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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 29, 2007 at 9:24 AM

Off to Hawaii

I’m getting ready to make the trip to Hawaii, but before I do, I’ll pass along a few links and answers to questions:
First, my stories today consisted of this feature on Anthony Russo who will likely leave as the leading receiver among all the receivers brought to UW by Rick Neuheisel in 2003, and this notebook with a lead item on Nate Williams moving past the events of last week.
I tried to ask a few Huskies there thoughts on the news that Hawaii is apparently already planning a BCS viewing party for Sunday but none of them seemed to know about it to have any real thought about it. I’m assuming they probably will by gametime.
— Here’s all the news from Hawaii. Sounds like the weather is getting better there.
The questions thread certainly took a different turn, didn’t it?
But here’s some of the questions I found, with a few answers:
Q: Will Tim Lappano leave and will Kent Baer quit or get fired? A: I don’t think there’s any doubt Lappano wants a head coaching job, so if there’s one out there (ala, WSU) I’m sure he’ll pursue it. Impossible to predict if he’ll get an offer, however, though I would think if he did he’d take it. He said this week he wanted to be a head coach “15 years ago” so I doubt he’d turn down the chance. As for Baer, if the team decides to make staff changes, that is the logical place to start given the defensive struggles this season. I would think if a change is made, the team would likely look outside for someone (though not Jim Mora, who I can’t imagine would come here — or would be invited here — for any position other than head coach) rather than promote from within. If they make a change, the reason will be to make a change and get some new blood on the defensive staff. Who those candidates would be it’s still hard to know exactly as there will still be a lot of turnover the next week or so around the country.
Q: What are the glaring defensive holes that need filling next season? A: The most obvious is on the defensive line, where UW will essentially lose five of the top six in the rotation this year (Gunheim, Lobos, Reffett, Rayford and Afoa are all seniors). Almost no one else has played. It could be argued that the line couldn’t get much worse. On the other hand, it’s worrisome that given the struggles of the line that none of the young guys ever showed enough to earn playing time.
Q: Is Todd Turner on the hot seat, as well? A: Given that football is the most important sport at UW, any time it struggles the AD will feel some heat. So there are some definite rumblings of discontent out there. He has a contract that runs through June 30, 2009.
Q: Who will be the team’s RB next year? A: The obvious leader in the clubhouse is Brandon Johnson. But UW coaches also like Willie Griffin and Brandon Yakaboski quite a bit, and J.R. Hasty is still in the fold, so I would expect a pretty competitive spring between those four. Where Hasty fits into it now is hard to tell. He hasn’t seen the field since returning (the 24 who plays on special teams is Josh Gage and not Hasty) and by next year he’ll be in his fourth season, kind of a now-or-never time to make his mark. With Louis Rankin gone, I would expect that it could be more of a committee approach heading into next season with the hope that someone really busts out.
— Q: With the news that UW has offered a scholarship to Sklyline sophomore QB Jake Heaps, is there a plan for him, such as making sure he attends Husky summer camps to begin learning the UW system? A: Important to remember that while UW has offered, Heaps has yet to accept. Even if/when he does, UW can have no more contact with him then they can any other recruit until the day he signs his letter-of-intent, which he can’t do until the February after his senior season, which would be Feb., 2010. Certainly, if he does commit early, you would think he would do what he could to begin learning the Husky way. On the other hand, I don’t think UW coaches would want him to do much that would detract from his high school experience, either.
— Q: Can Donald Butler redshirt this season? A: No. As Tyrone Willingham said, he can’t because he played too late into the season — Butler’s last listed appearance came against Arizona in the eighth game of the year, and he had played in the first seven as well, more than half of the season. Guys who get injury redshirts typically miss all of the season, or get hurt in the first three or four games. Juan Garcia missed two straight seasons due to injury which is why he got a sixth year. Quintin Daniels missed an entire season, etc.
All for now, and given the long travel day ahead, possibly no more for a while. Talk to you from Hawaii.



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