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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

July 10, 2010 at 8:33 AM

July questions, volume one

I’m going to peck away at these as quickly as I can, but go ahead and keep asking, questions either in the comments section here or the previous entry:
Q: From what I’ve heard, Kevin Smith is shredded and a phenomenal talent. I think you mentioned seeing him at summer workouts. How does he look?
A: As I mentioned Thursday after seeing a little of the informal workout, Smith definitely looks the part already. Whether he is ready to play at this level won’t really be determined until deep into August, as is the case with all freshmen. But I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him enter quickly into the mix as a returner (particularly on kickoffs). And an underrated position battle for this team are the backup WR slots. Those are pretty wide open after the way the spring unfolded, and Smith could quickly work his way into the rotation there, as well, if he proves he can pick up the offense.
Q: What took so long to find out about Darius Waters and Chris Young? It seems like these guys had a lot of work to do but just finding out a week before the LEAP program seems odd. Were they waiting for grades?
A: I think the team knew for a while the general direction in which each of those situations was headed. But one thing to remember is that the eligibility standards now work on a sliding scale involving both GPA and standardized test scores. So little is really completely official until final grades come in. In Young’s case, that didn’t happen until about 10 days ago. It was a longshot that he would have made it, and the contingency plans were being made in advance. But until it was official there was nothing for anyone to say on the record (and when it comes to academic issues, I prefer to wait to really report much until there is some official record or quote or signing with another school or whatever to go on).
Q: Your position preview was really good. I think the biggest battles this year will be the corner opposite of Desmond Trufant and SLB. Can you tell us the difference between the CBs (Quinton Richardson, Vonzell McDowell, Anthony Boyles) and SLBs (Victor Aiweya, Matt Houston, and Alvin Logan).
A: Thanks for the kind words. Those will be interesting battles, though those are also both spots where I think they will end up using a lot of players situationally, especially at CB. So I think all of those guys have a chance to see considerable action this year regardless of who emerges as the starter at those spots.
As for the corners, Richardson probably has the best overall mix of size, speed and experience for those three; McDowell is obviously a couple inches shorter (5-9 to Richardson’s 6-foot and Boyles’ 6-3) but probably has the most experience and had a great spring. Boyles’ height and reach give UW something the other two don’t. But he has yet to play a down as a CB in a college game and of those three, has the most to learn. I don’t really see Boyles winning the starting job over either of those other two (and don’t forget Adam Long, the returning starter at that spot). But he could move into being used situationally this season.
As for the LBs, Logan is really impressive physically but obviously has yet to play a down at that spot having been a receiver until the spring of 2009 and then a safety (battling injuries along the way); Aiyewa is probably the most ready to go having started a few games at safety (the two spots have some similar responsibilities), though he’s also having to overcome a shoulder injury; Houston’s a senior who has seen little playing time. If everyone is healthy in the fall, I’d think Aiyewa is the favorite, though I think Logan opened some eyes in the spring with his play.
All for now.

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