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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

July 11, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Sark on KJR

UW head coach Steve Sarkisian was a guest this morning on the Dawgman.com show on KJR-AM. I don’t have a full transcript but I’ll pass along some of the highlights:
— Asked if there were any other possible departures from the team in the wake of the two running backs who it was announced this week won’t be back. Sarkisian said no. “That should be it, yeah,” he said.
— Sarkisian said that the freshmen bridge program begins Monday and that every one of the team’s incoming frosh is expected to be there. “All of our high school kids are in,” he said. “They start the leap program on Monday, which is exciting to get them all in here and get going.”
— The JC players do not take part in the bridge program and Sarkisian said it was still uncertain if all of the JC players will qualify. “The JC kids don’t have a leap program so they won’t be getting here until the fall,” he said. “A couple of guys are still working so it remains to be seen what happens with the JC kids.” TE Dorson Boyce and S David Batts have been on campus and thought to be good to go. And one thing to remember is that as the Charles Garcia Jr., situation in basketball showed, the kids have to get admitted to the school, as well, once they pass all of their requirements.
— Asked the one area of most concern for this season, Sarkisian said: “I think more than just one position group is just depth. We are not the deepest football and what’s scary about that is when you look at our schedule and you get four of our first five opponents are very, very physical football teams. … If we get beat up and can’t recover quickly we are just not the same team from week one we want to be in week six or seven or eight. So that’s going to be key to stay fresh and stay healthy so we put the best football team on the field week in and week out.”
— As might be expected in a show hosted by Dawgman.com, there was lots of talk about recruiting (they can’t talk specifics but can talk the big picture). Sarkisian was asked about taking early commits, something UW has done a lot this year with 12 solid commits so far. Sarkisian said it’s a philosophy he brought with him from USC. “One thing I’ve learned in the short time coaching and being with Pete (Carroll) is you’ve got to be aggressive,” he said. “If you can identify the kids that you are attracted to or appreciate the way they work, the way they run, the speed they have, if you think they are the right fit for us, why do you need to wait? We’ve taken on that philosphy full-fledged and it has paid off for us.” But Sarkisian also alluded to how some early commits change their minds and said that “there’s a long way to go and everyone has to realize with the type of kid coming to us, they (other schools) are going to recruit them even harder.”
— Sarkisian also talked about how UW has gone about recruiting in the wake of an 0-12 season and said “the biggest thing we have donen is sold ourselves and sold the type of coaches that we are, the type of people that we are, and then sold the history and tradition here. And we’ve got a coaching staff here that’s won a lot of football games. No offense to anyone who was here before but we weren’t an 0-12 team here as a coaching staff and that’s what we’ve tried to get across, and the kids have realized that.” Sarkisian also said he thinks kids have been impressed by their trips to UW. “When kids get up here, they say ‘wow, this doesn’t look like an 0-12 team.”’
— Sarkisian also talked about the summer camps the program held this summer and said they are important to get in not only prospects but other football players, as well.He said he hopes the camps grow in the future and that the program needs to get its dates settled earlier and promo material out earlier to improve awareness.
— He talked again about how the players have taken to the coaching of new strength coach Ivan Lewis and repeated that “we have put a huge emphasis on speed and change of direction and explosion and our kids have responded very well.”
— He also talked about the philosophy of having constant competition in practice and noted that the Huskies didn’t win a game last season and that “unfortunately for our kids they have grown accustomed to losing, so they need to feel and reap the benefits of winning sometimes, so we have made everything a competition so when they do win, they feel the sesnse of pridge and the sense of excitement. We just want our guys to feel the benefits of winning and that’s through hard work, working really hard, preparing really well and winning an event and feeling good about yourself.”
— Finally, asked about letting players participate in other sports, he said he generally encourages it, noting that track and basketball often fit in well to the football season so they usually don’t present much of a problem. Sports outside of those, he said can “get a little tricky.” He as asked specifically about rugby, which is becoming an increasingly popular sport among Polynesian players, and said “it’s starting to show up more. It’s more of a physical sport and guys can get beat up, but these guys are playing for pride so I don’t really have a problem with it.”

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