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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

July 26, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Pac-12 media day live thread

KIFFIN OFF STAGE — Lane Kiffin was just on the stage but I was out doing some other interviews (Bud Withers is manning the interview room) so I don’t have anything to pass along there.

The Utah contingent is now on stage and that will be the end of it.

TUIASOSOPO TO BE INTERN — Rick Neuheisel just said off podium that Marques Tuiasosopo will be an intern for the UCLA football program this year. Tuiasosopo left UW for UCLA in off-season with hopes of being a graduate assistant coach and work on the field with quarterbacks.

But Neuheisel said a request for a waiver (since Tuiasosopo had been out of college a decade he had to get a waiver to be a GA) was denied. So that means for this year Tuiasosopo will not be able to work on the field with the QBs. I’ll have a more complete transcript of his answers on that later.

NEUHEISEL SAYS HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL, HUNDLEY TO HAVE MINOR KNEE SURGERY — Neuheisel took the stage saying he knows he’s on the hot seat and as such, he’s just happy to get invited to one of these.

He also said that Brett Hundley is going to undergo knee surgery on Wednesday, has a torn meniscus, that will keep him out 3-4 weeks. Says he hurt it playing basketball and will be “back before long” and that it’s good he got as much work as he did prior to that.

Kevin Prince will be back fully ready to go, Neuheisel said, so he’ll be the leader in the UCLA QB derby along with Richard Brehaut. Says all will “fight and scratch” for the job.

RICK NEUHEISEL NOW ON THE PODIUM — Sorry for lack of info on ASU and Colorado but was talking to Sarkisian.

UCLA now on the stage.

KANCZUGOWSKI INELIGIBLE — In a separate interview off the podium, UW coach Steve Sarkisian said that backup OL Daniel Kanczugowksi is academically ineligible for the season. He was listed as the backup center at the end of the spring. That may cause some shuffling of some of the younger players to groom someone else at center.

Sarkisian said all other players will be eligible for camp. He said Antavius Sims remains on track but has to complete work for his AA degree to get eligible.

He also said Sean Parker should be ready to fully participate from day one of camp.

I’ll have more detailed quotes on these and other topics from Sarkisian later.

NATE WILLIAMS TO RAVENS — Our NFL writer Danny O’Neil reports that former Husky Nate Williams has signed a free agent contract with the Baltimore Ravens.

STOOPS CLEARS UP CRINER ISSUE — Stoops said that WR Juron Criner was dealing with the illness of his mother and that was why there were rumors that he might not be playing this season. He said Criner spent some time at his home in Texas and now feels better about his mother’s situation, allowing him to return to play.

STOOPS JOKES ABOUT IMAGE — Asked about his image as one of the more emotional coaches in college football, he joked and said “I disagree with that 100 percent.”

BRIEF PAUSE — We’re back after about a 10-minute break with Mike Stoops on the podium along with Nick Foles. He cites the OL and special teams improvement as two keys to this season. “Going to three straight bowl games, we feel like we’ve developed a very solid program,” he said.

WULFF ON STAGE — Says Chris Tormey is “a great mentor” for WSU’s young linebackers. Longtime UW assistant was hired at WSU over the winter. Says Tormey and a couple other new assistants “will have a big impact for us.”

A COUPLE OTHER SARKISIAN NOTES — He said Chris Polk is a “pretty good horse to ride” and that it’s important for the coaches to keep it fun for the players.

Polk said that having played with Jake Locker allowed other UW players to see what it takes to be a top 10 pick, and that the fact he is now gone means Polk has to step up more and be a vocal leader this season.

SARK OFF STAGE — No huge news from Sarkisian on the podium. Sounds like not much new with the team. We’ll have time to ask some more specific UW questions later in the one-on-one sessions and I’ll have a lot of that later.

UW PERSONNEL UPDATE — Sark says Tokolahi (ankle) and Potoa’e (knee) may be limited when practice starts but everyone else should be ready to go.

SARKISIAN SAYS “IT’S AN EXCITING TIME” IN PAC-12 — “We couldn’t be in a better conference at a better time,” he says as he opens remarks.

Says UW found a style if believes in as last season ended being physical and running the ball.

STANFORD OFF STAGE — UW taking the podium at 10:30.

LUCK SAYS THIS WILL BE LAST SEASON — Andrew Luck could return in 2012 but he just said this will almost certainly be his last year and he is “approaching it like such.”

SARK WILL BE LATE — Sarkisian was supposed to take podium here at 10:05, but Stanford contingent just took the stage at 10:15. Sarkisian and Chris Polk will be next.

RILEY SAYS REPLACING JACQUIZZ RODGERS A HUGE CHALLENGE — The Beavers don’t have an obvious replacement right now for RB Jacquizz Rodgers, he said: “We don’t have right now a number one back that’s going to replace Quiz right now today.” That may be the No. 1 position to watch for Beavers in fall camp.

RILEY SAYS TOO EARLY TO KNOW YET ABOUT STATUS OF JAMES RODGERS — He had two major knee surgeries last year and is still recovering. Riley says he’s ahead of schedule but has a last doctor’s appointment soon and that will help tell when he can return to field. For now, no set ETA.

BASICALLY, NOTING FROM KELLY ON NCAA ISSUES — As should have been expected, Chip Kelly essentially declined to comment on anything related to the NCAA investigation into the Willie Lyles situation. So no bombshell here today. But a tense moment at the end as Oregonian columnist John Canzano asks a final question and is cut off by a Pac-12 rep. Kelly answered anyway, saying again that he’ll talk when the report comes out.

KELLY SAYS NO SET DECISION ON CLIFF HARRIS AND KIKO ALONSO — Each had some legal trouble in off-season. Kelly vague on what their status will be once the season begins.

KELLY SAYS HE’D LOVE TO CLEAR UP MISCONCEPTIONS — He said that “We will (comment) at the appropriate time and clear up a lot of misconceptions.”

KELLY SAYS NCAA PROBE NOT IMPACTING RECRUITING — He says recruiting going “very, very well” and he doesn’t think it’s scaring any recruits away.

KELLY NO COMMENTS ON NCAA PROBE — As expected, Oregon coach Chip Kelly said as he took the stage here that he can’t comment on the NCAA investigation into the program. Said he would “love” to answer questions but that he’s bound to not say anything publicly until the reports are completed.

TEDFORD SAYS NOT WORRIED ABOUT WILLIE LYLES SITUATION — Cal has been linked to the Willie Lyles situation and a Eugene reporter asked Tedford if he had any worries about that issue. Tedford says he’s “not concerned one bit” and he “wouldn’t know him” if he were in the room and that using such services is just part of the deal.

JONES SAYS CAL WILL BE MOTIVATED — Cal WR Marvin Jones says Cal players will keep last season’s bowl-less holiday “in the back of our minds” as motivation to avoid that fate this season.

TEDFORD SAYS CAL HAS IMPROVED CHEMISTRY — But he also says that the Bears need to find a tailback, something Cal usually has in abundance.

And he cited the team’s loss to UW in what was its season-ender, saying that at that point the team refocused “to make sure we never have that feeling again.”

SCOTT DONE, TEDFORD TAKES THE STAGE — Scott had no real news. Lauded benefits of expansion and all that. Now Cal coach Jeff Tedford takes the stage, beginning by thanking media — you’re welcome.

MORE SCOTT SPEAK — Apparently nothing new on the Pac-12 Network.

He says that: “In short, our future is as bright as it’s ever been.” And he says a goal is to have all 12 schools have self-sustaining athletic departments.

SCOTT SPEAK — He says “it’s the dawn of a new day” for the conference going from 10 to 12.

SCOTT TO SPEAK — Pac-12 commish Larry Scott taking stage at 9:14 a.m.

PAC-12 MEDIA DAY UNDERWAY — It kicks off at 9:10 a.m. with a video promoting the conference.

SARKISIAN ON 710 — Steve Sarkisian will appear on 710 ESPN Seattle at 9:30 a.m. You can listen here.

HABBEN TO CHARGERS — I’ll try to pass along UW free agent signees if I hear about them with all else going on today. I’ve seen reports that Cody Habben has signed with the Chargers.

JUST ABOUT TO KICK IT OFF — We’re about 10 minutes from the beginning of media day here at Fox Studios — there are about 10 Oscars sitting in a glass case right behind us.

You can follow it all here via the conference web site (or here) and I’ll do what I can to update the proceedings.

So far, no new UW news of note.

There’s a new roster included in the media guide but there are no new additions or subtractions other than those previously reported, such as Zach Fogerson and Kimo Makaula.

I count 85 scholarship players, 63 returning players (which includes the early enrollees from the spring) and 22 newcomers.

As for walk-ons, at the moment there are no additions — they won’t be added until camp starts. It’s expected there will be a few new ones arriving for the beginning of camp Aug. 8 which means a few who were there in the spring won’t return. More walk-ons will arrive in September after school starts.

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