Here we go with another round.
Q: Any update on Emeka Iweka?
A: The one-time Rainier Beach High star who signed with UW in 2007, then was declared ineligible, is finishing up his freshman year at Arizona Western JC in Yuma. He has said he plans to return to UW once he is done at Arizona Western For the immediate future, his plan is to play next fall at Arizona Western after sitting out this year to rehab an Achilles injury suffered playing basketball in high school. Jim Howell, the SID at Arizona Western, said Eweka “had a great spring” and is expected to see significant playing time this fall. If he graduates next year, he could then sign with a D-I school and have three years of eligibility remaining. But since he went there as a non-qualifier, he has to graduate first to play at the D-I level.
Eweka isn’t the only Washington product at Arizona Western. Howell said that one-time UW signee Keauntea Bankhead , who played last season at Arizona Western, was due to graduate this weekend and is mulling over where to continue his football career next fall. Howell was unsure exactly which schools have inquired but said Bankhead had some offers (though I don’t think from any D-I’s). He said Bankhead had a GPA around 3.5.
Also at Arizona Western is former Rainier Beach High star Shelton Danzy, who signed with WSU a few years ago. Howell said Danzy also had a great spring and is expected to generate a lot of interest from recruiters next fall, when he will be a sophomore.
Also on the roster is Zach Gavin, an Eisenhower High grad who is expected to be the starting QB for Arizona Western this fall. Howell said Gavin is also already getting some D-I interest. Gavin is the son of former Ike coach Greg Gavin, who was also the coach for UW center Juan Garcia. Greg Gavin became something of a mentor to Garcia, something I detailed a few years ago.
Q: Will freshmen such as Luther Leonard and Johri Fogerson remain at their current positions or play somewhere else this year?
A: Freshmen are always susceptible to being moved, and almost every year, a few are, such as Nate Williams last season. But the plan at the moment is for all the freshmen to get an initial look at their listed position, meaning running back for Fogerson and quarterback for Leonard. There is lots of speculation that Fogerson could eventually end up on defense, and it would be little surprise if that happens down the road, as such moves are common — again, reference Williams a year ago. Remember, UW brings in four RBs next year (not including Chris Polk, also a true freshman but already here) so as things shake out and a pecking order is established, a switch or two is likely. Two of the five RBs brought in last year have moved — Williams and Curtis Shaw to WR. Leonard’s situation is a little different as UW is light on depth at QB right now — the Huskies will have four on scholarship next fall, two being true freshmen Leonard and Dominique Blackman. So while lots of recruiting analysts who have seen these guys play say they wouldn’t be surprised to see them at another position someday, need alone indicates they will get really long looks at QB first. UW coaches said on signing day that they Leonard was something of a sleeper as a QB prospect and that they did not sign him with the intent of moving him, but rather to play him at QB.
Q: I’ve heard lots of stories about Tyrone Willingham’s workout prowess, that players sometimes can’t beat him in certain exercises. Can you shed any light on that?
A: Not a lot. Obviously I could ask the players but it just hasn’t come up much so I never really have, and this is the kind of thing I might have a better handle on if we had a little more access to the program. I can say that in the little bit of practice we get to see, Willingham is often an active participant in some of the exercises, such as the Husky jacks that conclude warm-ups, or running routes and throwing passes. He is obviously in good shape for any age, and especially for his age (54) so I wouldn’t be surprised if there is truth to the anecdotes you have heard.
If I haven’t gotten to your question yet, I plan to soon. But I am intentionally parceling these out in stages to try to keep the blog fresh — it’s a long time until August.
Here we go with another round.
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