I’ve gotten a few questions in recent days that are worth putting out here in a separate post — and feel free to continue to send in questions with interest in the team beginning to heat up as the season nears. …
Q: Was there ever any resolution to Josh Shirley’s legal issues?
A: No. This is a part of his story a lot of UW fans would probably like to ignore. But it’s also a reality of his story that has to be covered since it could impact his future.
Shirley, to recap, was dismissed from the team at UCLA after he and two other teammates were accussed of stealing another student’s backpack on campus (background here). The other two — cornerback Shaquille Richardson and receiver Paul Richardson — were also dismissed from the team, and all three moved on to other Pac-12 schools. Paul Richardson is now at Colorado and Shaquille Richardson at Arizona.
According to Frank Mateljan of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, all three have been charged with Grand Theft (Violation of Penal Code section 487(a)). All three are scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Aug. 18 in Los Angeles.
Mateljan said all of the counts are misdemeanors, punishible by up to six months in jail
and/or a $1,000 fine.
All three loom as key players for their teams this season. Shirley is UW’s starter at the newly-created “rush end” spot while Shaquille Richardson — who earned Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honons once last season — projects as a starting corner for Arizona and Paul Richardson is Colorado’s leading returning receiver with 34 catches for 514 yards, having been the team’s best deep threat a year ago averaging 15.1 yards per reception.
Q: How come you’re not linking the Rivals.com rating that UW’s 2012 recruiting class isn’t very good?
A: I link all the ratings constantly as it nears signing day, which is when it’s most relevant to link such ratings — assuming it ever really is.
But the reader is correct that Rivals has begun to list ratings for the 2012 classes — once it does, those ratings are updated with every commit that teams get so there is constant shuffling from here to Feb. 1.
Here’s the link to Rivals.com’s updated ratings, which have UW at No. 43 nationally and eighth among Pac-12 schools.
As followers of rankins know, Rivals.com has a little bit of a mysterious method, unlike Scout.com, which simply adds up the point totals of all the players that have committed. Rivals.com takes the total of commits and stars into account, but also apparently allows for just a general final subjective look at all the classes when it puts them in order.
UW’s probably not helped in the Rivals.com ratings by the fact that two players don’t have any stars — probably because they haven’t been evaluated — punter Korey Durkee and athlete Jason Thompson. Rivals.com also includes Braden Bishop as a two-star recruit even though no one else considers him a commit for this class — he’s a baseball player who has mentioned he might try to play football at UW, as well. Those who follow UW recruiting don’t consider him a commit.
As anyone who really follows this already knows, any real assessment of UW’s class can’t be made until some of the big-time linemen it is pursuing — notably, Joshua Garnett of Puyallup and Zach Banner of Lakes — make their decisions.
If those players (or others of similar ability) commit to UW, the class will vault in any ranking and be considered a success, since UW already has two top propects at QB and appears to have adequately filled some other spots. If UW strikes out on all of its top line prospects, then the ratings will reflect accordingly.
UW has just one offensive line commit so far in OT Nathan Dean of Juanita. Obviously, the Huskies need to get 4-5 more. Until we see how the Huskies fill out those spots, it’s too early to really put much stock into a rating either good or bad.
The reader could just as easily have noted that MaxPreps.com has UW rated No. 18. But as Scout.com, meanwhile, has yet to publish any ratings, apparently preferring to wait a little while until the classes are filled out a little more.
Q: It seems like Nebraska has had trouble holding onto its QBs. Maybe I’m just looking at old info, but it seems like they’ve lost two since the end of the season.
A: Of course, this is relevant here since UW plays at Nebraska on Sept. 17. As noted by the questioner, Nebraska has lost two since the end of the season. Kody Spano, who battled injuries throughout his career and never played, decided to give football in May due to health reasons.
Backup Cody Green then decided a few weeks later to transfer, due largely to playing time reasons. Taylor Martinez was back healthy in the spring and installed as the starter, so Green was going to enter his junior year as again the backup. He has since transferred to Tulsa.
While losing two QBs is obviously a blow to the depth, I don’t think any of this is unique to Nebraska. Guys get hurt and have to give up football all the time. And quarterbacks, in particular, commonly decide to move on once they’ve been in a program for a few years but haven’t earned a starting job. Quarterback is an all-or-nothing spot and most guys want to play. College football is littered with QBs who left one school in search of playing time elsewhere.
As the linked Green story above indicates, Nebraska could have just two QBs on scholarship depending on what all-everything recruit Bubba Starling does. Starling is basically a Nebraska version of Jake Locker a few years later (here’s a good, recent story on Starling) and if he resists baseball and ends up at Nebraska, he could move up the depth chart pretty quickly. If he’s on the roster, Nebraska’s QB situation really won’t be a whole lot different than most teams in college football — UW made it through last season with just three scholarship QBs. Without him, however, Nebraska will be a little shy on depth.