Tag Archives: Michael Hartvigson

Your 2014 UW Husky Offensive Preview

Hey readers, long time no write! New content here has been next to non-existent for a while, but college football season always inspires The Good Guys. I can’t promise the inspiration will last, but we’ll at least get the season started right.

With Seahawk fever now a permanent Seattle epidemic, the Huskies aren’t getting a lot of attention yet.  I don’t know whether that will change at all, but they deserve some buzz. This team has the potential to be the best Husky squad since the Tui-led Rose Bowl team. That’s not saying a ton, and this team has questions, but there’s the chance of something special on Montlake.

I debated what type of preview to write, but I think I’m going with a good old position-by-position write-up. While a lot of these players have been around, some of the focus is shifting from the departed offensive stars to lesser-known guys. I’ll start with the offense tonight. Here we go!

Quarterback

Most fans would say this position is the key to the Huskies season, and it’s hard to disagree. I don’t know that the Dawgs need elite QB play this year, but they need an unproved guy to be dependable and reasonably mistake-free. Who the QB will be is still somewhat in doubt. Jeff Lindquist gets the opening start in Hawaii. He’s big and athletic with a good arm but next to no experience. There’s no reason he can’t be effective, but game action is the only true determiner. Lindquist narrowly beat out freshman Troy Williams, who has maybe the biggest arm and most potential of the group, but the least experience. Should Lindquist struggle, Williams could see some time. Hopefully more likely, he’ll see mop-up duty in Hawaii.

Lurking behind these two is Cyler Miles, suspended for the opener for his off-season shenanigans. The common assumption is Miles will take over week two, but I don’t consider that a fait accompli. Miles brings a bit more experience and excellent running ability, but he’s generally considered to have the weakest arm on the roster and missed all of spring practice. Should Lindquist impress at Hawaii, it’s no given he’ll lose the spot just because Miles is available.

Running Back

Replacing Bishop Sankey is impossible, but the Dawgs have the talent to maintain an elite running game. Dwayne Washington will get the first carries. He’s taller for a back and fast, but runs with a good amount of power and violence. Fumbling issues held him down early last year, but he recovered to log the most yards of any back besides Sankey. His time as a receiver should theoretically be of benefit in the passing game. RS freshman Lavon Coleman has garnered raves since arriving in Seattle. He’s a big back with star potential.

Deontae Cooper and Jesse Callier are still around and should see plenty of carries. I’ve never been a huge Callier fan, but he’s a dependable change of pace from the bigger Washington and Coleman. It’s hard not to continue to hope for Cooper to regain everything he was rumored to have before his injuries. If he were to do so, he could easily take over the starting job and be one of the best in the conference. More likely, he’ll get a decent share of carries but not quite have the burst to be a star. No matter what, he’s one of the great stories of perseverance the Huskies will ever have.

Shaq Thompson looms in the shadows, awaiting the day the Dawgsignal summons him to the offensive backfield to deliver justice and retribution to Ducks and Bruins alike. 

Receivers

This is a talented and fairly deep group, but how dominant they are could depend on how effectively Kasen Williams returns from last year’s injury. He’s not yet at full strength, but he’s close enough to play this week. Kasen’s size and experience is needed as a counterpoint to the speed of Jaydon Mickens, John Ross and friends.  Mickens matured into a go-to receiver last year, and he could be a monster in 2014 if he can diversify his game a bit. Ross is the most electric player on the roster and could make a huge jump himself. There are capable bodies behind the three, but a breakout or two would be welcome.

Tight end is a little hard to figure, due to Austin Seferian-Jenkins departure and questions as to how a new staff will use the position. Josh Perkins showed himself capable of making big catches a year ago. Michael Hartvigson has never had the impact many expected, but he’s valuable as a blocker and might catch a few more passes this year. Darrell Daniels is easily the most talented guy here and one of the better athletes on the team. Hopefully he can translate all that into football skills. If he can catch the ball, he could be huge as a bigger threat to complement Kasen. 

Offensive Line

For the first time in a long time, UW is deep, talented and experienced on the O Line. Six guys have extensive starting experience, and there’s some young talent behind them. Tackles Micah Hatchie and Ben Riva are dependable if unspectacular. LG Dexter Charles, the lone junior starter, has been considered an awards candidate in waiting since his freshman year. Colin Tanigawa supplanted Mike Criste at C this fall, potentially a good sign since Criste was a solid starter all of last year. That move could be largely about getting mammoth James Atoe into the line-up at RG. This line might not be as dominant as some of the great lines of Husky days past, but they should be better than anything the Dawgs have had lately. Count me as one who believes the coaching change could have a huge effect here too, both in performance and recruiting. Dan Cozetto’s lines never seemed to reach their expected level, and new guy Chris Strausser is renowned as a teacher.

That’s enough for tonight. Defense is next in a day or two. Go Dawgs!

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Looking At The Dawgs – Offense

In past years, I’ve tried to do position previews before Husky football season kicked off.  Usually these previews fizzled out somewhere between the linebackers and the secondary.  In an attempt to end this, I have simplified the previews this year.  I will be previewing the offense in one post and the defense in the next.  I will do a general overview of each side of the ball first and then break down the position groups (although I’m not going to make those all that in-depth).  I don’t plan on listing all 90-plus guys on the roster over these but I will try to give an idea of what I think about the starters and the depth at each position.  With these things in mind, let’s get started with the offense!130318123323-keith-price-top-single-image-cut

Offensive Overview:

Heading in to 2012, the Husky offense was thought to be a strong point of the team.  They had lost their top receivers and one of the great Husky running backs of all time but they had a stud tight-end, a few exciting prospects at running back, a returning offensive line, a decent receiving group, and a Heisman contender at quarterback.  Things didn’t exactly go to plan.

Before the season began, the Huskies were already down a few offensive linemen.  That continued throughout the season and caused the offense to fall apart.  The tight-end was great.  A star was found at running back.  But, the offensive line couldn’t pass block, a second, third and fourth receiving option was never found, and Keith Price went from a Heisman dark horse to a guy that some people wanted benched.  The offense was a disappointment, but it was one that people could make excuses for.

In the spring, the Huskies started to implement a no-huddle offense.  This has continued and will be used this season.  Apparently, the playbook is close to the same.  While they may have simplified it some, Sark has not moved to a spread offense.  I will talk about how this affects the defense in the next post but it has yet to be seen how it will affect the offense.  If the playbook really hasn’t changed much, I think the offense has a chance to special.  Sark has always been good at taking advantage of match-ups on the offensive side and as long as this is the focus of the offense and not just ‘going fast’ I feel confident in what the team can do.  The offensive line returns almost everyone and the depth of the whole offense could make running the no-huddle effective.

Position Previews –

Quarterback:
Starter – Keith Price (RSr.)
Keith Price was extremely efficient and productive in his first year as a starter in 2011.  Last year, he was a shadow of himself.  Price couldn’t move around very well, was constantly pressured, and made questionable decisions.  His efficiency in the red-zone, which was what made him great in 2011, slipped dramatically.  Price seemed to want to be too perfect at times and played scared at other times.  I’m hopeful that playing in the no-huddle offense will limit his thinking and get him back to just playing ‘Keith Price’ football.  He is only a few touchdown passes short of breaking the UW career record.  He’s had an amazing career, regardless of the last two games of 2012.  Here’s hoping he gets back to his improvising, accurate ways.  I’m glad he’s our quarterback.
The Depth – Cyler Miles (RFr.), Jeff Lindquist (RFr.), Troy Williams (Fr.)
It seems like what is listed above is the pecking order.  Miles has separated himself as the backup.  He is a good athlete and a play-maker.  His weakness seems to be his arm strength.  Lindquist came in with Miles and, while he may have fallen behind him now, appears to be in the running for the starting job next year.  Jeff is from Mercer Island and has a stronger arm but maybe not the big play ability of Miles.  Williams is a true freshman and was highly recruited around the country.  He is mobile and said to throw the best ball out of all of the quarterbacks (maybe not the most accurate, but the strongest and best spiral).  Expect Williams to redshirt unless everything falls apart.  Unlike last year, the quarterback depth appears to be in solid shape and they seem to be capable backups.   Continue reading

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Getting To Know Your Dawgs – Tight End

I meant to write this post about 2 days ago.  Thank you for being patient even though you didn’t know that this post was supposed to be 2 days ago.  Matthew and I have been painting our parents house and, it turns out, that’s a big job!

Today we move on to the tight end position for the Huskies.  This is one of the biggest strengths on the team with the Dawgs having 3 tight ends who could probably start on teams in the Pac-12.  One of those guys is a potential All-American.  There isn’t a lot of depth behind those 3 tight ends but we can worry about that down the road, since they’re all young right now.  Let’s get to it! (The order in which I list the players is the way I see the depth chart turning out)

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (So.)

ASJ had one of the best tight end seasons in U-Dub history and he was only a freshman.  There is no reason to believe he won’t keep getting better and stronger.  Most people know about the amazing athlete that this guy is (an all-conference tight end, a bruiser on the U-Dub basketball team) so I won’t get into it too much this year.  A lot has been made of the Huskies losing three of the their top offensive – (Polk, Kearse, and Aguilar) and that is a cause for concern.  I do think that it opens the door for Seferian-Jenkins to make an even bigger splash.  What kind of numbers can we expect?  I don’t think 800 yards receiving is out of the question.  He is probably the best pro prospect on the team and it’s time that we start treating him like that.

Michael Hartvigson (RS So.)

Hartvigson, the pride of Bothell and Dan Scansen, was a 4-star commit coming out of high school but wasn’t as high-profile as ASJ.  Michael is a quality player who will make an impact this year.  I expect to see quite a few double tight-end sets just because Sark will want to get his best players on the field.  Hartvigson is a solid blocker but we haven’t seen much of his receiving ability.  That’s not to say he doesn’t have any, he does, it just hasn’t been utilized as much as his blocking.  I fear that Hartvigson won’t escape ASJ’s shadow for the next few years and we may not know how good of a player he is.  With that being said, Sark will find a way to use his best players so, if Hartvigson is a top player, he’ll be used.

Evan Hudson (RS So.)

Hudson, also the pride of Bothell and Dan Scansen, decided to follow his buddy (Hartvigson) and walked on to the U-Dub football team.  Hudson could have had accepted a scholarship at a smaller school but he wanted to be a Dawg and has since been awarded a scholarship.  Because of the two studs in front of him, we don’t see much of Hudson on the field.  If there was an injury in front of him though, I would feel comfortable with Hudson in the game.  I’ve heard nothing but glowing reports from practice and in his limited game time.  I honestly have no idea how good Hudson is, but, if I had to guess, I think Hudson is a quality Pac-12 player.

Josh Perkins (RS Fr.)

Perkins had a fantastic spring and quite a few people had him pegged as an emerging number 3 receiver for the Huskies (I’m looking at you, Matthew Long).  It seemed like a good bet.  Perkins is a big guy, which is the type of receiver it seems that Sark likes.  Or is it really?  I guess that’s a debate for another blog post.  Anyway, Perkins was moved to the H-back position which is kind of a cross between a fullback, tight-end and wide receiver.  That paints a really clear picture, doesn’t it?  I think Josh may see the field this year, as a pass catcher or lining up in the way Marcel Reece does for the Oakland Raiders.  That’s just a guess on my part.  Perkins was kicked off the team for about 2 days for an undisclosed incident but then was reinstated.  I don’t know if that puts him in the doghouse or if it will decrease his playing time.  Time will tell.  Perkins is a guy who could definitely fill a role on this team.

As you can see, the tight end position is in fairly decent shape.  The depth is solid and young and there’s a whole lot of star power at the top.  I didn’t include a couple of walk-ons but I don’t think that they’ll play a huge role in the present or future.  I hope they prove me wrong, because I don’t really know much!

Thanks for reading!

Andrew

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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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Spring Football

There’s too much going on and too little time lately.  With all the sporting events to cover over the last few weeks (Husky basketball, the most interesting tournament I can remember, Spring Training, and Husky football) you’d think the Good Guys would be posting up a storm.  Unfortunately, it’s been a busy time and we haven’t got to cover all that we’d like to.

Of course, baseball season starts tomorrow.  To be honest, I didn’t know who played tomorrow night until earlier this evening.  When people asked, I just said that it was the Yankees and the Red Sox.  To my surprise, there are 6 games tomorrow and the Yankees and Red Sox don’t play each other.  There couldn’t be a much better way for the season to start than with a Verlander vs. Sabathia match-up and that’s what we’ll see tomorrow.  I’ll have more on the Mariners tomorrow and hopefully we’ll get some predictions for the season up here soon.

Getting to the actual topic of this post, the Huskies started spring football practice yesterday.  As usual, Bob Condotta has all the information we could hope for over on his blog, but I’ll give you a quick few thoughts on the spring because I get excited for college football of any kind, even if it is just practice.

First for a bit of news:

  • Johri Fogerson was out practicing yesterday with the team.  He had been arrested for being in possession and was suspended indefinitely.  Sark said that he still could be suspended in the Fall for a game, depending on what happens in his trial.  His trial date is set for June.
  • One of the most prized recruits of the 2011 recruiting class, Austin Seferian-Jenkins is now in school and practicing.  He’s expected to compete right away for a starting position at tight end, which was a weak spot for the Huskies last year.  He’s the only true freshman that enrolled early.
  • Chris Polk has lost about 10 pounds and apparently feels faster.  I don’t actually know if this qualifies as news, and is one of those things that is reported because a player is popular and fans are starving for news.  But, hey!  If Chris Polk feels even better, then sweet deal!

Here’s a few things that I’ll be looking for over the course of spring practice:

  • Price vs. Montana – Of course, this is on the top of any Husky fan’s watch list.  Keith Price will be dueling with Nick Montana for the starting quarterback spot over the course of this Spring (and probably into Fall camp as well).  There’s no clear front-runner and if there is someone ahead in Sark’s mind, us fans sure won’t know.  I’ll be getting a feel for each of these guys games.  Montana is more of a drop-back passer, while Price is more of an athlete who will use his feet more.
  • The Tight-End Position – With ASJ now in school and Michael Hartvigson returning from injury, we should expect to see a giant upgrade at tight end.  These guys are both freshmen, but they’ve come into school highly rated and provide a huge talent upgrade.  It’ll be interesting to see what Sark does to utilize the tight end position this Spring.
  • The RS Freshmen Offensive Linemen – Last year, the Huskies red-shirted 5 offensive linemen and then named them all scout team players of the year.  I’m thinking at least one or two of them will emerge and challenge for a starting job.  Keep an eye on Ben Riva, he was reportedly working with the starters in the first practice.  This could mean nothing at all or he may be a step ahead in the coaches eyes.
  • Linebackers – The Huskies have to fill in two spots at the linebacker position with the graduation of Mason Foster and Victor Aiyewa.  These are giant shoes to fill and may be even harder to fill than Jake Locker’s gap.  There are a few injuries here during the Spring, so we won’t have a clear picture until Fall but keep an eye on JC transfer Thomas Tutogi who looks to fill Mason Foster’s role.

That’s all for now.  I’ll be hoping to make it to a few practices and will have recaps from those.  Also of note, it was UW Pro Day today at Dempsey and Jake Locker had a very good day.  It looks like his draft stock keeps improving and let’s hope so.

Thanks for reading!  Tomorrow is baseball!  Go baseball!

Andrew

 

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Good Guys’ 2010-11 NCAA FB Predictions

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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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