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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 27, 2008 at 2:59 PM

December answers, volume six

With a few minutes to kill in between trips to the mall — it’s finally thawing out here — I’ll knock off another set.
First, though, I’ll pass along the news today that is reporting that Skyline High WR Gino Simone has reaffirmed his commitment to Washington State and says he will not take a trip to UW, as he had thought about after the hiring of Steve Sarkisian. Simone was among the first players Sarkisian met with after getting the job and had hoped to at least get a visit. But Simone appears to have shut the door for good.
Now on to the questions:
Q: Am I hallucinating or has Sark in fact had a much more successful recruiting effort in his early days than Ty did? I worry about essentially losing a year of recruiting because of the change.
A: I’m not a doctor, but I think I can safely conclude that you’re not hallucinating. Some might argue, however, that simply crossing the street would be more effort than was turned in during the early days of the transition in 2004-05. But I don’t think there’s any question that Sarkisian is being more aggressive, and seeming to have more of a plan of what he wants to do, than was the case four years ago. What hurts him is that this is a down year in state. In 2005, two of the top prospects — J.R. Hasty and E.J. Savannah — were sitting there basically just waiting to be recruited by UW, and getting those two helped the initial perception of that class quite a bit. But while this class isn’t going to be highly-rated, it won’t surprise me if it ends up yielding a lot more down the road than did the class of 2005 just based on the fact that I think Sarkisian and his staff will work pretty aggressively through signing day.
Q: I’m interested in hearing your thoughts as to why Lane Kiffin was not given more consideration. In the early going it seemed as though UW wasn’t going to go in that direction due to lack of experience. I feel Sark has even less experience and I don’t understand why Kiffin wasn’t given a closer look especially since he expressed interest while still with the Raiders. I would feel great right now knowing Lane was our coach and Monte Kiffin was our new Def Cord.
A: You are right that Kiffin was never on the list of coaches that UW considered — the only two coordinators the Huskies looked at were Sarkisian and Will Muschamp, though I think Kiffin was greatly interested in the job. Word through the grapevine is that there was some worry about the way Kiffin handled the end of his Raiders tenure, that it showed some immaturity. The UW decision makers relied heavily on the word of people they know in the business, and I think Kiffin simply didn’t come as highly recommended as did Sarkisian, and there wasn’t a need to consider both, so I think they made the decision early on that if they were hiring USC coordinator, it would be Sarkisian. Obviously, we’ll find out in about four years or so which school made the right call on that one.
Q: How does Sark legally run Jake Locker and the other athletes through his previously mentioned “crash quarterback 101 class” before the start of Spring practice to learn the “new” systems without violating NCAA rules? Can the coaches hold meetings with the athletes out of season in class rooms? Are the coaches allowed to be in the weight room and observe?
A: You are right that they can’t do any hands-on football-type activity with Locker until spring practice, and they can’t hold official meetings. But they can do a lot else. Coaches can be there for conditioning sessions during the winter, and they can spend lots of voluntary time in the film room. They can also prepare for him an off-season program of drills and things of that sort, and they can give him the playbook and go over it with him in voluntary one-on-one type meetings. So that’s what is meant more by that comment, getting Locker started on the learning of the offense off the field.
Q: When watching Steve Sarkisian on Husky All-Access I noticed something interesting. During the scene when him and his lovely wife were on the track at Husky Stadium he was talking to her about the remodel and how what they were going to do it. Only, he was talking as a matter of fact and not as if the funding comes through. Did the U let the coach know that they have funding and that they are upgrading the aging beauty that is Husky Stadium this year and he need not worry about the stadium’s condition and he let it slip out via Husky access or do I just have to much time on my hands?
A: I think you may have a little too much time on your hands. But hey, that’s a good thing — more time to read the blog, right? Anyway, I’m sure they didn’t lie to Sarkisian as it wouldn’t have been hard for him to get the truth on any of it. Instead, I think Sarkisian was merely being optimistic in talking with his wife — and knowing that the cameras were rolling — about what is planned. Right or not, there is a lot of optimism at UW that the funding is going to come through and they will be able to start on the renovation soon. But I wouldn’t worry that they misled Sarkisian on any of it. I just think he was going along with the glass-half-full mood up there that it’s going to get done.
All for now.



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