A BYU-quarterback free edition as we get to the first set of answers. …
Q: You mentioned Deandre Coleman having academic issues at Cal. I always thought Cal was more restrictive academically than UW. So if did not qualify here, how did he end up at Cal to begin with?
A: I’m actually not sure we know Coleman wouldn’t have been eligible at UW. He was a commit to UW early in the process, so the Husky coaches then must have thought there was a chance he’d get in. After decommitting when the firing of Tyrone Willingham became inevitable, he then committed to Cal in mid-December, and if the reports at the time were true, Steve Sarkisian’s staff then made another run at Coleman, indicating they also thought there was a chance he might get in. I know there were message-board rumblings that he wouldn’t have been eligible at UW, but not sure we have definitive evidence of that at all. And so with that the case, hard to say that he got into Cal but wouldn’t have gotten into UW. Obviously, to get in to Cal at all he had to be eligible by NCAA standards. On a broader level, most schools allow their football teams a special admit or two, assuming they are NCAA eligible, and Cal has been reported to have been a little more forgiving in that regard the last decade or so.
Q: What is the current prognosis on Everrette Thompson? Do they currently expect him back and at full strength in the fall, or does it look like he’ll get a redshirt year?
A: The current prognosis is that he’s out 4-6 months with an Achilles tendon injury that defensive coordinator Nick Holt described as a tear. But Holt said there was a chance Thompson could be ready for the season. At 4-6 months, Thompson’s obviously right in the middle of being eligible for the season, which begins in five months. So if he heals quickly, he could be ready to go. If not, then he won’t be. At the moment, not sure anyone really knows more than that. He does have a redshirt year available, so if he’s going to miss a significant portion of the season they have that option to save a year of his eligibility. One thing that’s not always known is that you don’t have to declare a redshirt year or anything — they just happen if a guy doesn’t play and has one available (or gets hurt early then never plays again). So they really don’t have to do anything but wait until the fall and see how he is and then react accordingly.
Q: Do the O linemen pass the ‘eye test’? How do they compare physically to last year?
A: They look about the same from last season, for the most part. But that shouldn’t sound disappointing. It was last year when the OL made the big transformation, many losing some significant weight as the new staff wanted them not only to get into better shape but also slim down to adjust to using more zone blocking, which is predicated on having more movement and agility instead of just pure strength. The one player who is maybe the most worth watching in this area is Mykenna Ikehara, who due to being on the small side anyway and then suffering an illness last spring that caused him to lose weight, was in the 250-260 range last season. But coaches say he’s put on 15 pounds or so and is up in the high-270s, getting closer to where they’d like him next fall. An emphasis in the off-season in the conditioning program was on increasing lower-body strength, something that’s maybe not as easy to discern just by looking. The real key, as always, is in how they play, and we really haven’t seen enough yet in the spring to get much of an assessment.
Q: Did you see Clarence Trent’s Tweets today indicating he is done with football? Any word on whether there is validity to those?
A: I did see them, including the one that read that “this whole football thing is not for me.” Given the way that college athletes, and especially UW basketball players, like to joke around on the Twitter pages, I take just about anything I see on any of those with a Greenland-size grain of salt. I talked to one person at UW today who said that there was no official change in Trent’s status. Guess we’ll see at practice on Tuesday.
All for now.