LETTERS TO THE PUBLISHER

Pickett will be a senior in 2003 (Allsport)

Thank you to those of you that submitted questions for the "Ask Dawgman" column. So it's the Sun Bowl, eh? Hope some of you Husky fans plan on joining us in El Paso, be sure to check out our <a href=http://washington.theinsiders.com/2/80115.html><b>Bowl Packages</b></a>. And now, on to the letters . . .


From Brett H
Dear Dawgman: I enjoy your site, and visit often. I don't always agree with your evaluation of players and coaches, but that's what makes college football great-- emotion, and opinions. I must say I haven't seen a media darling like Nate Robinson in sometime. If I didn't know better (and I do) you would think he was the next Dion Sanders, he made some nice plays, and some were big, but he got beat badly more than a few times and I won't go into missed tackles. Listen he going to be a nice player in time but let's not equate him with some of the greats we've had in the past.

A: Yes, Nate is a true freshman and he did make mistakes. It is his potential and his skills when the ball is in the air that has people so excited about his upside. He may have a brighter future in hoops though. Wait until you see this kid handle the rock!
From Paul W
Dear Dawgman:
What is your impression of Tight end Joe Toledo? Do you think that he will be able to step in for Kevin Ware next season and be successful?

A: I love Joe's ability to block and lock down his side of the formation. If he continues to do that, he'll be a fine TE. His hands sure seem to have improved since his freshman year but he doesn't run the routes that Kevin Ware did this year. But then again, neither did Kevin Ware until he got older. Ware really blossomed this spring and fall and became a bona fide threat this year. I like Toledo mostly for the way he can just obliterate linemen and linebackers alike because he's so big and moves well, but he isn't the receiving threat that Kevin Ware is... yet.
From Steve
Dear Dawgman:
Dude, every year your site gets better and you guys have really stepped up on the reporting. Thanks and keep up the good work. My question relates to next year. I think we have a good chance of running the tables especially with a Senior QB in this league, but Ohio St is huge and UCLA on the road is always scary. This year we had ET (although somewhat expected) and Nate come out of nowhere and make a positive impact for the team. Who do you predict will step up next year and make the impact the way ET and NR did? (I think Dan Dicks and Tank will have all-Pac ten years next year.) And which opponent worries you next year and why? ASU? Ohio St? OSU? etc. Thanks again for giving me my Husky fix!!!! Hope you have (had) a great holiday season and the Apple Cup victory will haunt the cougs for many years!! GO DAWGS!!!

A: I predicted that they would run the table in 2003 a while ago, and I stand by that. I think the guys to watch next year as impact players will be Clayton Walker on the OL and Brandon Ala on the DL. UW will have very tough tests with a road game at Ohio State, and count on WSU being very good next year if they can get their QB situation settled. I would imagine that Oregon State will be better with another year of experience for Derek Anderson, and USC will be a force if Carson Palmer and Troy Polamalu can be replaced adequately. But the team that scares me the most will be ASU. They have recruited pretty well, and pretty quietly, the past couple of years.
From UDubDawg
Dear Dawgman:
Playing "what if", suppose our DC or secondary/special teams coach leaves for another job. What do you think about Tom Holmoe? He just took a job in BYU athletic administration a few months ago. His stint as a head coach wasn't very good, but he's got a Super Bowl ring as DB coach under Siefert with the 49ers. Plus he has three Super Rings playing (or at least on the roster) in the secondary for the Niners in the 80's. Is there any chance he'd be available and interested? If Holmoe is just not in the cards, any other names you want to throw out there for the sake of discussion? Prediction: Dawgs 27, Boilermakers 17.

A: Tom Holmoe is certainly available for work if they want to interview him, if an opening comes up. If I were speculating at future coaches that might be good fits at Washington, I would offer Warren Moon, Taylor Barton (after he does a GA stint), and Jamal Fountaine (who is currently in an admin role). Those guys are all bright and have Husky ties.
From Jake
Dear Dawgman:
Great finish to the season. I remember before the OSU game that this team had the potential to finish the year 4-7, but they Dawgs really rallied and gained confidence those last three games to finish a respectable 7-4 and win the NW championship. The team and coaching staff showed a tremendous amount of commitment and intestinal fortitude to finish the season. I have seen that Dashon Goldson hasn't committed yet, but only has Washington as a school of interest. I know that he committed two years ago and was wondering where he is in the process now. Will he be a Dawg and have a chance to start at safety next year?

A: Dashon has another year of JC schooling to go before he'll get his AA. He's not really recruitable at this time, but he did commit to the UW last year so there is a UW tie.
From SuFre Dawg
Dear Dawgman:
I have heard little of Hawaiian OL/DL players this year. Is it a down year? Earlier this year I read that the Dawgs had offered a DL by the name of Quincy Ah Sho(sp.). Of late I have heard nothing about this young man. Can you enlighten me? Assuming coaching attrition do you foresee more emphasis on special teams? We have not done anything exciting in the last several years.

A: Washington may have RJ Willing visit in late January. He's an OL from Hawai'i. That is the only young man I'm aware of that is scheduled to visit as of press time. I'm not aware that Washington had offered Quin Ah You, you didn't read it here. Washington appears to be focusing on Willing, Timo Paepule and Tolifili Liufau from Hawai'i. As for special teams, they placed a great deal of emphasis on it, as every coach had a certain responsibility. They may change some schemes they aren't happy with, but I can't imagine them spending much more time on them considering the limitations of practice time in pads you must comply with. They already spend a couple of periods a day on them, and they also work them for entire days during the pre-season. It all boils down to execution and scheme, I guess. If every kickoff coverage could be executed like the last kickoff in the Apple Cup, you'd have no problems. I like ET and Nate back there on kickoffs and ET will improve on punt returns. He's just a sophomore.
From Purpleener
Dear Dawgman:
Of the defensive backs the Huskies are recruiting, who can be the big-hitter at free safety that has been missing. Who is most likely to fill that role in the purple and gold? Is the sudden visit by Dennis Keyes a sign that he is wavering due to Toledo's firing? And is there sufficient line depth in next year's seniors to perhaps offset a low number in this class.

A: The big hitter at frees safety could be Donte Nicholson. You never know, until he signs his LOI. Dennis Keyes is a nice visit but I would bet on either UCLA or USC right now. In my book, there isn't such a thing as "sufficient depth" when talking about the lines. Just my opinion, but I think Washington should never take less than three in any one year, four is better.
From Alex K
Dear Dawgman:
It seems that recruiting isn't going well for the Huskies. I was wondering if recruiting is going to pick up for the Huskies? Is their recruiting impaired because of their record and performance this year? Are the players expressing interest in U.W. really serious or are other schools going to swoop in and take all the good talent? Are they going to be able to pick up good defensive talent for the line and secondary in this recruiting class or are is there going to be good players stepping up next year helping a young and inexperienced defense like Donny Mateaki, Shelton Sampson or Scott White? Is Ty Eriks still in the picture for running back next year because everything I have heard is that people want Kenny James? Thanks a lot and have a good holiday season.

A: Recruiting is going "different", not badly. Washington decided to bring in their big recruiting guns after the season this year. We'll see if it works. They have 11 commits to date, which is more than all schools in the Pac-10 except USC. I would love to see more beef, and I think it will come. I think Washington will sign a top DL this year. I think Ty Eriks should be used somewhere, for sure. He's too athletic and smart to only use him on four or five snaps a game. I'd love to see him at SAM LB, but we'll see.
From Big Al in Gilbert, Arizona
Dear Dawgman:
Do you see Owen Biddle staying in the rotation next year at safety? I feel he did a good job at the end of the year and he provides solid depth. Also, who do you anticipate will start at the corner position(s) and linebacker positions in 2003?

A: Owen played some great football at the end of the season. Secondary Coach Bobby Hauck feels like Biddle is the biggest hitter on the team and said he would make a great linebacker if he were just three inches taller. His speed is the biggest hindrance to his coverage abilities, but he is a big tackler and had great games against Oregon and WSU. I think the starting corners in 2003 will be Nate Robinson and Derrrick Johnson, and I think the linebackers will be Joseph Lobendahn, Marquis Cooper, and Tyler Krambrink.
From Allison T
Dear Dawgman:
Hi, I live in LA and just read in today's (12/11/02) issue of the LA Times a disturbing article regarding UCLA's coaching search. In the article written by Steve Henson he quotes sources saying that Rick Neuheisel is interested in the UCLA job and would even be willing to take a pay cut to do so. What have you heard? I'm under the impression that UCLA can't afford Neuheisel but if he's willing to take a pay cut to return to UCLA then that would be another matter. I guess it's a good thing that we have such an in demand coach whose name keeps cropping up with every coaching search. But it can't be good for our program if our coach is rumored to be leaving every year.

A: It is a good thing to have a coach that is in demand, and it doesn't hurt the program. It could hurt recruiting but Rick is very accessible by phone for recruits and parents. He can put those fires out with one phone call, although sometimes a press conference works well.
From SuFre Dawg
Dear Dawgman:
Apparently there are four kinds of recruited athletes: 1-scholarship; 2-recruited walk-on; 3-invited walk-on and lastly 4-walk-on(not necessarily encouraged). I always thought a recruited walk-on and invited were the same. Would you clarify the differences?

A: A scholarship athlete is one who has a letter from the school that binds the school to pay room, board, and tuition to that student athlete. Once signed, the athlete is committed to attend that university and not play for any other university unless the letter is annulled and a transfer occurs. A recruited walk-on is an athlete that has had a coach in touch with them, sending them letters and even inviting them to visit officially, and then inviting them to walk-on and earn a scholarship. An invited walk-on is a player who was not recruited or invited to visit, but approached after the recruiting process has taken its course. The last category is a player who approaches the school on his own.
From Digits
Dear Dawgman:
Incredible regular season. Not sure if I've ever experienced one like it. Attending classic UW football games in rival cities (Eugene and Pullman) on consecutive weekends, coming out with those wins, is something, as a loyal Huskies fan, I will always be proud to say I was a part of. My question is one that I should know but don't. What numbers have been retired for UW football? Best site on the net! See y'all in El Paso, Neeeeeeee HA! GO HUSKIES!

A: Three numbers have been retired from the UW. #2 Chuck Carroll (AA in 1928) #33 George Wilson (AA in 1925, UW's first consensus pick in history), and #44 Roland Kirkby (All-Coast in 1950). Many consider George Wilson to be the finest football player that ever suited up for Washington.
From GrimDawg
Dear Dawgman:
I was wondering what the skinny is on Kurt Ware. At least from his numbers and from the quality of scholarship offers that he has received, it appears that this guy could help a position in need of help: D-line. In addition to the fact that he has great bloodlines, he appears to be most interested in the Dawgs. Would you happen to know why he hasn't received a Husky offer? How will the UCLA firing affect the Huskies recruiting efforts in Cali. Seems like USC has already got most of the talent from the region, but there must be some that are on the fence and may be persuaded? Thanks.

A: I'm not sure why Washington isn't recruiting Kevin's little brother as hard as other schools are. That is a question for the coaching staff. UCLA's ouster of Toledo will have some impact, but only from the fence-sitters, as you said. Some commit to UCLA the school, not the coach or staff. Dennis Keyes will visit Washington as will Craig Stevens. Keyes is a UCLA commit and Stevens is high on the Bruins.
From LuteLovesHuskies
Dear Dawgman:
Is Coach Romar recruiting any bigs this year? I've looked at their recruits for next year, and find myself asking "where's the beef?" Also, tell me about the Devoe kid listed on the roster. At 6'10" he could help a lot if he can play. Thanks, love the site!

A: Maurice Shaw and Marvin Williams are both bigs that Romar is recruiting for the future. Sean Phaler is also getting attention. As for Devoe, he's a big guy with some skills, but more of a project at this time.


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