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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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UW Recruiting 1/13

I posted an overview of the Huskies current recruiting class a week ago.  There hasn’t been a ton of news since then, but there’s been enough to warrant an update.  I’d recommend that you read the previous post first, but hey, you can do whatever you like!

The first news that came out this week was also the best, as the Huskies received a commitment from cornerback Jermaine Kelly.  He’s a pretty elite guy, one of the best athletes on the west coast.  He’s 6’2″ and electric enough that he could easily be a difference-maker at receiver if they needed him there.  Greg Biggins from Scout.com, who is one of the better evaluators out there in my opinion, says he has potential to be the best cornerbackout of this class in the west in a year or two, and that’s against some talented guys.  He had originally committed to UCLA before de-committing.  The rumors are that he had an issue with one of their coaches, and while there’s nothing on the record, supposedly the coach was former UW coach Demetrice Martin, who left last year for UCLA and took quite a few UW recruits with him.  Ironic, if you ask me.  I’ll take Kelly over all of the guys we lost last year.  Hopefully he won’t have to play this year, but he probably could and has all-league potential down the road.

Moving on, the other big news this week were the weekend visits that just finished.  The Dawgs reportedly had nine players on campus.  Six of them are already previously committed, and they all seemed to love their visit, as is usually the case.  The other three was a group of southern boys.  MLB Reuben Foster, out of Alabama, is the headliner.  He’s the top-rated linebacker in the country and one of the top 5 players overall, by most accounts.  He’s a difference-maker on the level of Shaq Thompson, if not better.  Most think that the Huskies are a long-shot to sign Foster, just because of distance.  I would agree with that, but Foster consistently says that he’s interested in getting away from home, and there’s a tweet going around that the percentage chance that he’ll sign with the Huskies is high, or something like that.  It’s a long way to signing day still, and he’s making visits to his local SEC schools in the next few weeks, so don’t get your hopes up.  But get them up a little, because this would be a shocker.

The other two who visited were OT Maurice Swain and Joe Sanders, who could play on either line, both from Georgia.  Unsurprisingly, the two are friends with Foster, who lived in Georgia before moving to Alabama.  Both are solid prospects in their own right, and would fill a need on the offensive line, but I would consider them long shots to be Huskies unless all three decide to come to Seattle together.  Another friend of Foster’s, OL Joshua Outlaw, was also supposed to visit, but he didn’t end up making it.  It’s unclear whether he’ll reschedule for later this month.  He’s a Tennessee commit and also pretty unlikely to end up in Seattle.

There are more players coming in this weekend and the couple after that, although none are quite so packed as this one was, yet.  That can change in a hurry.  As I said last week, this class currently looks phenomenal, one of the best since UW added Reggie Williams and a bunch of other top prospects a long time ago.  Right now, they’re sitting on 21 commits, most of which seem pretty sure to be Huskies, if they can make it into school.  CB Kevin King reportedly took a visit to WSU this weekend, which might end up meaning nothing.  Sometimes though, the coaching staff will tell a player that if he takes other visits, they’re pulling his scholarship offer.  No idea if that did/will happen with King, but it’s something to watch.  He’s one of their lower-rated players, especially now that Kelly is on-board.

Right now, the Husky class is balanced and deep, except at offensive line.  I get the impression that the Husky coaches are looking for a couple of O-linemen and are otherwise focused on hauling in some big-time prospects that are still considering them.  They don’t have any holes they need to fill, so they’re just trying to get the biggest impact players they can.  I could be totally wrong, of course, but that seems to be the direction things are going.  The previously mentioned Foster is probably the biggest fish they’re trying to land, but there are a few others as well:

  1. Myles Jack – The Bellevue linebacker has been committed to UCLA for a long time, but the Huskies have gone hard after him just as long.  Lots of people think he will eventually switch to UW, while some think he could even end up at Oregon.  Personally, I doubt he ends up a Husky, but I don’t really know anything.  He’s a phenomenal player and could possibly play right away.  I hope they get him, I just don’t have a great feeling about it.
  2. Eddie Vanderdoes – Vanderdoes is one of the top couple defensive tackles in the country.  He was committed to USC before decommitting to consider five schools.  UW is one of them, but it doesn’t sound real promising.  Best bet is that he ends up at UCLA or Notre Dame, but anything can happen when Tosh Lupoi’s working on a kid.
  3. Nico Falah – Another USC commit, Falah is an OT from California and would fill a huge need.  While still committed to USC, he’s strongly considering UW as well.  All things equal, I think he’s a Trojan.  Given their scholarship restrictions though, it’s possible USC pulls his scholarship or something, and then UW will be in good shape.  There have been concerns with his performance at camps and other things, but he has a ton of potential and the Huskies badly need tackles.
  4. Patrick Enewally – Enewally isn’t as highly rated as the previous three, but he’s also supposedly more likely to be a Husky.  He’s a cover safety, a position where the Huskies could use a little depth.  Last I heard he was considered UW and Boise State, leaning toward the Huskies, but I don’t really know for sure.

There are plenty of other players out there, but these are the ones that UW is known to be working hard to get.  The last few years, they’ve had a surprise on signing day, so hopefully there’s someone out there that none of the recruiting services know anything about or weren’t aware the Huskies were recruiting.  That’s always fun.  I’ll be back with another update in a couple of weeks, or sooner if there’s news.  Go Dawgs!

-Matthew

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Waiting for Deantre Lewis to Shine

Deantre Lewis is probably not a name familiar to most Pac-12 football fans, but it very easily could have been.  Lewis, an Arizona State Sun Devil, was a stray bullet away from being a star.

Lewis first started to make a name for himself in 2010 as a true freshman.  The running back burst on the scene as a major playmaker, the proverbial flash to Cameron Marshall’s thunder.  In his first game he scored three touchdowns and ended the year with over 500 rushing yards and another 370 yards receiving.  He looked like a potential star in the conference and was poised to form a dangerous duo with Marshall on a potentially great ASU team in 2011.

That offseason, Lewis made a short trip home to visit his sister and her new baby.  After commuting to a high school well out of his home neighborhood and earning his scholarship, Lewis thought he had avoided the trouble that surrounded him growing up.  That short two day trip was long enough for it to find him, though, as he was shot by a stray bullet.  He wasn’t involved in any kind of altercation and deserved no part of the blame.  It was just terrible luck.

Lewis escaped probable death when the bullet missed an artery by three centimeters, and somehow rejoined the football team with hopes of playing in 2011.  The bullet damaged his hamstring, however, and he never made it onto the field.  This year, he suffered through a few injuries in training camp and found himself behind not only Marshall but also true freshman D.J. Foster on the depth chart.

I’ve been a fan of the guy since his career started, beyond just feeling bad for him and hoping he could make it back.  I probably wouldn’t have known about him except for a Pac-12 fantasy league we Good Guys do.  I grabbed him early in 2010 and he helped me win the league, but my enduring memory of him came before ASU’s 2010 game at UW.  We have seats in the open end zone bleachers, which feel like they are almost in the end zone.  The Sun Devils were warming up right in front of us, and the running backs were getting ready to go through drills when some song came on.  All of the backs started dancing, which made Andrew and I crack up.  Most stopped after a couple of bars, but Deantre danced for a good couple of minutes, all by himself.  The guy could dance.  Every time we thought he would stop, he’d bust out a new move.  It was great, one of those meaningless moments that give you an idea of what type of person a player is and sets them apart as a little bit special.  I don’t have any recollection of that game except for Deantre Lewis dancing.  He seemed like a star.

This week news broke that he’s moving to the defensive side of the ball.  Evidently, he was really pounding people on special teams, and considering his spot on the depth chart, the coaches asked if he wanted to move to defense, in a hybrid DB/LB role.  He immediately said yes.  He went on to tell reporters that he still has a lot of anger and that he felt playing defense would help him let some of that anger out in a positive way.  I want to make clear that he didn’t sound like an angry guy.  It’s easy to stereotype a football player who grew up in a bad neighborhood and think he’s just an angry guy who only wants to hit people.  Deantre Lewis was shot, and it wasn’t in an altercation; it was while he was visiting his family after a life of trying to make good and stay out of trouble.  He has every right to be angry.

Position changes frequently amount to nothing, but I’m hoping this one turns Lewis into the star he always looked like.  We’re always in need of good stories, no matter which team they play for.  I’ll be cheering for Deantre Lewis every Saturday this fall, and if the Huskies get ASU at home in the next two years, I’m hoping Deantre still feels like dancing.

-Matthew

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UW Recruiting Thread

Update 1/31 10:25 P.M.  Matthew recapped the day pretty well below.  I’d recommend reading that because I won’t be analyzing any of these guys tonight (that will probably happen this weekend after they actually sign their letters of intent).  Needless to say, this was an amazing day.  The three weeks prior to this are the reason I hate recruiting.  There’s too much drama and too many fans up in anger about players they’ve never seen play, never researched, and don’t take the time to scout.  But, today was just simply fun.  We don’t know what Shaq, Payton, Brostek, or Mickens will do in the next 3, 4 or 5 years at U-Dub, but from reading scouting reports and watching plenty of tape there’s quite a bit to be excited about.

So, what will come in the morning?  A Good Guys running blog of signing day!  That’s what!  Oh, you were talking about the Huskies?  Well, the Dawgs sit at either 22 or 23 verbal commits.  The ‘or’ is because of Michael Rector, who is a receiver from Tacoma.  He had committed to the Dawgs but was accepted into Stanford and many think he will jump to them.  I believe UW will add 3-5 more guys tomorrow but I don’t know who they are.  Here’s some news on guys that will decide tomorrow and leftovers from a very eventful day:

Kenny Walker, who tripped to UW last weekend, has verbally committed to UCLA.  It sounds like he was offered as a receiver and his scholarship may have been pulled after Mickens and Payton committed today.

There is a rumor that there’s another big surprise commit tomorrow morning.  I think that it’s nothing more than a rumor, but at this rate anything is possible.

I think Brandon Beaver is a UW lean but no one knows for sure.  He may be the biggest name left out there that the Dawgs are in on.

Cleveland Wallace is also deciding between OSU and UW, but I think he is an OSU lean.  Both Wallace and Beaver are DB’s.

Devian Shelton, who seemed to have a little interest in UW, was offered by USC today and it sounds like he’ll be going there.

Dylan Cozens will be deciding tomorrow between UW and Arizona.  I don’t have much of a read on this one.  Matthew thought that earlier this week the Dawgs were a leader but I have no idea.

Pio Vatuvei was a former USC commit but has looked at the Huskies.  We won’t know until the morning on him either, but I don’t hear or read many rumors of him being a Dawg.

That’s some of what we have to look forward to tomorrow.  It should be a fun morning and I’ll try to keep the pace with the LOI that will be coming in.  I’ll be on here starting at about 6:45 tomorrow as I camp out here in Maple Valley.  Yes, I do proclaim tomorrow a holiday.  I suggest you should to.  That’s all for now.

-Andrew

Update 1/31 8:40 P.M. I wish we could have had some more updates throughout the day, but Andrew and I were almost as busy as I’m sure the Husky coaches and recruits were today.  And what a day it was.  The Shaq Thompson news broke last night, but if you throw him in with the other three commits today, that accounts for probably 4 of our 6 top recruits in this class so far.  I could talk about Shaq all day, but I’ll save that until he actually signs.  For now, here are the other three new Dawgs:

  • Jordan Payton is a receiver from the L.A. area who committed this afternoon on ESPNU.  He’s ranked the 15th WR in the country and sounds an awful lot like Jermaine Kearse: 6’2″, 205, good body control and leaping ability, not quite elite speed.  He’s said to have good hands, so hopefully those carry over to college and he doesn’t have Kearse’s drops problem.  Payton was a USC and Cal recruit previously who says UW felt like the place he was supposed to be.
  • Shane Brostek, the Hawaiian Bigfoot, as I saw him called today because of his lack of communication with the media, committed shortly after Payton.  His dad, Bern, was a Husky lineman.  Brostek is rated at 2 or 3 stars, but that’s probably partly due to lack of exposure.  They played his recruiting process as close to the vest as any I’ve ever seen.  I can’t vouch for this personally, but some people will tell you he’s a legitimate 5 star talent if he had gone to camps and stuff like most recruits.  Either way, Brostek’s a big boy with a lot of power and a reported nasty streak.  I’ve heard that he’s likely to start at center, but I wouldn’t be surprised by guard or defensive tackle either.  I’m excited about this one.
  • Jaydon Mickens, another wide receiver, just committed a few minutes ago.  He’s only 5’9″, but he’s quick and elusive.  Plan on seeing him in the slot and on end arounds and especially in the return game.  He’s another four star who had a big showing in a recent all-star game.  He should be a fun guy to watch.  We haven’t had a receiver who really makes people miss in a while.  Maybe I’m off, but I’m thinking in the mold of De’Anthony Thomas, although nowhere near as incredible.

As Andrew Tweeted a bit ago, this might be the best 24 hours of recruiting the Huskies have ever had.  I doubt they’ve ever had 4 players of this caliber commit in a day, anyway.  They’ve brought the UW class from about 45th in the country to the top 20.  That doesn’t mean a lot in the long run, but it gives you a good idea of their talent.  I’m betting Andrew will post his thoughts when he gets home in a bit, but if not, he’ll have a running blog up by around 7:00 tomorrow morning.  Go Dawgs!

-Matthew

Update 1/30 10:30 P.M.  SHAQ THOMPSON COMMITS TO U-DUB.  An absolutely huge get for the Dawgs tonight and seemingly out of nowhere.  I’m waiting for this all to be fake because of everything that’s happened lately on twitter, but this seems real since Sark just woofed.  I won’t be able to write anything very well right now because I’m too excited, but Shaq is rated as the top safety in the country.  He should get a chance to play right away.  This might be the biggest commit Sark has gotten since coming here.  I won’t completely believe this until his letter of intent arrives on Wednesday, but this seems real.

I’ll have more on him in the next couple of day, but this is huge.  It seems like this could be the start of some momentum to close this class.  Good night Dawg fans, today ended quite well. (I’ll be back on if anything else breaks tonight, but keep checking this thread tomorrow.)

Update 1/30 4:30 P.M.:  I’m about 2 hours late on this but, if you haven’t heard, Zach Banner has picked USC which is close to what everyone expected.  It really is unfortunate but we wish him well and it seems like he’ll have a good amount of success as a Trojan.

As Matthew mentioned in the comments, it sounds as if U-Dub has a chance with receiver, Jaydon Mickens.  In fact, it sounds like a good shot.

One more update is that Jordan Payton will announce his choice of school tomorrow at 1:30 on ESPNU.  Lets hope that the Huskies can land a few of these big names and finish in the middle of the Pac-12 recruiting rankings.

Update: 1/30 9:30 A.M.: Hi ho, Andrew here!  Happy Signing week.  I just have a few quick things to add to this recruiting thread, and I imagine we’ll be back on here at around 3 p.m. or so.

First off, I’d like to announce that we’ll have a live signing day thread starting Wednesday at about 7 AM.  We hope that you’ll follow along all day.  If you’d like to, add questions in the comments of that post (or this one) and we’ll try to answer them, preferably about recruits but anything about Seattle sports is fine with us.  You can also send us questions on our facebook page or twitter accounts.  I hope you’ll follow on what looks to be a very interesting day.

As Matthew mentioned last night (see below), Zach Banner, the last recruit in Washington who’s uncommitted and has an offer from UW, will announce his decision today at 2:30.  He’s a five-star recruit and would give this class a significant boost.  Unfortunately, it seems as if he is leaning towards USC.  I will say that most of everything that circles around right now is based on speculation and rumors.  As we learned in middle school, that’s not the most reliable source of information.  From the little I know about Zach Banner, he values family quite highly.  I think this is a big factor in his decision but I don’t know if it’ll be enough to go to UW.  He was often at Husky practices that I attended in the Spring and Fall and back then, I thought he would certainly be a Husky.  Right now, it’s not looking so good but I wouldn’t be completely surprised if he has picked to become a Dawg.

Dan always texts me and asks for a percentage or chance we have on a recruit.  Today, I think it’s around 30%.  So cross your fingers and toes Dawg fans and one of us will be back around 3 p.m. to give you the story of what happened.

-Andrew

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Signing day for recruits is three days away, with lots of news and rumors coming out all the time.  We’ll use this as a general recruiting post and update it as information comes out.

It’s currently Sunday night, and today saw the elimination of two major UW targets and a few interesting rumors.  The big news was five star lineman Arik Armstead of Sacramento announcing he would be an Oregon Duck.  I didn’t really expect UW to land the big man, but it would have been nice if he went to Cal instead of Oregon.  It’s easy to see why recruits like the Ducks right now, though, so I can’t really fault him.  We’ll see what happens if sanctions are levied and Chip Kelly leaves in the next couple of years.  Armstead seems like a good kid, and we wish him personal success and happiness with a whole lot of losses.

Also making news today was Lakes High’s Cedric Dozier.  Dozier has been committed to Cal, but has recently been looking at UW and WSU.  it was thought he’d take a trip to UW this weekend, but he stayed home and will now choose between Cal and WSU later this week.  It would have been great to have him as a Dawg, but there were a lot of variables here all along.  Originally, UW wanted him as a cornerback, but he wants to play receiver, which is why he chose Cal.  UW recently told him he could play receiver, but it’s hard to know the reason for that.  Add the fact that he hasn’t always lived in the state and has lots of family in California, and this is just one case where there was too much to get past for him to be a Dawg.  That’s the way it goes sometimes.

On a possibly more positive note, safety Shaquille Thompson reportedly took an unofficial visit to UW this weekend, possibly with receiver Jordan Payton.  Shaq is deciding between UW, Cal, Oregon and UCLA on Wednesday, and it would seem this is a good sign.  Or it might work out the opposite way.  There’s no way to predict these things.

Also, rumors are that lineman Shane Brostek told some people that he is planning to come to UW.  These are very unreliable rumors, as I read them in a comment on UW Dawgpound, and they were about third hand at that point.  Story goes that, while on a visit to U. of Hawaii this weekend, he told some other players he will be a Husky.  Who knows.  I’m really hoping he’ll be a Dawg, because he looks like a beast.

Tomorrow, Zach Banner is announcing his choice.  I’m expecting USC, but I think UW still has a good shot.  Which is a weird thing to write, because he’s already made his decision, he just hasn’t announced it yet.  If he’s picked USC or Oklahoma, the Huskies have no shot.  So I guess I’m just hoping he’s picked UW and think it’s possible.  I really know nothing.

We’ll have another update tomorrow.  Until then…

-Matthew

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UW Recruiting Insanity

Update: Follow our recruiting thread by clicking here.

I wrote earlier this month that things would get crazy before national signing day on February 1st, but I severely underestimated the situation.  The past month or so has been the craziest offseason stretch I’ve ever seen for the Huskies.  Since the Alamo Bowl, they’ve hired an entirely new defensive staff, added a few recruits, lost a few more, become players for several of the biggest recruits on the west coast, and pushed the entire California Golden Bear fanbase to the brink of insanity.  Here’s a recap and some recruiting updates.

In the article linked above, I said, “Who knows, the Huskies might hire Tosh Lupoi from Cal or Ed Orgeron from USC, considered the two best recruiters in the Pac-12 and they could bring 5 players with them.”  There were already rumblings that the Huskies were making a run at Lupoi, so this wasn’t any incredible prediction on my part.  Still, I never believed they would actually lure him away from Cal, his alma mater.  Nonetheless, they did, and everything immediately went crazy.  Cal’s recruiting class, which had been ranked at the top of the Pac-12 took an immediate hit.  They lost a couple of guys right away, most notably five star DT Ellis McCarthy to UCLA, and several more are still looking around.

One quick note.  Cal fans are understandably upset about Lupoi’s departure.  He was their golden boy, the guy who grew up miles from campus and had spent most of his adult life at Berkley.  In their idyllic dream, he was expected to work his way up the coaching ladder at Cal and eventually take over for Tedford as head coach.  It didn’t work that way, and no one can blame them for being disappointed and mad.  Since then, they’ve come up with lots of crazy theories and rumors, the craziest being that Sarkisian hired Tosh just to ruin Cal’s recruiting class.  That’s just crazy.  The UW staff probably doesn’t mind if that happens, but it would be shortsighted and dumb to hire anyone for that purpose.  They hired Tosh (and Eric Kiesau, Cal’s receivers coach and new UW offensive coordinator) because they are good coaches and recruiters.  This was about the Huskies, not about ruining Cal.  Besides, most of the players Cal is losing are going to other Pac-12 schools and not Washington, so it’s not like the Huskies won’t face them again.  Anyway, moving on. 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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2012 UW Running Backs

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

Who They Lose

Only Chris Polk, maybe the best running back in UW history.  On a play-by-play basis, Napolean Kaufman and Corey Dillon and probably a few others may have been more dangerous, but no one was as consistently dominating, punishing and dependable as Polk.  He ran incredibly hard and was the perfect back to run behind a mediocre offensive line.  I wish we could have seen what he would have done with some better running room.

Sarkisian has said several times that no one has better embodied the type of program he wants to run than Polk.  He was mainly talking about his toughness and physicality, but I think it could be applied to Polk’s personality as well.  He’s known as a talker, a little bit brash, but a huge competitor, teammate and leader.  He will be sorely missed and remembered as a true Husky Legend.

Who Is Back

Jesse Callier- Junior

Bishop Sankey- Sophomore

FB Jonathan Amosa- Senior

FB Tim Tucker- Junior

There are other running backs on scholarship (see below), but Callier and Sankey are the two who received extensive playing time last year.  Callier has received a good number of carries the last two years, mostly as a change of pace to Polk.  He gets a lot of end-arounds and runs outside the tackles, and even runs the wildcat (WildDawg!) on occasion.  Callier has been solid, if mostly unexciting.  He doesn’t seem to quite have the electricity to make up for his apparent lack of physicality that keeps him from being more effective between the tackles.  That being said, his chances have been limited and I’ll be curious to see what he can do if he gets more regular carries this year.  He was a ridiculously productive high school player.  I’m skeptical he can be an above-average starter, but he’s an excellent back-up at worst.

Sankey, about whom much has already been written, mainly due to his spurning of the Cougars, received more carries as 2011 went along and made the most of them.  He seemed a bit more effective than Callier at running up the middle, and he showed a good burst of speed to match.  Out of the two, he seems more likely to grab hold of the primary job.  He did nothing to dampen my hopes for him and probably even raised them a few notches by forcing his way into some playing time. Continue reading

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