Start the Friday afternoon links with this story from The Sporting News that looks at how the Huskies could return to college football relevance this season (part of a package of stories on tradinally powerful programs that have slipped and again appear on the way back up.
Most interesting may be a quote from former UW center Ed Cunningham, now an analyst on ESPN, talking about what could go wrong for the Huskies. Said Cunningham:
“The offensive line is the hard part. There’s no position on the field that takes longer to get good at. It’s strength and experience and working as a unit. Sark gets this. USC played hard football when he was there. They put linemen in the NFL. That’s what Washington has lost. They have had first-round receivers but don’t have guys who can roll off or hold the post.”
Cunningham obviously knows more about football than I ever will, and his point about the offensive line is well-taken. But the reality is UW has had just one first-round receiver in more than 40 years — Reggie Williams in 2004. Before that you have to go back to Dave Williams in 1967 (unless you also count Jerramy Stevens in 2002).
Other than Isaiah Stanback, who was just as obvioiusly something of a special case and played sparingly at receiver as a Husky (and not at all his last three years in the program), Williams is the only Husky WR drafted in the last decade. So guess the point I’m making is I agree completely with Cunningham that the offensive line is a big issue, not sure it’s accurate to say they’ve had first-round talent elsewhere but just haven’t had the line to make it work. It’s pretty much been a group effort. But if what Cunningham is saying that UW appears to have first-round caliber WRs emerging but now needs the line to step up, I would agree with that.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— The Sporting News also has a similar look at UW 2010 opponent Nebraska.
— Some interesting stuff here from the Salt Lake Tribune on BYU AD Tom Holmoe’s meeting with the media today, including his thoughts on why the Pac-10 never looked at BYU to expand.
— Former Husky Brandon Leyritz is a member of the Spokane Shock of the AFL, who will be featured on the NFL Network tonight at 5 p.m.
— Rivals.com has released its list of the top 10 high school teams in the state this year with Skyline at the top.
All for now.