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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

July 30, 2009 at 10:01 AM

Huskies at Pac-10 media day

No real big news from the Washington Huskies during their session at the podium from Pac-10 media day today in Los Angeles.
UW coach Steve Sarkisian said there was no certainity yet to the status of the team’s JC players other than TE Dorson Boyce, who is already enrolled in school. DT Johnny Tivao apparently won’t make it in, and there have been consistent rumblings that OL Daniel Mafoe is iffy, at best. The rest are thought to be likely to get in.
However, all Sarkisian said today is that “officially, we’ll know by next week exactly where they are at. Boyce is already on campus and we’ve got five guys that are still planning on coming in next week. Exactly when that is finalized I can give you a call. It’s just not finalized yet. There are a couple of guys who are admitted into school, but we’re waiting on that until next week.”
Otherwise, there was no real news from the podium session.
What you could see was more evidence of the energy that Sarkisian will bring to the program.
He began his session with about a four-minute speech unprompted by any question that was probably longer than all of Tyrone Willingham’s sessions combined during his time at UW.
Sarkisian talked of how he often makes the drive over the 520 bridge and sees Husky Stadium and calls someone, a friend or a brother, to ask them what they are doing and remind himself what it is he gets to do.
“It’s an unbelievable honor for what this program has been built on over time, coach (Jim) Owens and coach (Don) James, the national championships, the Rose Bowl championships,” he said. “There is an aura about that place that is exciting.”
Sarkisian said he thinks that “we are not the same football team” as when he took over eight months ago, noting the improved conditioning under the guidance of Ivan Lewis. “We are a different football team,” he said.
He also said again that he thinks “our kids have changed in work ethic to a want-to from a have-to.”
In other notes:
— Sarkisian said he expects that Jake Locker will eventually sign a contract with the Angels — the deadline is Aug. 17. “I think eventually that will probably get done,” he said. “But I don’t know. I applaud Jake for being patient. I think most kids when they see an opportunity like that want to jump on it. But he’s been patient. We’ll see if and when it gets done but I think it will.”
— Asked about how much UW’s scheme may look like USC’s, Sarkisian said that “I think there will be some natural similarities in some of the schemes we are running on both sides of the ball. I’d be a fool to go up there and reinvent the wheel. But we have to play to our strengths (he then named a number of players, including Locker). … So I think there will be some natural similarities in the schematic way we play, maybe the style we play with. But eventually there are going to be quite a few differences because we have to play to who we are in our makeup.”
— Asked about Locker’s progress, he mentioned Locker being drafted by the Angels as proof of what a great athlete he is. He said as much as anything physical that Locker “has been a great example” for the other players of trying not to dwell on what has happened the past few years but looking ahead and saying “I know how I want (my career) to end. … I know these guys didn’t come here not to go to a bowl game, not to win a conference championship.” He said Locker has been instrumental in setting a tone that all that matters “is what we are going to get accomplished in the short amount of time I have left.”
— Asked about the schedule, Sarkisian said he’s excited about the opener, and playing at 7:30 p.m. on national TV. “Look at four of our first five opponents, LSU, USC, Stanford, Notre Dame, if you took the top 15 physical teams in the country and their styles of play, those four teams fit that style of play. They are very physical. So we have to get our mindset in fall camp to be a very physical team, as well. That this is not only a very physical schedule, but we are in a very physical conference and four of our first five opponents rank in that in the country in terms of just the physicality of the game.”
— LB Donald Butler was the player representative for the Huskies and his only comment was when asked about the difference in Sarkisian’s staff and the previous coaches. “I would say the biggest change would be just the fire and the passion that they bring, day in and day out. That really allows us to see what it takes to win ball games, to be a consistent competitor at the top of the Pac-10 every day.”
BY THE WAY — If you missed the interview live but still want to watch it, you can access it here.
All for now.

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