utah

WSU at BYU – Thursday 7:30 P.M.

Matthew, Andrew, Dan:  BYU

Joe:  WSU

There’s the picks.  I’ll keep track of the records for each of the Good Guys and will post it weekly.  Also, if you’re interested in joining this pick ’em, write all of your picks in the comments and I’ll include you in the standings!  Just have the picks in by 4 P.M. today.  I’ll give you some leeway, as well.

Happy football!

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Getting To Know Your Dawgs – Wide Receiver

Camp is almost half over and the first game is 2 weeks away.  It seems as if training camp has brought a new injury with it everyday.  When you list everything out (which I will do after I run through the wide receivers) it doesn’t look as bad as what the perception is.

I’ve written about quarterbacks, running backs, and fullbacks so far in this series and I move on to receiver today.  The position is going through what seems to be a little bit of a face lift this year, with Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar graduating.  Those two had very good careers at U-Dub, although they both came with their fair share of frustrations.  Most fans agree that, while the 2012 group is young, they have a good amount of talent and shouldn’t see a huge drop off in production.  On to the names!  I’ll include most players (I will probably leave off some walk-ons who I don’t see as contributors this year).  The order I list them is in the order I perceive as the current depth chart.

Kasen Williams (SO.)

I was just reading Ted Miller’s blog (which is fantastic) and he was asked to compare Kasen Williams and Marquess Wilson.  He said that it wasn’t a fair comparison in comparing someone who is an All-American and someone who is mostly based on potential at this point.  This is exactly right.  Kasen Williams has as much potential as any receiver in the Pac-12 and maybe the country.  No, really he does.  He flashed it at times last year but he has hardly proven himself.  He’s not in the Pac-12 elite but I would be surprised if he wasn’t in that group by the end of the season.  Every Husky fan (and a few WSU fans) have the picture of Kasen leaping over a defensive back in the Apple Cup cemented into their memory bank and these are the type of plays that we hope to see all year.  Last year, Kasen caught 36 passes for 427 yards.  I expect him to double those yards.  By all accounts, Williams should be a star at some point, the question is if that will happen this year.  I sure hope so.

James Johnson (SR.) 

James Johnson has had an interesting career as a Husky.  He scored the first touchdown of the Sark era, as a true freshman.  Johnson then went on to have a great freshman year (39 catches for 422 yards), particularly in the first half.  He was then injured before his sophomore year and somehow got lost in the mix at the position.  He never really saw the field, aside from a few plays here and there.  Last year brought something of a comeback for Johnson (28 receptions for 366 yards).  He would have a few great games (Nebraska comes to mind) and then disappear for a game it seemed.  He did miss a few games due to injury.  This year is off to an ominous start, as he’s suffered a dislocated wrist and a few torn ligaments.  Sarkisian said that he’ll be out 4-6 weeks.  This is a blow to the Dawgs for the first few games as most people had James penciled in as the number 2 receiver.

Cody Bruns (RS SR.)

Speaking of interesting careers, I’m not sure any player could top Bruns in that category.  Cody Bruns played in his first game half way through his freshman year because Ty wanted to run some trick plays.  Cody would get on the field for about 3 plays a game and it wasn’t usually to catch passes.  Bruns was a bit lost in the depth his sophomore year and then played a little more his junior year.  He’s been labeled as a player who could do everything from holding on field goals, to passing the ball, to punt coverage, to actually receiving.  Last year, he was dealt an emotional blow as his father passed away.  The coaches and Bruns decided that a redshirt year would be best for all involved.  Now Bruns enters his last year and figures to be an integral part in the receiving corps.  He may be used in a more conventional way than usual but don’t be surprised to see him be on the field in many different capacities.  He has surprising speed and is said to be a sharp route runner.

Kevin Smith (JR.)

It’s easy to forget that Kevin Smith didn’t play all 4 years of high school football.  He started later but his athletic ability made up for however raw he was.  Now he’s an upper class-man who could be a pretty big contributor (208 yards receiving last year).  Smith is still recovering from an ACL injury and could be limited for the first month of the season.  If he does come back to 100% healthy, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s one of the Huskies 4 best receivers.  You may also see him back returning kicks and showing off his speed.

Jaydon Mickens (FR.)

Mickens was rated as a four-star recruit coming out of California and has been turning heads in the first 2 weeks of camp.  He has even been running with the starters in the last couple of days due to injuries ahead of him and his good play.  Mickens is the smallest of the receivers (5-10, 170) but has a ton of speed.  He’s almost assured to play this year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start in 2 weeks.

Kendyl Taylor (FR.)

Much of what I said about Mickens rings true for Taylor.  He was a highly rated recruit coming out of Arizona who has been making plenty of plays thus far in camp.  He’s also 5-10 but a little bulkier than Mickens.  His high school mascot was a Husky so that’s cool, I guess.  Taylor will see plenty of playing time, especially as Johnson and Smith work their way back as the season progresses.  Sure, these 2 freshmen probably have their best days a few years down the road but we don’t have the luxury to wait for that since the Dawgs need them now.  I’m guessing they’ll come through with only a few hiccups along the way.

A few more guys and notes after the jump. Continue reading

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2012 UW Wide Receivers

Looking at the current roster, with minimal attention paid to the 2012 recruiting class.

Who They Lose

Jermaine Kearse

Devin Aguilar

Kearse had a very contentious career for a guy who is probably one of the five or so greatest receivers ever at UW.  He made play after play and caught a huge amount of touchdowns.  I can’t get the Husky record book to open right now, but he’s near the top in a number of categories.  The consistent issues with drops plagued Kearse.  More than a few had major effects on games and kept him from being a huge fan favorite.  He was never quite what he could have been because of the drops, but he is still a huge threat to replace.  Aguilar was a little more consistent but not quite the playmaking threat that Kearse was.  Still, he made a lot of catches at critical moments.  Replacing these two is a fairly tall order.  They both had flaws, but they are clearly one of the better WR combos the Huskies have ever had.

Who Is Back

Kasen Williams- Sophomore

James Johnson- Senior

Cody Bruns- Senior

Kevin Smith- Junior

The saving grace in an otherwise lackluster group is Williams.  It took him half the season to get going, but once he did, all the hype he brought with him seemed inadequate to the actual talent he possesses.  He looked faster than expected, and his overall athleticism is ridiculous.  His leap over a Cougar in the Apple Cup is already legendary.  I expect Kasen will take a huge jump forward this year and be one of the best receivers in a conference full of good ones. Continue reading

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Huskies at the Quarter Pole

It’s hard to believe, but the Husky season is already at the quarter point.  Our Dawgs’ have the record we all expected them to have after 3 games, 2-1, even if they’ve taken a strange route to get there.

September started with a game against Eastern Washington where the Huskies were outplayed in almost every area of the game.  They got the win, but panic ensued around Husky nation and people were upset.  Next, Hawaii came in and the Dawgs came out on fire.  They jumped to a 21-0 lead and seemed like a team who could compete with the best of the best.  Then they let Hawaii back into it and held on for a victory.  The Huskies were 2-0 for the first time since 2007 but neither victory provided a ton of confidence in the team.

Yesterday, they went into one of the toughest places to play in the country.  They stood toe-to-toe with Nebraska in the first half, and by all accounts would have had the lead going into halftime if it weren’t for a terrible call.  Then, the third quarter started.  A three-and-out, a terrible call on a punt, a touchdown, a fumbled kick-off, a touchdown, a turnover on downs, and a touchdown later the Huskies were down by 24.

It was a terrible stretch to watch and, judging from post-game interviews, was even worse to play in.  Now that I’ve cooled off and watched the rest of the game, I’ve realized that those stretches are one of the many reasons why I love college football.  On any Saturday, a team can be totally swept up in the momentum of the game and anything can happen.  These players are taking calculus and history classes during the week and all of a sudden they’re dealing with poor officiating and bad bounces of the ball and they completely lose their composure.  That happened to us on Saturday and I’m not saying it’s acceptable, it’s not, but that’s college football and it’s part of the reason why it’s so exciting.

Anyway, the Huskies regained their composure and went on to battle back, fighting valiantly to the finish.  It wasn’t the outcome we had hoped for, but it was probably the best game the Huskies have played all season.

I’ll break down each position after the jump.  Continue reading

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UW Huskies Offensive Preview

In 2009, the Husky offense was largely inconsistent, often showing excellent playmaking ability up until the time they needed to score on the goal line or keep a drive going late in the game.  The hope is this year they will find that consistency and become the high-powered threat that their talent suggests.

Quarterback

Starter: Jake Locker  Maybe you’ve heard of this guy.  Senior starter who passed up millions to try to lead his team to a bowl game and make a run at the Heisman trophy.  He could be the best quarterback in the country, but he does need to make improvements, chiefly with his accuracy.  Sarkisian has him aiming for a 70% completion rate and 3/1 touchdown to interception ratio, which would be a season for the ages.  He likely won’t quite make that, but there’s no bigger threat at the position in the country.

Depth: Keith Price & Nick Montana  The two backups are still fighting for the job, although it appears Price has pulled ahead for now.  Price is more of an athlete who has struggled with his accuracy at times.  Montana, son of Joe, has the smarts but maybe not quite the arm strength or physical maturity yet.  Price will likely backup on a game to game basis, but if Locker went down for an extended period, either might take over.

Analysis: If Locker stays healthy, it doesn’t get much better.  If he goes down, it’s hard to say what would happen with Price or Montana under center. Continue reading

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Huskies Release Depth Chart for BYU Game, Other Notes

UW released the official depth chart for Saturday’s game today.  You can find it here.  There aren’t really any surprises.  The back-up QB spot is listed as Price or Montana, so no answers there.  Not that an answer is needed until one of them has to play.  D’Andre Goodwin is listed as the third starting WR, a product of a good camp for him and James Johnson missing time with an injury.  Johnson will play, but might not be quite up to full-speed after missing parts of the last two weeks.  Some other notes about the Huskies and the rest of the Pac-10.

  • Sarkisian said that all 12 true freshman on the two-deeps would likely play, along with a couple more possibilities.  When asked about Josh Shirley and Sione Potoa’e, Sark gave an uncomittal, “Potentially.”
  • BYU is planning to play both quarterbacks after failing to choose between Jake Heaps and Riley Nelson.  Nelson is more of a scrambler, while local boy Heaps can throw the ball all over the place.
  • ASU decided on Steven Threet as their quarterback, although Brock Osweiler will get chances to play in the first few games.  Luckily for ASU, they play Portland State and Northern Arizona their first two games, which should give them a chance to test both quarterbacks while still winning fairly easily.  The Sun Devils are also breaking in a new spread offensive system.  There’s always the potential for new offenses to click quickly and surprise opponents for a while.  I’m not betting on it here, but ASU is a bit of a sleeper to me.
  • We’ll have a deeper look at this week’s Pac-10 games later this week, but there are some big ones, especially OSU at TCU.  OSU often starts the season slowly, so if they can come out and beat a top 10 team, it could get them rolling quickly.  It would also knock TCU out of a chance at the national championship, which would make me happy, if only because we wouldn’t have to listen to talk about it all season long.  We’ll get enough of that from Boise State fans, unless OSU can beat them as well.  In related news, I’m close to annointing OSU as my second favorite Pac-10 team, in case you were wondering.

That’s all for now.  Only 5 days till game time!

-Matthew

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Huskies Practice Report – 4/17/2010

The Huskies completed their 3rd week of practices this afternoon.  There was a little rain as the practice began but then the sun poked through the clouds, Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix came through the speakers, and I became very thankful that I live in Seattle.  There were about a thousand people at the practice including quite a few high school and junior college coaches who were attending the UW coaches clinic.  I spotted Paul Wulff trying watching the coaches, trying to figure out how to coach his own players (that was a joke and completely false).

To tell you the truth, there wasn’t a lot to report today.  During the team drills there was a lot of work on special teams.  Most of the practice was pretty typical and then there was about a half an hour scrimmage at the end.  The offense dominated early in the practice and then the defense had the upper hand in the scrimmage portion. 

Nick Holt was even more animated than usual today.  At one point he made the entire second string defense do up-downs after a 10 yard play by the offense.  The coaching staff has to be in such great shape because they sprint everywhere.  They really set the tone for this team.

The defense used a few different looks today.  Alvin Logan rushed off the edge quite a bit in the scrimmage and was quite effective in doing so.  He might be playing defensive end on 3rd downs this season.  They rotated linebackers a lot more today than they usually do.  I imagine they are just finding who is best where and when.  They also went to a 3-4 at times today, it seemed to work pretty well.

At this point in spring everyone seems to be settling in on where they should be in the depth chart.  Sure, every once in a while someone will bust out with a great practice but it’s usually the same suspects every practice now.  It’s nice to see that consistency because I don’t know if there were players who would consistently have good practices on the Huskies a few years ago.

With that said here are my players of the day:

  • Jermaine Kearse was great today.  He scored 6 touchdowns in a row during drills.  I think he ended up with about 10 on the day.  The Huskies don’t have a corner who can defend him and I don’t know if anyone in the Pac-10 does. 
  • James Johnson also made some very good catches.  He got called for two offensive pass interference penalties but one of them was extremely questionable.  In the offenses only touchdown drive in the scrimmage, Johnson came up big several times.  He is pretty physical and looks bigger than he did last Fall.
  • Chris Robinson is a red-shirt defensive tackle who has played well all spring.  He continued to do so today, getting into the backfield and making some tackles.  I think him and Tyrone Duncan may have played themselves into the rotation for next season. 
  • Demetrius Bronson had a few very physical runs today.  He may not carry the ball very often because he is switching between fullback and running back right now but, I think Bronson would be very good at the goal line as long as he takes care of his fumbling problems.  With that being said, Polk and Cooper are/will be very good at the goal line also. 
  • The freshman running backs were good.  I’m going to stop putting this in the practice reports and you can all assume that they were good.  I can’t wait for my fellow good guys to see them in action and then say how excited they are about them.  If they play like they’re capable of on April 30th people will be buzzing about Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper through the whole summer.  

Other guys were good too but you already knew that because their names are Jake Locker, Mason Foster, and Cort Dennison.

Two more weeks of practice to go.  I like what I’ve seen overall but I’ll save that for another post.  Now, it’s time to watch the Mariners and Justin Verlander (if the Mariners get shut down tonight, which is entirely possible, take a minute to enjoy how good Verlander is.  He is the Tiger’s Felix.  Should be fun to watch regardless of what happens).  Thanks for reading!

Andrew

Andrew

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