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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 18, 2009 at 10:54 AM

UW All-Decade Team, offense

One of you asked a great question recently, whether I had a UW All-Decade Team in mind, especially considering that I have covered the team for the entire time.
It was such a good idea I felt it deserved not only its own entry, but two, deciding to spit up offense and defense/special teams.
First, the offense.
Though before that, a few ground rules. I know there are always conflicting ways to define a decade. But for the purposes of this, it obviously had to be 2000-2009 — we’ve seen lots of all-decade stuff this year using that same time period.
I also decided that anyone who played at least one year in that decade could be included.
So on with the list:
QB — Marques Tuiasosopo/Cody Pickett. Tuiasosopo clinched his place in school history by leading the 2000 team to the Rose Bowl. But it’s also hard to ignore Pickett, who is the school’s career passing leader by a long shot, with every yard coming this decade (his brief 1999 appearance was actually magically wiped away after he redshirted). Jake Locker deserves consideration, and depending on how next year goes, if we do a 2001-2010 decade list he might be the top of that one when it’s all said and done.
RBs — Louis Rankin and Chris Polk. Each had the only two 1,000-yard seasons this decade. Rich Alexis and Willie Hurst also deserve consideration, and as keys to the Rose Bowl team maybe a little more than that. But on pure numbers, Rankin and Polk get the nod.
TE — Jerramy Stevens. — His off-field struggles overshadow what he did on the field, as does the fact that he missed most of 2001 with an injury. But when healthy and right, he’s by far the best TE UW has had this decade. The only other one you might even consider is Kevin Ware.
WRs — Reggie Williams and Todd Elstrom. Charles Frederick and Jermaine Kearse also got a lot of consideration. But Williams, the school leader in just about every receiving category, is an obvious choice. And I went with Elstrom over the others as a nod to his contribution to what are the two best UW teams of the decade in 2000 and 2001 — he was the leading WR on the 2000 team with 51 catches (only Williams, Frederick and D’Andre Goodwin have had more in a single-season this decade). But he may deserve just as much for catching what was essentially the winning TD in the Rose Bowl despite playing with a completely torn MCL suffered a few days earlier in practice (the severity of which nobody really knew at the time).
OTs – Khalif Barnes and Elliot Silvers. Barnes, the last Husky to be taken on the first day of the NFL Draft (second round in 2005) was probably the single-best OT UW has had this decade. Silvers, though, probably had the best season of any OT this decade, earning all-conference honors with the 2000 Rose Bowl team. He’s the last UW OT to earn all-conference honors. Chad Macklin would probably be the next on the list.
OGs — Chad Ward and Stanley Daniels. I was tempted just to go with Matt Fraize, the other starting guard on the 2000 team alongside Ward, as it’s a really tough call after Ward, who is an obvious choice as the last Morris Trophy winner UW has had on the OL. Fraize started every game in 2000. I also thought about Ryan Tolar, but he’s only really played one year at guard. And I also gave some thought to Elliott Zajac and Clay Walker. But Daniels was essentially a three-year starter and probably the best individual talent of that group.
CENTERKyle Benn. Juan Garcia was also considered. But Benn, a starter in 2000 and 2001, is a pretty obvious choice. In one of the things that best indicates UW’s demise this decade, Benn is the last UW OL to earn all-conference honors, those coming in 2001.
UPDATE — Probably should add a fullback. So here goes. Really, three candidates — Paul Homer, Zach Tuiasosopo and Pat Conniff. And this is another one where what the 2000 team did overpowers the longeviety of a few of the others. Conniff had 52 carries and scored five TDs in 2000 and was a key part of the option offense. He also scored a pivotal TD in the win over Miami and two more against UCLA and had eight carries for 45 yards in the Rose Bowl.
So that makes seven members of the this team that were part of the 2000 Rose Bowl squad. But given that team’s stature as by far the best of this decade, seems fitting.

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