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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

February 16, 2009 at 8:46 PM

February answers, volume eight

Answering more questions than a Jeopardy contestant. …
Q: I was wondering about the kids who are asked, or choose, to walk-on. The walk-on program has produced huge dividends in the past for the Huskies, however, the cost of a college education is skyrocketing. Since the walk-ons are not on scholarship, does the school or the coaches help the kids find non-athletic scholarships.
A: That definitely happens if the kid qualifies in some area to get aid — and given how much harder it can be to get into UW, the walk-ons have to be pretty qualified to get admitted. Coaches will look for any way they can to get a promising student-athlete into school. I wished I could think of a more recent example, but one that I remember clearly is Hakim Weatherspoon, a walk-on in the late ’90s who we all wrote a lot about for his academic achievement. Here’s a story on Weatherspoon from 1998 noting how he was an invited walk-on who got a lot of academic scholarships to pay his way. Weatherspoon is now an assistant professor at Cornell.
Q: Last week several players made non-official visits and had contact with the coaching staff. What is the difference between an official visit and a non-official one?
A: Basically, an official visit is the one 48-hour trip a recruit can make where the school can pay for his transportation, lodging, food, etc. An unofficial visit is one in which the recruit has to pay his own transportation, lodging, food, etc. Recruits can only take one official visit to each school, and five total. They can take as many unofficial visits as they like. Most often, it’s local kids who take unofficial visits when they drive up for an afternoon or a night and can be shown around campus by coaches, or attend games or events on campus. But often, big-time recruits who can afford it will take unofficial visits on their own to schools, maybe just driving around the West Coast or something and visiting campuses during the summer, that sort of thing. Here are good definitions of each — official, unofficial.
Q: I was wondering if since it sounds like the new staff is apparently looking at Eastern Washington athletes are there any players from the now-defunct Western Washington team that may be talented enough to play in the Pac-10? Have there been any walk-ons to UW mentioned? If I recall correctly Dane Looker was a former Viking who transferred to the UW at the urging of Brock Huard who played with him at Puyallup. Obviously (due to his UW & NFL careers) he had talent that may have been overlooked. Any more Dane Lookers out there for
the UW via WWU?

A: There haven’t been any Western players mentioned as scholarship guys — there’s a pretty big difference in the level of play from D-II to D-I so I don’t think it was expected there would be many, if any, and so far, there’s been no rumblings of that happening. As for walk-ons, I haven’t heard of any of those, either, but we haven’t gotten a list of expected walk-ons for spring so there may be some. But one thing to keep in mind is that this was just announced and those players would have to finish up at Western and then get enrolled at UW. So not sure how many guys would really be able to do that all that quickly. But there may be a couple. As for Looker, he did indeed make that transition, though as is often the case in life, the real story isn’t quite as simple as it’s sometimes portrayed. Looker was indeed Huard’s HS teammate, and UW knew all about him. The Huskies invited Looker to walk-on, at the time being limited in scholarships due to probation. Looker instead decided to go to Western where he was offered a chance to be a two-sport player — he really liked basketball and that was actually the main sport he played at Western, starting as a point guard for a season. Huard’s influence, and a desire to try athletics at the D-I level, convinced him to come to UW and walk-on the football team and he obviously made it work, earning a scholarship before the 1998 season and being a key player for two seasons before embarking on a lengthy NFL career.
All for now.

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