Tag Archives: Keenan Allen

Reasonable Expectations

We’ve recently had a flurry of Mariners activity on the blog, which is surprising considering how boring the Mariners’ activity has been.  Matthew has been on a posting roll though, and I’m not about to stop him.  With that being said, I’m going to change pace for the night and talk about some Husky football.  What’s that, football?  You thought we forgot about you?  Sorry that you feel that way and that you felt neglected.  The Good Guys recognize your that you are only about a month and seven days from camp starting and we will proceed to talk about you more often.

There’s a reason I don’t write about college football much from spring football to the start of the fall camp.  All that’s happening in the college football world is endless speculation and I don’t care much about what national ‘experts’ have to say about the Huskies because it usually contains 3 topics, “Keith Price, ASJ, and a terrible defense.”  They aren’t usually wrong but they aren’t giving me any new information.  But, today I wandered down to the store and picked up my first college football magazine of the season.  I do enjoy reading those because it marks the start of the college football period to me and the part about local teams is generally written by local writers who know what they’re talking about.

Anyway, I was struck by how well thought of Shaq Thompson is.  I was stoked when he committed but, with the crazy amount of activity that goes on during signing week, the true excitement never really sunk in.  That got me thinking, what can we reasonably expect from Shaq Thompson this year?

I’ll start off (because the last three paragraphs were for the benefit of getting my brain working and didn’t actually count as part of this post.  Tricked you!) by saying the Huskies have never had an incoming freshman as highly ranked as this.  Old news, right?  Well, yes but it’s easy to forget and something we have to think about to do research on past players of this magnitude.  Recruiting ranking services have only grown in the last few years but have been around for a long time.  I’ll take my research back until 2002 because that’s how far Rival.com and Scout.com have their data going back to.  Since 2002, the Huskies have only had one defensive 5-star recruit.  So, this is kind of unprecedented territory for the Dawgs.  Here is the names and the amount of success the Huskies 5-star commits have had since 2002 (all rankings were from Scout because I like their local scouting more than Rivals).

Donny Mateaki (DE) 2002 – Mateaki was ranked 4th overall at his position and 44th in the top 100.  Mateaki was a starter throughout most of his career but never was at an all-conference level.

Jon Lyon (TE) 2003 – Lyon was ranked at 40th overall and 4th at his position.  He was at a JC though  Lyon was also a starter but wasn’t close to a star.

Kavario Middleton (TE) 2008 – Middleton was ranked 3rd at his position and 29th overall, as well.  We know the story here, Middleton was clearly talented but didn’t mesh well with coaching staffs and left UW without making much of a mark.

Kasen Williams (WR) 2011 – Williams was ranked 2nd at his position and 22nd overall.  That makes him the highest on this list.  Obviously, he’s only played one year and started in the latter half of the year.  He has a promising future.

Austin-Seferian Jenkins (TE) 2011 – ASJ was also second at his position and 32nd overall.  The same goes as above, promising but not proven.

Wow, what a terrible list.  Sure, Kasen and ASJ look good thus far but the rest of this list is not much to write home about.  None of them had a significant NFL career, although I’d be shocked if that didn’t change with ASJ and Kasen.  This doesn’t bode well for Shaq but, then again, those guys weren’t ranked in the same league he is as far as the ratings go and this is just some bad luck.  It does go to show that 5-star guys aren’t always sure things.  All 5 of these guys did contribute in their true freshman season though.  The next list is the top rated safeties (what Thompson was) dating back to 2002.

2002 – Pat Watkins, FSU – Watkins didn’t play until his sophomore year in college but then did go on to have a pretty successful career.  He was drafted in the 5th round and played for about 5 years in the NFL.  Watkins wasn’t at the highest college level but he was a very good player.

2003 – Brandon Owens, Minnesota – Owens was injured his junior year and didn’t return from the injury.  He played as a true freshman and was good but not a star.

2004 – Drew Kelson, Texas – Kelson played 4 years in Texas and played as a true freshman.  He was a draft prospect but didn’t have much of an NFL career.

2005 – Kenny Phillips, Miami – Phillips played his true freshman year and had the most successful career of any guy so far on this list.  He was drafted 31st overall in 2008 and has been successful in the NFL.

2006 – Myron Rolle, FSU – Rolle played right away as well and a very successful college player (although probably not to the level of Phillips) and was drafted in the 5th round.  He was great but I think the guy behind him was probably more well thought of.  That guy is Taylor Mays.

2007 – Chad Jones, LSU – Jones was very successful and played on offense and defense.  We could see some of that from Thompson.  He was drafted in the 3rd round.

2008 – Will Hill, Florida – That’s a cool name!  Hill played right away for Florida and was named to the All-SEC freshman team.  He had a successful career but wasn’t at an all-conference level.  He was signed as an undrafted free agent after playing arena football and is now with the New York Giants (the last 4 guys have all played for the Giants at one point or another.  Weird).

2009 – Craig Loston, LSU – Loston’s career at LSU will probably last until 2014 and he’s been injured in the past 3 seasons.  There still seems to be some promise in him.

2010 – Keenan Allen, Cal -Allen is a wide receiver at Cal and I debated whether I should move him to the number 2 ranked safety.  I decided no, obviously, because Allen has been so successful at Cal.  He started right away and has been awesome for them and for Matthew who is his Pac-12 fantasy football league owner.

2011 – Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, Alabama – Clinton-Dix (which is a hilarious name when you think about it) seems to have red-shirted last year, but at a place like Alabama that’s not so surprising.

So, that was a list of 10 guys.  There weren’t any huge superstars (aside from maybe Allen and Phillips) but only 2 of the 10 red-shirted their freshman year.  Most of them made the NFL and several played on both sides of the ball.  This list is a lot more promising than the Huskies group of 5-star guys.

For the last list, I compiled all of Scout’s recruits (since 2002) that were ranked number 3 overall.  I’m not going to provide any analysis on them until the end.  In 2003 and 2004, Scout didn’t rank the top 300.

  • 2002 – Devin Hester
  • 2005 – Eugene Monroe
  • 2006 – Sam Young
  • 2007 – Marvin Austin
  • 2008 – Julio Jones
  • 2009 – Jacobbi McDaniel
  • 2010 – Robert Woods
  • 2011 – De’Anthony Thomas

I didn’t include analysis because the only thing I can really add is that these guys are really good.  Sam Young may be the worst of the group and he was on the freshman All-American team and has had a decent NFL career.

All of that information and partial analyzing leads me to believe that Shaq Thompson is likely to play this year.  In all of the players that I listed, all but 6 played in their true freshman year.  I don’t think we can expect him to be a star right away though.  Even De’Anthony Thomas went through growing pains in his first year.  With that being said, Thompson is likely going to be the best defensive talent we’ve seen on the Huskies since the 90’s.  Sure, sometimes these guys flop but looking through the history of recruits ranked this high shows that most have a high success rate.

Don’t expect the Huskies defense to be great because Shaq Thompson is on the field.  It takes 11 guys and even Shaq will have a few problems but the Huskies are a lot better with Thompson than they are without him.  Keep your expectations reasonable but be excited, especially when you read those pre-season magazines.

Thanks for reading,

Andrew

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UW vs. Colorado Predictions

Hello, and welcome to the Good Guys Sports Blog.  I’ll be your host this evening.

Here’s tonight’s question: Who is your favorite Pac-12 player to watch that is not on your favorite team?  That means no Chris Polk for Husky fans, no Marquess Wilson for Cougars, etc.

For me, LaMichael James is probably the guy.  He’s a Duck, and you can argue he’s a product of their system, but consider me skeptical that any of their other backs will be nearly as good as he is.  He’s out for at least this week though, so I’ll try for someone less obvious, if possibly just as talented.

Every year, the Good Guys plus a few others have a Pac-10/12 only fantasy draft.  It’s slightly ridiculous but a lot of fun, and we know as much about Utah’s fourth string running back as anyone outside of Kyle Whittingham, which, I guess that’s a good thing?  Anyway, last year, I was looking for late depth at wide receiver and grabbed California’s Keenan Allen, then a probable starter as a true freshman.  The first few weeks, I think he gave me more points on end-arounds than on receptions, but by the end of the year, he was a solid starter for my team.  This year, I think I grabbed him in the fourth round or so, which raised a few heckles from fellow drafters.  It was the best pick I made.

Allen and Cal QB Zach Maynard are half-brothers, and the hope for Bear fans was that the two would develop into a dynamic duo that would provide the passing attack Cal has mostly been missing the last couple of years.  That’s been the case at times, but Maynard has been extremely inconsistent, and just plain bad the last couple of weeks.  Allen has had no such issues.  He’s been solid to spectacular, with the Huskies getting most of the spectacular.  He went for 10 catches and 197 yards with a touchdown in Husky Stadium.  Last night against USC, he seemed like Cal’s only offensive weapon, ending with 13 catches for 160 yards.  He’s gone over 100 yards receiving in every game but one this year.

Allen’s a joy to watch, big and smooth.  He’s one of those guys who doesn’t seem like he’s that fast until he’s running away from you, like he did in the first series against the Huskies.  The Pac-12 has a bunch of great receivers.  Robert Woods is just ridiculous in all aspects.  Juron Criner is excellent when he can stay on the field, and Marquess Wilson is lightning, scary as can be.  If I were picking guys for a team though, my pick might be Keenan Allen.

So who do you like to watch?  Put it in the comments.  Onto the predictions:

Joe

Even though the line on this game says it will be a blow out and not noteworthy, I believe this game is intriguing and could be another defining moment for this program (Sark has had a few defining moments, both wins over USC, the Holiday Bowl and last week vs Utah…).  If the Huskies want to be elite and return to conference dominance like so many long time fans want, they must, I repeat, must destroy Colorado.  The Buffs are simply not good.  They lost home to Wazzu and haven’t won a road game in four years.  If UW claims to be good, and 4-1 says they are, they gotta play like it and come out and crush CU.  No sloppiness like they showed against lesser opponents earlier this year.  I want to see crisp, aggressive play right from the start.  The Huskies tend to play well in the underdog role, it gets them jacked up since a hallmark of Sark’s coaching is playing with emotion and a chip.  Against Utah they had all of this.  How do they handle the biggest in conference spread since the Neuheisal days?  I am very curious to see.  I like swagger, in fact I love it, but if you want to be hardcore you better go out and back things up.  Bury them from the start.  No detailed player or scheme breakdowns in this prediction, just the plain truth: Dawgs in a blowout, POW!

UW 41 – CU 17

Andrew

The last 2 games I’ve picked against the Huskies and what have the results yielded?  The Huskies have beaten teams by more than 7 points 2 weeks in a row!  You may think that’s not a big deal, but it hasn’t happened since (I’m looking back through the records now, wait for it) the last two games in 2009.  That’s pretty amazing seeing how the Huskies record is 13-7 in that span.  By the way, the Huskies have won 8 of their last 9 games.  That’s better than most teams in the country, pretty cool huh?  It’s because of those records that the Huskies should blow out Colorado.  The Buffaloes haven’t won a road game since 2007 (double check that for me), they are completely depleted in the secondary, and they are missing one of their top offensive weapons.  I know Colorado has been going through down years but these road woes are pretty ridiculous.  Why don’t they bring the buffalo on the road with them?  You can’t convince me that they wouldn’t win at least a couple of road games in that span if they brought their buffalo along.  I know picking the Huskies to lose has worked out for us the last few games, but now is the time to start believing that the Huskies will win.  Our Dawgs have a tendency to keep things close but, on Saturday, I think we’ll see domination.  The Dawgs will run away with this one.  The fans will party out in the rain and our team will show up in the top-25 on Monday.  That will set up a showdown for the Pac-12 North that has early Rose Bowl implications.  Yes, I’m getting way too ahead of myself but it sure does feel good to write that.  Go Dawgs!

Huskies – 42 Buffs – 17

Matthew

Like many Husky fans, I’m still trying to get used to a good UW team.  I keep looking for reasons that they’re not very good.  Their opponents haven’t exactly gone on to great success.  It’s just going to take a bit before I’ll be able to expect continued excellence from them.  A blowout win over a bad and beaten-up Colorado team would be a huge step in the right direction.  I think they’ll do it.  There’s not a whole lot else to say.  Colorado isn’t terrible offensively, but they’re missing Paul Richardson, who accounts for something like 25% of their offense so far, which seems extremely high for a wide receiver not named Robert Woods.  Their defense isn’t anything special, especially if you pick up their blitzes.  The only thing really scary about them is the buffalo, and as Andrew said, he’s not making the trip.  The mascot making every trip should have been a requirement of Colorado joining the Pac-12.  Have to say though, I saw them run the buffalo out recently, and I was disappointed that they didn’t just turn him loose.  They have 4 people running along beside him.  Let that guy run!  Andrew pointed out that that would be dangerous and crazy.  I pointed out that I didn’t care!

UW 45, Colorado 20

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Recapping Cal and Looking Ahead

On Saturday, the Huskies won a thrilling game against California 31-23.  You’ve all probably either watched the game or read the stories, so there’s not much point in me giving a blow-by-blow recap.  I will point out a few things that stuck out to me.

First of all, what a great birthday.  Saturday was my 21st and I got to spend it with my family and my girlfriend.  As far as I can remember, this was the first time my entire family had gone to a Husky game and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  To many guys, Saturdays are their day off to spend in front of the TV (or at a game) getting some time by themselves and drinking a few beers.  That’s all good and I don’t mind watching a game by myself now and then, but Saturdays in the fall are family affairs at Husky Stadium and I’m so incredibly thankful for that.

It was also a great birthday because the Huskies won.  As we’ve all grown somewhat accustomed to, they won in a nail-biter.  Our Dawgs have won 7 of their last 8 games and only 2 of those wins have been by double digits.  It sure would be nice to beat a time by a couple of touchdowns but, in a ploy to make more people buy season tickets because every game is nerve wracking, the Huskies have decided to make sure they win in the last second, if they win at all.  Matthew and I were talking about if they will ever win in a blow-out.  We decided that will happen in about 2017.

With that paragraph full of sarcasm out of me, it’s amazing how far this program has come in a short amount of time.  This would have been the kind of game the Huskies easily would have lost a few years ago.  A few years ago, this team would have been 1-3 after 4 games.  0-4 wouldn’t be out of the question right now.  Sark has done a phenomenal job and it says a ton about how far he’s taken us when we say that we expect more out of this team.  And we all should expect more because this team can be quite a bit better.

Some bullet holes on the game and what lies ahead after the jump.   Continue reading

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UW vs. California Predictions

Let me take you inside the absolutely fascinating inner workings of Good Guy Prediction posts.  I (being Matthew) send Danny, Andrew and Joe a text at some point on Friday that says, “Hey, send me your predictions when you get a second.”  They all send me an email, and when I get home that night, I combine them in a post, write an incredibly exciting intro, and that’s that.

Ideally, this process would happen on Wednesday or Thursday, so that people could read the predictions before gametime and so my fellow Good Guys have a little more time to respond.  Alas, I’m lucky if I think about this post before lunch on Friday, so occasionally you get a predictions post with two predictions instead of four, like today.  Joe’s off hiking somewhere, which sounds great if you’re into that sort of thing.  Andrew played a show tonight (which was great) and has his 21st birthday Saturday (happy birthday!), so he’s a little otherwise occupied.  Dan and I will hold the fort for this week.

Edit: And Andrew pulls through with his email as soon as I posted this.  Good job, the little guy! (That’s his nickname.)

Dan

After beating Cal on the road last season, it would seem unlikely that the Huskies would let the Bears return the favor tomorrow, especially considering UW appears to be improved from last year. But Cal may have finally found a playmaking quarterback, something they have lacked for the past couple years. Maynard is a dual threat QB whose game apparently resembles Keith Price. He has weapons to throw to in Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones, and I’d imagine the Bears will gobble up yards like most teams seem to do against UW. However, I have a hunch the Dawgs will yield less points than one might expect, if for no other reason than the defense is bound to come out hungry. This game is a virtual toss up in Vegas, but  for no good reason I think the Huskies put all 3 phases together tomorrow, and Sark can finally smile. Maybe the homer in me is talking, but I think Cal is catching UW at the wrong time.

UW-45, Cal-27

Matthew

It’s hard to be completely sure about anything Husky related right now, but I’m pretty sure that if Keith Price and Chris Polk are on the field, the offense will score at least 30 points against almost anyone.  The defense is anyone’s guess.  They have the talent, but I think there’s a lack of confidence in the new linebackers that’s affecting the whole unit.  Sarkisian’s comments about the defense were revelatory.  Hopefully they cut loose this week and let their athleticism take over.  I’d rather see big plays with a few mistakes than the steady drip of yards they’ve been surrendering.

The last two games between these two have been wins for the Dawgs, a blowout and last year’s game winning touchdown by Polk with no time on the clock.  I’d love another blowout, but I’m expecting a close one.  The Golden Bears are a talented team in almost exactly the same position as the Huskies, as an unproven team with talent.  The winner becomes the front runner for third in the tough northern division.  I think the Huskies pull it out.

UW 38, Cal 34

Andrew

I don’t know what to think of this game.  It’s a very important game in this season where we’re trying to figure out if the Dawgs have taken another step forward.  I have a lot of confidence in the offense, they are moving the ball very well the last 2 weeks.  But, Cal also scares me.  I’m not sure if they’ve earned me being scared of them (I’m not sure they care about me, in general so they are kind of jerks), but they have a strong defense and a decent offense.  Against the Huskies defense, a decent offense is all you need it seems.  But sooner or later, the defense will play better.  It might be the year 2017 or it might be in this game.  I have said almost nothing in this preview.  This game seems even and whoever wins the turnover battle will win the game.  Home field advantage will be a key.  For some reason it sure seems to me like Cal is going to win.  Maybe it’s because it’s my birthday and I’m not sure if the Huskies have ever won on my birthday.  I hope I’m wrong and I hope Chris Polk, Keith Price, and Ta’amu run up to me in the stands after a blow out and deliver me a game ball along with a million dollars.  But, for now I’m going to say Cal wins 35-27.  Prove me wrong Dawgs!  GOOOOOO!!!!! HUSKIES!!!!!

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Good Guys’ 2010-11 NCAA FB Predictions

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