Louis Rankin, a 6-1, 190-pound running back from Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln is ready to announce his…
LETTERS TO THE PUBLISHER
From Doug D
I bought the recruiting video last year, and enjoyed it. But I was wondering if you could put it to some Guns N' Roses or Motley Crue music? That would make it almost perfect! I enjoyed your band's music, but just think how fun it would be to watch Durrell Moss and Louis Rankin rumble down the field to Paradise City or Dr. Feelgood.? Or how about using Husky Marching Band in your video? Thanks for the excellent job on the website.
A: Thanks for buying our video last year Doug. I would love nothing more than to put tunes by Led Zeppelin and The Who on our tape, but it's illegal. As much as I'd love to see Louis Rankin running into open field to "Won't Get Fooled Again", or to see Wilson Afoa sack a quarterback to "When the Levee Breaks", it can't happen. It would violate copyright law unless we had permission from those music groups and their publishing companies to use their music on anything that we sold or gave away to promote our product. Same goes for the Husky Marching Band - the school owns the rights to use that music for any commercial use. Since we will sell several hundred videos and give away others for promotions, we will instead use original music from my band's new CD that was just recorded last month. We do own the rights to that, and hope that you'll enjoy it if you purchase a 2003 tape. GO DAWGS!!
From Sam J
Hey Dawgman, I see we recently acquired Louis Rankin. I'm glad to see that, but I am concerned about what role all of these skill position players will have considering we have an abundance of them. We have a large corps of receivers, which can be used like last season, in a rotation scheme. But the RB's...Alexis, Singleton, James, Sampson, plus any other redshirt freshmen and incoming HS recruits. It just seems like there are more players than necessary and some of those players will get shorthanded as far as playing time goes throughout the next few years. What's going on with that? Thanks for having this great site.
A: It was a relief to finally report that Rankin had convinced his family that Washington was the best place for himself. He had made this decision already but then slowed down his process after consulting with Uncle Webster Slaughter. In the end, it was all good as we predicted it would be. Since there will be about 14 skill positions in this class, it stands to reason that two will become tailbacks, four will become receivers, three will become safeties, four will become cornerbacks, and one will be a quarterback. Of those speedy and talented athletes, let the best players emerge. Competition is bound to be fierce at those positions for years to come, which is what you need to have happen in order to improve. No one at Miami or Florida State is handed a starting job – otherwise they would never attract the level of athletes they do. Recruits cannot be afraid of competition or they are choosing a program for the wrong reasons in my opinion. My very early projections are that CJ Wallace will be the bad ass safety we've been looking for, that Louis Rankin will be the home run threat at tailback, that Derrick Bradley and Clarence Simpson will be bookend corners of high caliber, and that Craig Chambers and Sonny Shackelford will be an incredible 1-2 punch at receiver. Thanks for the kind words.
From Jack N
When any Husky player scores, I want them having fun because it might be their last they will be able to pose for the Heismen, bang there chest, or whatever they what to do. They scored and they finally got points on the board so I think they should have a big party when they score.
I don't think are team trash talks as much as you think and we don't disrespect the Cougs like OSU did to us when our seniors were being introduced. At least I don't think we did
A: Interesting letter, Jack. Thanks for your thoughts. I'm not sure if I was supposed to read it with my tongue planted in cheek or not, but I'll go on record as saying I disagree with your end zone prancing point.
LOVE your site dawgman! This post-football time of year is killing me, as I'm sure it is you and the rest of the UW fans, but your site helps a lot! My question is this: Is it simply too difficult to have quarterbacks share game time during the season? I.e. was the Hobert and Brunell situation really one in a million, or is splitting time something that should be done more? Is Neuheisel philosophically opposed to or at least prejudiced against the idea? It seems like Barton's talent was unnecessarily wasted. I love Pickett, but I can't shake the feeling that Barton was "done wrong" by never getting to showcase his talents. Do you foresee Neuheisel splitting quarterback time in the future with, say, Paus and Stanback? It'd be unfortunate if one of them rode the bench their entire career. Keep up the great work!
A: History has shown examples of both successes and failures at splitting time at QB. Ideally, you would love to split time because it means you have two experienced signal callers. In reality, it can cause a division on the team, unless the coach can walk that tightrope with incredible balance. I think Rick would've loved to play Taylor more, but the closeness of the games didn't really lend itself to removing Cody. This was clearly Cody's team, and will be next season as well. I hope that Casey Paus or Isaiah Stanback can get some reps next year, because it will be good for the team and it will also mean that the Huskies are probably well ahead in the game.
From Dana S
Dawgman has become an integral part of Husky Football. Thank you and keep up the great work. The Portland papers and sports radio are making a bigger deal of the Bonnell recruitment saying that, once again, Rick has committed a recruiting violation. Do you envision any repercussions? Rick, earlier, stated that he had checked before making contact with Bonnell. What's the most likely scenario now? I'm hoping that WSU will not offer a scholarship allowing Bonnell to practice and red shirt beginning in Spring or Fall of 2003. Is Rankin the top RB "on the board" - verbal or otherwise? Finally, who would you identify as the most likely gray shirt recruits? Thanks for your response.
A: The Bonnell issue is dead. Once the Pac-10 decided not to investigate it further and it was forwarded on to the Letter of Intent office, I think it will die a quiet death. I do think that the rules of gray-shirting will be addressed and outlined for clarity, though. Louis Rankin is one of the top TBs on the Husky board, yes, and that is why they went so hard after him in the NOV-DEC timeframe. The Huskies sold this kid back in December on his visit, and he reaffirmed that decision publically just a few days ago. He's a burner that runs with good lean. You'll love his highlight video.
From Former Husky Walk-on
Great article about the 1985 Orange Bowl. I was a walk-on on that team and was an eyewitness to the fight you mentioned on the cruise ship. It started in a disco where, at first, most of the players in the room were Huskies, dancing to contemporary music with the Florida local girls who had joined us for the cruise. A few Sooners came in, including Brian Bosworth in a cowboy hat and boots. I remember the boots because he walked over to the DJ, took off the record that was playing and had the guy put on some country music. When the new music came on, Bosworth took a table and put in right in front of Reggie Rogers, got up on it and started doing a hoe-down right in front of Reggie. Needless to say, the table came down rather quickly, with Boz landing on his feet in front of Reggie. After some jawin' and pushin', a moderate dust up started but was quickly quelled by some very pissed off assistant coaches. Other things happened that night that you didn't refer to that are better left to posterity, but suffice it to say that we ran our butts off the next day at practice, and Don James was extremely ticked off at us. After the running, I was back with the scout team offense getting slammed by Jimmy Rogers, Fred Small, Joe Kelly, Ron Holmes, Tim Meamber and the rest of the nation's best defense that year as we practiced the Oklahoma option. Great memories and great to read about them again in your article.
A: Thanks for your note, and your insights! I'll keep your name anonymous, per our agreement.
From TC in Southern Cal
I was wondering how good Isaiah Stanback is? Do you think the Huskies will use him at all next year like they did with Tui when he was a freshman. I have heard that Stanback is very quick and athletic. Could they bring him in every once in a while to throw off the other teams defense by running the option? Also how good is Bonnel? And if everything clears for him when will he be eligible and how much eligibility does he have left. My final question is how much help do the Dawgs have at the receiving corps with only Reggie and Fredrick returning?
A: If Stanback doesn't win the back-up QB job, I have to believe that he'll be tried somewhere else. Not because they don't want him at quarterback, but because of what an incredible athlete he is. He's fast, strong, and explosive. I could picture him as a WR or safety easily, and if he's good enough to challenge for playing time, it would be awful hard not to move him. Washington must win 10 games next year and if moving Stanback helps you do that, you do it. I've seen Carl Bonnell play and was very impressed with him in high school. I also saw him at the Eugene Nike camp and was again impressed with his arm. He'll be redshirting in 2003 and will begin competing for time in 2004. The WR corps loses four this year and I expect that Justin Robbins and maybe Nate Robinson will step into a couple of those spots, but look for a couple of freshman from this year's class as well.
Hey I just read that you think the running game will improve next year? I'm just curious as to why? Did we get some JC lineman who can create holes? I so want to believe they can win 10 games but wonder if this wont be a repeat of last year...especially given who they play the first week. Seems like the D-will need to improve too to play with Ohio St and USC. Any insider reasons to believe this will be better? I agree with one reader who noted lots of wide receivers but it seems like the Dawgs lost the battle of in the trenches too much last year. It would seem that if they can win those battles again they are as good as the 2000 Huskies. Do you agree?
A: I think with a renewed dedication to the running game and more detail to OL schemes on running plays, it can be done. Also, I have to believe that Todd Bachert won't go through a third season in a row with a bad shoulder. This surgery hopefully will be the one that makes him whole again at center. Nick Newton has had nagging ankle injuries for two seasons and Aaron Butler's knee was very swollen. I think all of these guys will be healthy in 2003. It's their time, and I think their bad luck will come to an end in terms of health. Also, Clayton Walker and Robin Meadow should really add something to the line, and Dan Dicks is clearly improving. There is reason for optimism, if the coaches dedicate the spring to running the damn football. I believe it and will continue to do so until I see otherwise, starting with spring practices.
From Ellie F
I just ran into your column in my Cincinnati Bengals news section, and I'm not quite sure why I found you there-- but as a former UW student, I have to say I'm delighted to hear something from the Huskies. Living in Texas now, the only Huskies I ever hear about are the UConn Huskies, and I'm glad to see the *real* Huskies are still on the map!
A: I'm glad you found us Ellie! Our affiliation with YAHOO! has done wonders at finding new audiences. Thanks for taking the time to write and for reading us!
From Dawgfan 1507
Great site! I check it many times daily and it helps with my addiction that is husky athletics. Some friends and I are planning on making the Ohio State trip and are staying at a local hotel a few miles away from the stadium. I realize the team hotel is located more downtown, but I wanted to know what hot spots to hit. Is the down town area the place for local bars? Any tips on "can't miss" type places would be grateful. Also, how can we get hooked up with Husky Pre-game activities. It is hard to tailgate without a vehicle.
A: Look on the website in July and August. Particularly the dawgtales and football boards. We are extremely proud to tell you that those are the two most popular Husky internet forums in the world today. You are bound to find other Husky fans with ideas and plans about what to do in and around Columbus. I have no knowledge of Columbus but I guarantee you'll find others on those two message boards that have extensive knowledge and they'll love to share it with you. The UW alumni association will hold some event, they always do, and many Husky fans go to that, but others prefer to do their own thing. Check out those message board forums, post a message or two, and see what happens. Hope to see you there!
From Phil from Sun Valley, ID
What can I say? Awesome site!!! Even though I'm now living in Idaho, I still bleed purple and gold. I was talking to an alum from USC, and all he could say was how many of their recruits were 4-star, 5-star, etc, and how we only have 3-star and 4-star recruits. And I was quick to burn him on that, because if you look at last years recruiting class, the only freshman to not redshirt was Nate Robinson, and he was only a 1-star prospect! Even though Neuhiesel's on house arrest, we still have an awesome group of recruits lined up. I know you feel the same, but I'm totally psyched for next season starting out in Columbus, Ohio. I can't wait to hear all year...Cody to Reggie...TOUCHDOWN!!!
A: I share your enthusiasm for the class and for the opener in Columbus. Thanks for writing, Phil.
From Matt P
I wish I could share your optimism of a 10-win season next year. I think there are still too many question marks. An inconsistent offensive line. No proven big-time running back. Depth at receiver. Inexperienced tight ends. Safety (for the third year in a row). Who do you see filling some of these holes? There is a lot of talk about Kenny James, but this guy has never played a down of college football. Seems to be asking a lot of this young player. What happened to Chris Singleton? He looked good against UCLA and then never got much more of a chance. Also, Ty Eriks? Any chance on seeing him run out of a 1-back set? Justin Robbins should be back but has been hurt for two whole seasons. Who else will be ready behind Williams and Frederick? What about safety? Is Carothers moving to LB? Seems that would be a more natural position for him. Benjamin and Sims Jr. now have some experience but Jimmy Newell is consistently injured. Who else might we see here? Also, I agree Z. Tuiasosopo looked better at REB than FB. I would like to see a rotation of Hopoi, Ala, Tuiasosopo and Mapu at DE/REB. That would start to bring some heat on the QB's. What is going on with these defenders as far as positions and projected spot on the depth chart: Donnie Mateaki, Tyler Krambrink, Cory Jones, Junior Coffin, and Graham Lasee? Thanks for the great site.
A: I see Kenny James and Rich Alexis making a nice one-two punch behind an OL that has spent the spring working on running the football. I think Eriks can add a lot from the FB position, watch for it this spring. I see Evan Benjamin and James Sims playing bigger roles at safety (I hope Newell can shake the injury bug) and I think Carothers will play some SAM as well as SS if his shoulders can stand up to the punishment. I think a freshman or two could step up at WR in addition to Robbins, Mateaki is currently a reserve DE, but he also had shoulder surgery so he's been on the shelf. He could be moved inside if he can get big enough, he was pretty strong before his surgery. Krambrink and Jones are both OLBs, but Krambrink can play inside too. Coffin is a reserve defensive tackle and Lasee is a reserve behind Hopoi at defensive end.
From Top Big Dawg
If we are going to compete for the national title every year we are going to have the players like University of Miami and University of Oklahoma for example. With their athleticism, speed and their type of schemes on the defense side of the ball because that is where a team wins ball games, everybody knows this.
A: Recruiting great athletes is certainly crucial to the livelihood of a program, but don't undersell coaching. You have to do something with them when you get them on campus. I think that Larry Coker at Miami and Bob Stoops at Oklahoma are very solid coaches as well. We're about to see just how good of a coach Pete Carroll at USC is, as he has hauled in the best recruiting class in the Pac-10, and possibly the best one in the past decade that didn't include a quarterback. If he can find a replacement for Carson Palmer, and he is as good of a coach as I think he is, look out.
From Ted K
What ever happened to Blake Wong, the linebacker/Safety from Hawaii? The Dawgs were very interested in him during the summer and he is interested in U-Dub and two other schools per his bio. I don't see that he has visited any of the schools that he is interested in. Is he a possible walk on, did grades get in the way? What about David Lewis as a walk on? Thanks for the info and keep up the good work.
A: Wong has it narrowed down to either Utah or Nevada. Neither had offered a scholarship at press time but Wong felt that the Utes would offer him. Washington asked him to walk on but it's unlikely that he will. Lewis was tripping to Montana, Portland, and Idaho State the last time we spoke with him. All had offered scholarships, so a walk on from him is also unlikely. A UW education is expensive.
From Renato C
My thoughts is directed towards the coaching vacancy that will need to be filled soon. I'm disappointed that coach Axman has gone on to UCLA to be their Offensive Coordinator. He obviously could coach the QBs. So, I hope that RN will get a coach that will be just as capable as Axman. My question is, does the UW pay scale for assistants lucrative enough to attract the best coaches? And in your opinion, how do the UW staff rank in comparison to the rest of the PAC-10 staffs? What do the knowledgeable boosters who have been around UW and PAC-10 football for many years think? Aside from getting good athletes, whom UW usually pull in, who coaches them is so much more critical. Again, your website is just so much more informative on Husky athletics. Thank you and keep up the good work!
A: Rick will name his newest coach on Wednesday at a press conference. All indications are that it will be John Pettas, former UW graduate assistant and former Louisville offensive coordinator. Washington's staff ranks right up there near the top, something that wasn't true when Lambright was here. Lambo tried like crazy to get his assistant coaches pay raises but wasn't as successful as Neuheisel has been. USC's Norm Chow is way ahead of most assistants in the Pac-10. His contract as OC at Southern Cal is huge. Thanks for the kind words, Renato.
From Jack N
YOU CANT TEACH SPEED that's one thing are linebackers didn't have last season except for #88 So my question to you is will the new linebackers be faster then the seniors last year? Will the football players ever wear their uniforms like Andy Mason or Lawyer Milloy? Will Reggie Williams play both sides of the ball? I think it is a good idea.
STEVE EMTMAN YOU WHERE ONE OF A KIND PLEASE HELP ARE DEFENSE AND MAYBE YOU HAVE SOME ADVICE FOR HE PLAYERS WHO WANT TO LEAVE AFTER NEXT SEASON I WANT YOU OUT ON THE SIDELINES WE BELIEVE IN YOU EMTMAN. NAPOLEAN IF YOU ARE LISTENING MAYBE YOU CAN COME TO MY CHURCH AND TALKWITH MY YOUTH GROUP IN GIG HARBOR.
A: #88 is Marquis Cooper, and yes, he's fast, as in 4.40 in the 40. Joe Lobendahn runs a 4.56 so speed inside is not the issue. It's how quickly to the hole can they get, and how quickly they can read and react to something that is the key. Those two will probably start inside but the outside (SAM) position is up for grabs. The fastest candidate would probably by Tyler Krambrink, a 4.5 guy. But Corey Jones will get a shot as well. Will the players ever wear their uni's high to show off stomachs like Andy and Lawyer did? I doubt it. Will Williams play some defensive back? Undoubtedly. He did a lot against WSU on goal line situations and I expect him to do it again. As for your note to Steve Emtman, he'll read it. He's now working with Pete Kaligis in the weight room and on staff.
From Dogge W
Does the UW have a policy against recruiting and/or offering scholarships to felons? I ask because Oregon recently recruited Rodney Woods, an all-American CB at Fresno City College, who pled no contest to felony assault in 2000 (Woods asked the judge to downgrade his felony conviction to a misdemeanor three years after the fact. Although Bellotti claims he wasn't trying to tell the judge what to do, Bellotti wrote a letter informing the judge that downgrading the conviction to a misdemeanor is the only way Woods could be a duck - no manipulation there!). When I gave a duck fan I know a hard time about the recruitment of a felon, he told me that Washington had recruited Woods too - is he right?
A: Washington did not recruit Woods to my knowledge, no. However Washington did recruit and sign DT Toalei Mulitaealopele during the Jim Lambright era. He had served time at Walla Walla after plea-bargaining to manslaughter when he was 17 years old. He earned his GED while in prison and later enrolled at Walla Walla JC and earned his degree. After the UW coaches researched his case very carefully, they decided that Toalei was worth the risk and they gave him a second chance at life. He never made an impact on the field, but was a model citizen during his time at the UW.
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