It’s been another newsy day around UW. Here are a few more links and notes. …
— UW announced earlier today that Chris Polk, Senio Kelemete and Alameda Ta’amu will all play in the Senior Bowl Jan. 28 in Mobile, Ala. Polk is now eligible to play since he has officially declared for the NFL Draft.
— UW’s new defensive coordinator, Justin Wilcox, has been regarded as one of the real up-and-comers in the profession for a few years now, and one of his main claims to fame is coordinating the Boise State defense that in 2009 held Oregon to just eight points in a memorable season-opening clash. Here’s a story from The Oregonian in 2010 with lots of background on that, and glowing praise from many at Oregon, which was relevant at that time as Oregon faced Wilcox again when the Ducks traveled to Tennessee. Oregon won that game 48-13.
— New linebackers coach Peter Sirmon, meanwhile, is a Washington native who as a quarterback and linebacker led Walla Walla to the state title game in 1994. He might well have ended up playing at UW except for the numbers game that caught up to UW in 1995 due to NCAA sanctions, something explained in this story. At Tennessee of the NFL, he was a teammate of UW grad Benji Olson. Here’s a good story with lots of background on Sirmon from the Portland Tribune in 2009 when he decided to get back into coaching, first as a graduate assistant at Oregon. Not that it would be why they hired him, but as that story indicates, Sirmon has a pretty good knowledge of what they are doing at Oregon now, which can’t hurt as the Huskies try to figure out a way to catch up to the Ducks in the Pac-12 North.
— Wilcox was reported to be making $700,000 at Tennessee next year and Sirmon $175,000. You’d obviously expect each may have gotten raises, as well as likely multi-year deals to come to UW. Wilcox had his contract redone after last season, when he reportedly turned down a job at Texas, and among the revisions was the elimination of any buyout clause on his end, so he has to pay nothing for leaving early. You’ll also note there that Wilcox’s salary escalated at Tennessee — he was due to make $750,000 and then $800,000 in 2012 and 2013. So little question he’s about to become the highest-paid assistant in UW history.
— RockyTopTalk.com has some good stuff on the reaction in Tennessee. As was also alluded to in the earlier post here, Sirmon was generally regarded as one of Tennessee’s best recruiters.
— In recruiting news, Shaquille Thompson, one of the top safety prospects in the country, told 247Sports.com he will announce a decision between Cal and UW on Saturday at the U.S. Army All-America Bowl.