A few more. …
Q: Which Freshmen are most likely to see action in 2011 (after Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Kasen Williams)?
A: One thing to keep in mind is that I think the hope this year will be that the Huskies are finally at the point where they don’t have to rush a lot of true frosh into action and can redshirt more than they have in past years. Ideally, maybe only 6-7 play. The two you mentioned are the most obvious to play, and I think Danny Shelton also has a chance to get in the mix immediately on the defensive line. Wouldn’t surprise me if Tani Tupou worked his way into some time up front, as well. Josh Perkins might have a chance at receiver.
From there, it could be as much about special teams as anything. Marvin Hall may have the speed to work into the mix immediately as a returner. Bishop Sankey may also have a chance to get in the return competition. James Sample, Marcus Peters and Corey Waller seem like possible candidates on return and coverage units.
But as always, it’s a real crapshoot guessing this stuff until we see them get here in August and begin to assess them on the field.
Q: Do the Huskies have the inside track on Jeff Lindquist at this point? Where do they stand on other quarterback prospects (for the UW class of 2012)?
A: The conventional wisdom is that UW is the favorite for Lindquist, the Mercer Island High senior-to-be who will be one of the state’s top recruits for the signing class of 2011. Stanford appears to generally be regarded as the most serious competitor.
Scout.com lists UW with offers out to three other uncommitted QBs: Travis Wilson of San Clemente, Calif.; Jake Rodrigues of Rocklin, Calif.; and Cyler Miles of Denver. So early in the recruiting process that it’s hard to really judge where they stand with any of those guys, none of whom are listed as having any specific favorites.
Q: My question is about the backers. I know we haven’t seen the boys running around yet, but what are the chances Josh Shirley starts? Do you think it will be as a hybrid backer? I think he would be a stud in the 3-4 on the outside. Is he big enough yet though?
A: One thing to remember is that Shirley is not really a linebacker as fans may think of it — I have not seen him take any snaps anywhere other than as a defensive end, usually at the rush end spot. So that means he has not taken any snaps at the spots that are being vacated by Mason Foster and Victor Aiyewa. I guess things could change, but there has been no indication of that happening so far.
The spot he has been playing is the same that Hau’oli Jamora played at the end of last season. So again, unless things change, that’s where Shirley will be.
UW has said it may go with the 3-4 more going forward, liking some of the results it got out of that defense late in the season. So I think you’ll see some experimentation with that this spring. But as Steve Sarkisian said on signing day, they got a lot of guys in the Class of 2011 who they think can be LBs in a 3-4. At the moment, Shirley’s future appears to be as a DE.
Q: Any chance we’ll see some packages with Michael Hartvigson at tight end
and Seferian-Jenkins as a jumbo wideout?
A: Sure. Probably see some formations with it the other way around, as well, as Sarkisian really likes to put guys in motion and line them up in not necessarily conventional spots, as UW fans have seen a lot already. He’s talked consistently of liking to have two TEs to put on the field, and inevitably one might lineup as a receiver or in the slot of motion out there (you saw some of that in 2009 but UW simply didn’t have the personnel to do it much last year). So no question at all they will look for creative ways to get the ball to those guys (and don’t just classify Hartvigson as a blocking-type tight end — he had one of the best catches of anybody during training camp last year and they definitely view him as a tight end who can catch).